Gifts should be a little luxurious and this may mean giving a gift that someone would not normally buy themselves. The luxury thinking might come in the function or the form of that item.
As far as gear is concerned, cycling is a combination of function and performance, so why give a crappy gift that seems cool yet doesn’t work well and thus only gets used once? Here are a few top things we have used / tested and relied on:
1. LEZYNE HAND PUMP – $44
Quite frankly the best portable pump going. These pumps are designed well, lightweight, built to last and with thoughtful features that make inflating a tyre a great experience. well no, not great but about as good as it can be when you are stuck in the middle of nowhere with a puncture. For your roadie dude get the High-Pressure Road Drive. Even better get the new model with the built in pressure Gauge – $75
High pressure with digital readout from Lezyne.com
2. RAPHA CLASSIC WINTER JACKET – $385
A good versatile jacket is that single garment that can make everything seem ok, even riding in terrible weather conditions. This expensive little number from Rapha is one of those jackets that has figuratively and literally got you covered. Made with a ton of technology to keep you dry but also breathable, the well tailored jacket offers well thought out features and unprecedented support of Rapha. Three pockets in the back and a safe zippered pocket along with slender construction and Rapha level quality. Without a doubt this is sure to impress any cyclist this holiday.
Classic Winter from www.rapha.cc
3. LIGHT AND MOTION – OBSIDIAN STOUT – $50
With kookie names after beers and outdoor places, the Light & Motion brand has a range of urban lights, reliable, waterproof and rechargeable. We like these lights because they offer a “pulse” mode which is a lot more pleasing yet as effective as the annoying hyper epileptic flashy many others have. This Obsidian Stout model is a great value at 350Lumens which is more than bright enough for most urban riding, has three light modes, mounts to your handle bars quickly, and quickly removable to stop it from being stolen and lasts 6hrs in low mode.
The wool synthetic mix has a high durability with a luxury feel, not a cheap spandex feel. The jersey is a little warmer than most thinner material types and has tons of pockets and highly reflective stripes. Overall well designed and a core piece of fall and winter kit, that looks great and becomes the lasting go-to wardrobe item.
5. SHOWERSPASS CROSSPOINT WATERPROOF SOCKS- $34
For the hardcore commuter or cyclocross racer these socks perform. Pretty unique on the market, socks which resist water and are breath also, made from multiple layers and a membrane yet still a thin sock like material. Keep your feet dry no matter what. Available in hi-viz green or wool versions also.
6. TORQUE WRENCH – $100
The days of just tightening a bolt are gone, everything nowadays is highly technical and needs to be precisely adjusted or you risk stripping a bolt or even worse cracking carbon. Gift a tool which ensures every bolt will be 100% mechanically correct on their bike.
We personally like this Shimano Pro branded one, it’s accuracy, comes with a variety of bits and is a reasonable price.
7. VARIA REARVIEW RADAR – $299
The rear flasher infused with technology. Imagine a bike light that can sense when cars are approaching. For the ultra commuter or heavy road rider the Varia senses cars approaching from behind using radar technology and warns the rider while it also adjusts the intensity and frequency flashing. This gives some warning to the rider and also enables the maximum visibility for the approaching vehicle.
8. PEETS SHOE DRYER – $50 (2 prong, origional) or $100 (4 prong multi)
One of my all time fav’s here – If your cyclist is super hardcore, lives in an area where it rains a lot or just generally rides in wet weather, then this is for them. As a warning, they might thank you forever! As well as drying out footwear they can easily be used for gloves and shoe covers also. On chilly mornings it’s a luxury touch to put on a pair of prewarmed shoes – to make the ride that more enjoyable. The convection air systems below will dry a soaked pair of shoes overnight to bone dry, but there are models (the Advantage) with fan assist blowers for a faster for a 2-3hr dry.