Our top 5 Christmas gifts for cyclists…
OK, so we’re not the easiest bunch to buy for at Christmas. Cycling is a very particular sport, to begin with there are a multitude of different disciplines in cycling, Road, Mountain, Cyclocross, BMX etc. to name but a few and often these are split into a plethora of sub categories, MTB Downhill, MTB Trail, MTB XC, Road Race, Time Trial, Touring, Commute, the list seems endless. Add to this the fact that we cyclists do tend to spend every available penny on our hobby and so have quite a lot of our needs already met, making us not exactly the easiest folk to buy gifts for.
But hang on a minute, there is good news. There is a theory in cycling that the optimal number of bikes to own is N+1, where N is the number you currently own. Expand this theory to the multitude of cycle related goodies that cyclists accessorise their bikes with and you’ll begin to see that it’s not too tough to find a good cycle related gift, and more importantly, it’s likely to be very well received.
So here are our top suggestions for things that you might like to give a cyclist in your life….
1. Bike Care Products
So giving “smellies” at Christmas might seem a bit of a cliché, bath salts for Nan, Perfume for Mum, but believe it or not bikes just love a good pampering. We ride them, they get dirty, look sad and unloved and nobody wants to see a forlorn looking cycle. These days there are a multitude of bike care products on the market, from essentials like chain lube to more exotic compounds and waxes that polish and protect your pride and joy. There are day to day bike washes, sprays, greases and a multitude of special cleaning aids like chain cleaners, brushes and cloths. Bike care products are not only a practical gift that helps enhance and protect a bike, they are a regular consumable so even if the receiver already has plenty, more is always welcome (and frees up precious £ for those “essential” upgrades elsewhere).
With that Rudolf Christmas jumper put aside after a hefty Christmas dinner the cyclist turns to more practical bike specific clothing for a Boxing Day ride. Its winter, its cold and it rains A LOT. If you really want to show some love why not buy something that will keep your cyclist warm and protected from the worst of the elements, a nice Merino Wool base layer perhaps, knee or leg warmers, a rain jacket or how about a skull cap that fits neatly under a helmet and will be extremely appreciated on those frosty winter rides.
This is the one time you can give socks and be certain they will be very welcome. Actually, there are few finer gifts for a cyclist than a set of good cycling socks, we all use a lot of them and we hate cold feet. Wool socks in particular are a marvel and great for winter riding.
Be it socks, gloves, caps, jerseys or jackets there is plenty to choose from with gifts to suit most budgets.
Stuff break and needs fixing, but far more importantly to the cyclist we need to constantly tinker, fiddle, adjust, tweek and generally mess with every nut bolt and mobile part on our bicycles. It’s in a cyclist’s blood. So tools are a welcome gifts. There are tools available for every job on a bicycle from tiny plastic tyre levers to professional grade tool kits and work stands. Again, you can find something to match your budget.
One great suggestion is a multi-tool. When riding, most cyclists will carry one about their person. These small folding marvels are the Swiss army knife of cycling, a tiny workshop in your pocket ready to make those all-important roadside or trailside adjustments to fix or tune your bike. Starting from around £10 they make a great gift or stocking filler and owning more than one is a distinct advantage as they are often mislaid, so often in that other jersey pocket, coat or saddle bag.
4. Food (fuel)
Well it’s Christmas and Christmas is about eating, right? And as a car needs fuel and oil so a cyclist needs calories and hydration. OK, so while the gift of oil or petrol may not be particularly exciting even to the Top Gear fan, the gift of energy bars, gels, hydration or protein drinks is always welcome and useful to a keen cyclist and a good supply will keep them fuelled through long rides. Energy bars and gels are a compact, easy to carry source of valuable calories designed to be optimal fuel for riding. They make a great stocking filler and are available in a huge range of flavours, although we’ve yet to see Christmas Pudding or Turkey Sandwich flavours, but you’ll probably have lost the taste for those by the New Year anyway.
Safety products might not seem like the most exciting of gifts but remember they keeps your cyclist visible on the road and able to enjoy their ride more confidently. Good lights also extend our riding time for both on and off road riding and anything that gets us out riding bikes at times we otherwise might not be able to is a good thing by us.
With advances in LED light technology, today’s lights are far more powerful and less battery hungry than ever before. So if your cyclist hasn’t upgraded their lighting in a few years it’s time for a change.
So those were our top 5 suggestions, the list could easily go on and there are two that didn’t quite make the cut that need to mention, a bike being the first. Is there really any finer gift than the bicycle itself?
Receiving your first bike as a child is often one of the most treasured memories of childhood, but cyclists of any age are never sorry to see a shiny new steed roll their way. So, we’d happily add some bikes, better still some exotic top-of-the-range carbon fibre models to our list but we think it might blow your budget in this time of austerity. Instead, we’ll dream, wish and continue to be good for Santa, there’s always next Christmas (and a few opportunities to play the lottery before then).
Last but not least, there is always the humble gift voucher (Still probably still the most requested and most popular gift choice in our store). So if you really can’t decide what to get, stick a few credits in the bank of bike for your cycling loved one. We’re sure they’ll use them well and certainly won’t be disappointed.
Whatever you choose, know that your cycle related gift is encouraging an admirable pursuit that’s not only good for health but also kind to the environment. You can give without guilt knowing that every mile cycled in the New Year helps restore balance after the excesses of Christmas.
|If you’d like some more specific gift ideas from our store, come and visit us at 65 North Parade, Aberystwyth. We are always happy to offer some suggestions. Otherwise, keep an eye on our twitter feed on the run up to Christmas, where we’ll be posting some of our favourite product gift ideas. Find us at: http://www.twitter.com/summitcyclesuk
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