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: Mtbr is a site by mountain bikers for mountain bikers. We are the best online resource for information for mountain bikers of all abilities, ages and interests.

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  • a says:

    Those prices… Gotta love my arctica s197b – 40-50$ and work superbly well.

  • Doug in San Diego says:

    $260 ???!!

    For the abuse they take, I would prefer an article on cheap sunglasses

    • Don S in Illinois says:

      For the last decade, I have used industrial safety glasses on the bike. I started buying my own when I worked on the railroad and found that they worked very well on the bike, too. I get indoor/outdoor lenses (now with diopters) and they work great in just about any lighting condition. I pay less than $10 a pair for them and I think they are more stylish, IMHO, than what was shown in the article. Full Source and Safety Glasses USA are two good sources for a good selection.

      • macias says:

        I asked sometime about them and manufacturer response was since they were not designed to be used in sunlight condition they don’t have UV filter. For me $100 for sunglasses are exorbitant price, but $100 for your EYES… well, that sounds cheap so I won’t go with safety glasses (I used them when riding in the night, but by definition I didn’t need UV filter then).

  • Chad B says:

    Spending $200 on a pair of cycling sunglasses that are either going to get marred up in a crash or by getting shoved into a pack when light conditions get too low is absolutely ridiculous. These are either for those that have more money than they know what to do with or are sponsored by one of these companies. Typically end up using something I find on clearance or a pair of safety glasses that aren’t going to make me cry if they get broken in my pack.

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