The issue for gift-giving to bike riders this season may be summed up in the epigrammatic Dylan lyric about need versus want (“Your debutante just knows what you neeeeed, I know what you waaaaannnt“). That special cyclist on your list may need a new pair of gloves. Or a chain for his or her bike. Or a reflector vest for riding at night.
But are these things they really want? Especially for, of all times, Christmas?
MTRB.com, on the flip side, suggests a new Ibis Mojo HD for under the tree. It may well be something we all want for Christmas. But given that I have an Ibis Mojo in the basement already — which I don’t even get to ride in the winter because it’s just too cool a bike to get all muddy, squeaky and pivot-trashed — is a new HD something I really need?
Granted, the additional travel, beefed up rear end and matching color bling are all things that would come in handy in coming months, especially after Whistler opens the lifts sometime in June. I need another .8 of an inch of rearward boing. I need the stiffer pivot links for climbing prowess. I need a frame without the little scrapes and blemishes on the Mojo I have. And I really need for people to notice my bike and come up and talk to me about how much I like it, which they would most certainly do with the HD.
But even if someone were willing to spring $2400 to get me the HD — or, say, I bought it for my own Christmas present, which has been known to happen — there’s a problem.
On Thanksgiving Day I had the extreme good fortune to be introduced to Mr. Ibis himself, Scot Nicol, on the annual Appetite Seminar ride in Fairfax CA. And when I told him what I not only wanted but needed for Christmas, he just laughed. The HD is months away from production. I could not even place an advance order for one.
This made me feel like hey, I need this bike even worse than I thought I did. But Christmas is just not gonna happen.
So in the vein of more realistic, albeit lowered, expectations, and in recognition that need and want also are a function of fiscal resources, I’m going to be offering over the next few days a more modest rundown of gift suggestions for that special cyclist in your life — even if, as in my case, that special cyclist is yourself.