Know a cyclist who spends longer getting ready for a ride than they do actually riding? Do they take more time cleaning their bike and making sure the tyre logos and valves are lined up than they do riding it? Then this list of gifts of quality and distinction for the princess, we mean discerning cyclist in your life could just save you from a Christmas Day tantrum.
Bontrager Classique Shoes £199.00
Laces are right in right now in road shoes and these Bontrager Classique kicks eschew all ratchets and cables and take the retro fastening to the next level with a full on vintage look, but still hold on to all the benefits you want from a modern shoe. The sole is a 12k weave carbon/fiberglass and the upper is a lightweight premium microfiber. The Classique shoe has a stiffness index of 12, which is two stiffer than anything on a 1 -10 scale, but more important than all of that, it’s probably the prettiest shoe you’ll ever see. Give brash fluro a stylish hoof in the slats. You’ll want the matching top as well. The Classique is also available in black - and if you shop around you can find the more staid version for less than £199.
The perfect conversation opener down the pub or at the Christmas party, as long as that conversation’s about the glory years of Hinault and LeMond and who stabbed whom in the back. And maybe Look pedals. Or what’s the best and worst cycle kit of all time. Anyway, the tee is made from a practical cotton/lycra mix and has the iconic La Vie Claire inspired design sublimated into it both front and back.
Effetto Giustaforza II Pro Torque Wrench £189.99 (SRP)
If you’re the kind of rider that’s happy to spend £200 on a set of carbon bars or any other fancy expensive doodad on your bike and then happy to wreck them by getting over-excited with a 50p allen-key then you should probably look away now. Using a torque-wrench means that every single bolt on your bike can be tightened correctly all the time every time without the gentle cracking carbon noise to let you know you should probably back it off half a turn. The Giustaforza II is targeted at professional (and discerning) users, it’s red anodized, has laser-etched inscriptions for that Pro look and has a reversible ratcheting head. The Deluxe version comes with a cycling-specific bit set and furled cosy in a practical wrap package. Discerning types who shop around can find it for a lot less than list price too.
Unfortunate though it is sometimes you have to spoil the exquisite lines of your road bike with a satchel of tools. I know, I know. Mack Workshop is an independent maker of bike related bags and accessories, their products aren’t mass produced as each one is hand cut from high quality materials, sewn, packaged and posted, one by one. The Road Roll fits under your saddle with enough room for a 700c tube, levers, inflator and multi tool. Made from Waterproof 1000D Cordura it’s held securely in place with a strap and buckle. Although available in a rainbow of colours this reflective one might be just the thing for Winter training rides, you can buy a pretty pink one for Summer. And a Tool Roll is waaay cooler than a Saddle Bag. You know it deep down.
The John Lewis advert, a Number One from someone you’d never heard of a month ago and will never hear of again, and socks; all of these have come to represent the true meaning of Christmas. If you’re going to get socks it makes sense they’re ones that can be used the day after to burn off the excesses or just to escape, and why not a hat to match?
The ‘This Is Cambridge’ Omloop socks are made from Italian milled, Australian premium grade merino wool reinforced with synthetic fibres to make them a durable, hard wearing foot cardigan. Available in pink, yellow and orange they’re long for extra warmth and on-trend points.
The matching Omloop Cap is designed and handmade by TiC in Cambridge from the finest 100% merino wool (apart from the fluorescent pink yarn used in the ear cover which is acrylic). The heavy merino outer shell is windproof and water resistant while the micro thin merino lining draws moisture away from the head and the soft merino peak reduces pressure points. It’s available in five sizes and will fit under most helmets. (Yes, this featured in our guide to Christmas Gifts for Women Cyclists - but some discerning cyclists aren't female - so belt 'n' braces eh).
It’s wine, it’s got a cyclist on the label, what’s not to like? The only downside is that it’s got a screw top so you don’t get a chance to use the Campagnolo bottle opener you got for Christmas last year. You haven’t got one of them? Put it on your list. A 12.5% tipple with a bright cherry colour packed with red berry aromas and hint of nutmeg, or so it says here, the palate is full-bodied and fruity. Like a chamois after 100 miles then. Not to be confused with the magazine of the same name, you can’t drink a magazine.
Break Fluid Coffee from £7.50 per bag
Cycling and coffee, let’s just agree it’s a thing, yeah? But coffee before, tea after, them’s the rules. Now that your road bike and/or gravel bike has hydraulic brakes you’ll need some Break Fluid to go with it. Break Fluid say they can deliver the best tasting, highest quality, easy to brew coffee straight to your doorstep. Break Fluid only use A grade Arabica coffee beans with no lower grade fillers, they choose only carefully selected and sourced ethically produced beans with product traceability that are then roasted in small batches by their artisan (obviously) roasters. You can buy Break Fluid coffee by the single bag or on subscription if you want that special somebody to love you for a long time.
A Posh Razor £34.00
As part of their exacting pre-ride regime the discerning cyclist deserves a separate razor for their legs, you can’t possibly use the same one for your chin and your pins. It needs to be a better deforesting tool than the one they use for their face, obviously, and beards in the peloton are very fashionable right now anyway. It’s time to ditch the over-priced shackles of the cartridge razor and go back to the traditional double-edged safety razor too, for a better shave, economics and a depilatory dash. This Edwin Jagger razor is made in Sheffield where they know a thing or two about steel and comes with a diamond-patterned handle to enhance grip in the slippery bath.
To make the most of that razor you’ll need a fine stubble lubricant. As well as a fine selection of socks Donkey Label also have a fragrant collection of embrocations and balms and amongst their cabinet of creams is this Hand Crafted Donkey Shaving Soap. It’s a hydrating soap designed specifically for shaving and shampooing. Thick, smooth, and nourishing it smells nice too, it smells of… victory.
Silca Pocket Impero Mini Pump £100.00
Rather than designing a special mini-pump Silca have shrunk their Impero frame-fit pump, carrying over as much technology as possible. A full-metal mini-pump the pump-head is the same as the Impero while the brass check valve comes out of their £300 SuperPista track-pump. A 3mm leather gasket, identical to the Impero helps to ensure consistent high-pressure pumping, with Silca claiming 200 strokes will get you close to 90psi, which is still quite a few sweaty thrusts. Still if you can afford this pump your butler-domestique can probably do that for you.
The discerning cyclist sees no problem with matching bar-tape to socks to cap to top, the pinnacle of the breed is prepared to go the extra mile and co-ordinate their safety-pins when numbering up for a race. Why rely on the rusty bent pins the organiser hands out when you can show the kind of panache on the start line that would make a Cat 4 faint.
The internet and most places where they sell safety pins
Some Wallpaper £65 per roll
Illustrator Rich Mich (Richard Mitchelson to his mum) is well known for his work with the likes of Rouleur, Team Sky and Howies, and for creating the infamous mugs and Eddy and Cav vinyl toys. Off the back of fantastic success on the Drops.cc stand at the London Bike Show where a wall of this paper was coloured in by the public, Pro riders and famous faces from the cycling world, the wallpaper is now available to buy.
Suitable for that feature wall in the front room, or for covering the entire man-cave, turbo-trainer hurt locker, or shed as it’s often known. This wallpaper is available already shaded in pastel colours ready to paste on the wall or in black and white for you to colour in yourselves. No going over the lines now.
Jo Burt has spent the majority of his life riding bikes, drawing bikes and writing about bikes. When he's not scribbling pictures for the whole gamut of cycling media he writes words about them for road.cc and when he's not doing either of those he's pedaling. Then in whatever spare minutes there are in between he's agonizing over getting his socks, cycling cap and bar-tape to coordinate just so. And is quietly disappointed that yours don't He rides and races road bikes a bit, cyclo-cross bikes a lot and mountainbikes a fair bit too. Would rather be up a mountain.