Holiday Gift Guide 2013: Gear For The Endurance Junkie

Holiday Gift Guide

Signs that someone you know is an endurance junkie? Rides are measured in days, not hours. Century is a euphemism for recovery spin. The approach of darkness means it’s time to take out the lights, not go home. A little climbing equates to crossing the continental divide — twice. Sound familiar? Then check out these great gifts for the cyclist who spins more miles than a Greyhound bus in west Texas.

Assos _s7 Bibshorts

No, your eyes are not deceiving you. The newest top-end bibshorts from Switzerland-based Assos include a pinnacle-of-the-line pair called Campionissimo that retail for $519. But hey, if someone is going to spend countless hours in the saddle, comfort is key. And there is no doubt that Assos makes some of the best — and most comfortable — bibshorts. Following seven years of development, Assos claims its new model is their most advanced and comfortable pair of bibs to date. And for $519, they damn well better be. If that’s too rich for your holiday shopping budget, the new _s7’s also come in three lesser expensive models: the Neopro ($199), Equipe ($269) and Cento ($369). U.S. availability is slated for early December, just in time for the gift giving season.

MSRP: $199-$519
More Info: www.assos.com

Castelli Gabba WS Jersey

It’s a not-so-well-kept secret of cycling’s professional peloton that when the weather goes to shit, sponsorship allegiances go out the window, and Castelli’s Gabba jerseys and jackets get put on. The Gabba WS jersey and the other offerings in the Gabba line are designed for those days when you’re going to be riding in the rain for hours, not 10 minutes until you get to the next coffee shop. Four-way stretch fabric is form-fitting, breathable, windproof and rain proof. There’s also an extended tail on the rear jersey panel to fend off wheel spray, and the three rear pockets have eyelets so water can drain out.

MSRP: $150
More Info: castelli-cycling.com

Infinit :Go Far

We have to admit that the idea of food-in-a-bottle was a turn off at first. That’s for nursing homes and maternity wards, right? Well, actually it works pretty well for cyclists, too. Over the last six months, while doing research for a Colorado road cycling guide book, we ingested countless bottles of Infinit’s :Go Far blend, which utilizes three different carbohydrate sources (maltodextrine, glucose and sucrose) that together is claimed to enable your body to process calories more efficiently. We don’t have the scientific background to prove any of that, but can say that :Go Far’s lemon-lime’ish flavor tastes decent, was easy on our stomach, and allowed us to not carry a picnic-basket worth of food every time we rolled out for a ride. Instead, we drank it in conjunction with the occasional bar or gel, and never wandered into bonk’ville, even on several seven-plus-hour adventures.

MSRP: $35
More Info: www.infinitnutrition.us

Exposure Blaze Tail Light

Endurance junkies have a propensity for staying out after dark. Help them stay visible with the exceptional (and rechargeable) Blaze tail light from Exposure. Highlights include it’s bright, it’s bright and, you guessed it, it’s bright. Throw in the hard to miss flash mode (which also extends battery life), and a reliable rubber strap, and your long-distance rider will have a better chance of not being run off the road by an inattentive texting teen or a sleepy, long haul trucker. And if $150 is too much to spend on a light, there are countless other great options out there. Bottom line, something is way better than nothing.

MSRP: $150
More Info: www.exposurelights.com

Rotor Q-Rings

The idea is fairly simple: if you do a spin scan of someone’s pedal stroke you’ll see that there are weak and strong points. Rotor rings are designed to follow the shape of a spin scan so time in the pedal stroke dead spot is minimized, while time in the power stroke is maximized. For example, a 52-36 Rotor ring acts like a 55-39 in the power zone, but drops to a 50-34, when output drops. The net effect is that you can go longer, harder with less accumulated fatigue, an obvious boon to any long distance specialist. And before you write these off as gimmicky, consider that Chris Froome won last year’s Tour de France using ovalized rings. Just know that front derailleur set-up can be a little finicky, so having access to a good mechanic is beneficial.

MSRP: $265 for a set
More Info: www.rotorbikeusa.com

EVOC Bike Travel Bag

At some point, all endurance junkies thirst to explore roads or trails beyond their backyard. That usually means packing up the bike and embarking on a long journey to a far-away exotic land. The key is getting said bike to that far-off destination with minimal brain, back and baggage-handler damage. Or put another way, your endurance junkie needs a travel case that’s easy to pack, easy to lug around, and burly enough to handle being tossed around by indifferent airport security. EVOC’s Bike Travel Bag is simple to pack, has a clever belt system that keeps your bike and its various parts in place, and it’s equipped with smooth-running wheels and conveniently placed handles so you wont throw out your back before reaching your two-wheeled Valhalla.

MSRP: $475
More Info: www.evocusa.com

Haute Route Triple Crown

In a nutshell, this is three separate week long gran fondo stage races, one in the Alps, one in the Dolomites, and one in the Pyrenees. Each one is tough all by itself. All three? A feat only a true endurance junkie would love. Watch the video below to learn more.

MSRP: $2,000 per event, plus travel
More Info: www.hauteroute.org

YouTube Preview Image
2013 RoadBikeReview Holiday Gift Guides:

Cold Weather Warrior »
Cyclocross Fanatic »
Digital Cameras For Cyclists »
For The Cyclist Who Has (Almost) Everything »
Gear For The Endurance Junkie »
Gear For the Gravel Grinder »
Great Gear For Under $50 »
Presents for the Urban Jungle »
Repurposed Gifts for the Green Cyclist »
The Newbie Road Rider »
Type A Crit Racer »
When Money Is No Object »

2013 Mtbr Holiday Gift Guides:

Digital Cameras For Cyclists »
For The Beginner Mountain Biker »
For The Tech Geek Rider »
Gifts for that Special Angry Singlespeeder in Your Life »
Mtbr’s All-Mountain Brown Friday »
POV Video Cameras and Electronics »
Stocking Stuffers for Mountain »

holiday-gift-guide-2013-endurance-junkie
About the author: Jason Sumner

An avid cyclist, Jason Sumner has been writing about two-wheeled pursuits of all kinds since 1999. He’s covered the Tour de France, the Olympic Games, and dozens of other international cycling events. He also likes to throw himself into the fray, penning first-person accounts of cycling adventures in British Columbia, Belgium, Brazil, Costa Rica, France, and Peru among many others. Sumner, who joined the RoadBikeReview.com / Mtbr.com staff in January, 2013, has also done extensive gear testing and edited a book on cycling tips. When not writing or riding, the native Coloradoan can be found enjoying the great outdoors with his wife Lisa.


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