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Cooper's Gift Giving Ideas

Gifts that are Better than Lumps of Coal

Words Cooper Quinn
Photos As Noted
Date Dec 13, 2021
Reading time

I'm not one for gift giving. Seriously, there's like three and a half people in my life I Christmas shop for - I'm an unsentimental monster. Coopernezer Scrooge. I grumble at the Christmas ornaments people hang in the woods, much to the chagrin of my long-suffering, and much more cheerful partner. I grumble at this song. I'm picky about the things I want to own myself and don't expect gifts from others. And if I do get someone outside my direct family a gift, it's likely liquid and consumable (which is, incidentally, my favorite type of gift to receive).

That said, if I were into gift giving I'd want to be on top of it this year; blah blah blah supply chain etc. So if you're reading this, you're like me, and not on top of it. But here's a few ideas that run the price gamut from "things you could buy one of for everyone in your riding group of four" to "holy moly you must really like that person, or you've got a lot of walkin' around money".

Accessory Mounts that Don't Suck

You should always carry a tube when you're out riding, unless you like walking*. Are you sick of loaning your friends tubes? Do you want to give them a hard time, and gift something that'll be beneficial for them, and you? Your friend who never has a tube or tools can finally carry their own! There's a lot of accessory mounts out there that are bad, poorly thought out, or otherwise something I don't want - to the point that I have a message chain with a friend where we swap the worst back and forth as we come across them. Here's a few different accessory mount options hat hopefully don't suck (You should, obviously, check to ensure their bike has bolts for this. You can do it next time they're begging you for a multitool.)

*riding out a flat on an insert isn't any more fun than walking. Or much faster.

Over on Vancouver Island, Em at WZRD Bikes is building lots of rad brazed things - from custom frames to cargo racks. They have these super simple little decks available from C$25, which is more within my Christmas budget. I've got one on the Transition Spur with a nano strap, and its great, but the Austere straps are amazing little pieces of kit. I'm a sucker for really, really well done small things.

Tailfin makes some unique products to help schlep gear around on your bicycle. Functionally, this little piece of CNC'd 7075 aluminum is pretty similar to Em's, but execution has an air of bourgeoisie if that's your thing. They're listed at 39.00 CAD, and I kinda want one.

For options to carry more than a tube, this Canyon version is the cleanest, best executed one I've seen. Its listed for the Spectral, but looks like it'll work for most bikes. Don't blame me if it doesn't fit. (46.95 CAD)

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I'd love to see the option to buy multiple mounts, so you could swap the bag between bikes.

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I can't see any reasons this wouldn't fit on more than just the Spectral, but don't blame me if it doesn't.

Trail Association Membership

You've got a riding buddy who keeps forgetting to get a membership to the local association that builds and maintains the local network? Get them one! You know they'll have one for the year, and if you do it right, they'll be on the mailing list, and get renewal notifications directly.

Its a bunch of winning - inexpensive, beneficial, quick to purchase, and something you can give them a hard time about for a full year. If you're feeling like you need to wrap something for the tree, put some merch in your cart while you're at it!

If you're not sure who your local association is, Trailforks is a good source to figure it out (and, you can donate directly through the site if you like - all proceeds go straight to the local organization of your choice).

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Memberships help make trail happen, no matter where you are. Running a large (or small!) trail association as a volunteer is a balancing act - ask me how I know. Photo: Dave Smith

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Its winter. Buy a hat. Buy two hats, cause they're only 20 CAD! There's also recycled material shirts. And limited edition things. And stickers! Kids love stickers. Get some stickers.

Merino

If I were obscenely wealthy, my wardrobe from the waist up would be merino. I'm not talking just riding; I'm already basically 100% merino for riding wear (well, not including Goretex...). I hear you saying, "But Cooper, most of your tshirts are band shirts." and you're right. My wealthy alter ego Scrooge McCooper would buy these shirts at shows, and then hand them off to Jeeves and my in house graphics textiles team, who would remake the shirt in merino.

Scrooge McCooper isn't buying anyone merino hoodies or other riding wear for Christmas, but here's a couple options from cheap and cheerful to much warmer and spendy. Make sure you grab something for yourself, in addition to the giftee...

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Get socks that don't stink. I'm a big fan of the Ashlu by 7mesh, at 30 CAD. I've got a couple pairs in the same color, which makes losing socks less traumatic.

Mons Royale makes amazing merino - its pretty much their whole brand. Special shoutout to them for doing things like "figuring out how to be really nice to the sheep," and having a really impressive women's line. My partner loves their underwear, hoodies, shirts... all of it really. So pick a price point, and get something nice for the special person in your life, even if they don't ride bikes.

Some of her favorites include the full Decade set, all of the underwear, and I'm a big fan of the base layers. The Monsie is next level winter comfy.

In the interests of brevity - if you're into the whole thing - that's all I've got for brilliant ideas. The important part is to make sure the people around you feel like you care. If you need my address to drop off liquid consumables to ensure I know you care about me, just send me a message.

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Comments

4Runner1
4Runner1
1 year, 1 month ago
+2 Cooper Quinn khai

OK Cooper, I have to ask; are you American? Clearly those are toques, not “hats”. j/k

Reply

cooperquinn
Cooper Quinn
1 year, 1 month ago
+2 4Runner1 Carlos Matutes

Originally from Jackson, WY! 

I've been up here in Vancouver for the better part of 20 years now though.

Reply

lacykemp
Lacy Kemp
1 year, 1 month ago
+1 Cooper Quinn

Does anyone run into the issue of tubes degrading throughout the winter? We get so dirt and grit on our bikes. I know they're not moving parts, but wondering if this is ever an issue. I keep one in my hip pack and it sucks, so I'd love to find another solution that is functional.

Reply

cooperquinn
Cooper Quinn
1 year, 1 month ago
+1 Todd Hellinga

I haven't had this issue, but I have definitely had concerns that a tube I've been carrying for a long time is going to fail me when it matters most from wear, or dropping it on something pointy in the backseat or... who knows. 

This is making me think that I've probably been carrying my current tube for about a year. Hm.

Reply

FlipFantasia
Todd Hellinga
1 year, 1 month ago
+1 Cooper Quinn

yeah, I think that's my bigger problem too, trying to remember how old mine is and whether it's developed a hole from rubbing on strap/seat rails/whatever for a long time...

Reply

kcy4130
kcy4130
1 year, 1 month ago
+2 Cooper Quinn khai

On a related note, it's a good idea to check that the trail pump you carry on rides "still" works every so often. Had that happen to me once. Glad I was only a few miles from the trailhead at the end of a ride.

Reply

morgan-heater
Morgan Heater
1 year, 1 month ago
0

I think there's a good chance that if you use a super dirty/gritty tire it will get a flat. It's pretty hard to clean tires in the mud/rain.

Reply

Vikb
Vik Banerjee
1 year, 1 month ago
0

I replace the tube on each bike every year. I like to go through my on bike supplies/tools about that often as you forget when you use something or you put some extra stuff in there for a specific ride you forgot to take out. It's nice to start a year knowing you've got everything you need for common issues on rides.

I use the old tubes for various things in the garage or give them to someone who needs one [and we can inflate it at home to make sure it's still good].

Reply

JVP
JVP
1 year, 1 month ago
+4 khai Zowsch Sandy James Oates Pete Roggeman

I stuff mine into a sleeve made from an old tube. Wrap a flap over the top and tape it up with electrical tape. It’s worked great so far during 4 years of living on the loam shelf of a few Transitions. 

I should double check the Tubolito I have in there now. Haven’t been willing to give that one away to unprepared riders like I often do with traditional tubes.

Reply

cooperquinn
Cooper Quinn
1 year, 1 month ago
+1 Pete Roggeman

If this was pinterest, we'd call that "upcycling" - the idea of a new tube in an old tube is clever.

Reply

pete@nsmb.com
Pete Roggeman
1 year, 1 month ago
+1 mmayo

I use a sleeve fashioned from an old road tube to protect my pump from the elements (it rides on the side of a bottle cage). Idea courtesy AJ Barlas: https://nsmb.com/articles/ajs-pack-free-on-ride-carry-solution/

I get lots of comments about it so it's probably worth mentioning every now and then.

Reply

andrewbikeguide
AndrewR
1 year, 1 month ago
0

The tubolito is always only for self assist.

Reply

andrewbikeguide
AndrewR
1 year, 1 month ago
0

76projects Piggy or Wolftooth B-rad - put it in a zip bag within a dirt and waterproof bag and it actually works when you finally need to use it.

Upgrade to a tubolito s-mtb tube and you gain space to add a triangular bandage or pressure dressing to your bike 'ready to rock' bag.

My B-rad mini (0.6L) contains:

Tubolito s-mtb 29" & three patches

Small pressure dressing, 2 x hydrocolloid 'heel' dressings, 6 x water proof knuckle plasters (these bad boys stick anywhere any time) and two packets of steri-strips. two sections (12") of dressing hold mesh.

replacement hanger (UDH) - wrapped in two pieces of shop cloth.

Axiom nylon coated metal tyre lever

6 x long zip ties

6 x small zip ties

Presta valve 

Tyre boot

mini flat duct tape

$100 (yeah for plastic notes)

So with bike and bottle I can manage a fair sized trail disaster without the need for a hip or back pack.

Reply

cooperquinn
Cooper Quinn
1 year, 1 month ago
0

That's a super impressive EDC kit.

Reply

stinhambo
Steven Hambleton
1 year, 1 month ago
0

I'm looking for a decent cage that can fit a multi-tool, levers etc at the back and a pump on the side. Any suggestions?

Reply

Skeen
Skeen
1 year, 1 month ago
0

Oneup edc pump

Reply

stinhambo
Steven Hambleton
1 year, 1 month ago
0

Good suggestion but I already have a pump, I'm just looking for a good cage to mount an existing mini pump and multi tool for days where I don't want to wear a pack.

Reply

Skeen
Skeen
1 year, 1 month ago
0

Lezyne flow storage cage?

Reply

stinhambo
Steven Hambleton
1 year, 1 month ago
0

Close but can't carry mini pump, only cartridges. I'll look at their range though :)

Reply

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

You will want to make sure your mini pump fits in whatever cage you get. Other brands to check out for options are Blackburn and Topeak.

Reply

mtbthe603
mtbthe603
1 year, 1 month ago
0

It's not a cage with a "built-in" tool holder but If you have another "auxiliary mount" you could use this to hold your existing pump: https://jankcomponents.com/products/jank-pump-holder

Reply

cooperquinn
Cooper Quinn
1 year, 1 month ago
0

I.... don't have any suggestions for you there, sorry. There's some in-line pump holders for accessory mounts, but I can't think of anything as you've described it there. 

Thats said, something like the Granite Portaledge with its big strap might be able to accomodate you?

Reply

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