Rather than pump out some generic Top 10 list, we decided to put a personal touch on it and each curate our own wish lists of things we’d love to get this holiday season. Each of us has our own riding style, and our lists are made up of things we’ve seen or ridden so far this year that have really impressed us. We think you’ll like them, too.
I’m Micah and my riding style is riding anything that resembles a bicycle, and doing so for the pure & simple joy of it all. For the past five months I have been living abroad and rather limited in my choices of two-wheels, mostly relegated to city riding. But once home (DC & CO) I’ll eagerly be back on the roads and trails in an attempt to whip myself back in shape for a summer of epic CO classics.
Ever since laying eyes upon a custom Crisp I can’t get the idea out of my head. As an individual who intentionally pushes back against the masses (accentuated by the fact I do not care to race), a carbon frameset has never been very high on my wish-list. Rather, the ride quality, durability, and relative weight of titanium have always enticed, and Darren Crisp is said to do it all, do it right, and do it all right in Italy. Plus, with input from the master, Dario Pegoretti, Crisp can do no wrong. (80th Anniversary Campagnolo build? Okay. And yes, Campy chose Crisp as an official showcase bike.)
Acceptable alternatives: Indi Fab Crown Jewel – it is a classic amongst classics, it created its own category, it’s held up as the yardstick by so many, I could go on; Cervelo Project California (ok, ok, I named a carbon here, but can anyone blame me?).
It used to be a “boutique,” CA company; I still ride a 2003 Superlight in 6069AL. Now Santa Cruz has blown up. But there is a very good reason for it – they make amazing mountain bikes. At 6’1″ I can rock a 29er and enjoy it – when I ride 27.5″s I can barely differentiate them from the classic 26″ – call me crazy. Oh, and then there was the gnawing fear of actually taking carbon off road. And I don’t mean like XC, rolling, swoopy, single track, off road – I mean hardcore, black-diamond, technical, will-endo-at-least-twice-today, off road. Then I watched Santa Cruz’s video of their engineers stressing to failure both an aluminum and carbon Nomad; there was no competition, the carbon frame withstood 3x the loads – they were even taking baseball bats to that thing. Santa Cruz carbon? Sold.
Acceptable alternatives: Because I’m equally loyal and nostalgic: Superlight 29. And because every rule has a loophole: Bronson C (this thing would just be too much fun to point down Pikes Peak’s Bar Trail).
COMMUTER & Grocery Getting,
CX, OR OTHER E-BIKE
To my knowledge, this bike has never been built. But I’ve been sitting in cafés around Barcelona and dreaming up crazy, lifestyle bikes that would make my Civic obsolete (mostly). So picture this: take any longtail, say Black Sheep‘s Ti longtail with fat-tires (above), and then electrify it, not with the standard China motors found on all current e-bikes, but MIT’s invention (now purchased by Superpedestrain of Cambridge, Mass.) the Copenhagen Wheel.
Copenhagen what? you ask. Try this on for size: all inclusive electric wheel that will turn any bike into an e-bike – the red hub encompasses a 350w motor, 48v removable battery, torque meter (just like Specialized’s Turbo…no throttle) and controller. This single unit will take you up to 20mph for 30+ miles – now that’s a game changer. (Okay, still have yet to figure out how to turn this wheel in a fat-bike wheel, but we’re Christmas dreamin’ here!)
Acceptable alternatives: If fat-bikes and big wheels are cool, then the Black Sheep Darkness 36er is Miles Davis.
Blatant thievery, I’m stealin’ Zach’s idea here. Just wait till you read his review – I’m guessing you’ll want one, too.
Acceptable alternatives: Campy’s 80th Anniversary groupo – if any cycling component(s) could be considered true art…it’s this.
CLOTHING OR GEAR
They used to be one of those “boutique” companies with cachet. Is Rapha getting too big for their britches? Who’s to say? Regardless, I still hear nothing but accolades for their bibs. I’ll take three pairs.
Acceptable alternatives: Osloh riding jeans – I have yet to see such attention to detail paid to any street-wear; beautiful. That, and I just ripped through my fav pair on this weekend’s ride ’bout town.
TOOL, OR MISC. (Coffee!)
Cycling and espresso go together like Colorado and sunshine, or French wine and cheese; you dream of one and inevitably you will soon be dreaming of the other. For true coffee geeks (and I’ll admit, this is super geeky) the EK43 is changing the game. And while it’s technically not even an espresso grinder (it was designed for spice grinding) its ground-particle distribution is unparalleled in its tightness.
Acceptable alternatives: Rapha & Raeburn Leather Town Gloves – these 100% African hair sheep leather gloves are perfect for this season, and they elegantly state, “Gentlemen, let’s ride.”
I’m gonna be unorthodox here. I’ve been traveling the Old Country for five months now; it’s high time to return home to my bikes, and my Colorado singletrack! If you have not yet visited Colorado, be you roadie or gravity-freak, do yourself a favor and get there! 300+ days of sunshine per year, and the bluest sky you’ve ever seen; not to mention world-class riding: the best singletrack you’ve ever ridden (try Colo Springs and Fruita and Boulder) and home to the USA Pro Cycling Challenge. And if you get serious, put Fruita at the top of your list – more info here.
Acceptable alternatives: Okay, if I had to bike tour through Tuscany with my Dad again I would not protest. Fine wine and bikes…that’s another combo that seems to work out really well…
FIVE MORE LITTLE THINGS
- More coffee
- More wine
- More endless rides with multiple café stops and nowhere to be
- Learn to ride a unicycle…
- …naw, I take that last one back