The best gifts for mountain bikers–based on first-hand recommendations from an avid mountain biker.
Last updated: December 6th, 2022
My boyfriend loves mountain biking, and he’s also impossible to shop for. Maybe you have a mountain biker in your life and can relate.
This article was the perfect excuse for me to rack his brain for gift ideas under the guise of “writing.”
I sat on the couch and shouted, “OK, AND WHAT ELSE??” while he spouted literally endless ideas for mountain biking gifts in my direction.
And since he mountain bikes all the time, I knew I could trust his recommendations.
Now I’ve got every tool, every bit, and every bike customization imaginable on my list, plus some fun gift ideas like bike art prints.
I hope this list helps you surprise your special mountain biker as much as it has helped me. Let’s dive in!
Note: this post contains affiliate links, which help run this site at no extra cost to you so I can keep providing free travel advice and tips.
One of the best gifts for mountain bikers is a new helmet! But wait, my friend/partner already has one, so why should I get them a new one?
One of the things I learned when I started getting into climbing was that my gear would expire. Yes, my harness, my ropes, and my helmet all had an expiration date.
At first, the expiration date idea seemed like a ploy by gear makers to make more money (and maybe it is!).
But regardless of their intentions, it’s true that climbing helmets *do* expire and should be replaced every three to five years.
The same holds for cycling helmets. Any helmet in a crash (or dropped repeatedly) needs to be replaced.
Plus, the wear and tear, UV rays, sweat, and heat that a helmet accumulates breaks down the foam and glue inside and diminishes how well it will protect a noggin.
Worry no more about your friend’s head with this new mountain biking helmet.
#2 Knee and Elbow Pads
A pair of knee and elbow pads make a great mountain bike gift for a teenager (or new mountain biker).
The knee and elbow pads I’ve linked below are specifically for mountain biking.
They aren’t simply a foam pad attached by cutting velcro straps. These are sleeve-shaped with joints so that your loved one’s elbows and knees can rest in their most natural position.
In fact, the brand name “POC” stands for “position of comfort.”
#3 Body Armor
Whether your rider friend wears body armor is a matter of preference.
Current styles of body armor are mainly designed to protect the chest, spine, and shoulders. Most of them look like t-shirts with foam padding designed to keep you cool on your ride.
If your giftee is open to the idea of wearing body armor, it just adds that extra protection that’s always good to have while mountain biking.
#4 First Aid Kit
Not to worry you, but I can guarantee your giftee will hurt themselves at some point in their mountain biking journey.
Riding in the mountains and dirt is just inherently risky–which is part of the fun!
You’ll notice some of my favorite mountain bike gift ideas are safety-related. I don’t want my rider friends to be without the tools they need if/when they get hurt.
A first aid kit is an excellent gift because mountain bikers can use it in any setting, not just cycling.
This kit is small and portable but *actually* has valuable first-aid items–perfect for bike rides.
#5 Anti-Chafe Cream
Sometimes your favorite hobby can start to chafe. Literally, long rides and rough trails can leave you with sore spots in places you’d rather not have sore spots.
Chamois cream is anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, and moisturizing. Plus, they make inexpensive gifts for mountain bikers.
#6 Novelty Mountain Biking Socks
This gift list wouldn’t be complete without some novelty mountain biking gifts, right?
Socks have been a traditional holiday gift at my house (I hated it as a kid, but now I love it as an adult), so I’m loading you up with socks too!
These are some of my favorite socks for mountain bikers.
#7 Mountainbiking Gloves
The first time I went mountain biking, I was surprised at how much it fatigued my hands.
When you think about it, there’s quite a bit of force coming down on the hands via the handlebars—especially if you’re white-knuckling every turn like I was.
Even experienced riders have their hands exposed all day, and the constant jarring of the handlebars can be tiring.
This is the brand of gloves my boyfriend swears by. They’re durable and help protect your hands from bumpy trails and the weather.
#8 Padded Shorts
Whether you’re looking for gifts for female mountain bikers or male mountain bikers, padded shorts are the perfect gift.
In fact, my boyfriend gifted me a pair the first time we hit the trail together, and h’oof, they were life-saving. Err, butt-saving. Either way a non-negotiable item.
Padded shorts for mountain bikers come in a few different varieties.
The more popular style for trail riding is a baggy style with removable pads. This is unlike the skin-tight type you’ll see in road cycling.
The removable padding is helpful because you can swap it out depending on how rough the trail is.
#9 Mountain Biking Goggles
If your giftee does any adventure cycling, grab them a pair of mountain biking goggles.
These Smith Squad MTB Goggles are unisex and come with an extra set of antifog lenses, which your giftee can pop in depending on the weather conditions.
These goggles are a great gift for anyone who likes to ride in wet weather. They’ll keep the rain off your face but are still breathable.
There are three layers of foam around the frame to wick away sweat, and the ChromaPop lenses enhance nature’s natural colors.
#10 Biking Glasses
Ok, I know I already put goggles on the list, but I’m adding these biking glasses too, partly because this style is having *a moment.*
The Wildhorn Radke MTB Cycling Glasses come in a bunch of eye-catching colors.
Plus, they have three interchangeable lenses and a wrap-around design that keeps sun and dirt off your face.
I’ve seen these glasses on both men and women, and I feel they’ll be one of the more popular gifts given how trendy they are right now.
#11 Mountain Bike Shoes
You can mountain bike in regular ol’ sneakers, but purchasing shoes designed explicitly for biking will make your ride smoother.
The soles are firmer, which makes your downstroke more efficient. Plus, you can opt for clip-in shoes if you have clip-in pedals.
Obviously, how the shoes fit is paramount, so you’ll need to find your giftee’s shoe size. I’d also recommend saving the receipt if they need to exchange them for a different size.
#12 Hydration Pack
Don’t let your loved one hit the trail without water!
I usually carry a heavy Hydroflask water bottle, but I wouldn’t want that thing bouncing around on my back while riding.
Enter the hydration pack.
There are lots of hydration packs on the market, but I like this hip-pack style for mountain bikers because bikers can wear it over one shoulder, which makes it very stable on your back.
#13 Water Bottle Cage
Many riders don’t want to carry anything on their person while on the trail, so a water bottle cage is a great gift.
This is another one of those gifts for mountain bikers with a wide range of options.
A good water bottle cage will be lightweight, hold the water bottle very tightly, and have multiple ways to put it in and take it out.
The Arundel Mandible is an excellent, gift-worthy water bottle cage with all the above features.
#14 Mountain Bike Light
A mountain bike light is the perfect gift for night riding, endurance rides, or bikepacking.
The Light & Motion Vis Pro 1000 Trail Headlight is particularly well-suited to mountain biking because it attaches to standard and oversized handlebars and is compatible with a GoPro mount.
The strength of this light beam is 1000 lumens, which is very bright. This is great for biker visibility and seeing far into the distance.
The battery is also rechargeable, which I love, and fully charges in just 2.5 hours.
Lastly, there are four light options on this light, plus it’s waterproof and dustproof.
#15 Bike Repair Stand
A bike repair stand is one of the best mountain biking gifts for dad (or your hubby) because, let’s be honest, they are usually the ones doing the repairing.
Not that women aren’t capable of doing it–it just seems like men typically take over the repair work.
This isn’t one of those tools to take on the trail. It’s something your loved one can keep at their house for post-ride repairs, but it’s handy nonetheless.
#16 Bike Multitool
Your friend or loved one may have a general-purpose multi-tool already, but do they have a bike-specific multi-tool?
There are a million multi-tools on the market, each with a bajillion little gadgets attached, so how do you pick the right one?
When shopping for a bike-specific multi-tool, look for a product with a full range of hex bits (2mm through 10mm), a chain repair tool, and the standard Torx bits (these are a tamper-resistant type of screw).
Ideally, the tool will be small enough and light enough to fit comfortably in a small backpack or hip pack.
My pick, which has all of these elements, is the Topeak Mini PT30.
#17 Mountain Bike Fender
Mountain bike fenders are great gifts for mountain bikers because they keep the biker clean(er) and also protect the bike from excessive mud accumulation.
Most bike fenders have a pretty simple design. They simply block mud from spraying upward.
However, even your fenders may get mucked up if your home trails are super muddy and claggy.
For that reason, I’ve chosen the Crud MGCXLF fender because it allows built-up mud to spill over the sides once it becomes built up.
#18 Bike Hitch Rack
In my opinion, a bike hitch rack is one of the top mountain biker gifts because what fun is it to have a bike if you can’t take it anywhere?
Part of the joy of mountain biking is riding new trails, after all.
The Kuat Sherpa 2.0 2-Bike Hitch Rack has the same design as our hitch rack at home, and it works very well. It attaches to the hitch on the back of your vehicle and folds up while not in use.
There’s a locking mechanism for each tire, and we’ve never had issues with our mountain bikes getting wobbly.
#19 Handlebar Grips
Handlebar grips make great budget gifts for mountain bikers.
Losing your grip on a hairpin turn or in the air could result in serious injury. Plus, even in relatively tame terrain, your hands take a lot of shock while riding.
Make your mountain biker giftee’s ride more comfortable with a pair of these rubber PNW Handlebar Grips. They come in lots of fun colors too!
#20 Frame Protectors
Mountain biking is an inherently dirty, rough-and-tumble hobby, so it’s easy for a bike frame to become dinged on the trail or even during transport.
Just as the rider wears protective gear on their body, it’s also a good idea to put some protection on your bike frame.
Frame protectors are adhesives that you apply to the frame in high-wear areas to keep the scratches and dings at bay.
This great gift extends the bike’s life and prevents or delays costly repairs.
#21 Pedals (Flat and Clipless)
There are A LOT of options when it comes to mountain bike pedals. If your giftee is looking for new pedals, I recommend this explanation guide.
Pedals without a cage are called flats. No special shoes are required, and you can hop on and off easily. Flat (aka platform) pedals have little pins in them though to help grip onto your soles.
Counterintuitively, clipless pedals do have “clips.” They just don’t have a toe clip or basket.
Check out these Funn Mamba dual-sided pedals for something that works for a wide range of bikes/people.
#22 Cell Phone Holder
Another one of my favorite mountain biking accessories is a cell phone holder.
My cell phone is a total brick and definitely doesn’t fit in my pockets.
But even if you have a normal-sized phone, being able to use your phone as a fitness tracker, music, or navigation aid on the trail is so clutch.
The Nite Ize Wraptor Rotating Smartphone Bar Mount is rated as one of mountain bikers’ most durable cell holders. It’s easy to install and compatible with a wide range of phones.
#23 Bike Computer
A bike computer is a dedicated fitness tracker for riders. It’s a handlebar-mounted screen that tracks your speed, distance, elevation, and cadence.
They usually have a navigation function, and some connect to Trailforks, a trail-riding-specific navigation app.
They also usually connect wirelessly to an app on your phone or smartwatch. And some mountain biking-specific bike computers can even record your jumps and air time.
A bike computer is an ideal gift for a competitive racer. Yes, they’re more money than a wrist or phone-based fitness tracker, but serious riders need ride-specific data.
Check out the Garmin Edge 830, loaded with all the above features and more.
#24 Bike Trainer
If the trails are too muddy, the world is too infectious, or your loved one is simply short on time, a bike trainer is an ideal gift.
A bike trainer is like an indoor cycling machine, but you use your own bike and mount it into a stationary brace.
No matter why they might find themselves stuck in the house, your mountain biker friend can get a good workout using the Wahoo Fitness Kickr Snap Smart Trainer.
This bike trainer uses an app on your phone to monitor the intensity of your workout, and it’s compatible with most wheel sizes.
#25 Mountain Bike Cleaning Kit
Mucky trails can be hard on bikes! A cleaning kit goes a long way in extending the bike’s life and returns a good investment in your money.
Pick a cleaning kit that can service all bike parts: tires, spokes, bike chain, etc.
Cycling Weekly Magazine rated this Muc-Off 8-In-1 Cleaning Set as the best cleaning kit this year.
It includes high-quality biodegradable products, a specific tool to clean tires, and a post-wash bike spray that protects against rust.
#26 Tire Pump
Don’t let your favorite mountain rider get a flat! Fix them up with a tire pump.
A tire pump is one of those classic gifts for mountain bikers. While simpler tire pumps can get the job done, when you’re looking for gift ideas, you may want to get an *extra nice* bike pump.
Behold, the Vibrelli Bike Floor Pump with Gauge
This tool fits Presta/Dunlop valves and Schrader valves, so it should work on any type of bike.
The pump comes with a large gauge and a durable steel barrel. It also comes with tire patches, which is a nice touch.
#27 Extra Bike Tubes
Tubes are another one of these mountain bike gifts that require some sleuthing to get the right size. Check out this guide by Slime on how to select the right bike tubes.
This might not be your *main* present to your mountain biker giftee, but it could be a fun stocking stuffer.
Check out these top-rated bike tube options:
#28 Tube Patch Kit
A tube patch kit is another perfect something small gift for your loved one’s tires.
Park Tool brand makes good-quality kits. Their glueless patches work on latex or rubber tubes and are small enough to fit in a pocket. Park Tool also makes a glue-based kit for permanent fixes.
#29 New Mountain Bike Tires
When life happens to your tires, it can be fantastic to have a spare. Just like with tire tubes, tires are a specific purchase. Make sure you get the right size.
#30 Access Passes
All the top mountain bike gear in the world won’t get you much if you don’t have anywhere to ride.
Gift your friend their next adventure with access passes to a local bike park.
Some ski resorts turn their runs into cycling trails in the summer and use the ski lift to take bikers to the top of the mountain.
Bike parks have color-coded trails based on difficulty, and most will have ramps and challenging terrain features, so your loved one will never get bored.
Some popular bike parks in California are:
#31 Mountain Bike Magazines, Books, or Art
Think outside the box for your favorite rider with every tool, multiple bikes, and trail knowledge burned in their brain.
Some of my favorite unique gifts for mountain bikers include subscriptions to biking magazines, coffee table books, or art prints.
If you want coffee table books, check out Ride: Cycle the World for a beautifully photographed book of 100 inspiring rides.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Meredith is a biologist and writer based in California’s Sierra Nevada. She has lived in six states as a biologist, so her intel on hiking and camping is *chef’s kiss* next level. One of her earliest camping memories was being too scared to find a bathroom at night on a family camping trip. Thankfully, she’s come a long way since then and she can help you get there too!
Looking for more outdoorsy gift ideas? Read our related articles below!
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