Buying a Christmas pressie for a woman who likes cycling is as easy as, well, falling off a bicycle. Not only is there a stack of shiny things available that are orientated entirely towards women, but there’s all the unisex kit and gadgetry that she’ll have had her eye on for a while too. And any woman who’s fortunate enough to find a new bike under the tree might just choose to change her name to Mrs Claus, it’s that simple.
Most of the major online retailers have a good selection of women’s kit and clothing these days, with easy to navigate departments and sizing guides to help the process. Minx is an online shop aimed solely at women, and stocks a good variety including several exclusive brands not available elsewhere in the UK. While the average LBS might be lagging behind a little in stock carried, they’ll often be able to give you more advice, you’ll be able to see the colours and visually square up the sizes, and they will almost certainly be able to order things in for you especially.
Here are a few bits and pieces that might tickle her fancy and make her cycling year (and yours) that bit smilier.
And remember, if all else fails, there’s always a gift voucher. Some of the best women’s kit and knick knacks are available online. Most online retailers do gift vouchers- hey presto! Just make sure you wrap that voucher in pretty paper!
Ana Nichoola Snow Cat Jacket £159.99
Great looking and designed to keep you riding no matter what the weather. This is cleverly zoned with different fabrics for different areas of need some windproof, some highly breathable. There are various zipped pockets, but not too many, including a mini pump pocket, and a smattering of reflective piping. It’s got a subtly dropped tail riding specific cut but the feminine shape shouldn’t look daft off the bike either.
YMX Long Sleeve Jersey £80
With hugely cool designs inspired by tattoo art, cunningly coupled with soft silky cling to the skin fabric and a sleek fit (sizing is on the snug side), this is a seriously striking top. Not a winter jersey this one, but will do double duty as a summer weight stand alone, or as the hippest base layer she’s ever likely to wear for the winter. Just be prepared for all the coffee shop breaks where she feels the need to show it off! In red, green or “garden”. The Long Sleeve Top (£65) with a crew neck instead of zip neck is available in blue. Sizes S, M, L
Ana Nichoola Her Pleasure Armwarmers £28.99
Available in three sizes to suit different diameters of bicep, and with ribbed stretchy elbow sections and fold up cuffs, these should suit most arm lengths and breadths. They are incredibly warm, but not clammy, and have some super robust gripper at the top of the arm to help them stay put. They come in three fetching colour options.
Charge Hob 3 £579.99
Well it is Christmas… available in sizes from XXS through to medium, there's also the orginal singlespeed version at £499.99
Knog Boomer Wearable LED Light £20.49
Five funky colours, four flashing modes, 80 hours of run time on flashing and it clips onto bags, clothing or whatever you fancy. It’s just handy to have around.
Ana Nichoola Sorbet Gloves £37.99
Possibly the fabbest gloves I’ve seen this year, if not EVER. Especially in the purple colourway, these winter gloves bring a smile to the face and build on the excellent precedent set by Ana Nichoola’s summer mitts. They’re made from wind and rain resistant soft shell fabric and are designed to cope with temperatures down to about freezing, and to withstand up to half an hour of solid rain. They’ve got gel padding where its needed, snug cuffs, reinforced high wear areas and a good fluffy nose wipe. Available in three colours and four sizes.
Rapha Women’s Winter Tights £170
That little label is going to get you in her good books right away (unless she’s a Rapha hater) but keeping her warm and riding happily throughout the worst of the winter is going to keep you there. These female specific bib-tights (there aren’t too many of those available) are made from Thermoroubaix and have a soft brushed cosy inner throughout for maximum insulation. There’s no pad, so liner shorts would be desirable, but the bib and chest panel will keep everything just toasty even if the mercury drops lower than ever. Available in sizes XXS-XL
Il Soigneur for Minx Musette £34
It’s hard not to like Il Soigneur’s quirky and kitsch musette bag designs with their simplicity of style and function. This one made especially for Minx just offers the same heavy duty wearability with the company’s quirky tattoo like logo. Or could it be badge? Black or white.
Hoo Ha Ride Glide 236ml £16.95
Sometimes it’s best not to ask. Suffice it to say, this might get you a hard stare as a gift, but she’ll thank you for it when she next feels the burn where she didn’t oughta. With lavender and tea tree, it has antibacterial properties and soothes and heals too, helping to keep chafing to a minimum. It’s a minty fresh (and slightly tingly to start with) chamois cream with a cool name. Enough said.
Rocket Fuel Reflective Scarf A$35
Take one pretty vintage patterned scarf, apply reflective tape liberally and hey presto, it’s a useful year round cycling scarf that’ll help keep you cool in summer, warm in winter and safer all year round. And it’s upcycling and won’t break the bank. There are currently about 1.5 Australian dollars to the pound.
Rapha Women’s Grand Tour Gloves £100
I’ve reviewed these and got some stick for the rating I gave them, but I hold by my comments that these are some seriously long lasting, and comfortable riding mitts. The recipient of your gift may want to consider waiting until Spring to wear these lovelies until, but she can admire their butter soft African Hair Sheep leather and quality of construction in the meantime. Sizes S, M, L in white or black.
Knog Bag Belt Musette £12.99
Like a bumbag only smaller, sleeker and infinitely cooler. Think Batman’s utility belt but without the shark spray (not so necessary when cycling) and with more urban pizzaz. Designed for the strap to fit through belt loops, it’s a simple and secure way of carrying the minimum like keys and phone. You can choose between pink and black or black and pink.
Joshua Tree Organic Cycling Salve £11
Another stocking filler to go with the Hoo Ha, this is a healing blend of herbs and organic oils, designed to soothe chafed or ultra dry skin, help sort minor wounds quickly (it’s got a whole raft of natural anti-bacterial and antibiotic ingredients too) and it’s spot-on for scrapes, grazes, gravel rash and insect bites. It smells gorgeous too and does a nifty job of keeping cuticles soft.
Rocket Fuel Style Wool Cap A$40
Made from vintage fabrics, Rocket Fuel’s cycling caps are good looking, unique, ethical and functional- a winning combination. There are loads of different designs, colours and fabrics, some warmer, some cooler, and a variety of linings to choose from.
Dynamo Works Prints from £35
Beautifully executed screen prints of inspirational cycling quotations and mottos from the famous and not so famous. Design led, these will grace the walls of a home with pleasing shapes, colours and above all, a reminder that the bicycle is the true centre of the home.
Rocket Fuel Esbjerg Cycling Cape A$120
Old fashioned style riding capes made from vintage fabrics, fully lined and finished with recycled buttons. For the stylish lady who likes to be seen about town on her favourite velocipede looking elegant and oh so individual.
Mammut Burny LED Light £15 (pic)
A combo of both front and back light, with bright LEDs in both red and white, this little baby straps on with a bungee or clips onto clothing or bag, is waterproof, and is bright enough to be a handy emergency light for any purpose. Choose whether to use just the red superbright LED (with flash if needed) or the two white LEDs.
Mocking Horse Bicycle Necklace £9 (normally £12.50)
This cute vintage style bicycle necklace made from funky acrylic is going for only £9 until 10th December. The company is relocating but will be up and running for business again from early 2012, when the necklaces will return to their usual price of £12.50. cheap and really very cheerful. Two colours.
Bike Parka £39.95
It’s like a kagool for her pride and joy. Light, protective and with its own stuff sack that fastens to the bike frame if she wants to take it with her when commuting or for inclement errands, the Bike Parka comes in some pretty colours and is durable and easy to fit. It’s even got a port through which you can pass a lock or cable.
Hot Stone Massage around £50 for an hour
Any female cyclist is going to be eternally grateful for a professional massage, and the hot stone variant just takes that soothing and indulgent experience one heated basalt step further. Most beauty salons and spas offer the option, but make sure it’s a good one. There’s little better than a good massage but almost nothing worse than a bad one.
Lara has been riding bikes for longer than she'd care to admit, and writing about them nearly as long. Since 2009 she has been working as part of the road.cc review team whilst championing women's cycling on the side, most notably via two years as editor of the, sadly now defunct, UK's first and only women's cycling mag, erm, Women's Cycling.
Believing fervently that cycling will save the world, she wishes that more people would just ride a bike and be pleasant to each other.
She will ride anything with two wheels, occasionally likes to go fast, definitely likes to go far and is always up for a bit of exploring somewhere new and exciting.