Holiday Gift Guide 2013: Gear For the Gravel Grinder

Holiday Gift Guide

Know someone whose dream ride is the Dirty Kanza or who views “Pavement Ends” signs as entryways to adventure? Then check out these great gifts for the gravel grinder on your holiday shopping list.

Stan’s Tire Sealant

Calling it liquid gold would be a stretch, but not by much where the cycling world is concerned. Stan’s Tire Sealant almost single handedly helped drive innertubes out of the mountain bike world, allowing riders to set up tires tubeless, run lower pressure, and not have to worry about pinch flats. Now the same phenomenon is slowly making its way into road cycling — especially for riders who like to venture off-pavement and onto dirt roads. Just two ounces of Stan’s Tire Sealant can repair up to a quarter-inch hole. One quart will convert up to 16 tires. And if you’ve yet to make the switch to tubeless, you can sill squirt a little Stan’s inside your tubes for extra puncture protection.

MSRP: $25
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Specialized Roubaix Road Tubeless Tires

Like its name implies, Specialized’s Roubaix Road Tubeless Tire, is built to handle rough roads, be them cobbled, potholed, dirt or gravel. Dual-compound tread provides low rolling resistance and solid cornering grip. Large-volume, 180-tpi casing offers a smooth, comfortable ride, and the Roubaix utilizes Specialized’s burly BlackBelt technology to ward off flats.

MSRP: $90 per tire
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Speedplay Zero Pavé Pedal

Until recently, the Speedplay Zero Pavé pedals were only available to sponsored pros who raced the likes of Paris-Roubaix and the Tour of Flanders. The Pavé are designed specifically for rough road riding by shaving away non-essential material to ensure easier entry and release in wet or dirty conditions, say a muddy back road slog through the flatlands of Kansas. The price is elevated because of the amount of machining time required to make each pedal. In this case, less really is more.

MSRP: $400 steel/$600 titanium
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Rapha Country Winter Hat

Whether you’re cruising smooth pavement or off the grid on a dusty back road, bad weather happens. Keep your gravel grinder warm with the Rapha Country Hat. Constructed from merino-rich sportwool, this sharp-looking lid wicks away perspiration and has a soft mesh lining and ribbed ear guard. And you can choose from one of three country options: Norway (red), Holland (orange) or USA (dark navy, pictured).

MSRP: $55
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Bellwether Thermal Jersey

Another great piece of apparel for those long, variable-weather, off-the-beaten-path adventures, the Bellwether Thermal Jersey features flat-seam construction, a wide silicone gripper at the hem to prevent ride-up, angled side pockets for easy access, and a full length front zipper that can be operated with one hand. And at $99, it’s less expensive than many comparable cool-weather jerseys out there. We’ve been wearing this jersey on and off all fall and are impressed with its breathability, slim fit, and understated styling.

MSRP: $99
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Moots Vamoots Disc Road

Ok, we know that $3,600 is likey beyond most holiday shopping budgets. But if you do happen to be in the market for a disc brake-equipped road bike (maybe for yourself), check out the newest offering from Moots. Having spent some time around the company’s passionate staff, we know for a fact that they love getting out on the dirt roads that abound around their Steamboat Springs, Colorado, headquarters. Translation: They know how to build road bikes that excel in “variable” conditions. This titanium rig features a seamless high-grade Ti tubeset with oversized and size-specific tubing that yields better ride quality, especially on rough roads. Oversized, elongated chainstays and hooded dropouts increase torsional strength, improve handling, and enhance lateral rigidity. The 27.2mm seatpost dampens road vibration. And because it’s disc brake-equipped you can run tires up to 28mm, meaning improved traction, better handling, and a smoother ride.

MSRP: $3,600 frame/fork
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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 »

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 all over the globe. Sumner, who joined the / staff in 2013, has also done extensive gear testing and is the author of the cycling guide book "75 Classic Rides: Colorado." When not writing or riding, the native Coloradoan can be found enjoying time with his wife Lisa and daughter Cora.

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