It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas, and that means our list of cycling needs and wants gets a little longer...and a little bit more visible to ensure they all get checked off the list. Here's our in-house blogger/cyclist/bike nerd, Cody Sovis, wish list for December.
1. Kona Rove NRB DL. It may not be completely realistic to stick a new bike right at the top of the list, but I'm going to do it anyway. The Kona Rove NRB DL makes this list for a couple of reasons. First, I really do think this bike is the best value out there right now; for $2k, you've got an all-day road bike that, with another wheelset, can hop in a crit or do 100 miles. The stock wheels are 650b do-anythings that cover your bases for gravel, pavement, and a splash of trail. The WTB Horizons might be perfect for the new 100 mile gravel races in West Michigan next spring, namely Lowell's 100 mile option and the Psycho Killer and Barry-Roubaix.
Secondly, this whole line up of bikes just makes more sense for how we ride today. There aren't many road or crit races left, and odds are that you already have a bike for those. I really can't imagine buying a drop bar bike that doesn't fit at least 40c tires on 700c wheels, or 2.1" tires on 650b MTB wheels. For the gravel, adventure, commute and majority of riding, having the flexibility to swap between two sets of wheels and invest more in a single bike with a nicer drive train simply makes sense. That's why I'd secretly love to nab the steel 'bling ship' version of the Rove, the LTD.
2. WTB Byway 47c. Right along with the Kona Rove, the Byway is a tire that blurs a lot of lines. Mounted to 650b wheels, it's a slick tire with just enough bite to be a capable and trusty rubber for tying in more trails to your normal gravel route. Especially for folks who love to ride to the ride, it's fast on the pavement and still a blast to toss around at Cannonsburg or other singletrack systems that aren't too rocky.
3. Serfas TSL-1200. Alright, full disclosure, I already have one of these. It's on here because it's been one of the best investments I've made for night riding, especially during cold and snowy fat bike rides. The external battery packs last longer than a single unit light/battery combo not just because they have more juice; being able to keep that battery warm in a frame bag or jersey pocket makes a huge difference. I leave my light on the bars and the pack in the frame bag almost all season, just grabbing the pack to charge up. Even on the coldest days, I can get 1.5-2 hours or two rides on a single charge at the second highest setting.
That external pack also has some other good uses. It has a USB port, so you can charge your bike computer, phone, even your camera. I use it for traveling a lot, especially to bike races where I may not be in my car before, during or after the race and want to keep my phone with me. For big rides, such as my five hour epics during the #Festive500 during the holidays, I'll usually plug my phone in to make sure I can listen to my tune and make an emergency call for a ride home, should worst come to worst.
3. Winter Rush Registration. This would be a great thing to unwrap! Get your fat bike friend all signed up for a fat bike race this winter and keep them motivated to put some miles in even in some colder weather. There are dozens of fat bike races and rides all over the state, and even across the Midwest with the Great Lakes Fat Bike Series. Of course, we're a bit partial to Winter Rush, which will include a race at Big M on January 13, plus the USA Cycling Fat Bike National Championship at Cannonsburg in February.
4. Velocity Aileron US Build. You can never, ever, ever have too many wheels. I've had a ton of luck with the Velocity Ailerons, but I've never gotten my mitts on a USA build. It's about as American as you can get, with Aileron rims laced up to Industry 9 hubs. Tough, light, and they set-up tubeless exceptionally well.