If you’re struggling to think of good, surprising gift ideas for a mountain biker and you just cannot decide, try some of the suggestions below. While buying presents for others can get frustrating, the good news for you is, your recipient is into mountain biking. So whether it’s a Christmas present, a birthday present, or just a small surprise for your friend or family member – bike riders can never have too much stuff and things always break anyway.
The problem with getting gifts for an enthusiast tho is they probably already own the most important items, gear and accessories. Even if you can try those on, it’s trial and error until you find something that works for you as a rider. And finding bike parts that are actually compatible is a straight-up shot in the dark as an outsider.
Those are the best kinds of surprises!
Mountain bikers just love getting cool new flashy gear. But not so much accessories and auxiliary items. There’s a great chance to surprise them with useful, novelty present ideas. Which are always more interesting than a gift card for MTB-specific stores like Jenson USA (which are still great in a pinch and a safe hedge).
So, without further rambling here is my mountain biker gift guide:
This is an item that helps every rider due to its capabilities to make riding easier. For example, I’ve been using the Garmin Fenix 6 Pro Solar GPS smartwatch for mountain biking. It’s a great choice because it features topo maps with satellite network capability that helps and improves tracking in some remote trail locations where most riders go.
Apart from that, this small accessory is also able to play music and connect to popular MTB apps like Strava and Trailforks. I know there’s a newer Fenix 7 out now, but it improved very little for MTBers for a lot higher price.
they’re durable with their rugged metal housing and scratch-resistant glass. Trust me, I crashed hard with it. Not the lightest watch, but the most versatile and capable with a battery life up to 40 days.
Good Quality MTB Goggles or Glasses
Choosing a helmet or gloves can be tricky because it depends so much on personal preferences and fit. Goggles on the other hand are one-size, so picking a pair is much easier. Mountain bike glasses are generally the type of item where people buy a cheap option at first, but a good quality pair of glasses or goggles is really nice to have and the difference in comfort and visibility is definitely noticeable. Check out my gear recommendations (including goggles) here.
12-Month MTB Magazine Subscription
Why? Brownie points – that’s why. Some riders may not take the time to subscribe but they will love you not only once, but 12 times a year when the mag arrives on their doorstep! Plus you get to read ’em too hence why it’s another one of my clever dirt bike gift ideas. For some magazines like MBR UK, you can get digital Kindle subscriptions.
Action Camera (Best present ever!)
If your bike-riding friend doesn’t already have a GoPro or some other action camera, then that’s probably the very best gift on this list – hands down. We mountain bikers love recording our rides and replaying the highlights later. And with the stabilization technologies in these new cameras, the footage is actually pleasant to watch together.
There are many options out there, but only a few couple I can safely recommend as the best action cameras you should consider. Here are my top 3 picks in a nutshell:
- GoPro Hero 11 Black (check current price on Amazon)
This is my current action cam for POV videos on the Suspension Traveler Youtube channel.
- DJI Osmo Action 3 (check current price on Amazon)
This is the best bang-for-buck action camera right now. Easy to use, rugged and high quality.
- Insta 360 One RS (check current price on Amazon)
This is your budget option. Insta 360 is not quite the name brand but their cameras are still great and extremely versatile. The One RS is customizable and upgradable to film 360-degree videos.
Personal Action Photo
What’s even better than recording what you saw on a ride? Getting a print-out of how a professional captured your ride. And it’s not even difficult to do with online print services if you know how to handle a quality camera.
Or for a complete pro rider experience, hire a local sports photographer to go out and photograph your favorite rider and buy a big old print to frame and hang on the wall. A very unique, epic and unexpected gift.
There’s a lot of gear required to go biking. I even wrote an entire article on recommended riding gear for MTB. Out of those essentials, clothing that doesn’t affect performance is a good candidate to gift.
By that I mean jerseys, pants or shorts, socks (yes, there are MTB-specific socks), neck buffs, winter gloves (they fit loose anyways) or riding underwear.
Let’s face it, the stuff gets filthy and ripped on pretty much any ride. Plus, these apparel brands keep coming out with newer, cooler gear at least once a year. I personally hate shopping for jerseys. They’re expensive, get ripped anyway and there’s just so much choice. Getting a simple design in a color matching the bike can go a long way.
Just make sure you get the size right. If protective gear is worn underneath this can get tricky, so it’s not my first choice as a gift idea. Here’s the riding gear I wear.
MTB Coaching Lessons
A training school is definitely a novelty gift idea, that involves them riding their bike and learning how to ride faster and better. And who doesn’t want some of that? Now, this can come across as a low-key insult to their skills.
But any rider – regardless of skill level – can still dramatically improve their riding in one specific area if they wanted to. And they know it. Cornering and jumping seem to be the hardest to master techniques on a bike.
Tickets to a Dirtjump Event or World Cup race
These don’t break the bank and for a local race, entrance is often free. Still, it’s a great time spent together watching the pros do their spectacular thing. There are even completely over-the-top action sports shows like Nitro Circus that make anyone jump on their feet, not just bike enthusiasts.
Practical Gear Bag
No joke, a nice gear bag was one of the best MTB-related presents I got over the years. And I wouldn’t even have thought of that to make my bike travels easier!
Mountain bike riding requires a lot of protective gear. Gear spread around the vehicle like after an explosion has a simple solution, but some bikers don’t want to spend money on lame stuff like a gear bag.
I got one from Nike with a shoe compartment (highly recommended!). Others like this premium bag from Fox even have a helmet compartment which is a nice-to-have luxury. Less expensive ones like this O’Neal gear bag also do the trick in my book.
Tool Kit or Multitool
Working on mountain bikes requires not only a good selection of everyday tools like Allen keys and wrenches but also specialty tools very specific to individual components. While there’s no good way to know the latter, the basic tools are pretty much all the same.
This can be a complete toolkit like this one, similar to what I keep in my car. Or, for a condensed, portable assembly of basic and bike-specific tools, a small multitool can also be invaluable. It’s there for you when you most need it, and also works well enough at home.
Bike Mechanic Stand
A bike repair stand is useful for anyone capable to wrench on their own bike. It’s used to raise a bicycle up to elbow level. This saves the back and makes working on some parts even possible in the first place.
If you’re looking for something unexpected, but very practical at the same time, a repair stand is a winner. This bike repair stand available on Amazon is very similar to the one I got to work on all of my bikes.
Not something most riders spend a lot of thought or money on. But good lights are actually useful all year round, not only during the off-season when it gets dark earlier and night rides become the only chance to go out and ride.
But don’t get those practical magnetic ones for a mountain bike for two reasons: they don’t stick on alloy or carbon frames, and they will bounce off on rougher trails.
I went for a helmet-mounted one with various modes like high lumen and blinking. It mounts to any helmet with vents. This light on amazon is closest to it and the best-rated one.
Chances are you’re reading this in autumn or winter, which is usually a wet affair outdoors. Certainly not unrideable for the dedicated of us. But some bike upgrades go a long way in making this cold season more enjoyable. Like stuff that prevents the rider from getting soaked in mud.
On mountain bikes, it’s important that mud guards fit close to the wheels and don’t flop around on rough trails. I prefer the longer fenders from Mucky Nutz, found on amazon (which are not even their longest ones). They provide good coverage and prevent mud from flying off the wheels onto the face or butt.
Graphics Kit protective wrap
Why? I know loads of riders who can’t or won’t justify buying new decals for their ride but would giggle like a schoolgirl if they were given to them. Aftermarket graphics are cool. Period.
There are tailor-made kits with basically full coverage from RideWap (like mine) or Invisiframe. But you have to get the bike brand, model, year, and frame material (carbon or alloy) right to find the exact right one. Alternatively, there are customizable frame protection kits in various designs available. These go only on vulnerable areas of the bike and can add some style at the same, if you so desire.
You can go both ways here: Hip pack or backpack (I wrote an entire article on this).
Any size above 1.5 liters is getting pretty heavy on a bike. Bonus points for finding a backpack with a built-in back protector.
This present is one where you’ll need to know just a little bit about how they ride. If they go to an official dirt bike track and do races, they probably don’t need a camel pack because rides are somewhat shorter and they are near their car. However, if they go out in the desert or in the mountains, do enduro, or go off-roading, then a camel pack is a GREAT choice for a dirt biker. Almost all dirt bikers wear camel packs when they go on long rides. This is the best-selling camel pack on Amazon.com and it’s good quality at a very nice price.
Bonus Idea: Bike balls
This one’s just for the fun of it, not something actually that useful. But, you’d be surprised how often I’ve seen these on MTBs over the years. Even in broad daylight and in downhill bike parks far from any roads, where rear lights would make sense.
Let’s be honest, the fun factor is more important than the safety aspect with this sack of bright red balls.