Home > MTB

2021 Gift Guide: mountain bike things you can actually buy this year

Experiences, upgrades and alternatives to skirt the supply chain crunch

Two years into a global supply shortage, no one is surprised that finding bikes and parts is harder than ever. The coming holiday season is sure to make this supply crunch even more acute.

But, if you’re hunting for the perfect gift to surprise that mountain bike-loving person in your life, fear not. You have options. Here are a few creative ways you can roll through the holiday season with a bit more joy.

Naked Bicycles ti hardtail Fox 34 Specialized Ground Control

Bike service / Suspension service

You may not be able to buy many new bikes right now, but you can make the one you have work better (and last longer). It may not feel as exciting as a new rig, but a full tune-up and overhaul can make your bike feel like it is new again. This will also help high-wear parts like drivetrains and suspension last longer. So you don’t have to worry about finding a new cassette… at least for a few extra months, anyway.

If your bike is already in tip-top shape, consider a full suspension overhaul or even a custom tune. There are several places in Canada that specialize in making your fork and shock feel better than the factory settings. Tune it to your riding style and location and your suspension will feel better than new. Check out SuspensionWerx in North Van, Fluid Function in Squamish, Melius in Whistler or Ion2 in Invermere. There are more boutique suspension places across Canada, many of whom let you ship parts to them if there isn’t one in your neighborhood.

RELATED: Shop Local: 11 Canadian brands to support this holiday season

9point8 Stout
Ontario’s 9point8 produces an array of made-in-Canada small parts

Small parts from boutique brands

Not everyone is sold out of everything. There are numerous boutique Canadian brands steadily producing beautiful small parts and apparel, from Vancouver Island to Ontario. Small producers are still selling out fast, but they also keep restocking their online stores. Even something as small as a fun stem cap can freshen up a bike for the new year.

RELATED: Canadian boutique brands making riding better through engineering

Long LIve Chainsaw Steve Smith
Long Live Chainsaw. Photo: Sven Martin / Anthill Films

Long Live Chainsaw – movie or parts

Anthill Films’ incredible documentary on the life and untold story of Stevie Smith is touring Canada and will be available for purchase in early December. The must-see movie tells the full story of the iconic Canadian downhill racer’s life, career and legacy through interviews and archival footage. All proceeds go to the Steve Smith Legacy Foundation.

Crank Brothers also released a special edition tubeless tire plug kit with the chainsaw logo, again with all proceeds to the Foundation. A great way to save your ride, and carry a bit of the legacy with you on trails.

Or donate directly to the Stevie Smith Legacy Foundation.

Digital subscriptions

Everyone likes the benefit of digital subscriptions, but few like paying for them themselves. Sign your person up for FloBikes and they’ll get to watch races all year, including mountain bike world championships and a ton of road and cyclocross events. Get them on the leaderboard with a Strava subscription, on top of fitness with Zwift, or find all the trails with Trailforks Pro. Or sign up for online (or in-person) coaching to make their 2022 season the best one yet.

Race entries

Racing is back in Canada and 2022 is the year to finally sign up for that destination race they’ve always dreamed of doing, but keep putting off until “next year.” There are incredible races across Canada, from Quebec Singletrack Experience to BC Bike Race, why wait?

Rollingdale Cycles NAHBS 2019
Rollingdale Cycles produces custom creations tailored to Alberta riding – summer or winter. Image: Nico Humby

Go custom

While there are some bikes available, many are back-ordered or out of stock. Instead of settling for whatever you can find, why not get exactly what you want? Going custom isn’t fast but, if you’re going to be waiting months for a bike either way, taking the leap to get your dream bike made looks better than ever. There’s even a ton of highly respected Canadian builders to choose from.