2015 Holiday Gift Guide: Budget busters when money is no object

Bling bikes, electronic drivetrains, and the best biking vacation destinations

Holiday Gift Guide

2015 Holiday Gift Guide

You know those Lexus “December to Remember” commercials? Well, screw that. If you’re in a tax bracket that permits the purchase of luxury automobiles as Christmas gifts, we suggest you skip the gas guzzler and instead shop from this more eco-friendly list.

SCOTT Spark 700

Scott Spark 700 Ultimate XTR Di2

If you’re in the market for a no-expense-spared cross-country race bike, Scott’s Spark 700 Ultimate might just be the ticket. It comes stock with a Shimano XTR Di2 electronic drivetrain and enough carbon fiber bits to make even the most jaded weight weenie drool. This bike is also equipped with Fox’s iCTD suspension system, which allows the user to rapidly toggle between three settings on both the shock and fork: climb, traction control, descend. Scott calls this the evolution of its TwinLoc manual remote-lockout system, and Fox claims that the electronic system changes settings in less than half a second. Suspension is 120mm in descend mode, 85mm in the traction control setting. Claimed bike weight is 23 pounds for a size medium, and the frameset comes in at 1,940 grams including shock and hardware. Price: $12,500 | More info at www.scott-sports.com

Pivot Bike

Pivot Mach 6 Carbon

For the ultimate in trail taming, enduro winning, rock garden smashing fun, Pivot’s top-tier Mach 6 Carbon frame is a true dream machine. The lightweight 27.5” chassis is driven by 155mm of renowned dw-link suspension. And though it won our Most Versatile in Test Award a few years back, Pivot has continued to refine the Mach 6 platform, this year adding an ultra-stiff, downhill-inspired double-wishbone rear triangle design, and new cold-forged wider and stiffer upper and lower linkages with Enduro Max cartridge bearings. Pivot has also adopted the 12x148mm Boost rear wheel spacing for improved stiffness and control. As for a build kit, make ours Shimano XTR Di2 1x with an 160mm Fox 36 Factory fork and DT Swiss carbon wheels. Price: $9100 | More info at www.pivotcycles.com

Borealis Bike

Borealis Crestone Fat Bike with SRAM XX1

For the winter sports enthusiast in your life, we bring you the all new Borealis Crestone, which the Colorado-based company calls a “state-of-the-art” carbon fiber fat bike. Frame weight is 150 grams lighter than their previous top-line model, the Echo. And the Crestone has a lower standover height just in case you post-hole in deep snow at the wrong time. We just started testing this new bike, and thus far have been thoroughly impressed with its ability to nimbly (yes, nimbly) slice through snow, crud, mud, and whatever else you throw its way. The SRAM XX1 build helps keep weight in check, while the RockShox Bluto fork means you can ride this like a real bike, not pucker when the trail gets tough. And if you really want to blow out the budget, swap on a set of new Borealis Elite carbon fat bike wheels, which start at $2300. Price: $6050 for XX1 spec’d bike | More info at fatbike.com

RockShox RS-1

RockShox RS-1 Suspension Fork

At nearly $1900, RockShox’s RS-1 29er fork is double the price of some top-end trail forks. What you get for all that cash is literally an 180-degree turn in suspension design. By placing the 32mm stanchions at the bottom, the fork’s seals are always lubricated, resulting in incredible small bump performance. The RS-1 also has exceptional fore-aft stiffness, making it a beast when diving into chunky technical sections. RockShox integrated the fork’s steerer tube, crown and legs into a single carbon-mainframe, and the new Accelerator Damper further boosts small bump performance and delivers efficient lockout. Price: $1865 | More info at www.sram.com

Shimano XTR Di2

Shimano XTR Di2 Electronic Drivetrain

Discover what the roadies have known for a while, electronic shifting is pretty damn cool. Shimano’s XTR Di2 drivetrain paired with tight gear steps makes shifting a reflex rather than a reaction. Shift effort is decreased and dialed ergonomics mean you can shift without releasing even the slightest amount of grip on the handlebar. Programmable and customizable E-tube Di2 allows for personalization not seen before in mountain biking, making this a true dream upgrade for the discerning mountain biker. Price: $3400 | More info at www.ridextr.com

Continue to page 2 for more budget buster gift ideas »

About the author: Jason Sumner

An avid cyclist, Jason Sumner has been writing about two-wheeled pursuits of all kinds since 1999. He’s covered the Olympics, Tour de France, MTB world champs, and dozens of other international cycling events. He also likes to throw himself into the fray, penning first-person accounts of cycling adventures all over the globe. Sumner has also done extensive gear testing and is the author of the cycling guide book "75 Classic Rides: Colorado." When not writing or riding, the native Coloradoan can be found enjoying life with his wife Lisa and kids Cora and Tommy in and around their home in the MTB Mecca of Crested Butte.


  • joules says:

    To anyone reading this: if money truly is no object and you still need to be told what to get, don’t bother getting anything. Wouldn’t a better gift be getting to know the person (since you obviously don’t currently know them at all) well enough to be able to get a thoughtful gift next year?

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