Urban cycling and commuting make their own particular demands, so our next lot of Christmas gift suggestions are aimed at those who ride those mean streets, need their all their cycling stuff to work well on the bike (and possibly off it too), and to to look good as well. We've gone for a selection of the practical, the unusual and the very special. These gifts will work well in the city, but a lot of them will also do a great job wherever you ride.
Giro Gilman Glove £29.99
The glove of choice around the road.cc office. Designed for the urban rider, and stylish enough to wear off the bike too, they are surprisingly versatile on it. You probably wouldn't want to wear them on the coldest days but you can get a heck of a lot of wear out of them and not just on city streets - these are my first choice gloves for everything with all the usual features a cyclist (and his nose) needs. Padding is minimal but it does the trick, they wick really well and the Clarino synthetic leather upper is very durable… That Houndstooth pattern looks so cool, but you can also get 'em in a blue or brown plaid.
Gunn & Co Vertical Trouser Clips £8
Trouser clips are a bit of an unavoidable necessity on occasion and there's no shortage of worthy reflective ones which never feel that comfortable to us anyway. These nickel-plated vertical ones, however, work a treat and are much more elegant while being tiny enough to pop in your pocket while you're in the office.
Rapha 3/4 Shorts £130 (currently £100)
Not cheap, but worth it, especially if you buy now while they are reduced. Ideal for city riding or touring, I wear mine A LOT and after a wash and an iron they still look like new. I reckon there's years of life left in them. Beautifully made with plenty of cycle-friendly detailing, I'm a particular fan of the surprisingly capacious pockets. Available in a choice of blue, grey, or sand.
CTC/LCC/British Cycling membership
Christmas is a good time to join any of Britain's big cycling organisations; they should all have Christmas deals to tempt present buyers. Standard membership of all of them comes with a host of really useful benefits - just pick the organisation that best represents the sort of cycling done by the intended recipient. British Cycling looks after competitive cycling in the UK while the CTC is the national campaigning organisation for all cyclists and the LCC fights the good fight for London's cyclists.
www.ctc.org.uk www.britishcycling.org www.lcc.org.uk
Light & Motion Urban 300 £119.99
Again, not the cheapest present, but a literally brilliant commuter light that is powerful enough for riding out beyond the yellow glow of city streets where it's really dark. What I particularly like about this light is that it has side ports in the light body to give some useful side illumination too. USB recharging and good weather sealing add to its commuter covetability and if you shop around you can find some bargain prices too.
Flandria Custom Name Decal Set £13 for ten
Want to give your commuting bike the pro look? Flandria are now offering name decals in packs of ten so you can personalise your steed. You get a country flag of your choice too, and the whole thing is printed on a clear vinyl sticker that's difficult to remove, so it might deter johnny thief around town too. They cost £13 for a set, or you can have 20 for an extra two quid.
Slicks Suit25 £114.99
Another cracking piece of kit with the urban cyclist in mind, though it can also convert into a more conventional carry case for business trips designed to carry a suit and shirt crease and crumple free, along with shoes and a laptop too.
road.cc Socks Multipack £14.99
You won't go far wrong with a pair of road.cc socks or, better still, a bargain multipack of three for the price of two. Made from Coolmax by top sock types Save Our Soles, these are probably the most popular item in our shop. Well made, really comfortable and and with all the technical features you'd expect from a good cycling sock. Plus, they look good on or off the bike. Perfect for urban cyclists and commuters.
Cotic Roadrat Flat bar Singlespeed £650 (£725 with disc brakes)
Well, who wouldn't like a bike for Christmas and Cotic's Roadrat is an urban classic for those who don't like to dawdle when they're getting around town.
Velo-re Slick belt £30
Hint, hint… I'm hoping for one of these in my stocking on Christmas morning. Not only do they look really stylish, the whole idea behind them is cool too. Velo-re give road tyres second lives as very smart handmade belts. As well as the slick version there's a semi-slick one too. Velo-re also make a belts out of an inner tube: the Tubelt. My other personal favourite is the Beltolucci made from tyres with the reflective sidewall strip added for extra visibility. Fab!
Bike Chain Cufflinks £50 - £85
For those cyclists urbane enough to wear cuffs, what better than a set of cufflinks make from a top end bike chain? Better still, you can wear your groupset allegiance on your cuffs, too. There's a choice of silver-plated Shimano Dura Ace at £50; A SRAM Ltd edition at £55… Naturally, the Campagnolo ones are more expensive. Silver-plated Record cufflinks will set you back £70 while the ultra bling gold-plated Super Record ones will set you back a handy £85.
Jole Rider Badge a Bike for Africa £60
Probably the gift on our list that represents the true spirit of Christmas, this is a superb idea from Jole Rider, a charity that works to help transform the lot of African children by providing them with the means of getting to school – a bicycle. That bike has your badge on it with a personalised message from you. You can also go and see the bike being loaded for Africa and you get a photo of it being handed over too, plus a letter of achnowledgement. And Jole Rider know exactly where all the badged bikes are, so should you ever find yourself in Africa you can hook up for a ride.
Plucked from the obscurity of his London commute back in the mid-Nineties to live in Bath and edit bike mags our man made the jump to the interweb back in 2006 as launch editor of a large cycling website somewhat confusingly named after a piece of navigational equipment. He came up with the idea for road.cc mainly to avoid being told what to do… Oh dear, issues there then. Tony tries to ride his bike every day and if he doesn't he gets grumpy, he likes carbon, but owns steel, and wants titanium. When not on his bike or eating cake Tony spends his time looking for new ways to annoy the road.cc team. He's remarkably good at it.