Christmas gifts for cyclists 2011: high-performance presents
Gift suggestions to find the best presents for the cycling speedster in your life
Looking for a present for a cyclist who likes to ride fast? A racer? A sportive rider? Someone who’ll go into the red zone to make sure they get to the top of every climb first? You’re in luck. We’ve sifted the wheat from the chaff and have a whole bunch of suggestions to help you out… Oh, and for extra background info, if we've reviewed it the title for each item links through to the original review. So that's pretty much all of them, then.
Castelli Quindici Socks £18
Christmas wouldn’t be Christmas without socks. Or Cliff Richard. Or Chitty Chitty Bang Bang. But focusing on the socks for the moment… Made mostly from merino wool, these are comfortable and very warm – and of all the things we look for in winter socks, those two would be right at the top of the list.
My pair has gone a bit bobbly with repeated use, but I can live with that. They’ll still last ages. This year’s version is actually slightly different from the picture. Rather than a single scorpion on the calf of each sock, you now get two. At not extra charge. Bargain!
Gore Bike Wear Countdown Gloves £59.99
You have to have gloves on a Christmas list. We all need ’em and a good pair can make the difference between enduring a ride and enjoying it. The ones I reach for time and again at this time of year are Gore Bike Wear’s Countdown gloves.
£59.99 is a lot to spend on a pair of gloves but these are good. What I like about these is that they offer good warmth for their middling level of bulk. They’re windproof and there’s enough insulation in there to keep your fingers warm when the temperature is well down into single figures. Once it gets down to about 3-4°C I go for something chunkier, but you’ll get tons of use from these.
They’re made from GoreTex waterproof fabric and although I’ve had damp hands wearing these on really wet rides, I think that’s more to do with the build up of sweat than anything actually getting through.
Garmin Edge 500 £199.99
Yes, it costs a lot of money but the Edge 500 is brilliant. I’ve used mine on virtually every ride I’ve done since Garmin launched it a year-and-a-half ago. Essentially, this is a bike computer that doesn’t require a sensor because it does everything by GPS. You can pair it up with a heart rate monitor and/or a power meter for extra information.
The best bit is that you can upload all the ride information to Garmin’s website when you get home. That puts your ride onto a map and gives your heart rate, speed, altitude gain/loss and so on for whatever split distance you’ve programmed in.
If you don’t want to pair up your Garmin with ANT+ devices, you might opt for the £129.99 Edge 200, while the £349.99 Edge 800 gives you on-screen mapping.
Road.cc Race Pack £59.99
If you want to be one of the kool kidz – and you do – you need to be sporting the argyle of the world’s best cycling website. £59.99 gets you a jersey, arm warmers and socks.
There’s no such thing as too much argyle, but if for some bizarre reason you just want the Race Jersey on its own, that’s £49.99.
We also do road.cc merino jerseys from Woolistic in short sleeve (£89.99) and long sleeve (£94.99) versions. It’s quality clobber and we’ve got your size and everything. You might look even better than those two idiots, sorry, models in the picture.
dhb Pace Super Roubaix windproof bib tights £74.69
With windproof panels over the knees, these are warm and very comfortable. The Cytech seat pad is a winner too. Fantastic quality for the price.
Craft Zero Extreme base layer £35
Craft base layers are a real touch of class. This one is great for intermediate temperatures (5-12°C, I’d say), combining warmth with a great wicking performance. The soft texture and seamless body make for fantastic comfort. Yule love it.
Spin Quicklight Titanium Seriously Quick Skewers £39.99
All bikes look better with a bit of anodizing on them – that’s a simple fact. These quick release skewers weigh just 44g a pair and they come in a whole load of different colours.
Zipvit ZV8 energy bar £1.30
It provides you with loads of energy, it tastes good, it goes down easy – that’s all you want from a sports bar. If you want a Christmassy flavour, go for the chocolate orange version and if you want to spoil someone get them a whole box.
Birzman Horizons Pump £27.99
This Presta/Schrader pump isn’t as small as some (25cm) but it’s different from many in that it actually works well. It comes with a little hose so it’s not awkward to use and it puts air into your inner tubes and everything. Plus, the high-quality construction means it won’t fall to bits on a damp hillside in January.
Wipperman Connex 10SG 10-speed chain £44.99
There’s not a lot of frankincense or myrrh in the cycling world but if you want gold, how about this? Okay, it’s brass-plated but, you know, there's a recession on. It’s also strong and hard wearing. We likes it.
Dashing Tweeds flat cap £60
This is a really good cap with a reflective filament in there to help you get seen in car headlights. How the hell does it make it onto a list of high-performance presents? Well, I’m including it to give this pic of Oli another airing. See how he's colour-matched the flat cap with the hoody? You can't teach that. First class.
We will be bringing you more present ideas for cyclists very soon, and for even more pressie ideas for the fast boy/girl why not check out last year's performance pressie list too.