How to Get Bike Stuff with Your Amazon Gift Card
Well, it's clearly too late to give you Christmas shopping advice, but as a lifelong procrastinator, I do things like this: I'll reason to myself that... I'm not late for Christmas advice; I'm early for post-Christmas advice!
And since no one knows what the hell else you like besides bikes these days, they've got no idea what to get you. Unless they ride too, they're not gonna pause for a second to figure out what a "dropper post" is, or why you suddenly need one.
Guess where that leaves you? Gift cards! (And sweaters). The odds are pretty good that said gift cards will be from Amazon: Life's Easy Button. Amazon's MTB gear has improved a bit in the last couple of years, but it's still no trip to the bike shop. When it comes to such a specialized sport or hobby, it can be tough to find the gear you're looking for in the "everything for everyone" store.
That said, I've found a few ways to scratch the bike itch (not the one caused by your too-tight lycra).
I'm often surprised by how much I use my Go Pro - biking, hiking, snowboarding, amusement parks, playing with my daughter, or even just setting up a tripod to shoot stills through a party. It looks like I'm about two models outdated right now, but the good news is that you can still order that model at somewhat of a discount, or splurge on the new one with stabilization, built-in waterproof-ness, and whatever else they've crammed into that thing in the last few years. Here's a few options to grab footage of your epic OTB's on the cheap:
Here's a refurbished one of the cameras I have (Hero 4 Silver) for $229:
You can get a brand new Hero 5 Session for Two Bills:
Or you can go somewhere in the middle with the Hero 5 Black.. you can get the touchscreen and many of the more recent upgrades; at 300 bucks, it's still $100 less than the latest Hero 6:
Remember those OTB's I just talked about? They're fun to watch later, but can be quite unpleasant at the time. One way to avoid that, and probably one of the most popular upgrades for MTB'ers right now is the dropper post. The high-end ones can be $400, but if you're short on cash, worry about your own "high end" in the saddle first, and consider one of these budget models:
The DNM Dropper has an average of 4.5 stars on Amazon, and seems to be solid entry-level choice:
Let's just run with the theme of going over the bars here; it's way easier to bail if you're not affixed to the thing hurtling to its doom. DMR makes some great platform pedals - I personally use the V12's on my bike, and will continue to put V12's on my bikes until further notice!
One of the reasons I'm here writing this right now is that I didn't get lost in the woods. I have two ways of doing that:
One way is to follow my buddy, Chris. I swear he has a Google Maps chip in his brain.
The other way is this watch. It's a bit pricey but it's made from the same stuff as Chris' brain, and can also track all the data a data geek could ever want.
Maybe you're a night rider? I bought a refurbished Nite Rider 650 lumen light a few years ago for almost a hundred bucks ... now you can blast 1100 lumens for that price. I know it's not all that cheap, but it's also not "cheap", and I like a reliable light when I'm in the woods in the dark.
I hope everyone gets what they want for Christmas, but when you don't, I hope this list helps you spend your gift cards wisely!