We love getting a gadget for Christmas. If you’re buying one for a cyclist then we’ve got a great selection of ideas in the sub-£100 category. You can get some seriously nifty gadgets for bikes and we’d love to get any of these ourselves.
Christmas afternoon rolls around. You’ve had a gargantuan lunch and your body is 90% pigs in blankets. The Christmas day post-lunch family walk is done and it's getting dark outside... but the best part of the day is just about to occur. As Grandad falls asleep in front of the Queen’s speech that he made you record, you settle down to set up the gadget that you got from Santa.
Quite frankly, getting a gadget for someone is a great way to ensure that they’re quiet for the majority of Christmas day, but a gadget isn’t just for Christmas. These gift ideas will be in use long after the big day...
Cycling computers are getting rather expensive these days, but if you're on a budget with a cyclist to buy for, you can get a very capable computer at under £100.
The Cateye Padrone will record your ride with distance, moving time and speed, ready for the all-important post-ride analysis on Strava. You can also hook up a cadence sensor and a heart rate monitor should you be looking for a little more training data.
Dashing through the snow on a one-horse open sleigh might be great fun for Santa, but for cyclists, the cold weather leads many to try indoor training and Zwift makes that training far more entertaining than staring at a wall.
With our mince pie count already heading into double figures, there will certainly be a fair number of Christmas calories to burn in the coming months. Indoor training might be rather hard, but it's certainly an easy way to get fit.
Zwift is also great for the time-crunched cyclist and these days, Zwift has a great range of worlds along with the ability to ride with friends, race people around the world or even follow a specific training program.
Ok, so the proper retail price of the Forerunner 35 is £130, but Wiggle has it at a decent discount and it's too good to not include in this sub-£100 round-up.
The Forerunner 35 works like any bike computer, it just lives on your wrist, though you can easily mount it to the handlebar too. A smartwatch like this is good for more than just recording your ride. They're great for heading off on a run, into the gym, and splashing around in the pool too.
As a smartwatch you'll also be able to see notifications from your phone. Santa says that he picks his delivery tunes from the watch too.
We've just been sent the Abus Alarmbox for testing, but if you know a keen commuter that is leaving their bike locked up then you could buy them a bit of peace of mind for Christmas.
The Alarmbox claims to alert people to potential theft of your precious bike by emitting a 100dB noise for 15 seconds should the internal 3D movement sensor be disturbed.
You might want to ensure that it isn't on before you place it under the tree, or the cat's attempts to make friends with the tree-topping fairy could end very badly.
Time for a shameless plug of our subscription. It costs less than a slice of cake per month and we’ve got big plans for subscriber-only features that we’re working on.
Besides supporting us to grow the site, you’ll get a monthly newsletter with behind-the-scenes content and subscriber-only offers, and as the subscriber base increases, we’ll be adding more subs-only content, driven by our conversations with you.
So if you know a keen road.cc reader, then you could gift them a subscription.
Got a keen bike nerd that you need to buy for? They secretly love adjusting their tyre pressures and so having an accurate pressure gauge would be a massive help.
Cyclocross racers and mountain bikers are especially fond of tyre pressure accuracy, just don’t hang around when they go to use it as they’ll start talking about the performance difference of letting out 2psi. That dull conversation could ruin even the best Christmas.
While we love a bike-specific cycling computer, many riders want to use their smartphone while on the bike. They might want to stay connected to avoid missing an important call, have their phone give them directions, or simply have quick access to Instagram for selfies.
Strava, the popular KoM-hunting social network for athletes that sees adults weeping with joy when they set the fastest time on a crucial local segment. You know the one? From the traffic lights to the bus stop. Yea.
Strava made its segment leaderboards a paid-for feature earlier this year, so giving the gift of a Strava membership with keep the cyclist in your life quiet as they study elevation charts, check the wind forecasts and study exactly which gate it is where Sunday's KoM attempt will finish.
Should the rider that you’re buying for be heading outside for their rides during winter, they’re likely going to be faced with some low-light conditions.
Brighter than Rudolph's nose, probably, the Exposure Link front & rear light is a great bit of kit, pumping out 100 lumens at the front and 35 at the rear to give added visibility that is really handy in the daylight and essential when the sun goes down.
We found that the light is best when mounted to a helmet, putting the light in an elevated position in heavy traffic.
Just squeaking in under our £100 limit, these headphones allow the user to hear normally, making them incredibly popular with cyclists and runners that want to maintain their situational awareness.
The headphones are bone-conducting, so don’t actually sit in the ear. While the sound quality isn’t quite as good as noise-cancelling headphones, the Trekz does a decent job and having your ears free to hear what’s going on around you is essential to many people.
If you’re looking for a GPS sports watch then pickings under £100 are a little slim. We’ve stretched our £100 limit on this one as the Sigma ID watch is currently discounted down to under £80.
The watch features GPS tracking and measures heart rate too, so you can track your route, times and performance metrics too.
Seeing where you’re going is generally quite useful and to do so when the sun goes down, a cyclist needs a good front light. We think that front lights are great to have on your bike at all times, adding a little visibility.
This Lezyne boasts a max brightness of 600 lumens which is plenty for seeing on semi-lit roads. The small body and easy installation make this great for popping on a road or town bike when needed.
One of the easiest and cheapest ways to make a basic indoor trainer work with apps like Zwift is to get a speed sensor for your rear wheel. It'll get you going with virtual training and can be used out in the real world too with a cycling computer.
This speed sensor attaches to the rear wheel's hub shell, simply clipping on using the integrated band. This makes setup really simple and as it can communicate via Bluetooth, you can connect it straight to a smartphone.
Heart rate is still one of the most accessible ways to make training more accurate and while it isn’t as good as power data, it is still a whole lot cheaper.
4iiii’s Viiiiva heart rate strap connects via either ANT+ or Bluetooth, so you can easily connect it to a cycling computer or your smartphone.
Nothing gets us pumped for indoor trainer intervals and Alpe d’Zwift like a fatty baseline and some Clubland MegaMix.
That said, the rest of your family or housemates don't want to hear Cascada any more than they have to, so some good headphones are essential. These in-ear headphones from Sony will also block out the world around you, so as you wind up your smart trainer's flywheel for a big sprint, your Vengaboys remix will be uninterrupted.
This is the cheapest tablet on Amazon that has the required specifications to run Zwift.
Tablets are great for indoor training. Even if you don't use a third-party app like Zwift, you can pass the turbo time with a movie, or have easy access to a few tunes.
While Zwift is brilliant for racing, Rouvy takes the indoor training experience and gives the rider real roads to ride on which some riders prefer.
Your effort on your indoor trainer moves your avatar on videos of some of the world’s most iconic climbs and roads. Should you then be lucky enough to go and ride the climbs in real life, it’d be very interesting to see how your virtual times compared.
Son of a Marathon runner, Nephew of a National 24hr Champion, the racing genetics have completely passed him by. After joining the road.cc staff in 2016 as a reviewer, Liam quickly started writing feature articles and news pieces. After a little time living in Canada, where he spent most of his time eating poutine, Liam returned with the launch of DealClincher, taking over the Editor role at the start of 2018. At the weekend, Liam can be found racing on the road both in the UK and abroad, though he prefers the muddy fields of cyclocross. To date, his biggest race win is to the front of the cafe queue.