The Most Spectacular Cycling Gift Guide Ever
Of course, that “Most Spectacular” part of the title is a tongue-in-cheek comment, and can certainly be argued from here to infinity. I come from a nation that is known for its cycling, The Netherlands. Bikes are a way of life there, so with nearly 50 years of pedaling a bike I’ve tried about everything. These days, I commute, mountain, road, gravel, tri bike, and always aim for at least 5000 plus miles each year.
This is a pretty all-inclusive head-to-toe list of cycling gifts that any biker would enjoy. Naturally, these are my suggestions, and as you explore an item, each company may have items, colors, sizing, styles that work better for your giftee. That said, if you pick any of these items, I am confidant it will be thoroughly enjoyed.
The Pro’s Closet (TPC) Is Our Cycling Gift Guide Opener
At the top of any cyclists’ list is….. drum roll, please….”a brand new bike”. That’s right, the N+1 theory is a well-known entity with N being the bike(s) you have, and that there’s always room for one more (*** Significant other approval required!).
“New Bike Day” can be celebrated like a new born child. Depending on your taste, style, and budget, new bikes can certainly reach used car prices. That said, The Pro’s Closet is an industry leader when it comes to used bike options. And by used, I don’t mean take your chance on Craigslist hoping you will get a great bike. TPC purchases new and pre-owned bikes and accessories from manufacturers, retailers, and individuals. Each bike undergoes a rigorous Certified Pre-Owned inspection and top-to-bottom service to ensure it is delivered in next-to-new condition. Everything they offer is certified, serviced, and backed by a 30-day return policy, as well as an innovative Buyback Guarantee that gives customers full transparency by offering guaranteed trade-in values for 18 months after purchase.
I happen to be a fan, am currently also in the market for a good used bike, and peruse there website quite often. “Going Dutch” is a common phrase, and frugality runs in my blood. Hence, I like looking at these bikes, because I still get a very good bike at a more reasonable price point.
For more information and options for all bikes they available, please go to The Pros Closet
Wahoo ELEMNT BOLT
Wahoo has been making some real inroads in the GPS cycling market, so I had to give it a shot as well. Many of my friends sport this computer on their high end cycling machines, and I have been inquiring how they like theirs. The setup was really easy. I’m capable and knowledgeable (to an extent) when it comes to today’s technological advancements. That said, I am not wired to go much deeper than the basic instructions to get things set up. That’s exactly what I got, and I was off and cycling in no time flat.
This new version has better physical buttons which I have enjoyed. Wahoo added color to the screen with greatly improved graphics that actually make a big difference when out riding. A 15 hour battery life is super. My longest rides are usually in the 4-6 hour range, but on occasion, an adventure into the mountains may creep up to 8-10 hours. That said, for most days in the saddle we should be all set. I do forget to charge my batteries at times, so it’s good to know that I can go numerous days without having to worry too much about running out of juice.
Wahoo is all about technology and its connection to the Elemnt App. Once you have that on your phone, you can easily connect to any third party platform you may be using like SingleTracks, Training Peaks, Strava, RideWithGps, MTB Project, etc.
MSRP: $279.99. Check it out HERE
PDW Tiny Object Co2 Inflator
I have always been fan of Portland Design Works. The Sparrow bike cage is currently on my Adventure/Gravel Bike, and it adds some fun flair while functioning as intended. The “Keeping Portland Weird” mantra sort of resonates in that it promotes individuality, art, atypical lifestyle choices, and leisure activities. I think PDW follows in that same vein with its originality, broad range of bike accessories, and the really simple yet cool naming of all the products.
The Tiny Object Co2 Inflator is one of the more handy tools you need on any ride. Supple leather shell casing is a feature that helps give this its flair and uniqueness while being functional. Easy to use, small enough to stow in your saddle bag, and gets you back on the road after a tube change. PDW has a lifetime warranty on all their products, so that should provide comfort as you take this Tiny Object Co2 Inflator out on the road
MSRP: $25. For more information and purchase, please visit PDW
Patagonia Black Hole Duffel Bag
Talk about a rugged and great bag for all your gear. Obviously, this bag can handle anything you want to use it for. When I go on a day excursion I usually throw quite a bit of clothing and gear together, so the 55L is perfect for my needs. The 40L would probably also be fine. Patagonia’s Black Hole Duffel Bag is tough and they call it their work horse. This Black Hole is aptly named, because so much gear can be buried in here. The fabric is super durable, abrasion resistant, weather resistant, and lightweight. Needless to say, this is a bag that can take whatever abuse you want to put it through.
I have already taken it on a 3 day plane trip and a weekend cabin/biking excursion. I’ve found that I could literally keep stuffing more and more clothing and gear. It’s got one side pocket that can be accessed from the inside and outside. The great feature is that this quickly turns into a backpack with two straps. I threw it on my back, and used it as my carry-on. Plus, I walked several miles to get to my destination. I love the color options, and think this is a signature piece from Patagonia that should be part of any cyclists gear closet.
MSRP: $139. Plenty of size and color options. Visit PATAGONIA for more information.
Elite t-race Bottle Cage
The Elite t-race bottle cage has a nice clean design. In addition, the fact is that this cage is only 29 grams, has a soft touch, and can easily be grabbed from either side. The angular and open design lends to more bottle coverage for the hand to snatch minimizing the chance of losing it.
MSRP: $16.99. See HERE for more information.
Muc-Off Punk Powder & Mechanics Gloves
Keeping your bike clean is essential. These refill packets can make up to 1 liter of cleaner that is plastic free. That means that it’s a very sustainable and environmentally free cleaning product. Plus, think of all the packaging that’s being saved. I happened to already have Muc-Off’s cleaning bottle, so it is easy to add for continued use.
This is about as simple as it gets to get a clean bike.
- Rinse bike thoroughly before applying Bike Cleaner.
- Spray Bike Cleaner onto the entire bike including components and leave for 3-5 minutes.
- Agitate any stubborn grime with a brush or sponge.
- Rinse entire bike thoroughly with fresh, clean water.
MSRP: $19.99. Buy it HERE
The Muc-Off Mechanics Gloves are simple, thin, yet strong. Dexterity is key here, and the Polyurethane palm coating provides excellent grip. I usually forego gloves, and I pay for it later with nicks and greasy hands. This is an affordable solution, yet provides much protection (and less yelling).
MSRP: $7.99. Click HERE for purchase.
Orange Seal Road Tube Kit
“Is this for real?” That’s what I keep asking myself. I am starting to think that the Orange Seal Road Tube Kit is exactly that! Henceforth, it’s a real game changer. I have tubeless tires on my gravel bike, and it’s amazing. Not all wheelset and rims are created equal, so my road bike can’t easily convert to tubeless. That’s where this Road Seal Tube Kit comes into play with a 4 oz. bottle of sealant (2 ounces in each tube), 2 RVC Tubes (removable valve core), and a RVC tool.
The sealant goes inside the tube, and builds an extra layer which will certainly stop and seal slow leaks, but may even take care of some puncture flats and those pesky goat heads (hard thorny tumble weed pricklers) I frequently encounter.
Building in that little extra bit of protection will be so worth it, and I can’t wait to see how long my tires will last. They are not promising a fail-safe system. There will always be pot holes and debris that can do some serious damage, and a “snake-bite” flat may not completely seal up. I get that, but a little extra protection that keeps me riding versus standing on the side of the road will make me super happy.
MSRP: $34.99. Information and purchase HERE
Topeak Torq Stick
Maintaining a tight ship keeps you safe and extends the life of your equipment. This is certainly an item that will come in handy, especially if you wrench on your own bikes. The professionals at your local bike shop have a gift, a touch of sorts, that allows them to know how hard to push, pull, tighten, etc. I don’t have that touch, and have nearly destroyed a carbon frame. There is now a slight crack on my TT bike from overtightening my seat post once. I am still able to ride this bike without issues a handful of times per year when competing in a triathlon, but have been told I should probably get that fixed.
The Torque wrench is a great tool. It’s compact, adjustable, and comes with 5 bits to help you put together a bike or simply tighten things with confidence. Preset torque values sets the limit, and I for one really appreciate it.
MSRP: $ 119.95. Check out TOPEAK for all their offerings.
This is a first of its kind, and that usually says something. Pushing a plug into your tubeless tire was already quite the innovation. This immediate air inflation method means you can be back on your bike in no time flat. See what I did there? Ok, in all seriousness, the Dynaplug system needs to be part of your saddle or frame pack. In this instance, the tool, plug, and air inflation is all combined. The size and weight of anything bike related keeps getting less and smaller. Every little advantage helps, and in this case, I can be back riding super fast if I happen to pop a hole in tire.
MSRP: $74.99. Numerous options to check out at DYNAPLUG
Kora Stratam Touring Jacket
There’s really no such thing as weather that’s too cold to ride in. It simply means, that you don’t have the proper gear to battle the elements. Now, I get that rain and snow can create more hazardous conditions, but in my neck of the woods, the sun comes out and clears that up quite quickly. Hence, I can pretty much ride year round on the Front Range of Colorado.
The Kora Stratam Touring Jacket is providing me with options. It works well as an outer layer or as a mid layer depending on the temperatures. I really don’t have any excuses now. The Stratam is form fitting, but roomy enough for layering. The jacket has a very clean design, long sleeves with thumb loops, and extra deep pockets to stash in hats, gloves, and layers when you need to shred gear as it warms up.
Lots of technical fabric innovations are working for you behind the scenes. My favorite being the Yak Wool blend fabric that’s breathable, moisture-wicking, and naturally odor-resistant. Those animals are arctic creatures, and I can’t wait to push the limits with this Kora Stratam. I also have an inkling that this Jacket will be my partner in crime for a long time to come. All that said, trust me when I say that this is a comfortable jacket that will keep you warm and dry (from the inside out).
MSRP: $ 225. See KORA STRATAM for more details.
Are we past covid or not? In either case, there might soon be a migration back to the office. The way of the commuter is really catching on. It is a clarifying moment of peace before the stresses of work envelop us. Wilderness Trail Bikes or better known as WTB has taken the show on the road; the commuter road to be exact. Since trail and rugged are in their DNA, WTB decided to add double the rubber to these Thickslick tires.
This is something I’ve been wanting to add to my eclectic Dutch 70’s steel racing steed which has been converted to my single speed urban commuter. Fun to ride, and now I can cruise with confidence that my tires will hold up to debris, potholes, and heaven forbid, the occasional broken glass encounter. The smoothness of the slicks will also provide for great grip as the rubber conforms to whatever urban surface I’ll encounter.
MSRP: $34.95. For sizing and more information please visit WTB
Pearl Izumi Amfib Lobster Gel Gloves
The Pearl Izumi Lobster Glove is an item that will certainly be appreciated by any Winter cyclist. A commuter, fat tire mountain biker, road rider, or neighborhood cruiser will all be able to enjoy their rides down to sub-freezing temperatures. The fingers are usually the first to go. Depending on your tolerance and weather conditions, these Lobsters will help delay the inevitable frozen digits that will cut a ride short. They sport a 170g Primaloft Gold and Crosscore technology insulation that up to this point, I have pushed down into the lower 20’s.
The majority of the body fabric provides excellent wind and water protection. Sporting Ax Suede Laredo synthetic leather palms gives the gloves that extra little grip as well as durability. The debate over gloves versus mittens will always be a thing between bikers. These Pearl Izumi Amfib Lobster Gel Gloves pack a punch in both departments where warmth and dexterity meet for a happy medium. Apparently, they are touch screen compatible. I really don’t see the need for that as my bike time is my phone free time, and I don’t need to be bothered. Others, I am sure, will appreciate it.
MSRP: $85. Go to LOBSTER for information and purchase.
Topeak Smartgauge D2X
It’s small, it’s smart, it is accurate! The gauge on my floor pump does an adequate job. I have always assumed its spot-on to allow me to go on my rides. I am now able to verify those settings with this Topeak Smartgauge D2X. In addition, for my gravel and mountain bike rides, I can easily carry this along to adjust my tire’s air pressure to suit what kind of terrain I am on. Plus, I frequently go from around 5,000’ of elevation to upwards of 12,000 feet. Consequently, I know that air pressure has an effect. I just never knew how much. Hence, I am now able to adjust my tire pressure on the go after a quick check.
Cyclists can get quite nerdy about a lot of little things. The amount of knowledge out there about componentry and accessories is mind boggling. This compact Topeak Smartgauge D2X will certainly appease the tech geeky bike rider. Sleek, lightweight, and compact is one thing. Accurate readings is next level and could help define the ability and enjoyment of a ride. My tire pump has a dial, and I thought I was usually fairly close at 90-100 psi for my road bike. Turns out, I was off anywhere from 5-10 psi. That is enlightening, and now allows me to run on lower psi with the same performance.
MSRP: $57.95. For more information and purchase please see TOPEAK
Elite Sport Bottle
A quick squirt while the pace is manageable seems to be my only option to hydrate when I’m riding in my local peloton. I don’t have the ability to fuss with fancy bottles, lids, or nozzles. Grab, use teeth to open nozzle, squirt, and replace bottle in cage. It sounds simple, but when I am cruising along at 25 plus mph in a big group, the simple task of doing that can be challenging. The Elite Sport Bottle is a ready and able option. They have a wide variety of bottles, so go look at what may work for you. I got the Fly-Elite 550 ML bottle, but I am eyeing the Le Tour and Giro versions to add to my hydration arsenal. This is perfect for my shorter intense rides.
MSRP: $9.99. FLY ELITE
Pearl Izumi Prospect Tech Sweatshirt
If you want a garment that works both on and off the bike, then this Prospect Tech jersey hits the mark. Even when I’m not on the bike, I kind of feel fast and technical in what I think is a very sleek and warm Jersey top or sweatshirt. The compliments have been coming hard and fast, and mainly from the lay person who likes the sporty look. Deep down as well as on the surface, this Prospect Tech Sweatshirt has done a mighty fine job of tackling my Fall commutes with its sweat-wicking grid fabric and tiny little thermal squares that line the inside.
The abrasion resistant forearms add that little stylish flare and color. This is a more relaxed fit, but I like the fact that it is longer. I am not a fan of a jersey, sweatshirt, or jacket that rides up and exposes the body to windy drafts. A small little chest pocket is good for looks, and can also store a business card or two. The outdoor world has certainly become a strong advocate in the sustainability category, and this Sweatshirt is made of 97% recycled polyester material. The casual, fun, and stylish look is great especially when it’s backed by solid technical qualities.
MSRP: $110. Go to Pearl Izumi for sizing and purchase.
Finish Line – Pro Care Bucket Kit 8.0
Get your clean on!! Seriously, a smooth running bicycle is simply a must. With the Pro Car Bucket Kit 8.0, you will provide a gift that literally keeps on giving. Every single ride will be thoroughly enjoyed, because you don’t have to deal with a squeak, a grind, a rub or a rattle. Besides a smoother ride, the life of your components and bike will significantly increase. Hence, this is a money saving venture in the long run. Well worth it, in my opinion.
The bucket includes the following:
4oz WET Lube
8oz DRY Lube
1 Liter Super Bike Wash
17oz Speed Degreaser
20oz Multi Bike Degreaser
Water-Tight Easy-Carry scrub Bucket
Bicycle Maintenance Guide
MSRP: $69.99. To get your biked cleaned up and running smooth click HERE
Giro Empire SLX Cycling Shoe
The Giro brand really resonates with me as this is now my 4th pair of their cycling kicks I have had the pleasure of owning. It’s a quality shoe, and happens to fit my foot very nicely. The Giro Empire SLX is quite honestly, a piece of art that you wear on your feet. Form over function or function over form? That is the question! Before taking them out, I simply sat and stared at the graceful lines, simple yet technological touches, and creative splashes in the features.
Enough Ooh-ing and Aah-ing, the laced closure provides for a natural feel, and infinite adjustability based on the uniqueness of your foot. I am able to tighten the mid part of my foot, but leave some breathing room for small bunions towards the front.
Giro has supplied me with 3 different insets for Low, Medium, and High arches. I am going with the Medium to give me perfect comfort and hopefully reduce any hotspots or numbness on longer rides. The footbed also has an anti-microbial fiber to help with odor control.
The one-piece upper design is truly seamless. A clean look, but also strong and aero. Synchwire is a stitch-less upper that’s vented with structural integrity. It’s the best of both worlds: ventilation as well as reinforcement. In addition, it’s also super lightweight. The best take-away is the durability, and the direct power transfer throughout the upper.
The Easton-engineered outsole EC90 high modulus carbon is tops when it comes to a firm stiff sole to weight ratio. All that said, these shoes are absolutely gorgeous with a sleek and simple look. If you are considering this as a gift, proceed knowing that the recipient will be truly appreciative.
MSRP: $375. To select your color options please go to GIRO
Rapha Pro Team Thermal Base Layer
Rapha is what I would call a boutique bicycling apparel brand with an all-mighty punch. Their branding is simple and effective, the quality is second to none, and it is honestly the most comfortable gear I have worn to date. The Thermal Base Layer will work nicely as we enter the colder winter months. You will notice the Trouée d’Arenberg across the chest which is from the infamous French Cobbled section in the Paris-Roubaix cycling race. This is a brutal section of road with large slick cobbles that dissect a 2.3 km portion of the Arenberg Forest.
The cool thing is that there’s a built-in balaclava (sort of). The collar is thin enough to stay down, double up for neck warmth, or stretch up all the way over the nose. The Thermal Base Layer is made from a polyester fabric that has a slightly bobbled finish against the skin. This is a really cool feature, because it is engineered to trap air and keep the body warm. It does so without compromising the ability to dry quickly and wick away the sweat.
And let me tell you, I was warm, and did not have a clammy wet shirt after my 42 mile hammer fest.
MSRP: $95. Go to RAPHA for all their options.
Do you have a coffee lover and bike fanatic in your family. I’m sure you do, so this will hit a sweet spot for that special someone. My cycling crew has their local coffee shop for a post ride social and java boost. I can’t always make that, but I always want a nice cup of coffee whenever I get home or to work. I see some real benefits to the Velo Canteen in my cycling commutes. I get to make my own French Press coffee, and enjoy it while at the office. This canteen is designed to fit in my bottle cage. How cool is that?!? Side note: now I need to find myself a cool purple Colnago to go with me Velo Canteen!
MSRP:$44.95 get one for yourself at VELOCANTEEN
Tailwind is big among several of my endurance ultra friends. They like it, because it works for them. Hence, I decided to also give this product a shot. They have nutrition for in-race fueling that tastes good with complete energy, electrolytes, and hydration qualities. The “easy on the gut” part is what resonates with me. I’ve tried every product out there that you can imagine, and this drink mix has worked well for me. Tailwind also has their recovery mix that quickly brings you back to normalcy and ready for the next adventure. It’s a complete protein drink mix with all 9 essential amino acids plus it adds in carbs, fats, and electrolytes.
Sanuk Cozy Vibe Slippers
This is obviously not a technical piece of cycling footwear. That said, I for one can appreciate a post ride shower, a warm meal, and an adult beverage in front of a fire in some cozy comfy slippers.
This comes from Sanuk, and the following quote is one of my favorite phrases yet to describe a product: “Stuffed full of a buttery soft, fluffy wool”. That certainly has me intrigued. Aside from the fact that they are comfortable, they also need to have the ability to withstand me going out in the snow to fetch more wood. The SugarMat outsole is made with 55% SugarCane EVA. In fact, many of the materials are responsibly sourced and recycled. In all honesty, while it keeps you warm, there is a technical know-how behind the sweat-wicking capability of the material blend. Get your favorite cyclist a cozy comfy slipper for après-ride relaxation.
MSRP: $75. Kick back and relax by going to SANUK for this cozy slipper
Final Thoughts on The Most Awesome Cycling Gift Guide Ever
Simply pick one item from this list, and that’s all it takes to make for a happy cyclist. I searched around, and basically found a nice assortment of gift options that I would enjoy. Hence, I invite you to take a look at this Cycling Gift Guide to select something that would be a welcome addition to your cyclists’ clothing or gear list. If it’s a surprise, I’m sure they’ll love it. For some cyclists who can certainly “geek-out” and are quite particular, you may want to have their involvement with the proper selection.
Thank you for looking and Happy Holidays.