Christmas is quickly approaching and that means trying to pick the perfect gift for the friends and family closest to you. It can be difficult to figure out what products cyclists want for the holidays, but there are a few appealing options available.
Here are seven Christmas gift ideas for cyclists:
Specialized Element 2.0 Windstopper Jacket
A high MSRP, but worth every penny for cyclists that need a long-sleeve jacket for cold weather riding this winter. The full-zip jacket is wind and water resistant and should be plenty warm enough if you have base layers on underneath. The 100 percent polyester jacket won’t keep you warm in frigid weather, but it’s perfect for chilly, windy days when some type of windbreaker is needed. Specialized is a company focused on cycling, and the quality of its products show the team’s dedication to making high quality products.
Giro Factor Road Shoes
If someone wanted to buy me a pair of cycling shoes for Christmas, this is the pair that I would ask for. Pricey with a $290 MSRP, the Girl Factor is a premium road shoe. The shoe is designed for use during long training rides and more time spent out in the saddle. It seems weird such an expensive pair of cycling shoes has Velcro straps and a buckle, but Giro switched it up a bit, slightly moving the location of straps and buckle on the shoes. The shoe is rigid but provides a comfortable ride when clipped into bike pedals, and should be able to withstand decent abuse over a lifetime.
Selle Italia Flite Saddle
Selle Italia is well known among experienced cyclists and the company’s products are absolutely top notch. The regular Flite is the heaviest saddle in the Flite series, with a 220-gram weight, but is a great choice. Bike saddles are difficult to choose for another person, but if experimenting with the more expensive, higher-quality saddles, it’s worth taking your time to choose the right product. I have enjoyed using my Selle Italia saddles over the past few seasons, and couldn’t imagine using anything else.
Pearl Izumi PRO Barrier Arm Warmer
A $50 MSRP shouldn’t scare you away from purchasing a very good pair of arm warmers for the cyclist close to you. Not only does Pearl Izumi PRO Barrier Arm Warmer keep your arms warm – whether worn under a jacket or on their own – but the warmers allow your arms to breathe and disperse sweat for better evaporation. The arm warmers fit well and aren’t too constricting, as Pearl Izumi has specialized in cycling gear for a long time. A great product for bone-chilling descents on a cooler day, because the arm warmers extend to right underneath regular bike jersey so a minimal amount of skin is exposed.
Timbuk2 Especial Medio Cycling Backpack
Timbuk2 is a favorite brand among cyclists in the San Francisco Bay Area, with the commuter bags seen on everyone from executives to bike messengers.
The water-resistant bag can hold a laptop up to 15” – and I especially like the built-in U-lock holster that can also be used as a water bottle pocket. The bag has a rather stiff $179 MSRP, but Timbuk2 bags are among the best I’ve ever used.
SmartWool PhD Cycle Ultra Light ¾ Crew
An excellent pair of cycling socks tend to be appreciated among cyclists, as the socks are important to keep feet comfortable – and are rather pricey. The SmartWool PhD Cycle Ultra Lights ¾ Crew socks are warm, comfortable, and are good for longer durations of exercise. Ironically, it’s marketed as more of a sock designed for summer, but is great for mild weather riding days. The sock is 57 percent merino wool, 41 percent nylon, and 2 percent elastane, and I have been impressed by the newer generations of merino wool as an appropriate sports clothing material.
If SmartWool isn’t a company you want to order from, there are excellent products from the likes of DeFeet, Pearl Izumi, Icebreaker, and other reputable companies. It’s worth mentioning, however, SmartWool provides a lifetime warranty of its products.
Often forgotten in favor of more expensive single items, every cyclist can appreciate bike accessories under the Christmas tree. Whether it’s a gift certificate to a bike shop or retailer, bike tubes, chain grease and lube, or some bike tools, there are quite a few options available for shoppers to choose from.
I personally recommend the following bike cleaning products: Finish Line, White Lightening, and Pedro’s, as each company is known for manufacturing great products. Park Tools is the best known cycling tool manufacturer of high-quality products; although rather pricey, these tools should last cyclists many years of continued use.
Bonus Item: Sports Nutrition products – Sports nutrition supplements are vital for cyclists going out for longer rides, and it’s something we cannot have enough of. Wenger previously published a list of eight energy gel and sports nutrition products that endurance athletes should consider trying.
Staying warm and dry during winter cycling is so important, especially for the smaller, lighter riders with less body fat. If you have a family member or friend that rides year-round, I hope this gift guide is a good resource to start brainstorming ideas.