Bicycle Holiday Wish List, by Tyler
I’ve asked each of our regular contributors to put together their holiday wishlist with a favorite or dream item from all of the things they’ve seen, tested, reviewed or demo’d throughout the year. If you’re stumped for what to give or get, maybe these lists will help get the wheels turning…a little non-dreaming Inception, if you will. Yeah, we’ll start this a bit earlier next year, but the idea just popped up, so here’s my wishlist tool, clothing/gear item, component, mountain bike and road/cyclocross bike, and the others’ lists will post over the next few days.
WISHLIST TOOL: Hayes Feel’r Gage Caliper Alignment Tool
This thing has come in quite handy throughout the year. It makes quick work of setting up new pads or fixing problems when a lever gets squeezed without a rotor in place. Use is dead simple, and it works with any brand of brakes. Best of all, it’s dirt cheap at just $15.
WISHLIST CLOTHING / GEAR: R.E.Load MidPack Backpack
I’ve had my R.E.Load MidPack backpack for over two years now and it’s still in as great of shape as the day I unboxed it. It’s been to Sea Otter, Interbike, NAHBS and countless other trips, carrying cameras, schwag, brochures and plenty of beer and snacks during that time, and there’s virtually no sign of wear. It even cleans up easy with just a wet rag. They’re not cheap, but one good (enormous) bag is better than a bunch of small, cheap ones. Check the review of this bag here.
WISHLIST COMPONENT: Storck anatomic carbon fiber handlebar
The problem with this item is it’s basically not available. Not only is it no longer on Storck’s website, but even when they had a normal U.S. distributor, they wouldn’t import it because wholesale was well north of $500. The one pictured above belongs to my friend Watts, who owns Revolution Cycles in NC and has it on his personal bike. So, I suppose I’d settle for a complete Di2 setup under the tree…
WISHLIST MOUNTAIN BIKE: Scott Genius LT 10 Carbon
During Scott Week, we got to rock these bikes through the amazing trails around Sun Valley, ID, bombing down lift-served trails and hitting some back country singletrack. This bike climbed a couple thousand feet as well as it descended them, which is saying a lot for a bike whose travel tops out at 180mm! Crank the shock down to the 110mm setting and it feels like a chubby (but not heavy) XC bike. Pop the shock loose and it’s a plush free rider with strength and stiffness to inspire riding beyond your comfort zone. Seriously, I rode things I’d never even contemplated before, and I still wasn’t even close to pushing the bike’s limits. Close seconds to this are the Specialized Enduro S-Works and the all-new Cannondale Jekyll, both of which might have tied if I’d had more time to play on them on appropriate trails.
WISHLIST ROAD / CYCLOCROSS BIKE: Moots Vamoots RSL
I’ll be honest, there are a million road bikes on my wishlist, and every year several more get added. The Cervelo Project California is sick light, and the BMC Impec Noble is gorgeous, among too many others to list. But when it comes down to what I’ve actually spent some time on and thoroughly enjoyed, the Moots Vamoots RSL tops the list. It’s fast and stable for racing, light and comfortable for long rides and the titanium frame should last a lifetime. The review is here if you wanna know how I really feel, but if you said I had to ride one road bike for the rest of my life, at the moment, I’d pick this one.