Photo Credit: Ride House Martin

The holidays are here! Now that I’m over my self-induced Turkey hangover, it’s time to buy my friends and family gifts. While I’m almost done with my christmas shopping, there’s probably a few things I’ll wait until the day before Christmas to buy.

In case you’re in the same boat, here are some material possessions (and one experience) that would keep me stoked throughout next year…

An Experience:


Photo Credit: Ride House Martin

While there are a lot of incredible places I hope to ride someday (including Moab, Sedona, anywhere with “Alps” in the name, and New Zealand), a heli drop is at the top of my bucket list. It’s not that any of these exotic locations aren’t incredible in and of themselves, it’s just that helicopters are so damn cool. How can you top being shuttled via chopper?

It doesn’t matter to me where I do this, as long as I do it before I die, but ideally – I’d sample some summer in December with Sven and Anka Martin in New Zealand.

Road/Gravel/Cyclocross Bike:2015_Santa_Cruz_Highball_Aqua_Blue_34

Over the past year or two, road bikes have become increasingly more like mountain bikes. First it was disc brakes, then big ol’ tires, and now some models are even developing primitive forms of suspension. That’s why, at the current rate of development, I believe all road bikes will look like the Santa Cruz Highball (plus or minus several new hub, crank, and wheel standards) by Interbike next year.

Marin Pine Mountain Bike 2016-Sherpa-side

In all seriousness though, purpose built road bikes like the VENGE ViAS are sexy as hell. It’s the new all road/gravel grinding segment I don’t understand. Give me a 27.5+ steel hardtail like the Marin Pine Mountain, some soft bags by Porcelain Rocket, and let’s go tour some dirt. Want to get real rowdy? Pretty sure the Rocky Mountain Sherpa can tackle anything.

Mountain Bike:

Transition Patrol

Since my road bike practically doubles as a cross country sled, my ideal mountain bike would have some travel. I haven’t had the opportunity to ride a plus sized bike (injuries suck), but I’m not sold on the concept yet.

The big tires are probably magic for tech climbs, but I get my kicks descending. So until I ride a fattie that out corners the Transition Patrol, I’m on a 27.5 lite diet.


SRAM GX group 1x11 one by drivetrain review weights actual (2)

While Tyler and Jayson are both wishing for SRAMs eTap group, I’m thankful that big red finally delivered on the promise of a 1x drivetrain for the masses. My only complaint is you can’t dump multiple gears with the GX shifter and they’ve made the clutch non-adjustable. For the full run down on weights, price, and performance, check out Zach’s review here.

Gear:Yeti Tundra 105 Cooler

You know that person in your life that is impossible to shop for? That one who already owns everything? That person is me. That said, there’s a couple of things I’ve always wanted, but could never justify. For example, a Yeti Cooler. My Coleman is pretty nice for car camping and even has a built in bottle opener, but it’s no Yeti.

And while I would never shell out $500 for a cooler, I would bake Santa cookies from now until eternity if he left me one under the tree…

silca-hx-one-allen-wrench-set-detail-2 Pedros Vice Whip

And while we’re in the premium-products-I-could-never-justify-aisle, let’s throw a set of Silca’s Hex Keys in the shopping cart.

The other tool I’d love to own, but just can’t justify buying? The Pedro’s Vice Whip. There’s nothing wrong with a traditional chain whip, but the Pedro’s tool is easier to use.



I’ve always thought of Troy Lee Designs kit as being a little obnoxious and overpriced, the kind of clothing that only SoCal Bros could love, then I tried it. And I take it all back (except the obnoxious part). The fit and finish of all their gear, be it protective or clothing, is exceptional.

My personal favorite is the Skyline short. They’re baggy, but not too baggy, and are available in both male and female cuts.


Addidas Terex

While there’s no substitute for gear that’s purpose built for a specific task, there’s something to be said for products that aren’t one dimensional. Over the summer, I bought a pair of Adidas Terex Approach Shoes for hiking and I’ve been pleasantly surprised with how versatile they are.

Built with a stiff Stealth rubber sole and reinforced toe and heel protection, they’re designed for scrambling up rocks, but those same characteristics make them perfect for riding.

Three Small Things:

koozie4 Yeti Rambler Colster

I don’t know where I picked up the habit of using koozies, but I’m obsessed now. My favorites are the ones I’ve collected on trips , but I also dig conversation starters like the ODI Longneck Koozie or the Yeti Rambler Colster (which is the only Yeti product I could actually afford.)

KIng Cage Stanley Flask Holder

In keeping with our beverage theme, Stanley makes some very nice flasks. Their classic model retails for around $25, and King Cage even makes a holder for it. Kelty Cache Box

I spend lots of time camping during the summer, so I try to keep all my gear well organized. To help keep track of miscellaneous items, I’ve started using these Kelty Cache Boxes. The smaller one is perfect for glasses or headlights and batteries, while I use the largest box to store miscellaneous camera equipment and Go Pro supplies.

For more ideas, check out the previous wish lists:

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6 years ago

Whoa, Mushroom beer coozie? Sold.

6 years ago

My Pedros vise whip grip thing is terrible. It wastes space in my tool box and I have considered more than once throwing in the scrap metal pile. I disagree on ease of use. Not useable on 7 or 8 speed cogs, loose at the pivots witch makes it feel sketchy while being close to sharp and worn out cogs, less leverage and the need to constantly adjust grip tension based on cog size. The chain whip is much faster and safer. This tool is the answer to problem nobody asked. It was a complete waste of money for me. Give me your address and I’ll send you that Chinese junk. End of rant.

6 years ago

Ha! I like your comments about “gravel” bikes. It’s like roadies finally learned that you can ride your bicycle in the dirt, but they haven’t yet figured out that people have been doing this for years.

6 years ago

Didn’t know Saris still wrote for BR. it’s been a while.

6 years ago

Great to hear (see) from you again Saris! Love your style! Agreed on the coozie!!

Kernel Flickitov
Kernel Flickitov
6 years ago

Jeff and Saris, just about every bike manufacturer on the planet has a “gravel” or “all-road” in their catalogs, and for years now. Making broad sweeping generalizations is so amateur and tactless, especially so for a BR reporter. That’s right, patronize people because they ride certain bikes or terrain. So cool, such class!

6 years ago