In the second of or seasonal lists of Christmas gifts for cyclists Vecchiojo suggests some gifts that a discerning cylist like what he is might like to wake up to on Christmas morning. Take it away Jo…
Assos Sock Kit £82.99
It’s Christmas, you’re going to get socks, it’s inevitable, in which case it's wise to make sure you get the right socks.
The Assos 6-Pack contains all the socks you'll need to see you through a whole year with a selection of socks of varying thickness to match the seasons and a pair of oversocks all packaged in a neat little storage bag. Something to keep an elegantly shaped ankle comfortable at all times then, and not an 100% polyester Rudolf with light-up nose in sight.
Metal Cycling Figures £12.00 for three.
These aren't modern knock-offs of toys someone found in a junk-shop, these are the same die cast zinc alloy models that have been made in France by the same people since the 1950s. We like that. And recent interest from collectors stopped the manufacturers disappearing completely. We like that as well. As they're individually hand-painted they're all slightly different and there's nothing to stop you cracking open the Humbrols to decorate them in your favourite team's livery. Perfect for forming a peloton along the top of the coffee-machine, or window-sill, or dreaming of a lone breakaway along the ridge of the work veal-pen partition wall.
Bling wheels £1,000+
We've always hankered after some nice wheels, well, we've got some nice wheels, but who wouldn't like some really nice wheels. Wheels that make people go "You could buy a car for that?!?" We're currently playing out on some Reynolds carbon wheels the MV32UL Cs that cost about three times as much as the car and we really like them, a lot. They're fast, stiff, crazy light, and the carbon rim squeals when you whap the front brake on hard. Which is Pro.
So some of them please, for the training clinchers. And another special special pair for tubs, just for racing.
La Gazzetta Della Bici Massage Oils £13.99 per bottle
I'm enjoying this triumvirate of oils from La Gazzetta Della Bici at the moment. In three flavours, 'Verde' warm-up oil, 'Rosso' post-ride and 'Rosa' specially formulated for the ladies. Packed full of essential oils to aid warm-up or recovery they smell absolutely fabulous and there's something to be said about giving your legs a good old energising or restorative rub before and after a ride. Although we suspect that a proper masseuse with hands the size of Belgium might scoff at them for being a bit flouncy we think they're just right.
Bar Tape £9.99 to POA
Not just a £10 roll of Cinelli cork in white, although for future reference that's always welcome and fits nicely in the toe of a Christmas stocking, but the mythical Mechanic's Roll. A roll of tape that's long enough to do many many bikes, we've heard stories, we've even seen an out of focus photograph. If one of these were to turn up on December 25th then we'd believe in Father Christmas. And peace on earth.
The Pyrenees from £40 (for the book) to how much do you want to spend?
Quieter and generally regarded as harder than the Alps, the Pyrenees is riddled with famed climbs that every cyclist should do, no, has to do. Col d'Aspin, Portet d' Aspet, Peyresourde, Col d'Aspin, Marie Blanque, Tourmalet, Superbagneres, Porte de Bales, Ares and the Pla d'Adet off the top of our head. We’ll just take a week out there please, or realising that they might be tricky to wrap the "The Rapha Guide to The Great Road Climbs of the Pyrenees" will be alright for the moment.
www.rapha.cc or if you are going the whole hog www.pyractif.com
"100 Greatest Cycling Climbs" by Simon Warren £8.99
As the legendary climbs of The Tour are out of reach for much of the year you have to look closer to home to scratch that grimpeur itch. This book is a decent enough place to start, and as mentioned in our review it's not a comprehensive list but it's enough to be going on with. We especially like the tick list in the back, is it possible to bag all 100 in a year? It's a short hop and one too many sherries to go from Christmas present to New Year's Resolution.
Côtes du Ventoux from £4.99 up
If you can’t ride it then at least you can drink it. We're sure you can taste the heat and the dust, and a good red wine is great for the suplesse - the more you drink the suppler it gets. The Côtes du Ventoux is an appelation controlée so there's actually any number to chose from and you can buy a single bottle or by the case for half case. Côtes du Ventoux its distinguishing characteristic being that it's full and fruity - well the best ones are anyway.
Buy it online are at your local offy
Razor Blades - year's supply £15 and up…
A year’s worth of razor blades please, they’re stupidly expensive and when you have to do both chin and legs at all gets rather wallet-puckering. I'm a Gilette Mach3 man, with Body Shop shaving cream and a badger brush (has anyone done a Hinault cyclists shaving brush, perhaps they should
The Right Tool - (A Headset press for Jo £64.99) but it could be anything…
We all have a gap in our workshop armoury where the Right Tool should be. Could be the decent chain-splitter, could be the cutting guide, could be the bottom-bracket tool, could be the quality set of allen-keys rather than the multi-toool, that proper tool that you don't have so need to go down the bike shop or bodge a hammer and a screwdriver in an inappropriate way.
For me, this Christmas, Id like a headset press. No, not the cheap "Home Mechanics" version but the heavy made of the finest girders workshop one. The one that comes in its own wooden box. We're aware that with the creeping omnipresence of integrated headsets the press-fit headset looks to be extinct soon and it won't be long before a headset press will be consigned to the dusty corner of the workshop, I mean shed, next to their old retired friends the headset spanners.
It may not get used much but after a quarter century of bike spannering it will be nice to not to have to trawl down the bike shop for a two minute job. Then we can feel justified in buying a crown-race setter and puller and headset remover to complete the set rather than just using a ramshackle variety of hitting implements. Anyway, the Proper Tool is a wonderful thing, I've got two Campag. 15mm crank-bolt spanners, they fit nothing that we own, they're just beautiful to have.
Globe Daily 1 £409.99
Let's face it, the Seven Café Racer that we had a quick scoot on this year is never going to make it anywhere near our shed, not while the boiler needs fixing anyway. Step forward the Daily 1, most of the Cafe Racer's suave for a small fraction of its cost. Old-school looks with a modern zest; aluminium frame, Nexus 3-speed gearing, a chainguard so you don't have to tuck your trouser into your sock like a spod, mudguards, a front rack for the essential pint of milk and almond croissant, and more importantly quite a low racey position for burning up hipsters at the lights, with grace and style.
We're absolute suckers for a nice cycling-themed t-shirt yet our favours flutter with the wind, yes I cannot deny my fondness for the road.cc ones, but they are work wear for me, and although the new offerings from Morvélo were our favourites last week now it's this one.
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 doesn’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.