We run down the best cycling Christmas gifts for 2016
Perhaps you have found your way here it’s because there’s a cyclist in your life and you’re having to go through the ordeal of finding cycling Christmas gifts.
You know they like cycling. It seems to be the only thing they ever talk about, and the only actual interest they have. But as soon as you type ‘cycling Christmas gifts’ into Google, you realise just how much stuff there is out there.
How do you tell the gems from the junk? What are they going to find useful, and what’s going to end up unloved in a draw? What is the killer cycling Christmas gift that is going to make you look like a present hunting superstar?
The other option is that you’ve snuck in here to find something nice to buy yourself. If that is the case, perhaps forward this onto your loved ones to give them a gentle nudge in the right direction. Otherwise, if you are the sort of person who ends up with two of everything because you buy yourself last minute Christmas gifts, then you only have yourself to blame.
Here’s a few Christmas gift ideas to get you started…
Despite Team GB dominating the velodrome for over a decade now, track cycling is still a fairly small niche within the sport. Only a minority of cyclists are out track cycling on a regular basis, and fewer still have ridden at the Olympic Lee Valley Velodrome.
You can change that for the princely price of £40 with a track tester session.
Have you ever braved the handmade gifts on Etsy? Not for the feint hearted, this is a bit of a gift giving minefield. There is a real danger of ending up with a hideous monstrosity ‘upcycled’ out of knackered old bike parts. Look carefully however and you could end up with a one off gem for a discerning cyclist.
How about a one-off chapeau made in South Carolina?
My pick would be the Rapha Windblock jersey, our marketing manager Emily has opted for one the women’s jerseys from the new brand on the scene Queen of the Mountains (actually, that’s not strictly true, she chose them both). Neither brand is going to lead to disappointment on Christmas day.
Something a little less racy
We often fall into the trap of focusing on the race end of the market, but cycling is about more than just competition. For the slightly more casual character, you might have some luck looking at Vulpine clothing.
Their USP is clothing cut for riding, which will be hard wearing and durable enough for the saddle, but which you can wear to the pub without non-cyclists laughing at you. As good as we think we look, nobody will take you seriously queuing for a pint in spray-on Lycra.
Vulpine’s herringbone jacket has become a bit of a classic over the last few years. Its shape will keep your lower back warm and forearms dry while riding if the weather turns south, then step off the bike and you’ll look just like a normal person again.
Jerseys and jackets might make a special gift for a special person, but pretty much all cycle clothing is going to cost you a few quid. What if you are after a stocking filler, secret Santa present, or you’re just trying to keep it simple?
How about something they can use everyday, and express their devotion to velo wherever they go? Coffee has left an indelible mark on cycling culture, so you cant go far wrong with a really nice mug. We happen to like these ones here from Velovixen, and these ones here from Look Mum No Hands! Each year at YJ, we gain a couple more of Rouler Magazine’s Legends mugs designed by Ritchard Mitchelson, which we love.
And if you like the look of Rich Mitchelson’s designs, take a look at his prints and art books over on his website.
(Fun fact, Richard Mitchelson also made our YJ animation)
There are so many other stocking fillers to choose from so we’ve opted for a couple of ‘I love this but wouldn’t buy one for myself’ options.
First up for the ladies are these merino wool neck warmers from the brand Findra they come in a range of colours and would be great on and off the bike.
For the men, we’ve picked some rather stylish pro team socks from Rapha.
For the Commuter
When most of us start commuting by bike to work, we pack our laptop and change of clothes into a rucksack and head off out the door. Pretty quickly we start to realise that while a rucksack works, its far from comfortable, and riding a road bike with a big weight on our backs can be perilous at best. So, we progress onto the pannier bag. The temptation when buying a commuter bag for yourself is to look for the utilitarian option. It’s there to do a job, not look nice. But your spouse/sister/uncle deserves to arrive at work in style.
There is no shortage of options out there that have a bit more going for them than square bag which hangs off bike. We happen to quite like this one here.
We’ve also come across a rather cool new urban rucksack from Kitbrix which could be used on or off the bike. We love how it has a pouch for almost everything – so no more smelly trainers and wet swimwear with your lunch and even your credit card has its own little section!
If you feel like giving something back instead, how about a charity donation? We recently shared the great story from World Bicycle Relief’s new campaign called A Way Forward to help mobilise girls across Africa. For £95 you can buy a life changing Buffalo Bicycle or £35 could buy a mechanics toolkit.