5 Great Bikes Plus Cycling Holiday Gift Guide 2016 – Forbes

Giant Mountain Bike

Giant’s 2017 Anthem Advanced 1 offers a lot of off road performance for racing or recreation.

As part of my annual series of Holiday Gift Guides, I tackle one of my favorite sports, cycling. But in addition to gear picks that make great gifts for cyclists on your list, I’ve included a round-up of five of my favorite bikes just in case you decide it is time for a gift for yourself. Check out my other themed gift guides for Golfers and Skiing & Snowboarding. Also check out last year’s cycling gift guide as many things are still worth considering.

Hit The Trail: When I decided to return to mountain biking after a several year absence of purely road and gravel riding, this is the model I chose, the Giant Anthem Advanced 1 27.5. It is a brand-new 2017 version of the very popular Anthem that just hit store shelves this month and features many of the latest and greatest innovations in off road riding, After a few years of shifting wheel size, the dust seems to have settled leaving 27.5 inches as the ideal combination of big but not too big for maximum performance for most riders in most conditions. As the largest manufacturer of quality bikes in the world, vertically integrated Giant controls costs and is known for offering a lot of bang for the buck, and this is no exception: This full suspension bike has a high-end carbon fiber composite frame and a first-rate component group, Shimano DEORE XT 11-speed, just one small step in quality and one big step in price below the top XTR. It has Fox shocks front (120mm travel) and rear (110mm) and hydraulic (better than mechanical) disc brakes. Updating the classic, the newest Anthem Advanced 1 is lighter than its predecessor and features a redesigned rear suspension with an all-new shock and forged composite rocker arm for added strength and stiffness, and the wheels have wider hub spacing for increased stiffness. This is a fast, cross country ride that is equally well suited for racing or just enjoying the trails ($4,950). The model is also available in a slightly less expensive Anthem Advance 2 ($4,125) and a top of the line totally tricked out Advanced 0 ($8,750).

Moots fat bike

Fat tire bikes for winter riding are a fast growing category, but it is hard to beat a fully custom titanium version from bespoke specialist Moots.

Baby It’s Cold Outside!: Fat tire bikes have been one of the fastest growing industry segments the past few years and for good reason: these finally give cyclists who live in winter climates the ability to ride in snow, ideally on packed trails (snowmobile, recreation paths, etc) but they can handle a few inches of fresh powder. Paradoxically they also work on sand, making them a great choice for those warm weather dwellers with beach homes. Some people even choose them as a one size fits all solution and ride trails all summer long in lieu of a traditional mountain bike, and if you can get just one off road machine, fat may well be the way to go. But no one bike does the job better than Moots Frosthammer, designed to swap wheels seasonally. I can’t imagine a better splurge than a custom model from one of my very favorite bike companies, Steamboat Springs, Colorado-based Moots, a world-renowned leader in fully bespoke hand-built titanium frames: roads, mountain and fat. The aptly named Frosthammer lets you hit winter hard, designed to accommodate the biggest tires on the market that can pair with front suspension (26 x 4.8 inch) for maximum float in snow, but you can also swap in thinner, larger diameter (29 x 3) summer tires, making this a summer/winter do it all frame, two bikes in one, and among the most beautiful and totally hand crafted bikes you can buy, guaranteed to fit you perfectly because it is made to you. Moots makes custom frames ($3,975), so you can build it up however you want, or buy their pictured package ready to ride ($7,500).

Burley bike trailer

Industry leader Burley makes a full line of cargo, kid and pet trailers for cyclists, and now they can go off road as well.

Hauling Anywhere: Burley has carved out a very particular niche as the world’s leading manufacturer of bike trailers of all kinds, to the point where Burley and bike trailer are practically synonyms, though they also make world-class baby jogging strollers and “third-wheel” children’s bikes that attach to adult models. For 35 years, their products have been hand made to exacting quality in Eugene, Oregon, and Burley continues to innovate, offering cargo trailers, child trailers, even pet specific trailers. Now the company has an interesting upgrade that goes with two big trends covered in this gift guide, fat tire bikes and gravel grinders. As cyclists increasingly seek a path less paved, be it the beach, fire roads or carriage trails, Burley has answered with its brand new (early December) 16+ Wheel Kit. This is an upgrade that fits its existing lineup of trailers in all shapes and sizes, and replaces the stock wheels with easily swappable wide 16×3” push button tires with a knobby, rugged tread. The 16+ Wheel Kit enables Burley child and cargo trailers to travel with you through the harshest of adventure terrain: snow, sand, gravel and more. It’s an ideal pairing with a fat bike or gravel grinder, both of which are growing by leaps and bounds ($189).

Gravel Grinder bike

The Specialized Diverge Expert X1 is a great example of a high-end gravel grinder.

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