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

Bikenomics

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

IMBA_Bike_Parks_Book

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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  • Ben says:

    Can it be used in a tire that was previously running latex or other sealant or does it have to be a new tire?

    • Simon says:

      Hi – I’m a roadie (sorry), but can answer that. I recently tried to prolong the life of my Mavic UST yksion tubeless – my rear tyre had picked up a load of flint cuts through a bad winter and over about 2k miles. It had a number of slow punctures, some of which I could see and were sealing themselves with the Mavic own brand latex sealant, and others weren’t. I wasn’t sure what volume was left given they tyres had been on the wheel for about 5 months, so I added some of the Finish Line Kevlar stuff. If anything, I think this made the air loss worse (still nothing that would instantly kill a ride, but deflation over a 12hr+ period). So I removed tyre, removed the obvious traces of latex and hosed it off. Reinstalled with Finish Line Kevlar stuff. More difficult to seat the tyre this time round (probably because it was having to re-fill all the re-opened holes), but with a shot at c.140psi it was fine. The next two rides it spat a few mls of the fluid out over my seatpost, but no kevlar bits emerged, and no noticeable air loss. So thus far it looks like a) the Finish Line stuff is working, and b) you definitely need to make sure your tyres are a latex-free zone before you use it. I’m now certain to gain a catastrophic blowout / valve leak on the way home having said all that…

  • Joseph Graf says:

    Looks like it is probably the same stuff. This is from the Amazon questions and answers section: For off-road motorcycle tires you can use our MULTI SEAL Sportsman Formula.
    For mountain bike tubeless tires, pick up MULTI SEAL’s bicycle formula. Ask your local bike shop for Finish Line Tubeless Tire Sealant.
    If you have any further questions, please do not hesitate to call 1-800-577-3353 to talk with someone on our technical team or send an email to tech@multiseal.us

  • Nick says:

    Just spoke to the guys at Multi Seal and apparently they worked with Finish Line to develop the product for Mountain Bike use. They stated that the ratios of the fibers are different than their Sportsman products (e.g. ATV’s, etc…). He said that the biggest challenge was the air volume of MTB tires being so different than their other applications. He recommended using the Finish Line product for MTB use and not to purchase the Multi Seal product.

  • BK says:

    Very cool. Along with all my mountain bike tires, this may get me to switch over to tubeless on my road bike as well.

  • DWM says:

    I like FlexSeal. I can use it in my gutters too…

  • Coyote W.E. says:

    Got it a week ago.
    Got it on Race King (rear) and Schwalbe Racing Ralph (front).
    A large screw was removed, lost 50% of the sealant but got back on the bike for another 15 miles. (in 10 minutes. No pump or any action was requiered. Tyer pressure remains)
    No issues, clean and works perfectly.
    Highly recommended.

  • willie goat says:

    I tied the stuff today on a new Nobby Nic and it never held air completely. Thought maybe riding would help, but 10 miles in, flatted, re=inflated, was almost flat at the end of the ride. Going back to Stan’s.

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