Having a cycling woman in your life makes buying Christmas gifts the easiest thing in the world. Just like our male cycling counterparts we love all the gadgets, gizmos and gear that goes along with our chosen sport and pastime, but unlike the majority of male cyclists, we’ve probably also got a pretty strong list of window shopping contenders in mind. The array of women’s kit available now is impressive, especially as compared with not even a decade ago, and probably offers a bewildering selection for the gift-buying partner, but if you’ve an idea of her cycling style, you can’t go far wrong.
For female speed fiends there’s plenty of top notch lycra loveliness around. For recreational and leisure cyclists there are some cool and stylish accessories as well as clothing that looks good on or off the bike. Urban riders and commuters will like some of the innovative takes on reflectivity, while pretty much all women (and yes, I AM generalizing horribly- but I can, because I am one) are going to like necessary evils such as tools and locks that show just that little bit more style than just plain practicality.
If all else fails, there’s always a gift voucher. Some of the best dedicated women’s kit and generally quirky stuff is available online, and most online retailers do gift vouchers. Just make sure you wrap the voucher in pretty paper!
Cannondale SuperSix Ultegra Women’s £2599.99
I’ll be looking at this in more depth very soon, but suffice it to say, I’d be happy to get one of these tucked into my stocking on Christmas morning. With a female specific frame, carbon forks and Shimano Ultegra throughout, it’s got all the makings of a festive period spent spurning the Christmas Pud in favour of breaking PBs. www.evanscycles.com
Cyclodelic Reflective Cuffs £10 narrow or £19 broad
A stylish method of trouser leg control or purely a fashion statement, these cuffs come in a variety of funky colours and patterns, including funky snake effect. All are covered with tiny reflective beads that make them highly visible under car headlights and are adjustable for wrists or ankles.
Lezyne Pressure Drive Mini Pump £28.99
Great looking, well built and works a treat at inflating even road tyres out and about. It’s light, compact and somehow manages to be desirable, even though it’s just a pump. Several colour options.
Harlot Scarlet X-Tech Knickers £70
Low key capris that’ll quickly become a favourite part of a cycling wardrobe. The charmingly named ‘beaver comfort zone’ pad is discrete and unobtrusive and good for all but the longest or most sporting of road rides. For trips to the shops, a recreational buzz around the lanes or even a short mountain bike ride, these are extremely comfortable. They’re flattering and look great too.
Specialized Lithia Gel Saddle £39.99
A female specific saddle, using Specialized’s Body Geometry Gel inserts, designed for all types of rider, especially the enthusiast. Comes in three saddle widths.
Available at Hargroves Cycles
Rapha Women’s Classic Softshell Jacket £240
Sleek, futuristic softshell jacket that shows such attention to detail, you’ll wrack your brains trying to think of something they missed. With pit zips for ventilation, an optional drop tail, offset front zip for cool looks and to avoid chin rub, rubberized patch on one shoulder to keep bag strap secure, rear cargo pockets, pump sleeve, zipped valuables pocket and the list goes on. As importantly though, it’s cut well and looks great.
Cyclodelic Saddle Bag £65
Generously sized saddle bag with straps that allow for easy attachment to the saddle and also mean it neatly converts into a good looking fashionable handbag, perfect for café cruising and nights out. Comes in several colours.
Rapha Women’s Shorts £130
Soft, pliable and impeccably crafted lycra shorts for maximum comfort on long days in the saddle. A slightly longer leg length makes for extra coverage for those a little reticent about showing too much leg.
Dashing Tweeds Reflective Legwarmers £40
Woolly eighties style legwarmers with a twist- they use reflective yarns! Warm your legs, keep your trousers snugly constrained AND give a little extra visibility after dark. Perfect for riding to your aerobics class or Fame revival.
Basil Jada Shopper Bike Bag XL £49.99 (pic)
Whopping 19 litre shopping bag that hooks over a rack pannier-style but detaches easily for hauling around the supermarket. With adjustable shoulder strap, pockets, reflective stripes and made from water resistant polyester.
Knog Porno Patch Repair Kit £7.45
Dinky and very, very wrong, but in a good way. Contains all the bits you need such as six small and two larger decorated glue-less ‘porno’ patches, sandpaper and two folding tyre levers. Several colour options. www.tokyofixedgear.com
Knog Party Frank £14.99
It’s not a sausage, it’s a lock. Seamlessly moulded, colourful silicone with a braided loose bound steel cable and fibre core. 1000 combination lock cylinder.
Cyclechic Gift Voucher £???
The choice is yours how much you want to spend, or have spent on you. There’s plenty to choose from on the site, with Bern and Yakkay helmets, baskets and bags, clothing from Swrve and TWO n FRO among sundry other lovely things.
Minx-Girl Filled Tool Roll Polka Dots £24
A tool-roll with spaces for all a girl could need to keep her pride and joy ticking over while on a ride. Comes filled with tyre levers, Crank Brothers Multi 5 tool, Knog Porno Patches and some Minx Badges, but can easily be customized to carry your own selection of odds and sods.
Smartwool Cycling Socks £10.95/£11.95 (pic)
Merino means minimal stink, which is a good thing in socks. These well designed socks come in several different styles and colours and all feature shaped and cushioned padding zones , making them amongst the most comfortable cycling socks available.
Sugoi Firewall 220 Zip £124 (pic)
Not strictly a bike jacket, as much as a run/ride jacket, but this wind and water resistant jacket is so well thought through and so attractive that it would make the perfect gift for that special sporty someone. With three front zip pockets, reflective Scotchlite accents and a rear zip pocket, it offers maximum protection and thermal regulation with minimum bulk. Available in several stunning colours. www.wiggle.co.uk
Hope Vision 1 LED Front Light £81
This simple, single LED light is engineered to last, and is surprisingly bright (240 lumens on max power), making it ideal for urban cycling. It’s also especially good for multi-bike households and those who road ride and mountain bike, as it can easily be switched from bike to bike or even to helmet. It comes in a choice of colours.
Spokeshirts ‘His Bike Is Crap’ T-Shirt £13.95
Simple 100% cotton t-shirt that says it all.
Yoga for Cyclists DVD £18
One for the lads or ladies, this dvd is designed to help stretch out and strengthen those joints and muscle groups most abused by cyclists, to help avoid those nasty long term niggles. Or of course you could sit down together and watch road.cc's very own series of yoga for cyclist videos for free… you would still have to buy a present though.
Lara has been riding bikes for longer than she'd care to admit, and writing about them nearly as long. Since 2009 she has been working as part of the road.cc review team whilst championing women's cycling on the side, most notably via two years as editor of the, sadly now defunct, UK's first and only women's cycling mag, erm, Women's Cycling.
Believing fervently that cycling will save the world, she wishes that more people would just ride a bike and be pleasant to each other.
She will ride anything with two wheels, occasionally likes to go fast, definitely likes to go far and is always up for a bit of exploring somewhere new and exciting.