As I sit here hoping for snow, making my holiday wish list, I wonder why in the hell didn’t I think of this before!? If only I had been writing for BikeRumor the last few years I might not have ended up with a 5 gallon commemorative tin of tri-colored popcorn, gift certificates to Krispy Kreme and four ceramic ballerinas. Sigh, everything would be so much easier if everyone would just read BikeRumor this year.
So, here you go, these are the things that…
A. I already have and don’t know how I ever lived without, B. I already have but want more of or C. I really, really, want.
Bike Tool – The Lezyne CNC Floor Pump
Sleek, well made, simple, beautiful, functional. I’ve been in love with Lezyne tire pumps since the first time I tried one. The best thing about them is the threading head. No more wearing out the seals on my pump heads from shoving them on, no more taking the valve core with you when you remove it… instant tire deflation… ugh. And no more pump heads rocketing off the valve and knocking me in the shin.
Oddly enough, for as much as I love this pump it goes down in category C – I really, really want it.
Gear – Rapha Women’s Bib Knickers
Hanger worthy. Yes, these bibs have their very own wooden hanger in my closet. These bibs rock my socks. Super fleecy and warm inside, full chest coverage with a zipper, wide, comfortable, breathable shoulders, a handy little pocket for my music and all the custom details that make Rapha gear so darn cool. Oh, wait, I almost forgot the most important part… not only are they bib knickers made for women AND they fit like a dream but the sizing is DEAD-ON. Thank you Rapha, I’ve been waiting for you for a very long time.
Which brings me to category D. things I don’t know how I lived without AND want more of.
Component – Rocky Mounts Pitchfork
This isn’t exactly a bicycle component. Honestly, I can get a little fickle in that department. So I decided to write about the one piece of gear that made my life easier all summer long. No matter which bike I was taking out, placing it on my Rocky Mounts Pitchfork roof rack was a breeze. These slim, low profile trays are easy to operate and much quieter than larger trays, cutting down on the gas usage. They fit all types of disk and non-disk bikes and super wide to narrow tire widths. The Pitchfork attaches to any roof rack cross bar system and fits 100% of all factory racks. The front fork quick release is smooth and secure, has a locking mechanism and comes in 9 awesome colors… bonus, no more losing your car in the parking lot at the big race.
The Rocky Mounts Pitchfork falls into the B category. While I already have 2 trays, my car will fit two more… ROAD TRIP!
Mountain Bike – Spot Rocker SS
Two big firsts for me this year… spending a couple of weeks on a 29er and a Gates Carbon Drive. The first couple of rides were sheer joy. At a mere 5’2” with a very short torso, 29ers in my size don’t grow on trees. Same goes for the Gates Carbon Belt Drive system, they don’t just hang out at all your favorite bike shops. When Spot offered the Rocker SS to me for a couple of weeks I was totally excited. Each ride was better than the last. The bike is comfortable, climbs like a dream and rolls over anything you put in front of it with confidence. I felt totally in control and railed into quick turns with the ease of a 26er. I did have a hard time deciding what I was more impressed with, the bike or the carbon drive. Each pedal stroke was smooth, responsive, and QUIET. The simplicity of this belt driven singlespeed design is a great reminder of how uncomplicated the joy of mountain biking really is.
And since Gavin had to come to my house to pry me off the bike, I’ll mark it down in category C – I really, really want this bike.
Cyclocross Bike – Ridley X-Bow
I love Ridley because they make an awesome bike that fits small people. But since most of you who are reading this post are not 5’2” or under, I’ll go on. Ridley has made a certain splash in the US with the growth of cyclocross and it’s obscenely muddy culture. The first time I built a custom Ridley X-Bow for a friend we managed a Campy set up with Fulcrum wheels for under $3K. I was impressed. It was light, beautiful, rode like a dream and fit like a glove. I was jealous and have been ever since the day she rode away from the shop grinning from ear to ear and splashing into every puddle she could find. Truth be told she was only beginning to show signs of being a die hard cyclist when she ordered the bike. I was delighted, if a bit surprised, when she dove right in and tackled several cyclocross races that first season. And this year my heart jumped with joy to see her nab the state title and travel to CX Nationals in Bend. Sure, she added a super sweet set of carbon wheels and a considerable amount of determination but she had a great start.
The point… this bike is light, reasonably priced, comes in a full size range, has looks to kill and provides a ride that is inspirational to say the least. Oh, and don’t forget, cross bikes make awesome commuters.
C – I really, really, really, really want one!!!!!