The mad scramble to get holiday shopping done is upon us. To help you take care of your cyclist friends and family, I’ve listed the gear that I'd be most excited to get in my stocking or under the tree.
Lezyne Mini GPS (From $100)
You could spend a fortune on GPS-enabled computers, but thanks to the new range of Lezyne models, there’s no need. The Mini GPS is a USB-rechargeable unit that displays all the metrics you might need, it’s compatible with heart rate, cadence, and power meters (via Bluetooth), can display turn-by-turn directions and capture your route, and sells for well less than the competition. There’s even a watch mount, in case you want to use the Mini for running.
Gore One Thermium Jacket ($400)
There is no better piece of available winter apparel than this puffer from Gore, which sandwiches a layer of PrimaLoft Gold insulation beneath a layer of DWR-treated WindStopper. You can wear it over a lightweight base layer and be comfortable riding well below zero degrees. And, thanks to the fabric’s breathability, you don’t have to worry about wetting-out from sweat. The soft, cozy interior makes it perfect for bundling up after rides and it doesn’t look out of place at a bar either.
Park Tool Happy Hour Set ($50)
From the makers of some of the finest bike tools on the market, this is one kit that no rider should go without. You get a beer tray, four stainless steel pint glasses, and a heavy duty bottle opener complete with a rubberized handle to make certain you don’t lose your grip. And for all but the purists, the pint glasses play well with eggnog.
Franco Bicycles The Bourbon Bottle ($12)
Yes, most cyclists have too many water bottles. Yet with this Bulleit whiskey-inspired design, Franco Bicycles has managed to create one that no whiskey-drinking cyclist will be able to resist. Tip: Thanks to its direct-to-consumer model, Franco also makes pretty awesome bikes at competitive prices.
Five Ten Freerider Shoe ($100)
This BMX-inspired sneaker features Five Ten’s dot-rubber Stealth S1 outsole for superior grip on flat pedals. But the suede-and-mesh upper make it just as at home kicking around town as on the bike. And with 12 colors to choose from, even roadies might buy them for off-the-bike adventures.
World Bicycle Relief Bicycle Donation ($147)
Does the cyclist in your life have everything? Then spare the world more unneeded stuff and make a donation to the World Bicycle Relief in their name, instead. By providing durable, utility-oriented Buffalo Bicycles to those in need around the planet, WBR is helping create economic change and social justice two wheels at a time. In places where distances are vast and vehicles hard to come by, a bike can mean schooling, jobs, and self-sufficiency. There’s support levels all the way down to $25, which buys two wheelsets for donated bikes. But the biggest impact is at the $147 level, which is good for two Buffalo bikes, as WBR will match your donation.
Niner YAWYD Top Cap ($13)
The ultimate stocking stuffer, the You Are What You Drink top cap replaces any standard top cap on your fork and allows you to adorn your bike with a beer cap of your choice.
Kitsbow Merino Mountain Hoodie ($200)
Kitsbow has transformed the lowly hoodie, a normally formless, beater piece of clothing that’s as disposable as it is comfy, into a beautiful, enduring piece of equipment. The merino-polyester blend is both warm and water-resistant as well as exceedingly durable. Cycling-specific features include button-down extension cuffs, a back stow pocket, and reflective hits for riding after dark. It’s cut trim, with stretch rib-knit panels on the sides and backs of the arms for mobility. The piece is expensive, but it’s likely the last hoodie you’ll ever buy.
Darn Tough Warlock Crew Light Socks ($20)
It’s easy to crack jokes about giving socks for Christmas, but these aren’t your grandmothers’ knee-high, tube variety. This merino-blend model has just enough nylon (34 percent) and Spandex (three percent) to help it retain its shape, while the wool adds lots of warmth. And it’s plenty stylish for both bike and office.
Castelli Linea Pelle Combo Pack ($55)
Winter means cold-weather riding conditions, and this skin-protection three-pack will keep you pedaling outside no matter how rugged it gets. There’s a mentholated Embro Cream for warming your muscles pre-ride, a Foul Weather cream to keep the wet and cold from penetrating your legs, and a greaseless Chamois Dry Lube that’s easy to apply and a life-saver in the saddle.
RockShox Boxxer Air Pump ($53)
A mountain biker can never have too many shock pumps: the seals break, the head stops screwing on well, or they simply get lost. But the Boxxer pump isn’t just any old replacement. Thanks to a smart design, it toggles between high pressure and high volume, by way of an additional linkage in the shaft, which means it can fill both tires and shocks. There’s a built-in Presta-Schraeder adapter, and the gauge disconnects for easier stowing when you don’t need it. No more carrying separate pumps to do the same job.
Handlebar Coffee ($20)
Coffee is to riding as peanut butter is to jelly. No cyclist of any repute will turn down good joe, and Handlebar Coffee Roasters, started by ex-pros Aaron Olson and Kim Anderson, roasts up some pretty rippin’ beans. The Gibraltar espresso blend, named after the Cat 1 Santa Barbara road climb that has been featured multiple times in the Tour of California, is a sweet and thick Guatemalan, Brazilian, and Colombian blend that brews well as a pour-over and an in espresso machine.
Big Truck Pro Republic Hat ($35)
Every cyclist contends with post-ride helmet head. The answer: A good trucker hat. Big Truck, a small company started by two outdoor enthusiasts out of Truckee, California, makes some high-quality, fun designs. Unclip, put one on your head, and hit the bar.