It’s the time of year where we tend to give gifts. Without getting into religious significance, capitalism gone rail-less or any other postmodern political consideration, we can probably agree that giving and getting gifts, no matter what the motivation, really isn’t a bad thing. At root, a gift is a show of affection, if not love. We decided to put together a list of those things we’d love to find wrapped and our names affixed. This is the time of year we are at least permitted to dream, right?
The “new” Specialized Allez: The amount of work Mark DiNucci put into this thing strains the imagination, not to mention the work ethic. I don’t know when we’ll see the steel frame as thoroughly re-thought again. The intersection of R&D budget (thanks to the big, red S) and unfettered creativity (courtesy one of the bike biz’s most experienced, if not knowledgeable, engineers) resulted in a bike that any cyclist without brain damage should be drooling over.
A Co-Motion Periscope Tandem: There are a few tandem makers out there that do a great job. I have a particular affection for Co-Motion due to the innovation that led to the Periscope, a tandem that can capably deal with riders of nearly any height. I’m dreaming of the day when I can go for a tandem ride with either Mini-Shred or the Deuce.
The Silca Super Pista Ultimate: Try to forget for a moment that this thing goes for what we used to spend on a set of wheels and just consider that this pump is the product of a very bright person doing his dead level best to create cycling’s finest-ever floor pump. For anyone who professes to love excellence, this is the bike biz’s intersection between workable tech and jewelry.
A Week in Santa Cruz: I’m just back from having spent a couple of days there. Every ride I do in the area tops the last. The mountain biking is plentiful, better than most places I’ve ever ridden (including Marin County) and nearly all of it is legal (unlike Marin County). The dirt road riding is so good it tempts you to put 28s on all your bikes. So while you can’t actually give someone a week, I’d be okay with a seven-day pass to a decent hotel downtown.
A 20-inch wheel BMX bike with a really tiny frame: Okay, so this one isn’t really for me. I’d like it for Mini-Shred. He’s not big enough to graduate to BMX bikes, but I recall how years ago GT and Dyno offered 20-inch wheel BMX bikes with a smaller frame.
The Zipp 404 Firestrike Wheels: The world is full of fast wheels. Occasionally, a set of wheels makes a case for its superiority. The 404 Firestrike is one such set of wheels. That Zipp says these wheels are both faster than their 404 Firecrest, which is the fastest wheelset I’ve ridden, and more stable in crosswinds, well, I’m all in. Those wheels, my Bishop, I’m ready.
The Assos Equipe Bibs: We’ve already reviewed these bibs here. At $270, the best shot most people will have for getting a set is probably Christmas. The thing about these bibs is that nothing comes close to this level of quality at this price. As a matter of fact, the only bibs that are any better are made by Assos and are more expensive.
A pair of D2 Shoes: You don’t have to have a foot as weird as mine to appreciate all that comes with custom work. Don Lamson, the force behind D2, was also behind Lamson. I put more than 30,000 miles on a pair of Lamsons, and was depressed about my riding for most of a season when I had to finally retire them. A pair with orthotics goes for $1250, but they are likely to last at least twice as long as any production shoe you’d buy, so the value is difficult to deny.
Single Track High: I was going to say something nice about the great documentary concerning the National Interscholastic Cycling Association. I’ve watched it twice and seeing those kids light up thanks to cycling gets me choked up to the point of tears. Yes, cycling makes me cry the way romances are supposed to (and don’t). So while I can recommend Single Track High to any cyclist anywhere, this is my wish list and what I’d really like is a seven-figure endowment so I can give out bikes to kids who can’t afford to buy them.
Stageone Sports Clothing: I love wearing cycling kit that looks good and functions without parallel. Joe Yule, the designer behind the RKP logo, kit and a few of our T-shirts, not to mention this little band of renegades called Garmin-Sharp, is the resident creative force driving Stageone Sports, a custom cycling apparel company. There are lots of great custom apparel companies, but Stageone is different in that it comes with arguably the cycling jersey’s finest graphic designer ever. And to get his talent, you’ve got to buy their clothing (unless your name is Jonathan Vaughters). I’d love to do a micro run of kits with him for one little idea I had to commemorate the “Enter the Deuce” series. Totally insider, rare unto collectable. That would be the coolest.