Posts Tagged ‘shopping’

Last-minute gift ideas for the cyclist in your life

2011-12-21 by neilfein. 3 comments

Looking for a gift for a cyclist? Been putting off your shopping? Here are some stocking-stuffers ideas for the cyclist on your list. Price ranges are estimates; you can almost certainly find these items for more than this, faux-carbon pattern included. Most of these should be available at your local bike shop.


If the cyclist on your list doesn't have any lighting, then anything that emits light will be an improvement. If they already have a few lights, you can contribute to their lighting themselves up like (ahem) a Christmas tree.

Rear Blinkies: The Planet Bike Superflash is well thought of. It's bright, cheap (around $35 US), and durable. (It does tend to bounce out of its included clip, so you may want to toss in a zip tie.)

Spoke lights: Cat Eye makes a set of two that goes for around $20. These things last forever, particularly on blinking mode, and drivers can't help but see the circling, blinking motion. Great for when you cross an intersection. And if they already have these, they can keep adding pairs to their wheels.

You can also get them a safety vest. These can be had for $15--20. Look for the ones made of mesh on the front and shoulders.

Bar Tape

Anyone with drop bars who rides a lot goes through a lot of bar tape. You usually can't go wrong with black, but if your friend has color-coordinated road rig, have a look at their bike before purchasing.


Tires are something people get picky about---I know I do, buying me tires would be like trying to buy me shoes---but tubes? Feh. Avoid the cheap tubes, get Specialized or another name brand and you'll be fine.


If your friend does their own maintenance, a bottle of chain lube goes for around ten bucks. Just try to find out if they use wax or regular lube on their chain.


Multitools are usually a good bet. Park Tool is the "Craftsman" of bike tools, and their stuff is solid. $15--30. You could also get tire irons (maybe $5 if you want the expensive ones), a chain washer tool (around $25), or a pedal wrench ($15). But the most useful bike tool I own is a 3-way hex wrench. They go for anywhere from $9--20, and they're amazingly useful for tightening anything on a bike from rack screws to bottle cages to saddle rail bolts.


Pfft. Yeah, right. I have enough trouble picking out my own bike clothes. About all you can safely get for a cyclist is socks. A pair of nice wool socks can cost $15--30, glaringly bright colors included.

A balaclava might be a safe present; these run from $10--20, more if you want a nice wool one.

A warm winter cap should work out well. Something thin that fits close to the head, so that it fits under a helmet. Bonus points for ear flaps or other ear coverage. A cap and scarf are a more stylish alternative to a balaclava, so a matching scarf wouldn't hurt.


These can be expensive, or not. Winter cyclists often have collections of different kinds of gloves. While they'll be picky about the gloves, they often go through a lot of glove liners---and those are pretty generic. You can layer these under heavier gloves, or wear them under fingerless gloves for a little extra warmth on not-so-cold days. Glove liners run from $5--30.

Water Bottles

Your call: You can find these for a few bucks, or pay more for insulated bottles. A nice idea is to fill an empty water bottle with other knicknacks.

Happy gifting, happy holidays, and have a great new year!