2015 Holiday Gift Guide

You know those Lexus "December to Remember" commercials? Well, screw that. If you're in a tax bracket that permits the purchase of luxury automobiles as Christmas gifts, we suggest you skip the gas guzzler and instead shop from this more eco-friendly list.

SCOTT Spark 700

Scott Spark 700 Ultimate XTR Di2

If you're in the market for a no-expense-spared cross-country race bike, Scott's Spark 700 Ultimate might just be the ticket. It comes stock with a Shimano XTR Di2 electronic drivetrain and enough carbon fiber bits to make even the most jaded weight weenie drool. This bike is also equipped with Fox's iCTD suspension system, which allows the user to rapidly toggle between three settings on both the shock and fork: climb, traction control, descend. Scott calls this the evolution of its TwinLoc manual remote-lockout system, and Fox claims that the electronic system changes settings in less than half a second. Suspension is 120mm in descend mode, 85mm in the traction control setting. Claimed bike weight is 23 pounds for a size medium, and the frameset comes in at 1,940 grams including shock and hardware. Price: $12,500 | More info at www.scott-sports.com

Pivot Bike

Pivot Mach 6 Carbon

For the ultimate in trail taming, enduro winning, rock garden smashing fun, Pivot's top-tier Mach 6 Carbon frame is a true dream machine. The lightweight 27.5" chassis is driven by 155mm of renowned dw-link suspension. And though it won our Most Versatile in Test Award a few years back, Pivot has continued to refine the Mach 6 platform, this year adding an ultra-stiff, downhill-inspired double-wishbone rear triangle design, and new cold-forged wider and stiffer upper and lower linkages with Enduro Max cartridge bearings. Pivot has also adopted the 12x148mm Boost rear wheel spacing for improved stiffness and control. As for a build kit, make ours Shimano XTR Di2 1x with an 160mm Fox 36 Factory fork and DT Swiss carbon wheels. Price: $9100 | More info at www.pivotcycles.com

Borealis Bike

Borealis Crestone Fat Bike with SRAM XX1

For the winter sports enthusiast in your life, we bring you the all new Borealis Crestone, which the Colorado-based company calls a "state-of-the-art" carbon fiber fat bike. Frame weight is 150 grams lighter than their previous top-line model, the Echo. And the Crestone has a lower standover height just in case you post-hole in deep snow at the wrong time. We just started testing this new bike, and thus far have been thoroughly impressed with its ability to nimbly (yes, nimbly) slice through snow, crud, mud, and whatever else you throw its way. The SRAM XX1 build helps keep weight in check, while the RockShox Bluto fork means you can ride this like a real bike, not pucker when the trail gets tough. And if you really want to blow out the budget, swap on a set of new Borealis Elite carbon fat bike wheels, which start at $2300. Price: $6050 for XX1 spec'd bike | More info at fatbike.com

RockShox RS-1

RockShox RS-1 Suspension Fork

At nearly $1900, RockShox's RS-1 29er fork is double the price of some top-end trail forks. What you get for all that cash is literally an 180-degree turn in suspension design. By placing the 32mm stanchions at the bottom, the fork's seals are always lubricated, resulting in incredible small bump performance. The RS-1 also has exceptional fore-aft stiffness, making it a beast when diving into chunky technical sections. RockShox integrated the fork's steerer tube, crown and legs into a single carbon-mainframe, and the new Accelerator Damper further boosts small bump performance and delivers efficient lockout. Price: $1865 | More info at www.sram.com

Shimano XTR Di2 Electronic Drivetrain

Discover what the roadies have known for a while, electronic shifting is pretty damn cool. Shimano's XTR Di2 drivetrain paired with tight gear steps makes shifting a reflex rather than a reaction. Shift effort is decreased and dialed ergonomics mean you can shift without releasing even the slightest amount of grip on the handlebar. Programmable and customizable E-tube Di2 allows for personalization not seen before in mountain biking, making this a true dream upgrade for the discerning mountain biker. Price: $3400 | More info at www.ridextr.com

Continue to page 2 for more budget buster gift ideas »



Big S WinteR Kit

686 X Specialized Winter Gear Collection

For the ultimate in cold weather fat biking apparel, you cant go wrong with this three-piece collaborative collection from Specialized and snowboarding gear maker 686. After noting that fat bikers were more inclined to wear true winter clothing rather than traditional cold-weather cycling gear, the two companies got together to create garments that protect like ski/snowboard apparel, but have unique features specific to cycling. The 3L (as in three layer) Tech Bibs ($450) have tapered legs to avoid drivetrain tangles, plus gater closures and a bootlace hook to keep snow from getting in your shoes. The 3L Tech Jacket ($500) has fully taped waterproof seams, plus water-resistant zippers to protect common points of water infiltration, and a mesh vented pocket that provides ample storage for ride essentials and/or nutrition. The Tech Insulator Jacket ($250) has 100g Primaloft insulation that's lightweight, breathable, and efficient at trapping air to keep you warm and protected from the elements. Price: $1200 for all three pieces | More info at www.specialized.com

Whistler

Whistler Mountain Biking Vacation

If mountain biking has a Mecca, that holy land is Whistler, British Columbia. The place is blessed with arguably the world's best bike park, plus hundreds of miles of amazing cross-country trails, and night life that rivals Vegas. If you want the full debauchery experience, head up during the Crankworx freeride festival. If you'd rather not stand in huge lift lines, go early season before the crowds descend. For lodging, check out the Aava Whistler Hotel. Guests have access to a bike wash, tools, free GoPro rentals, and a complimentary bike valet. For post ride recovery, head to the Scandinave Spa, which has indoor and outdoor relaxation pools, saunas, steam rooms and on-site massage services. Price: Sky is the limit | www.whistler.com

Winter Park

Winter Park Biking Vacation

For a summertime mountain bike vacation that doesn't require a passport stamp, but still covers all the key bases, Winter Park and the Fraser Valley is a superb choice. Bolstered by a pair of lift-serviced bike parks and approximately 600 miles of cross-country trails, you'll have no problem finding your fat tire happy place in this Colorado Rocky Mountain locale that's just 66 miles from the Denver metro area. If you like big jumps and machine built trails, head to the Trestle Bike Park, which hosts the Colorado Freeride Festival and was a two-time spot on the Enduro World Series circuit. If more rugged trails are your thing head down valley to Bike Granby Ranch, formerly known as Sol Vista, host site of the U.S. national championships in 2009 and 2010. Or just grab a map and spin. From downtown Winter Park, there are trail in nearly every direction. Price: From budget to budget busting | More info at mtbcapitalusa.com

CB Fat Biking

Fat Bike World Championships: Crested Butte, Colorado

If the key to your vacation planning is the sooner the better, book a late January trip to Crested Butte, Colorado, for the first annual Fat Bike World Championships. With a deferential nod to the annual singlespeed world championships, the local chamber of commerce folks decided it was time for an irreverent biggie wheeled version of that annual barracanal of bikes. The snowbound five-day event (January 27-31) will include racing, a vendor expo, demos, and lots of beer. For lodging, check out the Nordic Inn or Elk Mountain Lodge, then rent a fat bike from Big Al's Bicycle Heaven, and quench your post-ride thirst at the Brick Oven Pizzeria, which is hosting the welcome party. (And by the way, the skiing at Crested Butte Mountain Resort is pretty good, too.) Price: From fat to phat | More info at www.cbchamber.com

This article is part of Mtbr's 2015 Holiday Gift Guide. For more gift ideas and holiday guides, CLICK HERE.