nsmb gift guide week 3

2023 Gift Guide - Week 3

Reading time

It's only week 3 of the Gift Guide but you've probably been hearing about Black Friday since Labour Day. We hope you're spending more time playing with your toys than you are shopping for new ones, but as usual, we've got a few ideas for you or the mountain biker in your life. And in case you missed them, here are links to Gift Guides from the last two weeks:

Week 1
Week 2

Stanely 5 oz flask main

Stanley's The Milestones Party Flask has a familiar shape to the 8 oz Classic, but comes in a more compact 5 oz size.

Stanley 5 oz flask open

The lids are attached and screw on and off more easily than the tops on traditional steel flasks.

Stanley The Milestones Party Flask | 5 oz.

By: Pete Roggeman

Every fall, when the mercury dips and dust turns back to loam, the NSMB crew start packing flasks again, to be pulled out when a little inner fire is called for. With the trend being to pare down how much we all carry at least on shorter rides, smaller flasks are getting more popular. The Milestones Party Flask from Stanley looks like just the ticket. With a 5 oz capacity, it'll easily slip into a corner of your hip pack without adding much weight or bulk. I've had the 8 oz version of the same flask for years and the shape works well, it's held up to being banged around on countless rides, and the lid screws on and off easily, which matters more than you think when you're fumbling with it in cold, rainy weather.

Stanley The Milestones Party Flask: 20.50 USD

Peak Design Mobile ecosystem

The Peak Design Mobile system.

Peak Design Mobile Phone Case colours

You don't need the Peak Design case to use all of their accessories - the tripod, for example, is supported by MagSafe - but the case leads to quick swaps and maximum security with its magnetic and physical retention.

Peak Design Mobile Tripod Horiz

The Tripod is compact and easy to take on a ride, making it useful for photos and videos on the run. It also works as a good handle in horizontal or vertical mode.

Peak Design Mobile Tripod Vert

It'll also hold your phone for zoom calls or in a position to charge with cable while still being able to look at it.

Peak Design Mobile Universal Bar Mount

The Universal Bar Mount doesn't scream 'MTB accessory' and I wouldn't suggest you use it that way. But it is great for commuting, gravel, or casual riding. On or off in seconds, super secure retention for your phone.

Peak Design Mobile Car Vent Mount

And once the ride is done, just pop your phone up on the Car Vent Mount, which mounts easily, stays in place well, and is designed to accommodate lots of funky angles to put your phone in an ideal position. There's a wireless charging version as well.

Peak Design Mobile Cases and Accessories

By: Pete Roggeman

Well known to photographers for their clever tripods and excellent bags, Peak Design went after the mobile market and the result is their excellent Mobile line of phone cases and - more importantly - case-compatible accessories. Let's start with the case: it's not mandatory if you want to use some of Peak Design's Mobile pieces as long as your phone has a magnet on the back. However, PD have produced a really nice looking, fairly protective case that's now available in a number of colours (you used to be restricted to a light charcoal grey, which I always liked). It's been my primary case for a couple of years, and protected my phone from plenty of drops and semi-rough treatment. It's no Otter Box, but it's pretty good for protection and great for looks and feel - way better than others in this regard like QuadLock.

Then there are the accessories. The tripod works with the case (or a MagSafe or magnetic phone) and props your phone up nicely in horizontal or vertical format, making for a great handle, tripod (obviously) or stand on your desk. When traveling, I'll plug it in and use the tripod so it sits handily beside me on a desk or bedside table. Multi-use accessories like this are ones I make space for in my bag, whether it's for travel or a day of working remotely, not to mention it folds down flat so it's easy to bring along on a ride.

The Universal Bar Mount isn't the next great MTB item but I did make great use of it on an 8-day bike and barge tour from Amsterdam to Bruges this summer. For commuting or gravel riding, it's plenty secure - actually it would hold your phone in place for MTB, I just wouldn't recommend having your phone on your bars in case of a crash (Joey factor notwithstanding). Quick on and off so you don't have to worry about it being stolen, and the physical retention as well as the magnet means I never doubted my phone was held solidly in place.

Cases for late model phones are not on sale, but just about everything else is right now, so it's a good time to get into the Peak Design Mobile system if you think it makes sense for you.

Peak Design Mobile Phone Case 69 CAD / 49 USD
Peak Design Mobile Tripod 115 CAD / 79 USD (currently on sale for 92 CAD / 63 USD)
Peak Design Mobile Universal Bar Mount 69 CAD / 49 USD (currently on sale for 49 CAD / 35 USD)
Peak Design Mobile Car Vent Mount 89 CAD / 49 USD (currently on sale for 72 CAD / 35 US)

EBL Power Station 300

The EBL Power Station 300 (larger units are available) can be charged with a wall outlet plug or your car's 12V outlet (cables included for both) or via solar panel...

EBL 100W Portable Solar Panel

EBL sells those as well. This is their foldable 100-watt solar panel.

EBL Portable Power Station 300

By: Pete Roggeman

I recently traded my friend and neighbour Ken some stuff I had for a second gas-powered generator that he had. Generators are one of those things that, when you need 'em, are super handy. On the Sunshine Coast, power outages are a fact of life in the Fall and Winter. We get big wind storms and sometimes overworked crews take a little time to get everyone taken care of - so a generator is a nice piece of security. They're also great for camping or other times you're out there, but need some juice.

With the advent of more electronic devices and batteries everywhere, portable power stations are gaining prominence. They don't yet have the output per pound that a gas-powered generator does, but they also run quiet and clean. Other than plugging it in to recharge, though, you're going to want solar panels to keep it juiced. EBL is a band I've come to trust based on their rechargeable batteries, and while they're not in hand just yet, I'm looking forward to putting this EBL Portable Power Station and Solar Panel into use this spring and summer. Camping and running tools in the backyard are obvious uses, but I also have a scheme to hide one out in the woods and try it out as a charging station for a very big e-bike loop. That one will take a little planning and site selection, and it's a contrived idea, but I'm looking forward to the planning part of it almost as much as the execution.

Right now EBL's power stations and solar panels are on sale and have coupons you can redeem on amazon (looks like US only although there was Canadian availability before, so keep your eyes open). Camping, off-grid tailgating, or as a small backup generator at your remote cabin, these are worthy of consideration. The EBL Portable Power Station 300 has a 300Wh battery and weighs just 3.3 kgs, but there are larger batteries available that are also still quite portable.

EBL Portable Power Station 300: 299 USD (currently on sale for 159)
EBL 100-Watt Solar Panel: 199 USD (currently on sale for 156 not incl $30 coupon)

Shimano GF800 GTX Waterproof flat shoes

By: Pete Roggeman

Uncle Dave recently tested these, and it's fair to say they're on a lot of NSMB reviewer's wish lists this season. We've all been complaining for years about the lack of waterproof shoe options for flat pedal users, and all of a sudden we have options. If you jive with Shimano shoes in general, these should work well for you whether you're trail riding in cool and wet weather, or even for commuting if you prefer not to clip in. They're not quite as sticky as the Five Ten Trailcross GTX, but Dave was impressed with them - and not everyone is after max stickage, so if that's you, these may be the ticket.

Shimano GF800 GTX shoes: 301 CAD (on sale for 226) / 220 USD (on sale for 165)

Wolf Tooth Waveform Raw NSMB Andrew Major (1)

Looking good forever in Raw.

Wolf Tooth Waveform Pedals NSMB Andrew Major (1)

Pretty in purple plus a pummelled patina.

Wolf Tooth Waveform Flat Pedal Teardown NSMB Andrew Major (5)

Reliable guts with all small parts available from Wolf Tooth.

Wolf Tooth Waveform Pedals

By: Andrew Major

I haven't lost a pedal pin. I haven't had to replace any internals. They spin beautifully, grip wonderfully, and look fantastic. I've ridden some really nice, very expensive, flat pedals, and some much less expensive ones to boot, and if I had to straight up pick one 'the best' then the Waveform would be it.

These were actually on my Christmas gifting list this year in a size small. My wife has been murdering pedal guts but unfortunately, Wolf Tooth doesn't make them in their fantastic green colour to match the headset on her bike. Maybe a future colour drop!

The pedals are made in-house in Minnesota and come in two different pedal body sizes. The large units that I run are 112mm x 106mm and the small is 105mm x 99mm. Both versions use eleven pins per side and the shape is carefully crafted to maximize shoe interface and minimize trail contact.

Wolf Tooth Waveform Pedals: 285 CAD / 200 USD

Cane Creek IL Air Shock Upgrade SuspensionWerx NSMB Andrew Major (43)

Forward compatibility. Every generation of Cane Creek Inline Air shock can be upgraded to the current spec.

Wolf Tooth Resolve Dropper Post Teardown NSMB Andrew Major (1)

A top-quality post like a Wolf Tooth Resolve or BikeYoke Revive can be fully rebuilt and should last forever with routine service.

Manitou R7 Teardown Damper Adjust NSMB Andrew Major (4)

A full service every 100hrs of riding/yearly will not only prolong the life of your suspension fork, but it will improve its performance as well.

Suspension Service

By: Andrew Major

Maybe you're an ultra-handy home-based mechanic with the tools and time to teardown any common suspension fork. Handy bleeding brakes and swapping pads. Know your way around lubing, or rebuilding a dropper post. Perhaps you're looking to buy a gift for someone who definitely doesn't need more shit but treats their sled like, well, shit.

I talk to so many folks considering a new fork, shock, new brakes, or even a complete bike because their current rig isn't "tight." They could be having an entirely different experience with a bearing kit, bleed, and some suspension service. Even the most meh hydraulic brakes are a lot better with fresh fluid and properly bedded in pads and rotors.

The price will vary depending on the job and who's doing it. But the smiles when someone knows their bike is singing are always an excellent return on investment. Whether it's the present of your presence, putting their bike in your stand, or a gift card to a preferred local bicycle service shop, helping someone to buy the bike they already own is a fantastic gift.

*Editor's note: In the Sea 2 Sky region, our favourite suspension service shops are Fluid Function (authorized RockShox suspension service in Squamish), Suspensionwerx (most brands) in North Vancouver, and Vorsprung in Whistler. Your local shop should be able to do basic service, but for more involved work, if you're based somewhere else, best to do a search or ask someone you trust for a recommendation.

Related Stories

Trending on NSMB


+3 Adrian White Andy Eunson Timinger

Vorsprung doesn't do suspension service any more. AFAIK they sold that business off to S4. 



I have used the service from S4 and it was excellent. No compaints.


+2 Adrian White Hardlylikely BadNudes DBone57 Agleck7 Mammal

The idea you'll go stash a battery and solar panels in the woods for a 'longer' ride is obscene. 

I mean come on, ride a damn motorcycle if you need more range. But don't go putting that crap out to sit in the woods.



huh; that cute flask doesn't appear to be available in canada (not that i need another flask).



Sometimes stock varies (two different warehouses) but hopefully they bring it in, it's a perfect ride size.



for sure. while i like the aesthetics of the OG, it's a bit bulky (for those of us into svelte things).


Please log in to leave a comment.