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Get Some Goodness

2022 Gift Guide - Week 4

Words Pete Roggeman
Date Dec 8, 2022

It's week 4 already! We've got a bunch more recommendations this week, and although these weekly guides don't always follow a theme, the coffee lovers will find a few things to get excited about in this one. In case you missed them, here are the Gift Guides from earlier this year:

Week 1
Week 2
Week 3

Feedback-Sports-Pro-Elite-Bike-Repair-Stand-Upright

Feedback Sports repair stands are used by a lot of pro teams and people who travel with their stands but also use them at home. They're known to be durable and stable, and the mechanism that clamps the frame is quick and easy to use.

Feedback-Sports-Pro-Elite-Bike-Repair-Stand-Closed

They fold up easily into a compact form, weigh 12.6 lbs / 5.7 kgs, and are easy to use.

Feedback Sports Pro Elite Repair Stand

I may have teased coffee, but let's talk about home mechanics for a sec (and let's face it, every mechanic we know has a healthy appreciation for coffee). Feedback Sports have been making high quality tools for years, and their new Pro Elite Repair Stand continues that tradition. It's lightweight and compact, so it's easy to put away when not in use, but it also makes a good travel stand for those road trips you're all planning for Spring, right? Don't be fooled, though, this is a premium repair stand that is extremely stable and durable. The advent of e-bikes means the stand you've been using for your trail bikes may not be as happy or stable while holding on to a 50-lb e-bike. So, if you're shopping for someone who's got a new e-bike or two at home and likes to work on their bikes, this stand may be a great idea.

Rated for bikes up to 85 pounds or 39 kgs and covered by a 3-year warranty.

330 USD at Feedback Sports (or check with your local dealer)


Comandante Virginia-Walnut

I'm partial to Virginia Walnut. Those wood panels are stained, sanded and affixed by hand.

Comandante Liquid-Amber

Liquid Amber.

Comandante American-Cherry

American Cherry. All grinders come with two different glass hoppers - one clear and one coloured.

Comandante Sunset

The sunset colourway is a nice one, too.

Comandante Alpine-Lagoon

Or Alpine Lagoon if you're feeling zippy.

Comandante C40 Mk4 Grinder

No matter how much you love coffee, you still may not be a candidate for a hand grinder. Grinding your beans fresh right before you make coffee does make a big difference, and the rotary grinders we all had growing up are terrible at that job. I don't have time here to go into it, but it's gotta be a burr grinder to do it right. If efficiency is your jam, there are plenty of decent options for palatable prices that plug into the wall and grind beans quickly and with good consistency, which is what we're going for here (and what blade grinders fail at - spectacularly). Hand grinders, though? They're for special use cases, starting with people who appreciate a good ritual, like hand-grinding a pre-portioned amount of fresh beans while the kettle boils, and then going through the steps to make a truly excellent cup. Or maybe you're up early sometimes and, like me, you need a stealthy grinder option so you don't wake up the house while fixing a 6 a.m. cup of coffee before catching F1 qualifying. I fit into those two categories above, plus one more: when I travel, I take an Aeropress with me, as well as a hand grinder (and fresh beans). It's not that I can't stand a mediocre cup - I can and I will without complaint - it's that for the sake of a few extra things to bring with me, I can ensure total control and no need to worry about where my coffee is coming from (ie. not a Nespresso machine) and how it'll be made.

My hand grinder journey started years ago with a cheap unit which did an admirable job for a long time, but eventually I started to cast my attention to other options, higher quality, and more control over the grind. COMANDANTE is a small, family-run company in Bavaria that designs and produces everything in house (including the burrs, which is rare - many companies source them from factories overseas). It is all done with the precision you'd expect, but also an appreciation for beauty. There are many colour options but my favourites are the wood finishes, which are crafted by hand and designed to last and develop a bit of character over time. Everything is very high end and well-made, and Comandante grinders have been used to win World Barista Championships, but are also appreciated by coffee lovers everywhere, whether they use them to grind beans for espresso, pour over, French press, Moka pot, or Aeropress. This is more quality than my coffee palate needs, however the same appreciation I have for a beautifully machined bike component extends here. The care that went into designing the C40 is no different than the craftsmanship we highlighted in our Makers Series of videos.

If there is a coffee nerd in your life that appreciates a good ritual as well as high quality CNC'd parts and the look of quality on their countertop, let me suggest the Virgina Walnut, but no matter your tastes, you really can't go wrong.

Comandante doesn't sell direct, so go here to find a dealer near you.


Two Wheel Tampers 1

Sky's the limit on colour options for spacers and top caps with your Two Wheel Tamper.

Two Wheel Tampers 2

Rick Fawkes created a little xmas-themed tamper.

Two Wheel Tampers 4

Or you can go with basic black to complement the coffee world's basic black: stainless steel.

Two Wheel Tampers Coffee Tamper

Hand grinders aren't for everyone, and neither are tampers, but if you have an espresso machine at home, you already know that a tamper is a requirement. You also already know that buying a machine was just the start - next you gotta get a (good) grinder and, at the very least, a tamper. Anyone else remember the Chris King tamper? Well, I do, and so does Nanaimo-based rider Rick Fawkes, who reached out recently to tell us about Two Wheel Tampers, which he builds in his garage. The CK tampers were beautiful, but also expensive and, sadly, no longer available. Rick thought he could do something along those lines but with a custom option, and Two Wheel Tampers was the result. He sent one to me and it's been gracing the top of my espresso machine with way more flair than the one it replaced ever since.

Rick's tampers are made from headset top caps and spacers, which makes them easy to customize and even change around if you like. Want some Chromag spacers? No problem. Cane Creek headset top cap? Yep! Or maybe you're a Wolf Tooth lover. Whatever your style, he can accommodate it.

Two Wheel Tampers is Rick's side gig, so he doesn't have a website set up, and you might have to be patient (he runs batches twice a month). Get in touch with him directly at @TwoWheelTamper if you're interested in ordering one.


BikeYoke Sagma Saddle NSMB AndrewM (2).JPG

Andrew loved the BikeYoke Sagma. We're currently testing a few new versions. Photos: Andrew Major

BikeYoke Sagma Saddle NSMB AndrewM (5).JPG

On the underside, you can see the elastomer suspension system, which is tunable using supplied elastomer bumpers of varying hardness.

BikeYoke Sagma Saddle

There are a lot of people that give gift cards every year, because it means you don't have to worry about getting the wrong size, or the wrong colour, or the wrong thing. I like a gift card as much as the next hard-to-buy-for person, but it's also fun to open something that someone got you, even if they knew there was a chance it wasn't perfect. Sometimes, it turns out, other people's taste IS better than your own, and you may end up wearing a sweater in a colour you'd never buy, but that really works out. But the other school of thought is this: when you buy something from a good shop, and keep the receipt, the person opening it is effectively opening a gift card that is, instead, an actual gift. If it doesn't work out, they can exchange it. It's the whole reason Boxing Day exists!

I say all that because saddles are a tricky gift: they're super fit dependent, so it's easy to get it wrong, but there are some designs out there that are more polarizing than others, and based on what we know so far, BikeYoke saddles fit a lot of people very well. They also come with a lot of thoughtful design cues and technology (BikeYoke make some of the best dropper posts on the market based on really well-engineered designs), so if you give one to someone, they're going to be impressed. If they suspect it doesn't work for them, they can always exchange it. Caveat out of the way, let's just admire these stubby Sagma beauties from BikeYoke, replete with idbeads foam that uses low speed rebound for comfort and, should you opt for it, an elastomer shock absorber-equipped version that is tunable and makes pedaling that much more comfortable. The Sagma comes in two widths, three rail materials, and lots of different trim colours.

139 Euros // BikeYoke


deniz merdano hansen raceface halfclip atlas aefect 15

This shows the Haf-Clip plus the included strap. You can see how you would attach a helmet, pads, jacket, or whatever else you'd want to stash on the front of the bike (particularly for climbing).

deniz merdano hansen raceface halfclip atlas aefect 17

Trevor, of course, had another idea...(can't confirm this works for riding except between the beer store and the dumpsters, or wherever you choose to après).

Haf-Clip

Need something small and easy for the rider in your life? Not exactly sure what they 'need' but want to find something a bit different and useful? Let me suggest a Haf-Clip. Devised by Hafez Panju as a way to carry a full face on the front of his bike, it also works great as a lash point for a jacket, pads, or anything else that will fit. Hafez recently released it in an aluminum version, and colours are now in play, but you can read Trevor's review of the original unit here - everything still applies.

The Haf-Clip will cost you 27.99 CAD and is available in black, blue, and gold.

Posted in: Features, Gift Guide

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Comments

DobberDoo
DobberDoo
2 months ago
+4 Mike Ferrentino Martin pasteldenata ohio

I've had my Feedback stand for ages, still says Ultimate on it! Great piece of gear to own for sure. If I ever get an ebike it will be a lighter one (~40lbs) so no need to upgrade.

Reply

kos
Kos
2 months ago
+3 Mammal Mike Ferrentino pasteldenata

I don't have a Feedback Sports stand, but have used them, and they are superb.

I do, however, have a Feedback Sports carrying case for my traveling Park Tool bike stand, and that case is without peer!

https://www.etrailer.com/Accessories-and-Parts/Feedback-Sports/301-16505.html?feed=npn&gclid=CjwKCAiAs8acBhA1EiwAgRFdw64UjkOBdg6ZvBYuQrcKNlkI2HTgct1YgWP-Lb6tW731EN4AZlhI7BoC2CAQAvD_BwE

Reply

pete@nsmb.com
Pete Roggeman
2 months ago
0

Good to know it's so good!

Reply

Jotegir
Lu Kz
2 months ago
+2 Pete Roggeman Andrew Major

I'd love to get a bunch of those haf clips for my riding buddies - complete with a pre-installed tall boy, of course. I think they'd get a real kick out of them. 

Everybody switching to hip packs really cut down on the amount of beers we can carry.

Reply

pete@nsmb.com
Pete Roggeman
2 months ago
+1 Andrew Major

Yes! Send Hafez a note if you're serious - he can do custom laser etching for you.

Reply

AndrewMajor
Andrew Major
1 month, 4 weeks ago
+1 Pete Roggeman

I’ve seen a few Haf clips on the trail this year sporting removable chin bars for riders not wearing packs - and it’s exciting every time. 

The potential upside of such a simple/little product is huge.

Reply

mikeferrentino
Mike Ferrentino
2 months ago
+1 trumpstinyhands

Feedback stands rule. I have one so old it still has Ultimate branding on it. A few years ago one of the Clamp bushings cracked, so I called Feedback up to see if they might have parts. They did. And do. All the parts. I also have a Park PCS 10.3 that I purchased before finding out that I good get spares for the Feedback. The Park is less expensive, but about twice as heavy, doesn't pack up as neatly, and the seatpost clamp is a slow pain in the ass compared to the Feedback.

Reply

trumpstinyhands
trumpstinyhands
2 months ago
+2 Pete Roggeman Mike Ferrentino

Yes, I have the PCS 10 at home but prefer the Feedback ones that I've used. IIRC they are also more stable.

Reply

martin
Martin
1 month, 4 weeks ago
+1 Pete Roggeman

I can also vouch for the Feedback stands. I have a black one that I bought at MEC 10 years ago, I fold it and store it in a corner when I don't use it and it's always been solid and stable. I'm guessing it will last at least another 10 years and it's good to know that they carry replacement parts.

I am a totally manual coffee guy now and it's nice to work out a bit while making coffee without noise! I bought a 1Z Presso JX Pro grinder and it's also awesomely well machined and runs soo smooth. I'd be curious to try a Comandante to compare as they seem more well known.

Pete, if you have the chance, try a Flair manual espresso maker. I got the Pro 2 (with all metal/stainless construction and pressure gauge) and the shots I'm getting from it surpasses my old electric Breville by quite a long shot. Plus, it's silent and there is nothing to break on it.

All good gift ideas and I bet most people would be delighted to receive them!

Reply

pete@nsmb.com
Pete Roggeman
1 month, 4 weeks ago
+1 Martin

Those 1Z Press grinders look awesome. The Flair also does, and I would be curious to try it, but can't see myself wanting one. I have a Rancilio Silvia at home to handle espresso duties and cappuccino on a lazy Sunday, but I'm happy to leave espresso behind when I'm on the road and drink other coffee. However, it's cool to see those manual machines are getting so good.

Reply

martin
Martin
1 month, 4 weeks ago
+1 Pete Roggeman

Oh I see! The Rancilio Silvia is a nice machine! The Flair has become my only espresso machine at home since the old Breville died, and what I am missing the most is the steam wand. I have ordered a Subminimal Nanofoamer to see what it can do, but it's not going to replace a good old steam wand. For the office or travel it's either an Aeropress or my small Vev Vigano stovetop depending on how I feel, and I'm always up for a truck stop coffee if that's all there is haha!

It's funny how mtb people end up with many similar interests. Now I just got a sewing machine to try to fix, customize and upgrade my gear, I don't know if that will become a shared interest with many others ; ) Cheers!

Reply

pete@nsmb.com
Pete Roggeman
1 month, 4 weeks ago
0

I got one of those can't pass it up deals on it as a refurb unit on eBay - turned out it was brand new but just missing one rubber foot. Somehow that meant I saved over $300! I wanted something bombproof and it's certainly turned out that way. There are better machines but it's pretty damn good and that steam wand gets a workout.

Let us know how it goes with the sewing machine!

Reply

FlipSide
FlipSide
1 month, 4 weeks ago
+1 ohio

I've had my Ultimate workstand for about 20 years or so. Still working perfectly. I never regretted that purchase.

Reply

chacou
chacou
2 months ago
0

1. Love my Feedback stand.

2. Hand burr grinders are nice, and I travel with Aeropress as well. However, I recently picked up a gift box from my favorite local coffee spot for my brother and it includes some goodies like the Miir Pourigami travel pour over. Which I see myself also getting to replace my old Aeropress. The Aeropress is comparatively bulky next to the Pourigami. AP will still have a place for car camping, but for backpacking trips the Pourigami seems excellent (can even use reusable cotton filters).

Reply

pete@nsmb.com
Pete Roggeman
2 months ago
0

Once upon a time, before I knew a thing about coffee, I made a pour over every day while at uni with one of those red Melitta single cup units you can still get. Cheap and easy. More or less because that's what my parents used whenever we went camping. Funny that it's the preferred method for coffee nerds now. The only reason I don't do it more is because it takes longer than the Aeropress. Ironic since I wrote about the 'ritual' of coffee-making. I've seen the Miir unit and it looks awesome. Don't tell my wife, but that may have to make an appearance at some point (she loves coffee but not the amount of coffee shit I own).

Reply

cooperquinn
Cooper Quinn
2 months ago
+2 pedalhound chacou

Miir makes very nice stuff. 

I'd note the new(er) Aeropress Go is smaller than the original, although not THAT much smaller. Carrying the Miir and some V60 papers will take up less room. All that said, if I'm bike/backpacking... I'm probably carrying something like Counterparts freeze dried packs

I'm mostly just worried about Pete using boiling water for his for coffee, though. Someone needs to get the man a temperature controlled kettle.

Reply

pedalhound
pedalhound
1 month, 4 weeks ago
0

I learned something new today...not to boil the water for coffee. I am not a coffee drinker, but I make coffee every day for my partner, I do different temps for my tea's depending on the type...so of course it would make sense for coffee too. Thanks!

Reply

cooperquinn
Cooper Quinn
1 month, 4 weeks ago
+1 chacou

Definitely... general rule of thumb, darker roasts lower temps. This is where Pete chimes in to say he's using really light roasts, in which case using water just off the boil is fine. 

I have a Fellow EKG - but there's lots of good options. Although if you're already doing it for tea, you probably have a temperature controlled kettle.

Reply

Timmigrant
Tim Coleman
1 month, 4 weeks ago
0

Lots of similar kit here. I'm also using a 1Z Presso JX and Stagg EKG. Aeropress is still my favourite method of coffee making as I like a low water / bean ratio for a stronger brew.

For Aeropress water temps, I prefer lower temps for light roasted acidic coffees. 2 scoops of beans, 82°C for 2 minutes, inverted method with water to the brim is my preferred recipe.

Reply

chacou
chacou
1 month, 4 weeks ago
+1 Cooper Quinn

Inverted method, too tricky for me. I almost always end up with a spilled cup of coffee when doing inverted.

I'll have to try some of these varying water temps with my Chemex. You all have convinced me that my wife should be getting a nice electric kettle with temperature adjust this holiday. We've been using a cheap boil-only electric kettle since our Bonavita gooseneck died a little over a year ago after many years of service.

Timmigrant
Tim Coleman
1 month, 3 weeks ago
0

@chacou if you're brewing with Chemex or other pour over your water temps will likely be higher (but still below boil 92 - 94°C) because the extraction time is lower. This can be altered with grind size mind you, but generally the immersion + percolation of Aeropress needs a lower temp vs. pure percolation of pour over.

pete@nsmb.com
Pete Roggeman
1 month, 4 weeks ago
0

Ah yes, the AP Go is the one I have, actually, and it is better for traveling than the original.

Also, I have a temp control kettle, but your concern is appreciated (and cute). It just wasn't economical to write 'while waiting for the kettle to get to 190º F for my chosen medium roast morning blend).

Reply

cooperquinn
Cooper Quinn
1 month, 4 weeks ago
0

Take it from me and my writing style, more words is always better.

Reply

Jotegr
Luke Kozakiewicz
2 months ago
0

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