Bike pizza cutters are so 2015... don’t be that friend! Your cycling bud already has a kitchen drawer full of them, and maybe even that Campagnolo corkscrew that does the rounds in the lead up to Christmas. Here are our suggestions for cycling gifts priced less than £50.
Some fit nicely in a stocking, others make the perfect gift when you land a cyclist in the office Secret Santa. Many of the options are high quality practical items that will be useful when riding, while the rest are for your cycling pal to enjoy when the bike ride is over.
Don’t be tempted into trying to find a cheap version of an expensive item (we've foiund this is particularly true when it comes to Lycra). If you're not a cyclist yourself, you’d be shocked how much we expect to pay for some decent quality kit. Your recipient will be far happier with a high quality item that is a delight to use throughout its lifespan. So without further ado, here are our picks...
The Road Book 2021 First Edition, £50
You can get your pro cycling enthusiast, ‘the ultimate chronicle’ of the sport which recounts the historic second successive season that was disrupted by Covid-19, with race reports, quirky statistics, and infographics from the 2021 season of the men and women’s World Tour, the Olympics, Paralympics and, for the first time ever, Cyclo-Cross.
Edited by Ned Boulting, the Road Book gives exclusive first-hand ‘In the Winner’s Words’ accounts from Tour de France winner Tadej Pogacar, Olympic cross-country mountain bike champion Tom Pidcock, Team GB’s Dame Sarah Storey and Paris-Roubaix winner Lizzie Deignan.
Canyon Ring Bar End Bell, £20.95
The Canyon Ring Bar End Bell differs from almost every other bicycle bell in that it fits in the end of a dropped handlebar rather than clamping onto the outside by the stem. Its light weight and position make it beautifully inconspicuous until you want it to make some noise.
No tools are needed to fit the 85 decibel bell and it can be mounted on any drop handlebar.
ENVE Handlebar Tape, £35
Offering increased comfort, excellent grip and smart looks, ENVE's handlebar tape is one of the best upgrades for drop-bar bikes.
ENVE says it has designed a special compound for the tape that provides grip, comfort, and stretch, and has backed it with a silicone strip that provides vibration damping - it is incredibly effective at doing all that. The tape is also a nice, long 250cm so it will play well with the current crop of wide gravel bars up to 50cm. It’s 3mm thick so not as thick as the Wolftooth 5mm tape, but what it loses in the thickness stakes it makes up for with the ease of fitting, especially around the brake hoods.
CamelChops Blimp 2.0 handlebar bag, £40
Handmade in Scotland, you can truly customise this bar bag to suit the style of the cyclist in your life. Made from tough waterproof fabric with a YKK Aquaguard zip, the 3L capacity Blimp 2.0 features a small external side pocket for holding a small tool kit, and a front accessory daisy chain that's ideal for mounting a light.
The Blimp has a stiffening liner that helps the bag hold its shape, and it’s also an extra layer that defends against the elements. Quick and easy to fit securely, the Velcro straps accommodate tricky cabling with no dramas, so it’s a bag that is suitable for all bikes.
Koo Billy sunglasses mount, £22.41
This is a neat little mount that fits to your handlebar and allows you to conveniently and securely snap your frames into place as you ride when they’re not in use.
It's the ideal alternative to stowing glasses in your helmet. You could say it's perhaps a better solution, as you can see the mount in front of you, so you know it is actually locking any expensive sunnies into place. It also makes for an easy Christmas gift as the mount works with any sunglasses.
Silca Synergetic Drip Lube, £32
Okay, this sounds like a lot of cash for some lube... and it is! But it’s also truly exceptional according to our reviewer who gave it a 10/10, so well worth investing in. It lasts for ages, is very clean, and could save the cyclist in your life loads of money in drivetrain components. Waxing your chain still beats lube in certain circumstances, but that level of faff is only of interest to a very few cyclists. Most people want to drip stuff on and go ride, and that's where Synergetic delivers.
For those who rider indoors, the Drip lube is the cleanest option – if there's no dirt to pick up, it's going to stay clean almost indefinitely. This is also great news for people lugging bikes in and out of cars, as there's literally no oil to get on interiors or clothing.
Bear Bones Ultralight 22g Meths Stove, £18
Are they into cycling for the adventure? All-day outings in the middle of nowhere? If so, this 22g meths stove is one of the lightest, most compact ways to heat water for a mid-ride brew up, and more. Comprising a stove, windshield and fuel bottle, the component parts split up easily amongst different bags for ultra-light, compact setups if space is at a premium.
At 50mm wide, it can handle pots from 80mm up to 150mm. Reviewer Mike’s 450ml mug has a 90mm diameter, for example, and the kit took about three minutes to heat up to 'hot enough for coffee/tea' temperature.
Galibier Regale Ultralight Jersey, £46.88
Okay, so it is freezing outside right now, but your cyclist buddy will be very grateful for this jersey in six months' time; especially if they like to bring their bike along on trips abroad. The Regale Ultralight jersey is an incredibly thin design that still offers some sun protection (SPF30).
As the heat ramps up to 30 degrees, any mistiness that creeps in quickly evaporates; being so thin, it will quickly saturate but dries with similar haste. Its comfort, durability and lack of compromise - especially at the pockets, which are deep and stretchy yet surprisingly secure - really impress. The price of this lightweight and very practical jersey is very appealing too, and we were surprised such a quality jersey could sneak into this sub-£50 gift guide.
Kinesis ‘Anti-Slip’ Handlebar Tape Signature Series #1 Jo Burt Edition, £28
How about this handlebar tape to upgrade the look of your friend's bike? As well as writing about bikes for us under VecchioJo, Jo Burt is famous for creating Mint Sauce, a comic strip within the magazine MBUK. “This combination of pictures, words and thoughts that come with riding bikes a long way, is why we asked him to design this signature tape,” says Kinesis.
The tacky touch bar tape includes a shockproof layer for protecting your wrists from the rougher roads as well as text and a bit of humour from Jo throughout its length.
Knog Plus Rear Light, £17.99
The Knog Plus Rear Light is an impressively simple light that weighs almost nothing (just 18 grams including the mount), yet at 20 lumens is bright enough for a useful visibility boost. The magnetic mount, cable-free charging and decent battery life in the flashing modes make it perfect for winter rides. Given its tiny size and weight (and affordable price) it's also a handy second light or emergency backup.
It takes around four hours to fully recharge, and offers five modes, including Eco Flash which has the longest claimed runtime of 40hrs. Tester Nick Cox favoured the Pulse mode, which easily outlasts most winter rides with its claimed 8.5hrs. It’s a fantastic, neat rear light with good visibility and a great design.
Tailfin Cargo Cage, £39.00
This is another great gift if you’re looking for something for a more adventurous cyclist, as it adds some extra carrying capacity, which can be very handy for bikepacking trips. The cargo cage fits via regular bottle cage or cargo mounts, and its modular design opens it up for use with a large shape and size range of luggage.
The load chip converts the cage into an L-shape. With this foot, heavier items are better supported, and easier to mount. Without it, you can mount longer items like tent poles.
Oh yeah, almost forgot to mention the best part! The load chip can also be used as a bottle opener, a much needed tool on a multiday trip of course.
Bontrager Circuit Windshell Cycling Gloves, £39.99
Effective and comfortable in typical spring or autumn conditions, these keep out the worst of the weather. Paired with thin liners underneath they are fine for rides that start at near-freezing too. The Circuits are windproof, practical and work well with touchscreens.
At the cuffs of these pull-on gloves is a relatively thin micro-fleece, with a bit of stretch that creates a decent seal at the wrist. Then there’s minimal but strategically-placed pads on the outside of the palm and beneath the thumb to keeps things comfortable, while the silicone strips on the palm provide impressive amounts of grip.
Premax Performance Skincare Weather Defence Facial Cream, £21
Determined to ride all year round, cyclists are often outside battling the grimmest of British weather. Premax’s exercise-specific cream is ideal as a protective layer when riding through these harsh elements. The natural ingredients are moisturising and can last for hours with no need for reapplication. That said, for particularly long rides the 50ml tube is small enough to be carried along, and would be great for touring or bikepacking adventurers.
Sox Scribble Premium Print Sock, £11.99
These socks should keep your feet cool and very comfortable no matter how long you wear them. These socks are light and airy, well made, very resistant to smells and also available in lots of interesting designs - so don’t get put off by this unusual scribbly pattern!
The Scribble socks are made from what Sox says is a medium-weight PolyLon36 fabric. It's a great thickness for mild to warm days and very breathable, partly thanks to mesh panels on the top. The seamless build is extremely comfortable and the fabric's easy stretch means they absolutely stay put.
Custom name decals for bike frames or helmets, from £5.99
Custom printed vinyl decals for sticking on bike equipment are available via Name Decal with its new Decal Designer function which allows for plenty of customisation: insert the name of your cyclist buddy and then change the font, font colour, outline colour, background colour and more.
You can choose your flag, with options including ‘Star Wars Jedi’, ‘Type 1 Diabetic’, ‘Vegan’, and there’s even a ‘road.cc’ option, as well as the usual countries.
A pack of two (for either side of the top tube, for example) will cost ya £5.99 and if your mate needs 40 for their 20 strong bike collection (of course), that’ll be £25.99. There are options in-between that too to cater for all bike collection needs.
Rapha Snow Peak Single Walled Mug, £32
Made from durable Japanese titanium, this lightweight mug has a foldable handle for compact storage when backpacking. The mug can be placed directly over a heat source (except for open fires), making it ideal for cooking while on multi-day adventures.
Being Gary Fisher And The Bicycle Revolution by Gary Fisher with Guy Kesteven, £36.00
Gary Fisher is an advocate of utility cycling, has a major role in the industry, and is an all-round 'cycling visionary'. It is unusual for a businessman to be quite so open and honest as Fisher about what he got right or wrong; here’s a rare chance to hear from a true legend of the sport and the industry.
Fisher gives us the story of the development of the mountain bike from his perspective: "pretty soon it was clear modifying existing bikes was always going to be really limiting," he says... and from those small beginnings an industry was born.
Buy it here for £36 (PS. you can use the code BGFBFUK1 for free UK postage)
Restrap Tyre Boot Kit, £8.99
This neat little kit is a simple solution for those dreaded situations where it has all gone wrong - when there’s a proper gash in your tyre. Be the saviour for your cyclist friend by gifting them this kit so they’re prepared.
The pack includes a tube of glue and eight varied cuts of thin, durable and tear-resistant Hypalon that have been designed for covering sidewall and tread tears on any tubed tyre. A double-sided velcro retention strap allows you to tuck this kit away into a compact package for taking in a jersey pocket or saddle bag on rides.
End to End by Paul Jones, £16.99
End to End is full of fascinating insights into the UK's signature long-distance 842 mile challenge, but it's not just that. Part travelogue and part confessional, Paul Jones' book is both about him and not about him, about cycling and not about cycling. The disparate main threads intertwine brilliantly into a coherent, delicate narrative.
Jones has spent a huge amount of time researching the record's origins, and interviewing past and present record holders. Equal weight is given to the women's and men's records - this is a book not specifically about cycling but about people.
Decathlon Brigade du Pavé Lifestyle Collection T-Shirt, £29.99
The profits of this cycling-themed lifestyle clothing range are donated to Les Amis de Paris-Roubaix, the charity that looks after all the historic cobbled routes for cyclists in the North of France.
Made in the Gentle Factory in Roubaix, Van Rysel says the products - which include pavé-themed sweatshirts and t-shirts - are sustainable and eco-friendly with fully organic and/or recycled materials used.
Brainy Bikers Allez! Allez! Allez!, £11.99
For some Boxing day fun and mid-ride cafe stops to come, how about this light-hearted, stats-based card game for two players?This Top Trumps-style game has plenty of packs to collect (split up by nation), all stacked with the greatest road cyclists across generations and across both sexes.
Who is the greatest rider of all time? Was Beryl Burton better than Mark Cavendish? Amusing and discussion-provoking, this well-researched game with added layers of statistical sophistication is a fun one that leans heavily on the geek button.
Cafe du Cycliste LouLou Merino Neck Warmer, £39
Your cyclist friend is going to be very grateful for this accessory; with built in stretch this soft and snug layer is one to wear on both city commutes and long all-day rides in cold winter conditions. High wicking and fast drying, this neck warmer is designed to retain body heat while simultaneously transferring moisture during harder efforts.
It’s versatile too; you can use it to protect the neck, the lower part of the face or even be pulled over the head when conditions are particularly challenging.
John Lewis & Partners Bike Cufflinks Silver, £20
There may be occasions your cyclist friend takes off the Lycra and has to dress for a more formal affair. Don’t worry if you forgot about this second life they lead… these silver bike cufflinks will add a smart personal touch when Lycra is not allowed!
Lautapelit Flamme Rouge board game, £39
With simple rules, fast-paced gameplay, and capturing some of the tactical complexities of bike racing, this board game is a great option for cyclists who want a break from the cut and thrust of the peloton. It’s suitable for 2–4 players and each game takes around 30 to 45 minutes. Players race to the finish line but moves have to be timed perfectly. Drafting, exhaustion and positioning all need to be considered when going for a win on this indoor racecourse.
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