Roll your eyes if you must, but enduro (both the race format, and the idea in general) has had a significant influence on bike, gear, and apparel design. No longer are we forced to choose between uphill efficiency and downhill fun. Modern mountain bike products do it all — and many do it all very well. (And yes some are “enduro” blue, too.) Here’s a round-up of great enduro-oriented gift ideas that will keep the adrenaline junkie in your life riding (or racing) fast and safe.
MRP Stage Fork
This enduro-oriented offering with 34mm stanchions isn’t the lightest or cheapest fork out there. But during our personal test time (including at Boulder, Colorado’s amazing Valmont Bike Park pictured above) it’s proven reliable and highly capable, deftly smoothing out small bumps and soaking up big hits with predictable control. Prominent features include what MRP calls Ramp Control, which allows on-the-fly adjustment of the ending stroke curve of the air spring via a knob at the top of the left fork leg. Dial it in to retain small bump compliance, but get a progressive big hit feel. Or open it up for a more linear stroke. The idea is that when cranked down it will help you maintain control on especially steep or fast trails by preserving the last portion of stroke for those true crux moments, while at the same time maintaining your trail bike’s more stable slack geometry. Just what the doctor ordered when you need to quickly adapt to varying trails during a race. For 2016, the fork will be available with 10 different sticker kits, so you can match colors with your bike. Available in 140mm, 150mm, 160mm and 170mm for 26”/27.5”; and 120mm, 130mm, 140mm, and 150mm for 29er. Price: $989 | More info at www.mrpbike.com
Bontrager Rally Helmet
Protect your significant other’s most valuable possession with this great gift from Bontrager. The Rally Helmet has an in-mold composite skeleton that increases helmet integrity. Or put another way, it’ll lessen the impact of that unscheduled trip over the handlebars. The one-hand-adjustable Headmaster fit system easily manipulates height and circumference, while the flexible head-conforming FormFit brow band has a custom feel and improves venting when climbing. Best of all it comes with a crash replacement guarantee, meaning Bontrager will send you a new helmet for free if your old one is involved in a crash. Now that’s the gift that keeps on giving. Price: $100 | More info at www.bontrager.com
Crankbrothers Mallet E Pedals
Billed as the ultimate pedal for enduro riding and racing, Crankbrothers Mallet E has a unique concave platform for better foothold, plus six adjustable pins per side to increase grip. These pedals also have customizable float and release angle, and traction pads with adjustable height. Four-sided entry helps you quickly clip back in, while the chamfered edges lessen the chances of rock strikes. Perhaps most important of all, Crankbrothers has switched to premium bearings and a double seal system in hopes of alleviating some of the durability issues its pedals have had in the past. Price: $165 | More info at www.crankbrothers.com
SCOTT Hustle MX Goggle
It wouldn’t be enduro without goggles, and who better to supply your gift getter’s eye protection than SCOTT, which has been making goggles for 45 years. The made-in-the-USA Hustle MX boasts excellent frame ventilation that channels air flow onto the lens as opposed to the eyes. A silicone strip on the inside of the strap keeps the Hustle MX in place on your helmet, while SCOTT’s TruView lenses are lightweight, block 100 percent of harmful UV rays, and pass strict testing protocols for safety. The lenses also have a permanent anti-treatment to make sure you will always be able to see that rock garden lurking ahead. Price: $65 | More info at www.scott-sports.com (goggle frame, strap, and lens color and style of the prize given may vary subject to stock on hand).
EVOC FR SuperTrail Bolivia Hydration Pack
All-day-ride carrying capacity is combined with superior protection in this best-in-class hydration pack from EVOC. Among the FR SuperTrail’s highlight features is a unique a back protection system can be detached and worn separately, and nylon-ripstop material construction for long term durability. There’s also a wide tool compartment opening for easy access during trailside repairs, and it has an integrated rain cover and accommodates hydration systems up to 3 liters (bladder not included). Available in three sizes (S, M/L, XL) based on body height. Total pack volume is 20 liters for the M/L. Claimed pack weight is 2.86 pounds. Price: $230 | More info at www.evocusa.com
Vittoria Morsa Tire
In scientific terms Graphene is a material that comes in the form of thin, nearly transparent sheets of pure carbon. In mountain biking terms it helps make tires faster, grip better, more puncture resistant and last longer. The new Vittoria Morsa with Graphene is all of these things in one enduro-racing-ready package. Designed for rougher and slippery race courses, this tire has an aggressive tread for better grip while rolling fast, plus sharp, squared edges that bite into sharp turns. Available in 2.3” for 26, 27.5 and 29-inch, and 2.5” for 26 and 27.5. Price: $65 | More info at www.vittoria.com
Five Ten Kestrel Boa Shoe
Designed to transfer power to the pedals as efficiently as possible, the Five Ten Kestrel features a unique dual-compound outsole, a stiff, carbon-infused shank, and a wider cleat interface that is compatible with all types of SPD pedals. The Boa IP1 closure system permits a custom fit with a simple turn of the dial, and the synthetic uppers are made from hydrophobic materials for minimal water intake, and have mesh inserts that improve breathability. Price: $180 | More info at www.fiveten.com