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GOOD GIFTS & GEAR

2020 NSMB Gift Guide - Week 2

Words Pete Roggeman
Date Nov 19, 2020
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Presented By
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Every Thursday through December 17th, we'll be presenting a new list of gifts for the mountain biker in your life. Whether that mountain biker is you or someone else, this is gear we stand behind that will upgrade your bike or the ride experience, or deals on some other sweet stuff we're digging right now.

In case you missed the first week of the 2020 NSMB Gift Guide, find it here, and our 2019 guide is still relevant - those lists can be found here.


ENVE ALLOY MOUNTAIN STEM

ENVE’s new Alloy Mountain Stem adds an alternative option to the brand’s premium M6 and M7 carbon stems. 3D cold-forged and machined construction achieves incredible strength with only a slight weight penalty compared to carbon. Similar to ENVE’s carbon stems, the Alloy Mountain Stem’s clamp widths are designed to complement M Series carbon handlebars and their unique flex profiles. Available in 31.8mm and 35mm clamp diameters and rated for cross country, trail, all-mountain, enduro and gravity applications.

Price: US $125, CAD $175

Clamp diameters: 31.8 and 35mm

Sizes: 35, 50, and 65mm

To buy or learn more, hit up Enve's site.

Giant Trance X Advanced Pro 29

From rowdy enduro runs to backcountry missions on steep, chunky singletrack, this full composite 29er builds on the Trance 29 platform with 135mm of Maestro suspension the back and 150mm up front. The flip-chip equipped rocker arm lets you adjust frame geometry; choose a steeper or slacker head tube angle (66.2 or 65.5 degrees) and seat tube angle (77.9 or 77.2 degrees), which results in either a 30mm or 40mm bottom bracket drop.

Available in 3 models, all with a full carbon frame, Giant’s 37mm TRX carbon wheels (see our review here) and proper rubber: a 2.5 Maxxis Minion DHF up front and a 2.4 Dissector in the rear. Comes in three spec levels. Highlights:

  • Pro 29 0 -> Fox 36 Factory Live Valve Suspension, Shimano XT 12-speed drivetrain with up-spec’d star ratchet hub for $9,799 CAD
  • Pro 29 1 -> Fox 36 Performance Elite Suspension, SRAM GX Eagle drivetrain for $6,599 CAD
  • Pro 29 2 -> RockShox Pike & Deluxe Select Suspension, SRAM NX Eagle drivetrain for $5,299 CAD

More on theTrance X Advanced on Giant's website.

trancexadvpro29_gallery07.jpg

Please don't say D**nC***try - such a silly label. Shorter travel bikes with incredible capability, though, are all the rage these days and the Trance X Advanced sits squarely in that category. We hope to bring you a review in the Spring.

CushCore Bead Dropper

We are unabashed fans of tire inserts around here. Beyond the flat-prevention, they also allow you to run lower pressures, giving you far more grip, which is always important, but especially crucial when it gets wet and nasty. Among insert choices, CushCore is a leader, but like others, they're working hard to shake their major bugaboo: the installation process can be daunting. There are tips, tricks, and videos out there that help a lot, but the best defense against frustration in this case is a good offense. Enter the CushCore Bead Dropper. Designed to help seat your CushCore onto your rim, and again to help get your tire around your CushCore, the Bead Dropper is also a very, very robust and effective tire lever. You won't be carrying it with you on rides, but it belongs in every toolbox, work bench, and shop. As a bonus, someone unwrapping one of these may wonder whether it's a gift that was intended to be gifted in private...have a good look at it and you'll see what I mean.

For more, check out Andrew's review of the Bead Dropper. MSRP is $20 US. You can pick one up from CushCore or on amazon, but they're on sale right now at evo for $15.96.

Cush Core Bead Dropper NSMB AndrewM (10).JPG

Not everyone knows what the Bead Dropper is at first glance. That's ok, though, your relatives already think you dress funny and spend way too much time 'playing with push bikes'. Photo: Andrew Major.

PNW Loam Lever

PNW Components make great dropper posts, as we can attest. However their Loam Lever may be their best product, because not only does it make their posts better, but it works with non-PNW posts, too. It looks sweet and works even better than it looks, thanks to great ergonomic shaping, rubber traction pad, and cartridge bearing for smooth action. It's a piece of jewelry for your bars. You can grab one here for $69 US, just make sure to buy the right clamp, depending on how you intend to mount it.

Wells Lamont Leather Work Gloves

"Dude! Those are my favourite! Thank you!" I recently gave a set of these to my pal Trevor as a thank you for the work he's been doing on a few of my favourite trails. These heavy duty cowhide work gloves are perfect for a trail builder, but also for working in the yard, moving stuff, chopping wood, or even to keep your hands warm on a chilly morning. I keep a set in my truck and use them all the time. I used to use cheap work gloves, but I prefer buying something that isn't semi-disposable, these are more comfortable and - after I treated them with wax - they're also reasonably waterproof. At $18 US (currently on sale for $15!) these are a bargain.

Wells Lamont work gloves.jpg

Don't worry, they'll start to look awesome with use.

Wells Lamont work gloves 2.jpg

They're tough, but also allow you to work with your hands with a pretty good amount of dexterity.

Wera L-Key Hex Set

Not everyone appreciates high quality tools, but that doesn't mean everyone shouldn't use them. Wera's tools are legen-waitforit-dary amongst mecanics who work on all sorts of things - especially bikes. Some of their tools are eye-wateringly dear but this Allen key set won't leave you reaching for a hankie - especially since it's on sale for $34.49 right now in the US (which doesn't happen often). At that price, it may even be worth buying and shipping to Canada if you live north of the border. And for you that are below the 45th parallel, this is a no-brainer.

  • 1.5, 2, 2.5, 3, 4, 5, 6, 8, and 10mm Allen keys with colour-coded plastic sleeves
  • Hex-Plus allows socket head screws to live longer
  • BlackLaser for high corrosion protection and long service life
  • Ball-heads on the ends (Andrew Major may not like ball ends, but they're useful if you use them responsibly)

Don't sleep on this sale price - I've never seen them this low (and I've been watching).

Wera hex key set.jpg

Wera's tools are made in the Czech Republic and are known for their quality and nice design touches like their famous colour-coded plastic sleeves, which make it easy to reach for the right size, every time.

Glerups Wool Felt Slippers

It wouldn't be a holiday gift guide without socks or slippers, would it? Parked nicely at the intersection of good looks and comfort, Glerups are a Danish brand that makes slippers using ethically-sourced felt wool from New Zealand. They're warm, of course, but because they're made of wool, they breathe and don't tend to cause your feet to overheat and get sweaty. The wool molds to your foot over time, giving you the feeling that they're a semi-custom slipper. There are variety of styles, from slip-in to low-cut boot, and two soles to choose from: leather, or natural rubber. I've been wearing the boots with rubber sole, and can confirm they're perfect for dashing out around the block when needed, except I don't want to get them dirty and have them be banished from inside use.

In an age when we're all spending more time at home than outside of it, these are getting a lot more use than all the other shoes in my closet. MSRP $95-$155 in the US but in a big bonus for Canadians, they range from 89 to 99 CAD* north of the border - go figure!

For more information visit www.glerups.com. Canadians make sure to hit up the Canadian Glerups site to find out where to buy up here. **update** found certain styles and colours on sale at backcountry.com (best for US customers but they do ship to Canada, too).

*129 CAD for the natural rubber sole.

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Glerups boot rubber sole.png

Glerups shoe leather sole.jpg

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Comments

bogdan-m
+1 Pete Roggeman
Bogdan M  - Nov. 19, 2020, 6:21 a.m.

I'm not ashamed to admit I have the Glerups and they are the best things ever. Not too hot and just perfect.

Reply

pete@nsmb.com
0
Pete Roggeman  - Nov. 19, 2020, 7:01 a.m.

The not too hot part is key - I've had slippers that make my feet sweat because they don't breathe well, which equals stink.

Reply

DanL
+9 AJ Barlas Pete Roggeman toddball jaydubmah WasatchEnduro Velocipedestrian MuscogeeMasher The Chez hotlapz
DanL  - Nov. 19, 2020, 8:35 a.m.

Glerups and bead dropper for a cosy night in!

Reply

Timmigrant
0
Tim Coleman  - Nov. 19, 2020, 10:23 a.m.

I was just looking for some slippers! What style of the Glerups is everyone loving the most? Leather vs. rubber role, slip-on vs shoe vs boot? What to do!?

Reply

DanL
+1 Tim Coleman
DanL  - Nov. 19, 2020, 10:33 a.m.

I prefer the feel of the leather sole, it wears nicely and traction is more predictable.

Reply

Timmigrant
0
Tim Coleman  - Nov. 19, 2020, 1:18 p.m.

Awesome! Thanks for the reply, I was already leaning towards the leather sole.

Reply

pete@nsmb.com
+1 Tim Coleman
Pete Roggeman  - Nov. 19, 2020, 11:34 a.m.

I think leather is the way to go for strictly inside use. The rubber sole is...a rubber sole, so if you're making trips outside it's going to hold up better (including vs water which is something I asked about) and clean off a bit more easily. 

I've got the boots - they're easy on and off and the section your heel rubs against on the way on and off is noticeably thicker - it looks like the cross-section of a butted frame tube - so I don't have durability concerns.

Again, for strictly indoor use, I might have opted for the slip-ons, but I'm really loving these boots.

Reply

Timmigrant
+1 Pete Roggeman
Tim Coleman  - Nov. 19, 2020, 1:19 p.m.

Thanks Pete. I'm thinking of going boots as well. I can't wait to get them.

Reply

andrewbikeguide
0
AndrewR  - Nov. 21, 2020, 11:44 a.m.

I like the feel of the leather sole but the safety of the rubber sole is worth it. Shoe for ease of use (slip-ons also slip off when one least needs them to).

We live in ours around the house.

Reply

vincentaedwards
+3 Pete Roggeman Shoreboy toddball
Vincent Edwards  - Nov. 19, 2020, 6:30 a.m.

Those Wera Allen wrenches are fantastic. Every time I service my bike, I wonder how I went so long without them.

Same goes for knipex 7” parallel jaw pliers.

Reply

mammal
+1 Pete Roggeman
Mammal  - Nov. 19, 2020, 8:44 a.m.

For anyone looking for some, apparently Amazon has them for $38.95 CAD, coming from BC Fastners and Tools. Sounds like a win/win.

Also, can someone enlighten me about their "Hex-Plus" feature?

Reply

DarioD
+1 Mammal
DarioD  - Nov. 19, 2020, 9:58 a.m.

Hex plus is essentially just a differently shaped head, with more of a valley between each corner than the standard flat plane. It's supposed to increase wear life, and reduce rounding, and I think it lives up to the claim!

Not sure the link provided here includes it, but they also have a ball-end retention feature on some of their wrenches that I find pretty stellar.

Reply

mammal
0
Mammal  - Nov. 19, 2020, 3:02 p.m.

Very cool, thanks. I wonder if they make the "peaks" of the head ever so slightly larger (like an understated torx) for better bite, and reduce the friction fit by cutting down the "valleys".

Reply

jaydubmah
+1 Pete Roggeman
jaydubmah  - Nov. 19, 2020, 10:16 p.m.

PSA - those 7" Knipex are on sale at KMS tools for $69.95. ($30 off!)

https://www.kmstools.com/knipex-7-plier-wrench-171118

Fellow Canadians, this could be a good deal.

Reply

craw
+1 Pete Roggeman
Cr4w  - Nov. 19, 2020, 7:03 a.m.

Those gloves would be smart to leave in your car emergency kit.

Reply

shoreboy
+3 jaydubmah Pete Roggeman hotlapz
Shoreboy  - Nov. 19, 2020, 8:14 a.m.

I always watch stuff from WERA too. Have a few of their ratchets, screwdrivers and hex keys.

https://www.kmstools.com/wera-hex-plus-9pc-hex-key-set-metric-149456

$34.95CDN

Reply

mammal
0
Mammal  - Nov. 19, 2020, 8:45 a.m.

Oh my, I just posted an Amazon link above, but that's even better. Nice find.

Do you know what the Hex-Plus feature is all about? Cheers.

Reply

shoreboy
0
Shoreboy  - Nov. 19, 2020, 8:46 a.m.

https://www-de.wera.de/en/great-tools/hex-plus/

Apparently it helps protect the hex head from wear/stripping.

Reply

sanesh-iyer
+1 Pete Roggeman
Sanesh Iyer  - Nov. 19, 2020, 2:11 p.m.

It makes a noticeable difference in the longevity of Shimano bleed screws. Maybe I bleed my brakes to much, but that was my thesis for buying them and it paid off.

Reply

mammal
+1 Pete Roggeman
Mammal  - Nov. 19, 2020, 3:05 p.m.

Oh definitely feeling that application!! That hex size is already prone to wear, and I like my shimano brakes SHARP, so give the levers a burp-bleed every month or so. 

Thanks Sanesh (my Rocky Intern Brotha-From-Anotha-Workterm)!

Reply

sanesh-iyer
0
Sanesh Iyer  - Nov. 19, 2020, 3:09 p.m.

We should probably ride sometime...

It seems we also have brake setup persnicketinesd in common.

Reply

skooks
+1 Pete Roggeman
Skooks  - Nov. 20, 2020, 12:08 p.m.

Thanks for the tip. I just picked up a couple of sets from KMS. They are going to make great Christmas presents. Who says you can't give presents to yourself?

Reply

mrbrett
+3 Pete Roggeman Mammal Tim Coleman
mrbrett  - Nov. 19, 2020, 11:23 a.m.

The power of suggestion ... new Wera hex keys and a pair of slippers incoming ...

Reply

agleck7
+2 Pete Roggeman mrbrett
Agleck7  - Nov. 20, 2020, 4:46 a.m.

Haha same. I opened the article innocent and left with new gloves and hex wrenches...

Reply

pete@nsmb.com
0
Pete Roggeman  - Nov. 20, 2020, 2:01 p.m.

This makes me happy.

Reply

FLATCH
+1 Pete Roggeman
flatch  - Nov. 19, 2020, 6:29 p.m.

Bead Dropper? Did The Cove develop their own seat post?

Reply

cheapondirt
0
cheapondirt  - Nov. 19, 2020, 8:53 p.m.

"What's a BZA go for? Pretty sure we can get 5 bucks more."

Reply

WeTYC...
+1 Pete Roggeman
WeTYC...  - Nov. 19, 2020, 10:09 p.m.

I'd much rather use goatskin gloves like these ones (also Wells Lamont) than cowhide for trail work. 

The closed grain of goatskin and lanolin makes them naturally water resistant (not waterproof by any stretch though) and they're tougher and more flexible for a given hide thickness.  Better than deer/buckskin in my books too.

Plus they are WAY more Himalayan blackberry (and thistle and...) thorn resistant if you encounter that sort of thing while building.

Reply

BigBlueRootdown
+2 Shoreboy Pete Roggeman
Adrian Glover  - Nov. 20, 2020, 1:48 p.m.

I can't say enough good things about this set from Wera for the serious wrencher in your life.

https://products.wera.de/en/screwdrivers_series_400_t-handle_454_7_hf_set_1.html

Reply

shoreboy
0
Shoreboy  - Nov. 20, 2020, 1:55 p.m.

Ive had my eye on those too. Cant seem to find them here in Canada though. Any leads?

Reply

pete@nsmb.com
0
Pete Roggeman  - Nov. 20, 2020, 2:19 p.m.

Orange Sport Supply is a North Van-based distributor and they carry Wera. So, you can ask your bike shop to order anything from Wera (just depends on whether it's in stock or not). Means you may have to wait a day or two and miss out on immediate gratification, but you do get to buy through your LBS, which is nice.

Reply

shoreboy
0
Shoreboy  - Nov. 22, 2020, 1:01 p.m.

Ive attempted to go that route several times before. I have found custom ordering anything through an LBS to be a futile effort that ends in frustration for me.

Reply

BigBlueRootdown
+1 Shoreboy
Adrian Glover  - Nov. 20, 2020, 5:23 p.m.

Reply

BigBlueRootdown
+1 Shoreboy
Adrian Glover  - Nov. 20, 2020, 5:29 p.m.

If someone is looking to complete the set with a couple other tools that are good to have, we both bought these as well:

WER05023330001 - 2mm
WER05023375001 - T25

Reply

shoreboy
0
Shoreboy  - Nov. 22, 2020, 12:58 p.m.

Thanks! Im sure I can find enough stuff to put in my cart to qualify for the free shipping.  Good prices for sure.

Reply

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