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

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

Holiday Gift Guide

Big S WinteR Kit

686 X Specialized Winter Gear Collection

For the ultimate in cold weather fat biking apparel, you cant go wrong with this three-piece collaborative collection from Specialized and snowboarding gear maker 686. After noting that fat bikers were more inclined to wear true winter clothing rather than traditional cold-weather cycling gear, the two companies got together to create garments that protect like ski/snowboard apparel, but have unique features specific to cycling. The 3L (as in three layer) Tech Bibs ($450) have tapered legs to avoid drivetrain tangles, plus gater closures and a bootlace hook to keep snow from getting in your shoes. The 3L Tech Jacket ($500) has fully taped waterproof seams, plus water-resistant zippers to protect common points of water infiltration, and a mesh vented pocket that provides ample storage for ride essentials and/or nutrition. The Tech Insulator Jacket ($250) has 100g Primaloft insulation that’s lightweight, breathable, and efficient at trapping air to keep you warm and protected from the elements. Price: $1200 for all three pieces | More info at www.specialized.com

Whistler

Whistler Mountain Biking Vacation

If mountain biking has a Mecca, that holy land is Whistler, British Columbia. The place is blessed with arguably the world’s best bike park, plus hundreds of miles of amazing cross-country trails, and night life that rivals Vegas. If you want the full debauchery experience, head up during the Crankworx freeride festival. If you’d rather not stand in huge lift lines, go early season before the crowds descend. For lodging, check out the Aava Whistler Hotel. Guests have access to a bike wash, tools, free GoPro rentals, and a complimentary bike valet. For post ride recovery, head to the Scandinave Spa, which has indoor and outdoor relaxation pools, saunas, steam rooms and on-site massage services. Price: Sky is the limit | www.whistler.com

Winter Park

Winter Park Biking Vacation

For a summertime mountain bike vacation that doesn’t require a passport stamp, but still covers all the key bases, Winter Park and the Fraser Valley is a superb choice. Bolstered by a pair of lift-serviced bike parks and approximately 600 miles of cross-country trails, you’ll have no problem finding your fat tire happy place in this Colorado Rocky Mountain locale that’s just 66 miles from the Denver metro area. If you like big jumps and machine built trails, head to the Trestle Bike Park, which hosts the Colorado Freeride Festival and was a two-time spot on the Enduro World Series circuit. If more rugged trails are your thing head down valley to Bike Granby Ranch, formerly known as Sol Vista, host site of the U.S. national championships in 2009 and 2010. Or just grab a map and spin. From downtown Winter Park, there are trail in nearly every direction. Price: From budget to budget busting | More info at mtbcapitalusa.com

CB Fat Biking

Fat Bike World Championships: Crested Butte, Colorado

If the key to your vacation planning is the sooner the better, book a late January trip to Crested Butte, Colorado, for the first annual Fat Bike World Championships. With a deferential nod to the annual singlespeed world championships, the local chamber of commerce folks decided it was time for an irreverent biggie wheeled version of that annual barracanal of bikes. The snowbound five-day event (January 27-31) will include racing, a vendor expo, demos, and lots of beer. For lodging, check out the Nordic Inn or Elk Mountain Lodge, then rent a fat bike from Big Al’s Bicycle Heaven, and quench your post-ride thirst at the Brick Oven Pizzeria, which is hosting the welcome party. (And by the way, the skiing at Crested Butte Mountain Resort is pretty good, too.) Price: From fat to phat | More info at www.cbchamber.com

This article is part of Mtbr’s 2015 Holiday Gift Guide. For more gift ideas and holiday guides, CLICK HERE.


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.



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  • 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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