Gear Reviews

2014 Holiday Gift Guide for the reading cyclist

New books both celebrate and help advance cycling

It’s true. At Mtbr and RoadBikeReview, we’re all-online, all-the-time. But even we can’t resists the tactile satisfaction of a good book–particularly one on our favorite topic. Here are our picks for some good under-the-tree tomes for the cyclists in your life.

Fat Tire Flyer

Fat Tire Flyer: Repack and the Birth of Mountain Biking

Fat Tire Flyer was the original magazine of mountain biking that chronicled the sport’s birth and early days. Publisher Charlie Kelly’s new book Fat Tire Flyer: Repack and the Birth of Mountain Biking revisits the publication and chronicles the chroniclers with a fresh look at the awesome band of crazies who created the sport. $29.95

Bikenomics by Elly Blue


Ever had someone in a car tell you to get your bike off the road because their gas taxes paid for it? Turns out we all pay more than half the bill whether we drive or not (and most of us actually bike and drive). In her book Bikenomics, author Elly Blue takes us on a deep dive into the economic and social impacts of driving vs. cycling and backs it up with well-researched facts. A must-read for anyone who yearns for cycling to become a real part of our transportation infrastructure. $14.95

Kings of Pain

Kings of Pain: Masters and Convicts of the Road

While we could look at old school photos of Eddy Merckx, Jacques Anquetil, Fausto Coppi, et al. in the throes of on-bike battle endlessly, it’s the pictures like that of a sun-crisped Coppi in his skivvies that adds a relatable human element to Philippe Brunel’s Kings of Pain: Masters and Convicts of the Road. Beautifully bound and printed by the aestheticians at Rapha, the volume deserves to be king of the coffee table as well. $60


Bike Parks – IMBA’s Guide to New School Trails

Despite being essentially an instruction manual, IMBA’s new Bike Parks – IMBA’s Guide to New School Trails inspires us to dream about both digging and riding. Having compiled the collective experience of thousands of projects and builders across the globe, the book details techniques for building sustainable pump tracks, flow trails and bike parks. $30

About the author: Jordan Villella

Jordan comes from the steep streets of Pittsburgh PA, where he learned to dodge cars and rip single track. He has been involved in nearly every aspect of the cycling industry: from turning wrenches, store design, clothing production and bike park creation. Jordan spends his free time racing cross country and cyclocross around North America, though he has been know to enduro every now and then. His love of cycling is only second to his love of his family and punk rock.

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  • lisa says:

    I am constantly frustrated by my garmin 1000. This POS loses course maps, drops ride data, and short battery life, among other frustrating things. For the expensive price, this thing was def. not worth the cost. On multiple levels.

    • Same issues with the 1030 using iPhone 8. Could not get the 1030 to work. Had to pair each time, using all kinds of funky workarounds and updating firmware on my Mac. Crazy.. Then it would just drop my rides anyway. Finally returned it after hours trying to get it to work over a few weeks. Garmin support was zero help. Hardly responded. Went to Wahoo. Basic, but it works. And cheaper. My old Garmin 800 was klunky, but also works.

  • Zuke says:

    Dangit, I just bought the 520+ in December! 🙁

  • MBR says:

    The article title mentions longer battery life. Did I read over the details? There will be a lot of bikepackers interested if the battery life can approach the 24-hour life of the eTrex 20/30, but seems all other GPS units are lucky to go 12-hrs…

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