Christmas gifts for cyclists: urbane gifts for urban cyclists
TR McGowran's with some stylish gift ideas for those that ride the city streets
To me, the best presents are sometimes those that I can't justify buying myself, the items of absolute luxury which could be considered way too expensive to treat yourself with, my other favourites are the little thoughtful things, the stocking fillers, the small gifts that are always a pleasant surprise.
Here is my selection of goodies that should appeal to the urban street fox
Skully Lights £12.99 rrp
These little bad boys are brilliant, skull shaped bike lights available in enough colours to match your bike's colour. They add a bit of fun to making sure you're seen at night cycling around town.
Parker International (and lots of other places too)
Rapha Leather Town Gloves £120 (I'll ask nicely)
Getting a pair of these for Christmas is like receiving a puppy, they are a long time investment and something that will put a smile on your face. Made in the UK using only the finest hide from, as you'd expect special East African hair sheep (none of yer cows here) whose hides are both thin but also very tough to cope with the arid conditions on the East African plains. The gloves themselves are elegant and functional. Cut for cycling so the seams don't cause blisters plus the palm padding is marksman gradeopening up some optional dual use possibilities that we probably don't want to go in to.
I found it very difficult to find fault with this superbly made, British flat cap in my review. Okay, it is probably double what you might normally pay for a cap from say Marks and Spencer but that won't fit as well or look as dapper and what makes this cap unique is the reflective yarn woven into the tweed, you won't get that from M&S. You need to see this hat in the dark with a light shone on it to truly appreciate how effective the reflective chevron pattern is. The wool keeps your head warm and wicks sweat too so it can be worn all year round, whether it is in the freezing cold winter or during the warmer months.
Ahearne Hip Flask and Holder £24.99
Tis the season to be merry tra la la la dee dum dum dum. What better way to transport your flask of merriment than in a specially crafted flask holder. Something to warm your cockles on those bleak mid-winter rides and take the edge of the sting in your chilled cheeks. Besides, the Christmas pudding nearly always needs a bit more rum. Who needs a St. Bernard when you have one of these.
Windrider Bicycle Clip £10.99
I am fond of using a cycle clip instead of rolling my trouser leg up or tucking it into my sock. But trouser clips tend to look a bit Victorian and boring. Not these reflective winged ankle straps though, they look more Greek! With these you can pretend to be a safety concious bicycling Greek god with little reflective wings on your ankles that will help protect you on your nightward journeys and keep your trousers out of your chain.
Rapha 3/4 Shorts £120
Rapha 3/4 shorts £120 Possibly one of my favourite items of clothing ever. Almost perfect in their fit and function and they are also pretty durable that you will find yourself living in them, from putting the miles in to undergoing the filthiest of jobs in the workshop. The only down side is that they are about double the price of anything else, but hey, it's Christmas and you're worth it and anyway they're the same price as the gloves.
Handmade Reflective Badges £10 for 3
We all love pin badges, my school satchel was adorned in them. These handmade pups use a reflective material and give a similar effect to the Paul smith reflective circles on the Rapha collabortation kit but at a fraction of the price!
If you want your loved one to be seen a bit better during the hours of darkness then this rear light, in my opinion, is the best. Being a see through tube means it can easily be seen from almost any direction. Plus it is flexible and you can clip it almost anywhere. like over the rear brake arch or down your set post or on your back pack. It isn't cheap and you won't feel the benefit while you are riding but it works brilliantly. Wiggle.co.uk
Velo-re belt £33 - £45
Money for old rope, maybe. Money for old tyres, definitely. These belts are made from old skidded out tyres and fashioned into something that will hold up your trousers. Brilliant.
What better present to complement your imported bottled beer set that you got from your in-laws than these bar end plugs that allow you to clip on a beer bottle top to the end of your handlebars. Also available as Homebrew option (which doesn't fit all bars) currently on offer at a fiver.
Velo: Bicycle Culture and Design £27.50 rrp
A well designed coffee table book on all elements of cycling - I can't tell you much more than this because I have only flicked through the pages. It is on my actual, real life, Christmas list.
Mission Workshop Vandal Backpack €255
Possibly the coolest brand to be wearing on your back across the city transporting your change of clothes and sarnies right now. Seattle based Mission Workshop have brought a buzz back to bags which hasn't been seen since Timbuk2 back in the 90s.These buggers are built to last forever (and they seem to) so yes, they're pricey but probably not in the long run plus although the cycle of cycling bag fashion never seems to stop turning these babies will always be on trend as it were.
ilovedust artwork from £39
If you have ever wondered where you can get hold of the rather splendid art work that has adorned the covers of the excellent Ride Journals then now you know.
Halo Bike Nuts
For that finishing touch to any well colour coordinated fixed gear cycle or any other iron with nutted axles. These rather spiffing alloy bolts come in a multitude of bright anodised colours to compliment your bike's colour scheme. They also make great replacements to rusted up or rounded off old nuts whilst smartening up your bike no end, it's like making your bed in an untidy bedroom, it draws away your attention from the surrounding mess.
Nigel Peake Touring Wrapping Paper £7.50 for 5 sheets
For that special finishing touch then this wrapping paper has got to be it.
Fixed Gear London Lockwhip Tool £20
When you're riding fixed there is nothing more irritating than your drive train slipping, apart ,of course, from complete failure. This sturdy tool from the fixie collective 'London Fixed Gear' will keep your cog and your nuts tight as a ducks bot.
Swrve bamboo hiding hoodie £35
This is a hooded top a with a technical edge, it is breathable and helps wick sweat away from your body so you don't feel so damp after racing to the pub. The cut is slim and the fabric isn't bulky making it fine to be worn without an under layer. You will find yourself choosing it to wear all the time so maybe get a couple.
Desk top bicycle pen holder £2.49
It has a bike on it, we love bikes, and this attempts to tidy up your pens although it would probably float about 2 feet up in the air on editor Tony's sea of desk detritus. It is also something to build while the rest of the family are watching the suicidal Eastenders Chrismas “special”. *may require Christmas spirit for completion*