RCB STAFF PICKS – GIFT GUIDE 2016 #4

RCB STAFF PICKS – GIFT GUIDE 2016 #4

With just over one week to go, our penultimate gift guide offers up gear and a bicycle perfectly suited for riding during this time of year.

FOCUS Mares AL Tiagra – $1500

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FOCUS Bikes was founded by cyclocross World Champion Mike Kluge and is the choice of current US National Champion Jeremy Powers. The aluminum frame and carbon fork share the race DNA of the top tier race bikes and are kitted out with a durable Shimano drivetrain and disc brakes. Mark likes the Mares AL because of its fast handling and capability to, “tackle muddy courses or even gravel roads with the very best bikes out there.” Mark also points out that the Mares AL features hydraulic disc brakes which is an incredible feature at this price. This bike looks really good, too.

Light & Motion Urban 800 – $100

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Thoughtfully designed for the daily commute and powerful enough to satisfy the needs of mountain bikers. Simply the lightest, brightest, most compact light in its class. Hayes knows a lot about commuting and mountain biking and use the Urban 800 because, “You can actually see where you’re goin’!”  Includes quick-release handlebar mount, Helmet mount, and GoPro Mount so you can place your light wherever you want it. Rechargeable via a Micro USB charging cable.

Ortlieb Track Backpack 27l – $190

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A waterproof backpack with roll closure is made of tear and abrasion resistant nylon fabric built on a lightweight carrying system with great air circulation for your back. The German-made backpack is comfortable to carry, with adjustable chest, waist and shoulder straps. Stefan commutes 26 miles each way to work and likes this bag because it is “…very comfortable and well-suited for long distances.” Stefan is German so perhaps he’s biased a bit but there’s no doubt Ortlieb knows their stuff. This pack has received numerous rave reviews in European magazines and won awards in the trekking category.

Kool-Stop Tire Bead Jack – $15

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Kool-Stop is a local company with a history in the bike business going back to 1977. The Kool Stop Tire Bead Jack is an articulated tool, with a comfortable grip, for installing tires with a tight rim interface. Sure, experienced cyclists love to brag about their powerful tire-changing hands but Nate, an experienced mechanic, says it like it is. “The Kool-Stop Tire Jack has saved me from much cussing & sore wrists/thumbs after a hectic day in the service department. Less opportunity for damaging the rim bead and tire bead. Fantastic for riders who don’t have the experience of changing tires on a daily basis and lack the seasoned thumbs of a long time bicycle mechanic. Yes, they are somewhat bulky to fit in a seat pack, but if that’s all that stands between a flat tire 20 miles from home and your couch, it’s an easy decision.”

Button Hole Chamois Cream- $20

Ryan’s final selection makes a lot of sense when you hear him describe why this chamois cream is in his bathroom cabinet. Yes, the cream features friction fighting ingredients and combats inflammation but Ryan’s decision to go with Enzo’s is simple, “It smells like mint chocolate chip ice cream.”

Serfas UTLA-8 Orion Blast – $90

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This is a clever, rechargeable rear light with multiple brightness modes and loads of mounting choices. Ward’s riding needs are simple, visibility and baked breakfast treats. “This is the first rear light I’ve found that is bright enough to to be seen in the dark days of winter and has enough runtime that I don’t worry about losing light by the end of a long ride with multiple Pop-Tart stops.” At just 55 grams, this light also features an audible warning beep to alert you when battery power is running out. 

GORE Bike Wear Gore-Tex Overshoes – $90

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These waterproof, windproof and breathable GORE-TEX® overshoes fit easily over cycling shoes and are fitted with velcro width adjustments on the back as well as an elastic strap at sole. Available in back or hi-vis yellow, Noah is a rider not intimidated by foul weather. He likes GORE’s overshoes because “they are super waterproof and long-lasting. In my opinion, the best overshoes available.” Seems like the perfect gift for riding this weekend, eh?