2019 Holiday Guide 2

2019 Holiday Gift Guide: Products to Amplify Experiences

Sometimes you need “things” to fully enjoy those experiences despite what we preached in our first 2019 Holiday Gift Guide – Focus on the Person and Experiences.   Just think of these as little aids to help enjoy those experiences more! Within “2019 Holiday Gift Guide: Products to Amplify Experiences” are time tested favorites that we choose to use and feel confident recommending to you.  Unfortunately some of these products may be hard to find in local shops, but we provide direct affiliate links to provide an option to buy.  Buying through these links does give us a small compensation at no added expense to you.

2019 Holiday Gift Guide: Products to Amplify Experiences

Outbound Lighting Trail Edition light head


To get out there and really enjoy riding at this time of year a GOOD light is a must.  Unfortunately, there is a huge difference between a cheap light that throws out some light and a GOOD light with a bright usable beam pattern that doesn’t burn your house down when charging.  These are a few lights that we are currently using and highly recommend.

Gloworm X2 and CX $145-$249 The X2 is probably our one favorite light right due to its combination of battery life, and bright and wide beam pattern.  The CX ($145) is Gloworms self contained battery/light-head unit that is a nice option for those who don’t want to deal with a separate battery pack and don’t need quite as bright a light. Buy here: Jenson USA or for the CX directly through Gloworm.

NiteRider Lumina 1800 – $127-150 This light cracks the mold of previous Lumina series lights and delivers a very nice bright and WIDE beam pattern. The only negative here is the battery doen’t last as long as others at full power.  But at $127 its a great deal! Buy here: REI or  Jenson USA

Outbound Lighting Trail Edition – $200. These guys are really buzzing right now with some super nice lights.  The Trail edition light ticks all the boxes of a great light with a very wide beam pattern and long 2.6 hour burn time on high  Buy here: Outbound Lighting Trail Edition

Tifosi Optics  If you go through eyewear as quick as us $200 glasses are real hard to justify.  We either scratch, lose or break on average of a 2-3 pair a year.  At that rate we need reasonably priced glasses that still look and perform well with good optics.  Our current favorite eyewear from Tifosi are the: Aethon and Amok with Smoke Fototec lens. Buy here: Jenson USA or REI


Pearl Izumi Rove

Pearl Izumi Rove Shirt $80. This performance flannel is casual enough to wear on the town but its 100% polyester fabric is ready to bring the style to the bike! This one was only just released but has already jumped to the front of our go to cool weather tops. Buy here: REI or Jenson USA

Pearl Izumi Merino Thermal Socks – these socks are incredibly comfortable with just the right amount of padding and warmth. On or off the bike these are good for temps below 50.

Buy here: Jenson USA or REI

Cognative MTB Kit Cognative MTB Apparel – Matching Wool Socks, jersey and gloves.  Owned by a super good dude that puts a lot of time and energy into making sure products are amazingly comfortably and stylish.  Each local collection gives back a portion of the sale to local advocacy.

Save Our Sole Crankjoy Socks On sale now! $9.99 with free shipping

You’ll be inspired to ride all day in these bright socks. The designed and made in the USA socks are super comfy with lightly padded feet, 7-inch cuff height and “Tru-Sole” seamless toe construction. Buy here: Crankjoy socks!

Hip Packs

After our extensive hip pack shootout last year we settled on a couple that we grab before all others.  We find the larger sizes work best for us.  They make it easier to find things without unloading the whole pack and give extra room for warmer extra cloths.

The Nittany Hip Sack Deluxe (top) is a larger size but it sure is nice when you need to carry extra clothing and water. The Half Sack isn’t quite big enough for our tastes.

Nittany Mountain Works Deluxe Hip Sack  is a goto since it’s one of the ONLY packs that does not loosen (belt utilizes double sided velcro) and is a great larger size.  Its also a bargain at $56 with full custom colors.

The other favorite is Patagona’s Black Hole Waist Pack.  We like this one for its comfort, good looks and great larger size.  Two water bottles fit externally too if you don’t like our preferred method of soft bottles in the pack. It’s also a great deal normally at $59. Purchase here: REI

If you want more details see our Hip Pack Shootout or shoot us a question.  We’ve used most all the packs out there.

Ergon GE1 Grips

Ergon GE1’s wide bar ergonomics give the outside of the hand a little more of a lip to hold onto.  With great color options and simple single bolt lock on their an easy addition to any ride. Buy here: Competitive Cyclist or REI

2017 Best Grips Ergon GE1



Trail Rider – For a fast, reasonably light, grippy and forgiving combo its hard to beat the latest gen 2.6″ Schwalbe Hans Damf up front with the Nobby Nic out back. These tires are big, very grippy and have very low rolling resistance. The Maxxis Rekon 2.6 is also a great choice especially if you want a little lighter and low profile (less grip) option.  If your bike can’t fit 2.6 :( 2.35″ versions of both these tires are available.

Buy the Nobby Nic here: Jenson USA or 30% off now at Competitive Cyclist Buy the Maxxis Rekon here: Jenson USA or Competitive Cyclist

All Mountain Rider – Yeah the standard tire here is Maxxis DHF up front and DHR or Aggressor out back.  Even though those are likely the most popular we like a couple other tires a little better.

Both the Gen 3 E*Thirteen TRS Race and Schwalbe Magic Mary are preferred since they are more true to size (the 2.35 E*Thirteen is larger than a Maxxis WT 2.5).  In addition they both feel as they might have a slight bit less rolling resistance. Find out more detail: Maxxis vs E*Thirteen

Buy the E*Thirteen TRS Race here: Jenson USA or Competitive Cyclist Buy Schwalbe Magic Mary here: Jenson USA or 35% off at Competitive Cyclist

As always, let us know if you have any additional questions or comments!




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