Christmas is on the way so it's time for us to suggest some gifts for the cyclist in your life, and if you really want to shell out, here are some money no object ideas.
Some of the items here are ridiculously expensive – top-end bikes and wheels that we know very, very few people are going to consider. Even if they're not for you, we hope you enjoy taking a look at them.
At the top of our list we’ve also included components/clothing that are high-end in their particular category – a £175 computer mount, for example, and a £300 jacket – but which are a bit more realistic for many people
This means that we’re offering you a mix of practical items that put in an exceptional performance – which a lot of you might put on your shortlist – and some of the most exclusive cycling products out there.
Silca’s Mensola computer mount is total overkill for most of us but it has a unique appearance and is a neat way to finish off a super-high-end bike.
It's 3D printed in 6Al/4V titanium, which makes it strong, and it's also light, if not in weight-weenie territory.
The lattice framework is eye-catching, and the bead-blasted finish gives a raw, purposeful look and feel. It would make a great present.
Available in both men’s and women’s versions, Rapha's Pro Team Winter Jacket puts in a level of performance to back up its premium price.
The jacket offers complete wind protection on the front half of the torso and arms, and more breathable, thermal fabric behind.
All of the fabrics used are reasonably heavy weight, and the inside has a plush, brushed fleecy feel to it, trapping plenty of warm air and giving you a head start on a cold day.
The construction is excellent and Rapha provides plenty of style.
This is a two-lens model with a fairly subtle curved profile; the optical quality and overall performance are top-notch.
The 'MAG' part of the name refers to the system of magnets connecting the frame and lens, and it's super secure. It's simple, too allowing the lens to be swapped in seconds.
The ChromaPop lens enhances natural colours and provides definition. It is top-notch, allowing just the right amount of light through to leave potential hazards, such as ruts and potholes, obvious at a decent speed. The second lens is a clear one which is useful when skies turn slate grey and rainy.
The Chrome Barrage Freight Backpack is big, comfortable on the back, and full of useful features. It's not cheap and it's not light, but it is excellent.
The main compartment is huge and a 'cargo net' at the front of the allows larger kit to be chucked in.
Across the bag there are five pockets, including a pocket for larger items like notepads or tablets, and a smaller one that's really useful for phones, keys and a wallet. There’s also a laptop sleeve tucked away in there.
The bag is waterproof and there’s pretty good ventilation on the back.
The Assos Mille GT Winter Jacket Evo is an excellent option for all but the most bitter days. It keeps out wind and rain and lets excess body heat out… all from a jacket that feels less bulky than many jerseys.
Assos uses different technical materials for different panels: a three-layer softshell fabric at the front, a more breathable fabric on the tops of the arms and the upper back, and a lighter weight fleece-backed fabric under the arms and on your back. It all works together superbly to cover most winter temperatures.
A dropped rear, long sleeves, and a high neck provide plenty of protection, and the quality is high throughout.
Giro’s top-end road helmet has been around for a while now but it’s still a winner, offering excellent ventilation, lots of comfort, and MIPS Spherical technology.
MIPS (Multi Impact Protection System) usually comes in the shape of an internal liner – a polycarbonate plastic layer that sits between the head and the expanded polystyrene (EPS). Here, though, rather than being added after the event, the MIPS Spherical technology is an integral part of the Aether's design.
It features two distinct layers of multi-density EPS foam that can move relative to one another. The advantage of this system is that there's no obstruction to airflow.
This is one of the more expensive road helmets out there, but it’s a corker.
This high-end jacket – available in both men’s and women’s cuts – puts in an exceptional performance in cold weather.
The exterior is made from Gore-Tex Infinium Windstopper 150 which, as the name suggests, prevents cold air from blowing in. It's highly breathable and way more water-resistant than you might expect.
Opening the front reveals inner panels that attach at the sides of the jacket and zip together in the middle. Effectively, it's like having the front half of a gilet attached in there. This structure works really well, allowing the rider to stay comfortable across a range of winter temperatures – even freezing and below – without getting too sweaty on the climbs.
Specialized has packed a whole lot of tech into its S-Works Ares shoes – a tongueless design with a sock-like foot-wrapping closure system.
These shoes don’t just deliver a secure hold, there's a surprising amount of focus on comfort here. For all-out intervals or long days out on the bike, these are a great choice.
An integrated ‘sock’ liner makes getting these on is more difficult than usual, but you get support throughout the whole pedal stroke thanks to the fact that the upper wraps around the foot.
The PadLock external heel cup is solid without being uncomfortably stiff and simultaneous cable pulling from each of the two Boa Li2 dials ensures pressure is spread evenly.
The Garmin Fenix 6 Pro Solar is one of the most advanced smart sports watches out there. It offers a huge array of functions and military-grade ruggedness, and will do more than you could imagine.
It’s not without its idiosyncrasies, but the Fenix 6 Pro Solar provides health tracking and long-day PC-free navigation. It’s also compact, quick to charge and hugely customisable.
We’ve not reviewed LoreOne shoes, nor even laid our hands on a pair, but they get a mention on our Money No Object list courtesy of their extraordinary price and the fact that there’s no way on earth that anyone you’re buying for already has them.
Keeping these a surprise is going to be tricky because they’re custom-printed to each rider’s feet and that requires a scan. That’s going to be a slight obstacle, then. Assuming you can somehow get around that LoreOne promises that its shoes offer excellent fit and comfort, and also increased power. Overshoes and a travel bag come as part of the package.
The Campagnolo Bora Ultra WTO 45 Disc Brake wheelset offers decently low weight, excellent stiffness and good rolling speed; it’s an ideal option for a mix of road terrain. Plus, Campagnolo has a whole lot of prestige; who wouldn’t be happy to receive these wheels as a Christmas gift?
These Ultra versions of Campagnolo's already really good WTO wheels weigh in at just 1,420g. They are 45mm deep and very stiff, which results in a quick ride feel, and they really shine on the climbs. These are brilliant wheels.
The Princeton CarbonWorks Wake 6560 wheelset looks cool but, much more important, delivers on performance, handling... and everything else.
The Wake pattern varies in depth from 60mm to 65mm, designed to improve aerodynamic efficiency without being a handful in crosswinds.
The 1,540g weight is impressive for such deep wheels, and they climb well so you get a boost on the way up and the aero advantage on the way down.
When it comes to the build, the Princetons are available in a few hub options. Ours used 24-hole Tune King (front) and Kong (rear) hubs which ran beautifully. They just kept on spinning.
Although best known for its wheels, Enve offers road bikes built to bespoke geometries and riders can choose from 38 different paint colours across four paint design templates, all the way down to the wheel decals. Enve even has full custom paint options.
Each Custom Road is paired with a one-piece bar/stem and can be built up with SRAM Red or Force AXS, Shimano Dura-Ace or Ultegra Di2. Oh, and a Scicon Aerocomfort 3.0 TSA Road Bike travel bag comes as part of the deal
A chassis only (frame, fork, bar/stem, seat topper, bar tape, headset, axles and hardware, travel case) costs $7,000 (around £5,080), while a complete SRAM Red eTap AXS Premium build, for example, will set you back $12,500 (around £9,080).
We all know that there’s a huge shortage of bikes in the shops at the moment because of interruptions to the supply chain caused by Covid-19, plus increased demand. At the time of writing, though, you could get your hands on a Specialized Diverge Expert Carbon if you were prepared to hunt.
This is more of a gravel racer than a bikepacking rig. It's nimble, feels way lighter than it is, and the handling is absolutely spot on when faced with a bit of technical singletrack.
The Diverge is massively versatile when it comes to carrying kit, and comfort is taken care of by the clever Future Shock suspension system.
The Expert model comes with a SRAM Rival eTap AXS groupset. The Diverge Pro (£7,250) has a SRAM force groupset – the next level up – but there are even fewer of those in the shops.
CHPT3 – the clothing brand set up by former pro racer David Millar – has partnered with British bike company Vielo to produce a limited edition version of the second generation V+1 gravel bike that was released earlier this year.
Only 50 have been produced with Campagnolo’s Ekar groupset and CHPT3’s rugged artistic finish, although the V+1 is also available in standard finishes and a choice of Shimano, SRAM and Campagnolo components.
As already mentioned, getting your hands on a new bike is a challenge right now, but there are still a few Cannondale SuperSix Evos out there in the shops (at the time of writing)
This is a lightweight bike that’s raced at the very highest level. It is sharp and precise with impeccable handling – for which the SuperSix has always been famed. It’s also comfortable and, although it isn’t a full-on aero bike, Cannondale says that the tube shapes are designed to reduce drag.
SRAM’s top-level Red eTap AXS wireless electronic groupset complements the frameset superbly. This is an excellent road bike for roadies with a need for speed.
Okay, we know that the chances of you spending €19,610 (around £16,600) on the cyclist in your life this Christmas are limited, to say the least, but we’ll chuck this one out there on the off chance.
3T is marking its 60th anniversary by offering 60 Dreamboxes: custom bike garages that each contain a 3T Exploro Racemax Italia gravel bike and parts and accessories from fellow-Italian brands Carbon-Ti, Castelli, Kask, Koo, Elite, Fizik, and Pirelli.
The Racemax Italia is produced at 3T’s own factory in Presezzo and is equipped with Campagnolo’s 1x13-speed Ekar drivetrain. You get a customised Campag corkscrew too – which has featured on many a Christmas gift guide over the years.
A silent motor opens the Dreambox, operated via remote control.
The whole thing is nuts… but really cool.
The aim of road.cc buyer's guides is to give you the most, authoritative, objective and up-to-date buying advice. We continuously update and republish our guides, checking prices, availability and looking for the best deals.
Our guides include links to websites where you can buy the featured products. Like most sites we make a small amount of money if you buy something after clicking on one of those links. We want you to be happy with what you buy, so we only include a product in a if we think it's one of the best of its kind.
As far as possible that means recommending equipment that we have actually reviewed, but we also include products that are popular, highly-regarded benchmarks in their categories.
Road.cc buyer's guides are maintained and updated by Mildred Locke. Email Mildred with comments, corrections or queries.
Mat has been in cycling media since 1996, on titles including BikeRadar, Total Bike, Total Mountain Bike, What Mountain Bike and Mountain Biking UK, and he has been editor of 220 Triathlon and Cycling Plus. Mat has been road.cc technical editor for over a decade, testing bikes, fettling the latest kit, and trying out the most up-to-the-minute clothing. We send him off around the world to get all the news from launches and shows too. He has won his category in Ironman UK 70.3 and finished on the podium in both marathons he has run. Mat is a Cambridge graduate who did a post-grad in magazine journalism, and he is a winner of the Cycling Media Award for Specialist Online Writer. Now over 50, he's riding road and gravel bikes most days for fun and fitness rather than training for competitions.