Gear Reviews

2014 Holiday Gift Guide: Tools for mountain bikers

Tools and gear to keep your bikes in shape or to help you on the trail

Winter time is a good time for the enthusiast mountain biker to upgrade or tune-up their favorite ride. Cold, rainy days offer the chance to stay inside, sip some warm cocoa and wrench. With that in mind, here are a few gift suggestions for the DIY cyclist and a few gift suggestions to help them when they are out on the trail as well.

Lezyne - RAP 21 LED multi-tool

Lezyne RAP 21 LED

Lezyne has come up with a cool twist on their popular line of RAP multi-tools. New for this year, they have added a compact 1 lumen LED light tool tip. The Lezyne RAP 21 LED light body is made of CNC machined aluminum and is activated by a on-off twist operation. If you ever get stuck on the trail after dark without your lights, this just might do the trick. Don’t want to carry something this big? The RAP LED also comes in a RAP 15 and RAP 7 version. $34.99

Park Tool - IR1 Internal Routing Kit

Park Tool – IR-1 Internal Routing Kit

Internal cable routing looks trick and helps keep a bike’s lines nice and sleek. But when it comes time to change or upgrade your cables, internal routing can be a real pain. Park Tool’s new IR-1 Internal Routing Kit comes to the rescue. It uses magnets to easily route your internal cables. The kit includes 3 unique fittings designed to thread electrical cables, brake and shifter cables and housings, and liners. The design is simple yet effective. $59.95

Bontrager - TLR Flash Charger

Bontrager – TLR Flash Charger floor pump

From the very first time we laid eyes upon the TLR Flash Charger, we knew it was something special. We have been using this Bontrager pump with great success, as it makes seating tubeless tires a breeze. You pump up the “charge” and then release it all at once in a “flash”. No noisy compressor needed. $119.99

Effetto Mariposa - Doppio Espresso

Effetto Mariposa – Espresso Doppio

Espresso Doppio isn’t something to drink before your ride (okay, maybe it is, but not this one). Here, we are referring to the double-size inflate and repair canister made by Italian brand Effetto Mariposa. The 125ml cartridge is designed to fill large volume MTB tires which makes it a ride saver if you slash a sidewall during a ride. The Espresso Doppio uses the same formula as Effetto Mariposa’s popular Caffelatex, so the sealant can last up to 3 to 6 months. $17.95

Fix It Sticks

Fix It Sticks – T-handle multi-tool

Fix It Sticks are a unique alternative to the traditional multi-tool. Two metal handles and a handful of bits come together to form a T-shaped problem solver that’s great for dealing with road- or trail-side repairs. $35

Trail Tools

Folding Saw & Folding Shovel

Winter riding means wet conditions and wind, which sometimes combine to cause downed trees or debris. Perhaps not as useful as a Mattock or McLeod but a lot easier to carry, a folding saw and folding shovel can help when there is trail damage that needs to be cleared. But remember to avoid IMBA’s 10 Most Common Trail Building Mistakes. What’s rule #1? Always get the land managers permission before doing any trail clearing or building. $20-$25 at Home Depot/Lowe’s/OSH

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

  • 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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