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Gift Guide: For the Cyclist

Somebody commented on Twitter that it’s too early for gift guides, but I wanted to put it out there in case you do some Black Friday shopping.  So, for the cyclist, here are some suggested items.

A Bike Light Set  – especially if the person has just gotten into cycling, or is a total cheapskate and not concerned about their safety.  Also, spoke lights, reflective tape, reflective ankle straps, and a reflective vest.  If you are gifting for a non-commuting cyclist who only rides on trails, you can probably skip these.

Bike Gloves – these come in several flavors, and I would buy them from REI or a local bike shop, in case you have no sense of hand size.  You can either get long distance cycling gloves (I have these), great for trail riding, or you can get winter weight gloves suitable for wearing in the cold.  Gloves are a good idea because they fall in the $12-30 range, and you can always use a second pair – they get really gross and need washing, but take awhile to dry, so spares are good, and I like to keep gloves in all my pockets.

Bell – totally necessary (even required in some areas.)  I love the Saturn design because I’m incompetent at bell ringing and this one is pretty idiot-proof – but the guy at the shop asked if I was a lefty and commented that most bike bells aren’t good for lefties, so if you are buying for a lefty, definitely consider this design.  The Jellibells are also easy to use and pretty much the same concept, but a bit smaller and quieter.

Panniers and bags – if you are looking to really splurge, go for the Ortlieb panniers.  They are great and waterproof and really really easy to use.  If you want something a little fun, the still pricy Freemonster flap pannier is pretty.  My bike bag is made by Detours and it’s very well designed, so I wouldn’t hesitate to buy anything from them.  If the person you are shopping for just rides their bike to the grocery store or farmers market, a shopping or open top pannier is a good choice.

Clips & Pedals – if you have a giftee who is thinking about going clipless, consider clipless pedals, or just campus pedals that let you use either bike shoes or regular shoes.  These can be particular to certain kinds of shoes, so again, make sure to get a gift receipt.

Stocking Stuffers – a bungie net is awesome, and many people don’t own them, or even know they exist.  Fancy rack straps are also good.  Helmet mirrors, multi-tools, tire levers, arm warmers, ear warmers, a balaclava, a water bottle, a bike computer (pricey but small, so still a good stocking stuffer), or maybe even a bike cup holder.

Any other suggestions?

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