Talk to any cyclist and it becomes clear that all they really want for Christmas is a brand new bike. Failing that a box full of spare inner tubes is probably the next best thing.
When it comes to Christmas shopping for other people I always think I must be really easy to buy for. Everyone knows that I love cycling (and tolerate running) and so that narrows down a genuinely useful gift. When people don’t have hobbies where half the fun is buying equipment then they can’t blame me when they get socks or aftershave for Christmas.
All that being said there are potential pitfalls of being a cyclist at Christmas. You might receive a novelty cycling gift from Marks and Spencer, that well known cycling emporium. The tire levers are made of jelly and will snap when you are 100 miles from home in the rain that is horizontal. So if you have a loved-one who identifies as a cyclist (check the condition of their shaved legs to confirm) then this list will help you get the perfect gift that will be genuinely useful.
As a side note I am not promoting any particular brand/ item here, merely using links for ease. All opinions and reviews are completely independent.
They are not the most exciting gift perhaps but trust me every cyclist will thank you for getting these in the stocking come Christmas morn. I would say that in an average year I go through five or six of these and always resent paying for them. A bundle for christmas would go a long way.
If you are thinking about getting the cyclist in your life some inner tubes then you should do some research on the wheel size but generally 700cc x 18-25mm will suit the needs of most. The main concern will be the type and length of the valve. If they are a road cyclist then a 48mm Presta valve will be the most appropriate. If they run deep section rims on their wheels then you will want to get the longer valves but 60mm should suffice in most circumstances.
These inner tubes are very reasonably priced and so you can buy a bunch of them. I use them and have never felt that I need to go back to more expensive brands.
Getting socks for christmas is the ultimate disappointment. Every childhood has been affected by this most boring of gifts. Well at least now you can give socks as a gift without the guilt. Cyclists love socks. In winter they especially love warm socks. The pain of cold feet during a cycle is almost as bad as that of receiving socks as a gift. I use these dhb socks and will continue to do so.
The only thing most cyclists love more than cycling and coffee is doing maintenance on their bike. To do it properly and help your back, you really need to raise the bike with a work stand. I don’t have one but instead my lovely bike dangles from the rafters of my garage on a worn-out tyre. It is inelegant, dangerous and when the bike is not up their it looks like a cry for help. A work stand would be a blessing.
Prices start at around £60.
I carry my phone, money, cards in a zip lock bag in my jersey when out on a cycle. It is terrible. I feel like an idiot ordering a coffee and rummaging through it for some coins. I might just do the job of keeping things dry but it is an inelegant solution. When you are dressed head-to-toe in lycra it can be hard to look good off the bike in a coffee shop surrounded by normal, functioning members of the human race. Bringing out a zip lock bag does no favours.
So I need to get my hands on one of these Ridepacs. They look cool and come in a variety of designs from bold to sleek.
Cycling Book - The Rider
I recently read this book in one sitting on a flight. I couldn’t put it down. On a very basic level it is a narrative of a fictional race, the narrator in this case being in the race and describing the pain and suffering that every cyclist, no matter what level, will empathize with completely. If, like me, you need some inspiration through the cold, dark winter months then this book could be just the medicine. It will make you want to jump on your bike. It will make you want to suffer once more