Pinkbike Editors' (And Friends) Christmas Wish Lists

Dec 17, 2020 at 9:13
by Daniel Sapp  


In a year where everything has been more different and chaotic than ever before, what are Pinkbike's test editors and some of our regular contributors asking for?





Matt Wragg
Deep Woods Supplies

One of the little things we have been trying to do at home for the past couple of winters is to reduce how much electricity we use for heating. These days, we get by with a log fire in the evening and maybe some fan heaters in the bathroom. The key to the system is blankets - my wife and I both keep duvets on the sofa for when we’re relaxing, which are great until you have to get up.

The worst is going for a pee, as I usually do that outdoors (it saves water, or at least that what I tell her). There’s that horrible rush of cold peeling myself out of my cocoon, shivering by the stream as I pee, then a few minutes of shivering while I wait for the heat to come back after. The Selkbag Nomad looks like the answer to my prayers as I wait for warmth - what could be better than taking the cocoon with me all the time? I can see dozens of situations that would just be better wrapped in a blanket and the nomad version is made of recycled material, so I could stay warm guilt-free.


Dave Chapelle summed up lockdown best: it left people stuck with their choices. With nothing else to do, you’re locked into the life you built. It made me realize how lucky I am, our little house out in the olive groves is not a big or fancy life, but as the weeks passed I realized I could be happy passing my days in the garden. Preferably with power tools. Brushcutters are my favorites, especially when you’re doing heavy brush clearance and our house has three decades of old-growth around it.

There is something endlessly gratifying about watching your cutting blade smash through small trees. Or how a bush just disappears as you lower the head through it. Of course, when you get into this kind of dirty addiction you need more and more. My cheap knockoff strimmer can’t take that kind of abuse and when I went up to a 30cm steel blade it ripped the head clean off the shaft. So for the sake of my sanity, I need something reliable, lower vibration so I can work longer and, most importantly, will get all the attention at the trailhead when we head out to clear trail after lockdown is done. A Stihl brushcutter would do the trick.

While brush cutters are a boatload of fun, they are also horrendously dangerous if you don’t use them with respect. A good friend of mine nearly lost his foot when his cutting disc shattered and sliced through his leg while he was clearing a new trail. So although I may joke about them, I always head out in full safety gear and these Stihl chaprons are the gardening equivalent of a full set of moto-inspired factory racing pajamas.





James Huang
A Week-long Trip, a Travel Trailer, and a Home 'Mini' Machine Shop

Colorado is often described as a sort of mountain biking mecca, and while I’ll certainly acknowledge after living here for almost fifteen years that the riding here is pretty fantastic, rarely does a week go by that I don’t long for a trip back to southeastern Michigan, the place where I fell head over heels in love with the sport.

I know, I know. "Southeastern Michigan, really?" Really. Sure, there aren’t any big mountains, nor a lot of options for truly epic rides, but what it lacks in amplitude, it makes up in frequency. There are actually trails everywhere, most of which are akin to singletrack rollercoasters where momentum is your friend and the dirt is almost always brown and tacky (or, at least, that’s how I remember it in my head). None of those rollercoasters are the same, but they’re all fun for different reasons.

My favorite trail there was the Poto, and I rode it enough back then that I literally memorized every corner, every root, every rock. And while I grew so familiar with it that I could accurately predict my finish time within one or two minutes just based on how I felt at the end, never once did I roll back to my car thinking that I’d grown tired of the place.

It’s been a long time since I’ve ridden it. I know the trail has changed a lot, I know I’ve changed a lot as a rider, and I sure as hell have no interest in riding it on a 26" steel hardtail with V-brakes again. But I really do still dream about one day having the opportunity to go back.


I have to say that I don’t get the whole #vanlife thing. I mean, yes, the idea of being able to drive to some cool riding destination and temporarily live out of the same vehicle has some appeal (I’m so over tent camping), but I just can’t imagine myself ever sinking that kind of money into a depreciating asset. I remember talking about this with Greg Herbold years ago, and he cemented in my mind that what I really want is a lightweight trailer.

My wife and I rented a 13-foot Scamp for a weekend trip a couple of months ago, and we’ve been pining for one of our own ever since. It was easy to tow and light enough that it doesn’t require a dedicated brake controller, there was more than enough room inside for the two of us and our seven-year-old daughter to hang out and sleep in, and having that weatherproof fiberglass shell was a godsend one day when it was stupidly windy and rainy outside. And have I mentioned yet how awesome the propane heater was at night???

Sealing the deal was when I came back to the campsite from a solo ride one afternoon. My wife was still out sightseeing with the kiddo, and a rainstorm was just about to hit. Had we had a van, they would have still been off somewhere, and I would have come back to nothing but an empty field. But with the Scamp as a semi-permanent basecamp, I just hopped inside, changed into warm clothes, made myself a hot lunch, and chilled out on the couch for a bit until they got back.

Turns out these suckers aren’t cheap, though — even used — and there’s now a year-plus waitlist to buy one new.

In the meantime, we did end up buying (for dirt cheap!) a friend’s creepy old 1995 Ford Econoline van that I’m planning to do a very mild build-out on, but the long-term plan is still to get a Scamp of our own. Given the backlog, maybe it’ll be ready for Santa to bring it to us next year...

I spent nearly fourteen years non-stop working as a bike shop mechanic, and aside from my regular customers, what I miss most about those days were the jobs where I actually had to fix something — not just install some new parts, or do some minor tweak or adjustment, but actually fix something. Ever better was when I had the chance to fabricate something to make that happen.

There was one customer in particular that I remember well who had a faired Lightning recumbent, and I made the mistake of apparently being the only mechanic who was able to get the damned thing to work properly. It was clunky, it was huge, it was woefully under-engineered, but the guy loved it, he was willing to pay, and I considered it a challenge. The rear disc brake was particularly problematic — keep in mind that this was in the early 2000s — and what I ultimately ended up having to do was make a new caliper adapter out of a hunk of angle steel using nothing more than a cordless drill, a hacksaw, some files, and a bench grinder. But it was never an issue again, and it was supremely satisfying (along with making it shift reliably, and silencing the various creaks, and…).

Ever since that time, I’ve dreamt of having some sort of machine shop in my garage. My garage is unfortunately far too small to realistically have such a thing, of course, but I’ve seen crummy little tabletop mills that could at least suffice to bodge something up. Hell, at this point, I’d settle for a drill press, a bench grinder, and maybe a bandsaw. But I should probably first figure out how to keep my workbench sufficiently clear that I’d even have somewhere to mount any of that stuff. Priorities, priorities.





Taj Mihelich
RV'ing Supplies

Wishlists are meant to be a bit aspirational right? Being all cooped up at home has given me the RV bug. I’ve spent countless hours crisscrossing the USA's highways in everything from a rusted out ’84 Cavalier (with the heat stuck on) to team trips in deluxe tour buses. The overwhelming memory of those past cross country drives is gritty diesel-reeking truckstops, greasy fast food and, powering through miles to get where I was going as fast as I could. My record is a solo 3000+ mile drive from Rhode Island to Olympia, WA, in 46 hours (I was sick for a week after). Eventually, after years of being on the road, I got a little burned out driving around the states. In more recent years trips planned by me probably involved jetting off to another country and pedaling through some Alps. With all this extra time at home I think I’ve rationalized some decent justifications for a good ol' fashioned (covid responsible) USA RV road trip.

I’d load up my dog, drawing supplies, bikes and enjoy a slow-paced wandering drive. I’d follow nice weather or whatever road seemed interesting. On long drives, I’d stop whenever some goofy idea popped into my head and draw it. I’d reconnect with old friends who are scattered around the country and join them for bike rides. I’d bring my trusty Chromag Stylus, my new Santa Cruz 5010 and, my Fairdale with a basket for my dog. After a ride, I’d find some decent food in my RV’s fridge and take a shower with water heated by the solar generator. I would enjoy relaxed evenings parked somewhere peaceful by drawing, painting, and finishing my next kid’s book. I'd keep up with my Pinkbike assignments and find inspiration for some stories and some dorky comics. And hopefully, I'd fall back in love with the USA road trip.


I’ve had my eye on the Coachmen Cross Trek. The 20XG model in particular seems ideal since it isn't a behemoth but has everything I'd need. It’s the same length as the extended Sprinter van I used to have and only a tiny bit wider (just enough that I can fit on the widthways bed). Not like you’d want to parallel park it in Brooklyn, but since it is pretty slim you could still easily get around in cities. The coolest feature is a large pass-through storage area in the back big enough for multiple bikes that would keep them protected and out of sight.





Brian Park
Baby Supplies and Headphones

It's probably a bit early, but our little guy loves cruising around in the bike seat, so I'd like to get a Mac Ride or Kids Ride Shotgun setup soon so he can ride up front and see everything.

I'd also like a pair of really nice headphones. I don't get much time to relax and focus on music, so when I do I want it to be amazing. We review stupid expensive bikes, so why not shoot for the moon and look at the Focal Utopia? Oh, is that too much to ask? Obscene? Well fine. How about a slightly less offensively priced Hifiman Sundara?

In reality, I already got the best Christmas gift because Taj sent me a shirt that says "Hardtail or Die or Full Suspension" which is the greatest thing ever.






Sarah Moore
A Whoop Strap + A Theragun + Oil Slick Bling

This virtual-but-not-canceled Christmas, I'd like a Whoop strap to track my sleep and strain levels and a Theragun percussive therapy massage device. Why a Whoop strap? I love my sleep and this little device will (hopefully!) justify my desire to go to sleep early and wake up late. I also like the strain calculation, which gives you exertion level recommendations based on how recovered your body is. I have a tendency to overdo it, so this could actually help me be smarter and actually train instead of just riding my bike a lot.

As for a Theragun percussive therapy massage device, there were some at the lululemon tent at the BC Bike Race last year and I loved how easy it was to treat yourself. They used to be really loud which I felt defeated the purpose, but the newer ones aren't too bad. It's nowhere as nice as going to a massage therapist, but it's a lot more relaxing than foam rolling or stretching.

Also, I know over 4000 of you said it was a trend you disliked, but I'd take some oil slick bolts on my bike...





Mike Kazimer
A Massage Gun and DHR II Tires

Honestly, I don't really need anything for Christmas. I'm lucky enough to have plenty of fancy bikes at my disposal, and at the moment my skis are free of any core shots or blown edges, which means my two favorite outdoor activities are taken care of.

I guess a slightly more reliable vehicle would be nice, but I only have myself to blame for continually buying beaters that are over 20 years old. Maybe someday I'll realize that with all the money I spend on repairs I could have purchased something much newer and nicer...

If I had to pick one gift for myself, I'd go with the power tool-like massage guns that seem to be all the rage. I haven't had a proper massage in a while, and being able to smash my tight neck and shoulder muscles into submission seems like a good winter activity. I haven't done much research, but this one from Vybe looks like it would do the trick.



Okay, I thought of one more holiday wish – I wouldn't mind a small pile of rear tires. My perennial favorite is the Maxxis DHR II, ideally in a DoubleDown casing / MaxxGrip compound, but I never seem to have enough of them kicking around when it's time to build up a new bike. I've acquired a good collection of front tires, it's just that my rear tire stockpile seems to dwindle faster than Levy's supply of Monster energy drinks. This wish is probably as exciting as asking for socks, but I'd way rather have holes in my socks than holes in my tires. Here's hoping for a nice stack of fresh sticky rubber to start 2021 off right.

Connor is on the new Maxxis Minion DHR II 2.5 wide out back.





Aidan Oliver
A Garage, a Garmin, and Snowboard Boots That Don't Hurt.

I primarily moved to BC for the great outdoors. As a result, I regularly find myself out in the backcountry with no cell service thinking to myself, "Wow if totaled myself right now how would I phone for help"? This thought is a constant niggle in my mind when out camping or exploring FSRs. Although I can drive a car, I have no idea how to fix one, and BC's network of forest roads means walking hundreds of kilometers to find help... Bikepacking and exploring more remote areas of BC are definitely on my bucket list and having a way to contact the emergency services if the worst were to happen are pretty essential.

So for Christmas this year, I would like a Garmin inReach Mini to throw in my backpack or pocket when out exploring so if the unthinkable happens I can make an SOS call.

Giro PR images

Like many, I've been filling my time during lockdown tinkering on my bike. It passes the time and hell I even quite enjoy it. But there's only so long you can work on a bike in a one-bedroom apartment before you get chain oil on the rug, lose tools, scratch the wall or in my case have a tire full of sealant explode in your kitchen. Yep, that really did happen.

The other day my boss Brian told me he was just off to 'tinker in the garage' and I was immediately filled with jealousy. I would much rather pass the winter hours dialing up my bike, doing some exercise, and waxing my snowboard in a garage rather than re-watching the Office for 5th time.

I'd also be keen to have some pain free snowboard boots, if that's such a thing. I've been snowboarding since I was about 15 and floating through life wondering what other boarders were talking about when they complained about boot pain. When I stopped skiing I thought I left the days of painful boots behind me. Until I realised I was very lucky finding boots that hugged my feet like a cloud for the last 10 years, ignorance truly is bliss.

The last 3 pairs of boots I've owned have given me an excruciating amount of pain, despite having them heated, molded and punched out in every way possible. I have fond memories of a day in Whistler last year, stopping every 100 meters to soothe my feet and finding blood in my socks at the end of the day... So yeah, I would also like a pair of snowboard boots that don't double up as a torture device.





Dan Roberts
Standards That Don't Change, a Data Acquisition System, 3D Scanner, and a Workshop

I’m not sure if most brands know the real meaning of integration. I think the translation got lost somewhere and they think it just means hiding things. I like a good-looking bike, let’s just put that out there first. But not at the expense of function. A bike is a mechanical device, and its number one job should be to, well, function. It’s a ridiculous balancing act to develop a bike and I speak from experience, which is why it’s impressive when a team of people can balance function, form, durability and all the other factors. When one tends to take too much precedence the others usually take a back seat.

I’m preaching on deaf ears, as I know full well where the industry is heading. But please, can we remember what we do on a bike before we go hiding the cables in the handlebars or covering over all the damn pivot bolts?


As for things Santa could actually bring, I’d love to just go off into the woods with a data acquisition setup and start quantifying ride feelings and characteristics, and the one from Motion Instruments looks to be a substantial amount of geekiness while still not needing four degrees to operate. Lot’s of what we talk about as reviewers is subjective, but so much can be measured and then be made a little bit more objective. Having that blend of the two is also just an exciting prospect to me. Speaking of numbers, for our 'Behind the Numbers' series, we teamed up with Creaform for their 3D scanning solutions. Now while I don’t mind driving over to France to take a bunch of bikes to be scanned, I’d bloody love one at home. Imagine if we scanned every bike that came through the door and verified the geometry and suspension? Maybe that's an overload for non-engineers. But along with data acquisition, we could have the motherload of objective data on hand.

I'd also love a full new workshop set up. God, I love tools. Not the aforementioned melons who think hidden hardware is a good idea, but the utensils to actually mess around with hardware. And I’ve been smitten with my recent Wera torque wrench. I can remember back to being a kid and helping my Dad out fixing cars. He always had the tool for the job. He had them hung up with a black outline so you knew where it went. He even made a proper pit in the garage for working underneath the cars. While I’m not about to fit a car into the workshop due to its petite size, having a new setup to fit neatly into space, hold all the tools and spares and provide an area to whack things with a really big hammer is something I would love but also need, a little. While I’ve accumulated a tonne of bike specific tools over the years, there’s still a bunch that I need for the likes of wheel building, suspension and bearing servicing, and frame modification.





Ben Cathro
An Electric DH Bike, Clothing for Tall Riders, an Electric KTM, and a Shed to Store it All.

Now, hear me out...an electric DH bike. Take a current DH bike, integrate a nice sleek motor and big battery, steeper seat angle, custom dropper, electric lockout, and let me loose on it. There are so many DH tracks around me with no uplift available and this would open them up for multi laps on a proper bike while also giving your legs a good spin. Someone needs to make this happen and then watch as E: DH parks start popping up around the world.


Speaking of E, I have been lusting after an Electric KTM Freeride E-XC for so long! From what I can tell it's the perfect motorbike for a curious mountain biker. Quiet enough that it shouldn't bother other outdoor enthusiasts, powerful enough that you can still have an absolute riot on it. Ideal for proper enduro riding, razzing around an MX track or cutting in new MTB trails. I might not have the space to store it though...so, a bigger shed would be great as well.

Looking for pants that don't look like this...or worse.

I'd also love some clothing made more for tall/short/wide/narrow riders. I've never had riding gear that fits me properly, at 6'7" I'm well outside the median body shape like many others at various ends of the spectrums. A company needs to take a chance and make limited runs of really well made, long-lasting, conservatively designed items for funny shaped people. Sure it would be expensive but it would also be so worth it!





Daniel Sapp
Home Office Upgrades and a Family Station Wagon

I always have a few things I'm interested in procuring, but usually gift cards to Lowe's or the local hardware store would do the trick. I currently have a pretty good home office setup but, in a couple of months, it's going to be converted into a nursery for our incoming family member, so my workspace is going to move downstairs to the basement. While our basement is amazing in terms of having a (mostly, except when it rains really hard) dry place to store bikes and gear, it's pretty musty, depressing, and not overly inviting as a home office. Hardly the environment I'd prefer to spend hours a day in.

I've planned out how I will convert a section of it into that office. It'll take a lot of trips to Lowes and a budget that I really don't have but, in the end, I'll have a space that I can close off, ideally with a finished ceiling and walls, along with some nice happy lighting and some form of climate management, along with a space set aside to workout and ride the trainer when the weather is bad. Maybe Lowes Santa is listening and wants to drop off a supply of gift cards and good design ideas?


Speaking of incoming family members, I'd be happy to find an additional larger vehicle that is comfy for road trips and good on gas. My 2006 Honda Ridgeline is one hell of a vehicle for getting around town, going riding, gathering supplies, and pulling my friends who get their Tacomas stuck in the mud back to solid ground but it's getting pretty old and seating for two adults, a 100lb puppy, and a child, plus any overnight supplies, is going to be tight. A nice lightly used SUV or station wagon that's decent on room and not too bad with fuel consumption may help make family road trips a bit more pleasant.





Christina Chappetta
JaPow

What a wild one 2020 has been! I’m sure lots of folks are just wishing for a “normal” life and holiday season this Christmas. As for me, not to get too sappy on y’all, my top wish this year is to be with my family at Christmas time. It’s not going to happen, and I’ve accepted that, but nothing beats Christmas time with a huge family and lots of kiddos, treats and decorations! Since they’re back home in the US, I’ll be celebrating Christmas this year with the Canadian family instead. Hopefully it so insanely snowy that day I won't have time to feel sorry for myself.


Second to that perfect gift could only be described as the best present ever for snow loving enthusiasts! A trip to Japan to experience the infamous JAPOW! Snowboarding was my first true love, before biking, so I owe it to my original adrenaline junkie to visit the meca of pow skiing one day, hopefully sooner than later!




Mike Levy
A Racing Simulator

There are usually just four or five things rattling around in my head: bikes, cars, aliens, dogs, and cars. And since I can get my hands on most of the cycling kit I'd want plus plenty I don't, as well as already having three handicapped dogs that govern my life, I probably don't need any more of either. But car stuff? Oh hell yes, Santa. And while I'm still saving for a scrappy Mercedes R107 to pick up as a daily cruiser, I think I'd ask Mr. Kringle for some help in the virtual world...

At the very top of my Christmas wishlist would be a serious SIM racing rig of some kind that'd let me jump headfirst into iRacing, one of the most popular online communities. I've done a bit of homework on this stuff and, well, I'm more confused than before I started Googling, but that's not a surprise given that any computer I touch seems to go all HAL 9000 on me. So, in light of my questionable track record with circuit boards, I should probably go with a ready-to-race bundle of some kind from Fanatec. And because I've followed F1 closer than mountain biking for the last twenty-odd years, I might want to put it all on a low seat/high pedal formula-style rig with a wide, curved monitor for all my fake zoomies?

To be honest, this SIM gear makes axle and bottom bracket standards seem straightforward, and I feel like an oblivious non-cyclist scoffing at the price of a mid-priced bike.

The AP-Xtreme 3000 (top) retails for $7,750 USD, while the Formula-style AZ Racing rig and gear (bottom) goes for $5,379 USD. Que all of the "I can get an entire mountain bike for that much!" comments.

These toys are not inexpensive - the Fanatec stuff adds up to thousands of dollars before you included a gaming PC of some kind (I am scared) and a rig to hang it all on - far too much for me to spend on something that's not a shelter or considered mandatory to survive. Then again, between Corona and spending too much of the last two years on the bench due to injuries, I could be convinced that a baller SIM racing system is essential. So, who's got some advice?



So, what's on your Christmas wish list? Let us know in the comments below!


155 Comments

  • 216 4
 All I want for Christmas is for every pinker to have a wonderful 2021!
  • 10 0
 @unrooted - thanks bud!
  • 8 0
 @Unrooted, you are a top shelf human being and clearly a true mtber. Thanks so much, and likewise!
  • 4 0
 Why hasn't this comment broke the internet yet?!
  • 18 0
 Lack of snark and cynicism disorienting...
  • 2 0
 Loved up hippy
  • 2 0
 Plus one for Pinkers
  • 3 0
 Thanks! Take my fake internet points.
  • 5 0
 Are we in a Hallmark movie?
  • 9 0
 Do you want terrible ad reads? Because this is how you get terrible ad reads.

Merry Christmas everyone! Smile
  • 4 0
 I comepletely agree with this beautiful sentiment, but I could also really do with a new van.
  • 60 2
 Snowboard boots that don’t hurt? Wait till you hear about ski boots
  • 6 2
 Stop buying burton
  • 1 0
 Ride Deadbolts work for me! That must mean they will work for everyone, right? But my Lange RS130 ski boots are a bit torturous on the ankle bones. Thus the snowboard boots are heavenly when I switch.
  • 8 0
 You ever heard of zipfit liners? My ski boots are more comfortable than my slippers
  • 8 4
 Go back to skis! Unpopular opinion of the decade: ski boots are more comfy than snowboard boots
  • 2 0
 I switched from skiing to snowboarding because of the boots. Last ski boots I had were a pair of Lange's that put me over the edge. Burton, 32's are heaven in comparison.
  • 1 0
 @diarrhea-geyser: Zipfits are awesome but pricey. Intuitions also work well and are a bit more economical.
  • 1 0
 I really wanted to try the Burton Step-ons. Not having to get up off the floor after every lift in the latter part of the day when your legs are cooked sounds awesome. Although i owned one pair of burtons and one pair of 32's and i've been lucky with comfort. To actually go snowboarding would be a treat though. Bloody 'Rona.
  • 1 2
 I simply wear super thick socks with a boot a size or two larger than the perfect fit (eu sizing). Never felt pain in any boot.
  • 4 2
 @DirkMcClerkin: I stopped mountain biking because of the shoes. Road shoes are much more comfortable.
  • 2 0
 This is old but if you find a properly trained fitter ski boots are crazy comfortable. Better than my snowboard boots lol
  • 1 0
 @makripper: True. I have a former World Cup bootfitter and I had another session with him today. But no, my Lange RS 130 race boots are nowhere near as comfy as my snowboard boots. Never will be.
  • 1 0
 @herzalot: yeah race boots will never be comfy. Have you tried non race boots? My full tilts feel alot better than any snowboard boots I've ever owned. I have very wide feet.
  • 1 0
 @makripper: Full Tilts are the modern incarnation of the Raichle Flexon series I believe - the only revolutionary design that worked well. I was just talking about those boots with my boot tech yesterday. Yes, I've tried non race boots. They perform like - non race boots. But I never tried the Raichle -Turned K2 - Turned Full Tilt. My Langes are amazing, so I will continue to tweak them. Fun side conversation!
  • 1 0
 @herzalot: yeah for sure! And definitely the latest incarnation of the raichle flexon. My fitter suggested either my full tilts or some rossignol boots. The widest rossignol s/pro was still painful just walking around the shop. My full tilts felt amazing off the start before breaking in. Go with what works and don't be afraid to try as many brands as possible
  • 33 2
 1. A week that none of us complain in the PB comment section
2. That all the big S kick bikes have a layup flaw and they need to recall them all...Sorry couldn't resist....
3. Quick end to covid so I can go on a few bike trips next summer. ( missed the annual pilgramige to KT and second destination trip with my riding crew)
4. Somebody with a medium bad habit frame answers my PB add and give me a great deal so I can set it up for my kids to ride.
5. Finally win something in the PB christmas giveaway
  • 23 0
 Taj, please, please, please make that shirt available for the rest of us. I would very much like to trade you real American dollars for one.
  • 2 0
 Same here, with € (but PayPal)
  • 1 0
 Ditto. I'll take two, size Large. Got a buddy that needs this as well.
  • 1 0
 Taj should setup an online shirt shop
  • 1 0
 Same...the want is high with that shirt!
  • 1 0
 Photoshop + spreadsheet = problem solved
  • 18 0
 @mikelevy I too am a sim racing nerd, you really don't have to spend too much to start off. Other than the cost of a good PC. Fanatec CSL wheelset and pedals with LC brake will cost under a grand and is more than good enough for all but the hardest of hardcore. Then a half decent rig can be had for well under a grand. When you consider the hours of fun vs price of entry it's well cheaper than mountain biking ????
Oh and iRacing really doesn't require a monster PC to run either they've built it very scalable so it can run on anything from a potato right up to the highest end of rigs. A decent mid range gaming PC will do perfectly.
  • 8 0
 Thanks!
  • 3 0
 @mikelevy: Can also highly recommend GT Omega rigs. Great value for money. I have their ART rig and it's solid as a rock was only £220 and I just got a car seat from a breakers yard for £50. They've just brought out an aluminium profile rig as well which costs a lot more but is even more solid and upgradable. Also they are Scottish so they get bonus points just for that
  • 3 0
 @HankBizzle: surely the real trick with these are buying used rigs? I'd love to get into some racing but know it would be fun for a while and then I'd get over it so I'm not going to get one... But someone who's like 5% more interested than me might do that and then sell it after 6 months once the bug wears off
  • 8 0
 another iRacing fan here
all you need to get into the top 10% is a $300 Logitech wheel/pedals/shifter set and a single monitor,

plus lots of time
  • 2 0
 I agree. I'm starting out with a $300 logitech wheel + shifter ($60) and a basic stand. If I get into it your recommendation will be next. I have a LG 34" ultrawide 1440p monitor and ASUS gaming desktop, so should be good there for a while as well.

It is cheaper than mt biking, let alone driving a real car on track! The local SCCA pro solo group has a racing league so you can sim race the same people you see at autox races IRL too. I don't have much extra time but want to try it out.
  • 3 0
 I got into sim racing this year too, likely due to Covid. I mean I knew about sim racing before but all it took was watching a few YouTube vids again to really light the fire and well you only live once. I started with a Logitech wheel and pedals on a wheel stand using my Xbox one to play Assetto Corsa (AC). AC is great and runs well and there is a decent community still racing AC, I've even been part of a weekly series with people I met there who are from all around the globe.

This only lit the bug and so I shortly sold the Logitech wheel and stand and then picked up a Fanatec setup. Clubsport 2.5. base, V3 load cell pedals and a CSL wheel. The difference is night and day and oh so nice to use. To be fair the Logitech stuff never really held me back.

I also picked up a PC with a Geforce RTX3070 and have been playing iRacing and Assetto Corsa Competizione (ACC) for the last three weeks. Both are awesome and have really upped my game. ACC is amazing for GT3 racing and the latest update really made it great. iRacing is also amazing and I've just started with rookie content. The MX-5 cup car is great with really good force feedback and being able to race Tsukuba just like old Best Motoring videos is amazing. Also the oval racing is a huge surprise in how fun it is. The Nascar Truck (Silverado) and the Dallara indy car along with the '34 Ford Legends are all super fun racing.

I came to the realization long ago that actually doing track days and having a track car was a waste of money (for me) but sim racing lets me actually have all the racing experience I want. Plus it's a pretty good way to chill but still be engaged in something rather than just Netflixing or whatever.
  • 5 0
 Devils advocate. Buy the absolute most expensive Sim you can get. The #1 thing pro drivers talk about when it comes to sims is how realistic the feedback is through the steering wheel, as it is your only point of reference (no body roll). Anyway Levy wins this article for coolest want.
  • 1 0
 2x4 sim rig and a racing bucket seats plus logitech wheel gets ya there for under a grand
  • 4 0
 I did like Levy... started researching and got scared. But you definitely want it to 'feel' as real as possible which I guess means a good seat, good wheel and lots or big monitors.

BUT HANG ON.... what about rally racing?!?! In Western Canada this is attainable. It's probably the cheapest form of motorsport (behind autocross?), super accessible, super fun. Look into it. carsrally.ca
Tip would be to resist the urge to get a big fast 4wd car and save money on a 2wd car that can be competitive. Or get a cheap 4wd car and have a blast but the cheap ones likely aren't competitive.
  • 3 0
 @friendlyfoe:
+1 for "Levy wins this article for coolest want"
  • 2 0
 @davec113: Santa is bringing me possibly the same monitor, LG UltraGear 34" ultrawide 144hz Hdr and all that good stuff. Cannot wait to get it hooked up ????
  • 1 2
 It’s been proved that you can go racing for the same budget as a inline racing rig.
  • 2 0
 @Mojo348: bollocks, you can't crash your pc into a tyre wall
  • 3 0
 @Mojo348: Perhaps yes if you're looking at it purely financially. But buying a shitty old track car that you can only use on the odd weekend isn't quite the same as being able to race whenever you want for however long you want.
I raced the 12hrs of Bathurst this year with 3 other guys from around the world. It was an amazing experience that I couldn't get with a track day here and there.
  • 3 0
 Yeah the amount of seat time you can get in on a sim rig is amazing. I would definitely say ability is transferrable but not 100%. Sim racing let's you learn a lot of nuance of car control such as trail braking, staying cool under pressure, identifying and then using braking points, etc. A lot of real car control uses the vestibular senses but that coupled with the analytical side that will be honed from sim racing ups ones ability quite a bit.

I went from being perfectly content with the idea that I'd never have a track car or do track days and after sim racing for awhile the idea of having a real track car is back on the table in my head so as always be aware of the rabbit hole. However for me that's well down the line after many other priorities. Also I'd still rather go for a good mountain bike ride then piss away an entire day with only 60 minutes or less of actual seat time doing track events.

Also climate change is something I'm conscious of and I do try to minimize my carbon footprint while still participating in things I want to do. This is another score for sim racing.
  • 1 0
 @mikelevy: I actually just saw this bundle advertised on the iRacing forums. Not sure how it'll convert to canuckbucks, but it's $1k USD for a PC, wheel, pedals, and a 1 year subscription. Call it the Specialized Rockhopper of setups, nothing fancy, but it'll get you on the trail and do everything you need while starting out.

ironsidecomputers.com/iracing/?v=47e5dceea252
  • 8 0
 "I'd also be keen to have some pain free snowboard boots, if that's such a thing. I've been snowboarding since I was about 15 and floating through life wondering what other boarders were talking about” -This anyone?
  • 8 1
 Check out the fit/quality of your bindings, if you're experiencing pressure points on the top or side of the foot this could help. If that fails, what worked for me was moving somewhere so cold that I just can't feel my feet most days!
  • 2 0
 I've found that the more comfortable boots for me are ones with a BOA system. I'm not 100% sure why but I think its just because its so easy to dial in the exact tightness. When you think about why people think boots are uncomfortable its usually that 1) their feet hurt or cramp up (usually caused by boots being too tight) or 2) they get blisters or rubbing (usually cause by boots being too loose).

Boots with regular laces or even the nylon pull systems are just hard to get right. The boa's just let you get them perfect because you can make very small adjustments. I'll usually put them in knowing they are a bit loose then them just crank them another click or two until they are exactly right. Laces just don't let you make an adjustment with completely loosening it and starting over.
  • 3 0
 This is year 24 of snowboarding for me, and the progression of boot design has definitely trended ever slimmer. I agree with Zach below, make sure you have good bindings that spread the load properly. Modern boots are relatively thin and I find that they move some pressure points around from the moon boot days of riding. Also, insoles can make a huge difference. If your boots don't have the support you need in the arches, ratcheting the straps down tight enough will only squash things more. I put some boring Superfeet insoles in my boots, and immediately had a better, more supportive fit. With that said, everyone has a different body, so don't be afraid to experiment a bit until you find something that works.
  • 25 0
 Take up skiing. Then you will never complain about snowboard boots ever again.
  • 1 0
 Plantar fasciitis, tendonitis and aging joints combined with high arches is the main cause for me been skiing and snowboarding for 40+ years now had quit just because of footpain so severe it was touture. Sure, I can still mess around, take a run rest, take a run rest. But I can't rip like I use to.
  • 1 0
 I am all for the pain free boots. I bought 3 pairs of boots in one year, they all felt great in store. Sat there for hour walked around ect.. Got the heat molded. Had insoles done the whole deal. 2 hours on the hill I need a break from them being on my feet. They say bindings but it is both feet and I spend a lot of time with one foot out of bindings. Also tried 3 different bindings over last few years. Experimented with stance width and angles. I had some old Salomon boots that I never had an issue with but they aren't made anymore and new ones hurt right off the bat. Finaly got close with wide boots but I dont have wide feet at all with extra j bars to help keep the heels down. But yeah comfortable boots would be amazing.
  • 2 0
 I used to always go for the stiffest boots/binding/board route back in my youthful early 20s when Im sure I thought I was the shit and thus NEEDED the gnarly stuff. I always had horrible foot pain.Then I skipped 14 seasons of snowboarding. I just got back on the hill a year ago and due to being cheap I went for a flexy board (Salomon first call) and flexible boots and bindings (Burton Ruler and freestyle). My feet almost never hurt now it's great!
  • 4 0
 Just find your brand. For me it was: Salomon = to narrow; Thirty Two = too wide in the heel box; Vans = too low in the toe box; Burton = just right.
Also you need boots that have separate tightening zones for the foot and the leg.
  • 2 0
 @JockoJones: You might also just be benefiting from the gear being better overall after 14 years.
  • 1 0
 Second on good bindings with properly precurved and comfortable straps adjusted to the right anchor points. I used to have a lot of arch and top of foot pain before splurging on good bindings and it's been way better ever since.
  • 1 0
 @bnflynn: haha!
  • 1 0
 @sino428: for sure. I can't believe how light it all is.
  • 1 0
 Not snowboarding but I tried on half a dozen ski boots before I found one that didn't hurt my feet. We all have odd shaped feet. Just keep trying different brand on until you find a good fit.
  • 1 0
 Do they do bootfitting for regular snowboard boots? Got my liners thermoformed a couple years back and it is awesome, but my snowboard rig is different than y'all's.
  • 1 0
 @JockoJones: yea for sure. I recently upgraded most of my snowboard gear from stuff that was only around 8 or 9 years old to current models and weight was the first thing I noticed. Just picking up a and carrying the new boards and bindings they felt like a feather compared to my old setups.
  • 1 0
 @Zach22: do you have recommendations on bindings? My burton freerides are falling apart...I wear a size 13 burton tourist which is pretty low profile compared to other boots I’ve owned.
  • 1 1
 Never had any issue with any boot, though I've always bought 1-3 eu sizes larger and padded the extra space with super thick socks. Of course it may only work with certain brands but by doing this I've never experienced any pain with my otherwise not-so-comfy burton invaders.
  • 1 0
 @nhlevi: I should try that, do you know where I could get an EU 50 or 51???
  • 1 0
 @sino428: Crazy, I have had the exact opposite realization. I guess that proves that there really is a solution for everyone and that every foot is different.

My old Boa boots use to put too much pressure around my ankle and mid foot, my lace boots I can dial in different pressures for each part of my foot by twisting the laces around a few times to act kind of like a break that can have 2 different pressures on either side of the twist.
  • 1 0
 @MGPnzl: we’re your boa boots single or dual? I didn’t specify but mine are the dual zone with a separate adjustment for the upper and lower part of the boot. I can see how a single boa could lead to problems.
  • 1 0
 @unrooted: No idea about US local shops or webshops. Eu sizing is just a different metric, it's not referring to foot size or shape, I think that varies from brand to brand. According to google, EU51 is 16.5 US.
  • 8 0
 Standards That Don't Change... I wish that the life span of a bike and oll the other things will last longer... im sick of all that changing BS.... just my 5 Rappen.
  • 8 1
 1. Mountain bike pants and shoes (because my old ones wore out past the point of no return)
2. Another Grim Donut update
  • 7 0
 I’m just praying for more new standards and wheel sizes
  • 1 0
 31.5” wheels.
  • 3 0
 I want Covid to get under control so I can throw my bike in my Pilot and head down south to Sunpeaks and Squamish and see some of my family in the lower mainland. Furthermore, if we could skip another round of apocalyptic fires that would also be great. Having lung issues has been kind of stressful lately. I’m with the Pinkbike crew on a lot of things. Give me something reliable to camp with (f*ck tent trailers), a theragun for my aging muscles, a cool t-shirt, somewhere to bike or fish (preferably both), a couple of beers, and i’ll be pretty content.
  • 5 0
 Wait.... what did Sarah and Kaz ask for exactly?????? I thought this was supposed to be a family friendly website!
  • 12 0
 A massage gun used...improperly... that's not a good time. Those things are pretty violent.
  • 5 0
 I spent a week in Hakkaido and it was the best week of my life. Do it if you can Christina.
  • 5 0
 Tig welder, pile of 4130, milling machine and a frame jig. I think making frames would be a rewarding pastime.
  • 2 0
 daniel sapp - i'm a big fan of wagons but with with a kid and a dog, skip the wagon and look for a used minivan. i used to own a volvo 240 wagon and currently own an e46 wagon (both manual trans), but i have kids now and only a van can fit us and all the road trip/outdoor gear.
  • 4 0
 I'm with Christina. I'd love some Japow. Or even some Canapow (which is equally unattainable for us southerners at the moment). Experiences over stuff.
  • 3 0
 Experiences over stuff. Cannot be said enough. Merry Christmas toast!
  • 2 0
 @mikelevy Don't waste your money on triple monitors, get an Oculus Quest 2. Sim Racing in VR is the way to go. Next big "makes the most difference" item is a direct drive wheel. VRS makes a great one that is about as cheap as you can get for dd. Save pedal upgrade for last, the benefit isn't as noticeable until you get toward the 2k irating level.
  • 1 0
 this is facts
  • 2 0
 If the guy wanting a garmin Inreach is reading this: a much better option in my opinion is a ZOLEO device. It is cheaper and easier to setup online. I work with garmin devices in alaska with commercial fishing vessels and garmin has been a nightmare for me to deal with. I switched to ZOLEO after hearing about them last summer, and it’s a huge difference. Awesome customer support and a great app/ website UI makes a world of difference.
  • 1 0
 My wife has been looking at something like the InReach and that sounds like a pretty legit recommendation, so we followed it up... and it's not available here in Europe. System does look good though.
  • 1 0
 For what it's worth, I really love my whoop strap. It's been great for tracking and understanding my slow return to fitness after the horror of an office cubicle job, and has been great in helping manage stress of my new one by giving me a heads up on when to go hard and when to take it easy. It's a very set and forget thing but gives you tons of insight If you want.
  • 5 0
 i want @Tajlucas to make a calendar for 2021
  • 6 0
 I want that shirt Frown
  • 1 0
 which one chubby ?
  • 1 0
 Me too! I'll take two, size Large. Got a buddy that needs this in his life as well.
  • 2 0
 I want more DH hardtail frames for cheap... an Evil Imperial maybe... another Transition Vagrant... a Nicholai 2MXTB... Anyone? Please? a Snipes Elemental would be nice as well... Banshee Morphine... C'mon Santa!
  • 1 0
 I've got '01 Holeshot and '06 Bigshot frames kicking around. And a straight steer Totem...might be time for Santa's elves to build something from the good 'ol days!
  • 1 0
 @JcHc513: Are you thinking the elves in your shop or the ones in mine? Smile
  • 5 0
 I just want a Wagon Queen Family Truckster.
  • 4 0
 @expertfailure. You sure you don't want the Antarctic Blue Super Sports Wagon with the C.B. and optional rally fun pack? Big Grin
  • 4 0
 You think you hate it now, wait 'till you drive it!
  • 1 0
 Well done, y'all!
  • 1 0
 I found a $15 massage gun just recently. We’ll see how long it lasts but It’s been great so far. I could see someone making an attachment for a sawzall in the future haha. Also if you’re gonna go the trailer route fiberglass is the way. a close second place is aluminum airstream style.
  • 2 0
 @BenCathro , I feel your pain and I'm an inch shorter. I am also old and widening as my genes want me to be. Try these: www.aerotechdesigns.com/tall-man-cycling-apparel.html
  • 2 0
 I’m thankfully only 6’5”...I wear a 33” waist and a 34” pant will typically end at my shoes, I just got a pair of the Specialized Demo pants in 34” and they hit the top of my shoes (barely). The waist is a touch big, but work well enough. I’d like to think a decent tailor could lengthen a pair of pants for you, but you may need to find some lightweight soft shell material for it to work well. I’ve also read that endura pants tend to run long, but they all seem a bit overkill for the desert riding I get to do in the winter
  • 1 0
 To Mike Levy: I think anyone who does racing games wants some kind of sim rig, and it's nice to dream about these kinds of things. That being said, people are incredibly quick just using a PS4 and the controller it came with (such as myself, little humble brag). A simple rig like the Logitech G29 is amazing value for what you get, and iRacing is real hard to get good at. Gran Turismo Sport or the soon-to-be released GT7 are also sim games that have much better online presence. If you want a proper seat all rigged up, I know people who have built their own out of PVC and wood without spending thousands of dollars. If you don't want to go DIY, check out something like the PlaySeat.
  • 1 0
 This year has been great and full of support from our followers and subscribers. We started our channel as a hobby but it has evolved into a passion and love offering my experiences with other riders. So on my list is that we can continue to improve our content to better serve the MTB community.
  • 1 0
 @brianpark ... a suggestion for what it's worth....if going the route of getting nice headphones you might want a dedicated amp for them as well. No sense in getting an expensive set of cans if the quality of music you are going to listen to is shite. (MP3's just don't cut it) To that end you can build your own retro DIY Vacuum Tube Amp from a kit. One suggestion ( no affiliation, ...although I have bought stuff from them) is the Crack headphone amplifier from a company called Bottlehead ( no, I'm not making the names up..pls google it ). They provide the parts and step by step instructions. You would have to get a soldering gun & teach yourself how to solder but that's relatively easy. The amp is about the size of a shoe box but the bonus is you would build it yourself and if anything were to go wrong you could also fix it yourself. I think the amp is best suited to Senn-650 cans but i'm sure there are other options as well for other cans.

Cheers and Happy Holiday's
FM
  • 1 0
 Hah yeah for sure, down the rabbit hole... when the time comes I’ll get a nice amp and dac as well.
  • 1 0
 All I want for Christmas is another year of PB podcasts. Levy, Park, Kaz, James, Sarah, etc, you guys killed it out of the gate. Getting to listen to you talk bikes was an entertaining and welcome respite this year. Thank you all. PS. Cathro is podcast gold just waiting to happen!
  • 1 0
 @ChristinaChappetta I did something very similar so don't feel too bad. I was riding back home from work with a bag of food on one handlebar. I forever learned that you can't take your left hand and put it on the right side of the handlebar to make adjustments. This was right on a busy street at my Uni so a good crowd of people got to see my wheel tuck, come to a complete stop while ejecting me over my handlebars and smack into the street. Nothing broken though besides a light fracture to my ego.
  • 4 0
 I just want scientists to bring back dinosaurs
  • 4 0
 Same. I wish Jurassic Park were just a documentary about how everything went right, and everyone has a great time at the park.
  • 1 0
 I’m holding out for this:

www.prosthesismechracing.com

@mikelevy I think their in your neck of the woods. Mind poppin over to grab me one? I’m sure shipping to Ontario wouldn’t be too costly.
  • 3 0
 A secret Mistress that can ride diamonds with me on matching downcrounty bikes with retro bar ends plus full lycra.
  • 1 0
 Cushcore pro, some nice new pedals and a decent night light for riding tops my list. Unfortunately I've just spent all of our holiday money on my new bike. The wife gets a popcorn popper. She's happy for me Big Grin
  • 1 0
 James Huang, Poto has indeed changed a fair bit in the last 15 or so years, but it still rocks. Fortunately, I don't think it's going anywhere, so it will still be here whenever you make it back.
  • 1 0
 I rode a couple years ago for the first time since probably circa 1998. Really enjoyed being back. Some parts were familiar, most were forgotten after all that time, but had a blast. Michigan has great singletrack. Hope after all this, I can make it back for some rides. And 26" steel hardtails with V brakes aren't as bad as you remember....
  • 2 0
 @christinachappetta , I'll sign up for that as well. Had a friend go over and the whole experience looked amazing. Weather is weather, but when that snow is on, it's ON.
  • 2 0
 Ben Cathro, check out 7mesh. They only have a winter mtb pant so far, but it comes with extra length and a guide to trim it down to custom length.
  • 4 0
 Merry xc-mas!
  • 3 0
 Great, now I am googling god damn trailers.
  • 1 0
 Wait to escalate to RVs...
  • 1 0
 This is a PSA for anyone buying something not related to bikes: www.instagram.com/p/CI561pAhvjx/?utm_source=ig_web_copy_link
  • 1 0
 @mikelevy - I'm sure you've watched the Bob Lazar documentary (Netflix) and listened to the Rogan podcast with him, but if not, do it right now. Absolutely fascinating.
  • 2 0
 Yup, for sure. And the movie, and the other movie Smile I believe.
  • 3 2
 Skip the massage, chiro, and physio for systemic issues (physio is still good for rehabbing a specific injury). Go see an osteopath. You can thank me later.
  • 2 0
 Aluminum, 27,5” wheeled trail/all mountain bike with GX and Code’s under 5k Canadian
  • 1 0
 That KTM E dirt bike looks sweet. I'll never own a car but this bike . Easy parking,fast , There are thousands of kilometers of logging roads waiting to be explored.
  • 1 0
 @BrianPark You need to go and demo some headphones to find what suits you. I did this and settled on Fostex TH-610 and every time I listen to music on them I feeeeel good
  • 1 0
 @mikelevy check out Vrx simulators, probably not in your price range but they might be able to give you some great advice if you call them
  • 1 0
 I bought a selkbag about 8 years ago half as a joke and half as retail therapy. After a couple funny party photos it did its job. Now it just sits in my closet.
  • 1 0
 Wanted to wish you all good and thanks for what you're doing. But now I want the massage gun instead
  • 1 0
 I learned more about all you guys' personal lives than the products themselves, and I love it!
  • 2 0
 Oy with the Redwings crap in Sapp's basement.
  • 1 0
 www.velocityaircraft.com/v-twin

Flying is one of the few things that I enjoy more than riding
  • 1 0
 @angryasian - yes! I "grew up" mountain biking at pontiac lake, poto and highland. Good stuff.
  • 2 0
 @mikelevy likes F1? Can we get a hell yea for Perez to Red Bull Racing??
  • 2 0
 Albon = Algone
  • 2 0
 I want a Honda Civic with a Morris Mini swap.... Wait???
  • 2 0
 LOL
  • 1 0
 I all I'd like is just a couple of those shirts that says "Hardtail or Die or Full Suspension" to give to my homies.
  • 1 0
 How about some Hi top flat shoes with a lace cover, a neoprene gator and a gore tex layer. Pnw winter shoe.
  • 1 0
 Yeah the Mercedes R107 is a looker. Im after a VW caddy mk1 @mikelevy
  • 1 0
 A better bike, from a guy riding a used sport-xc hardtail.
  • 1 0
 A few months to travel and ride!
  • 1 0
 Just an early spring for me.
  • 1 0
 @mikekazimer: DHRIIs all around and problem nearly solved. Merry merry
  • 7 8
 Ben, Ben , Ben ... We need to talk.
I just can't hate you for reasons, but don't start talking about E:MX.
Not you.
  • 11 1
 E:MX would be rad. I have a bunch of dirtbike friends and they rode an Alta Redshift MX and couldn't stop raving about it. Too bad the company went under.
  • 2 0
 Bikes are gid
  • 12 0
 E:MX is probably exactly where the E should be... It’s no secret fossil fuels are bad and electric motors are probably awesome in that application with their instantish power delivery and oodles of torque. Not to mention (likely) decreased maintenance with fewer moving parts.
  • 1 2
 I've lusted over a KTM Freeride E-XC as well. Would be usable so many places. Heck, I feel like I could even have fun with it in my backyard. It's on the list but likely well down at the moment. I
  • 1 2
 Ben Cathro - Get yourself A Cannondale Moterra SE my friend!
  • 2 2
 l mean the Bullit is not so far from a full on DH bike but a E-V10 would be pretty badass.

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