If you’re still searching for a present for that special cyclist in your life, we’re here to get you out of a fix with some last-minute suggestions. Let’s get cracking, we don’t have much time.
The quickest way to get a pressie is usually to head to your local bike shop and ask what they’d suggest from the brands they stock.
However, you might not be keen to head out at the moment due to the Covid-19 situation. If that’s the case, the internet is your friend and we have many suggestions to help.
Bear in mind that Britain’s bike shops are experiencing extremely high demand at the moment, largely as a result of people wanting to keep off public transport, so there’s limited availability. This means that there are fewer bargains to be had than in previous years; shops just aren't struggling to shift stock.
On top of that, delivery services are at full stretch coping with demand, so our advice would be to get on the case immediately to make sure you get what you’re after.
We’d say that you can’t go wrong with a floor pump if the lucky recipient doesn’t already have one. Practical and substantial, it’ll get you a lot of gratitude. It's not cheap but we loved the Topeak JoeBlow Tubi 2Stage floor pump (£109.99) when we reviewed it recently, for example, and it's excellent for tubeless tyres.
Gloves are another Christmas favourite and every cyclist needs to keep their hands warm. The Stolen Goat Climb & Conquer 4 Season gloves (£35) are windproof and waterproof. For more glove-related gift ideas check out our Guide to winter cycling gloves.
Socks? Christmas? It’s traditional. Most cyclists will be only too happy to get a pair of cycling socks – there are loads to choose from too (check out our cycling sock guide). You certainly wouldn’t go wrong with these Monton Pro Suutu Merino Socks which are extremely warm and comfy across a wide temperature range.
Another big plus with socks is that they give you options – you can buy one pair or multiples, different colours, winter or summer thicknesses...
Oh yes, and road.cc does socks too. They’re very nice.
If you’re feeling a bit more flush, gadgets go down well. The Garmin Edge 130 GPS bike computer (£149.99) offers a lot of performance in a little package.
You can also give the gift of gadgetry without blowing the budget in the form of a multi-tool. They're cool and will always be welcome. The Topeak Alien X Multitool impressed us recently – loads of up-to-date functions for £54.99, but you can get very capable multi-tools for half that too. For more multi-tool buying options check out our guide to 12 of the best.
One other suggestion: how about donating on behalf of the cyclist in your life to World Bicycle Relief, an organisation that provides bikes to help people in developing countries accomplish everyday tasks?
A Buffalo Bicycle helps kids get to school, health workers get to patients and farmers get to market.
For even more cycling gift ideas check out our other 2021 Christmas gift guides. There's something there for everyone.
Right, those are our gift suggestions but what do the big cycling retailers and online brands have to offer this Christmas, and when do you need to place your order?
You can buy online until pretty late, although you have to factor in delivery times (unless you collect in-store). That isn’t the case with e-gift vouchers, though. These are usually sent out automatically via email so you could even order them on Christmas morning if you really had to, and they’d arrive with your chosen recipient soon afterwards.
The final recommended dates for International Economy delivery in time for Christmas have already come and gone, although you may still be able to post International Standard and International Tracking and Signature Services to some destinations. Be careful, though, because the dates are different for different countries.
Most retailers will do all they can to get stock out in time for Christmas, although you’ll probably need to pay extra if you leave it really late. There are delivery details for various online stores down below.
Wiggle has a Gift Finder service that helps you decide on presents. You tell it that you’d like a gift for a cyclist (as opposed to a runner, swimmer, or various other options) and then select whether they’re a roadie, mountain biker, commuter or recreational rider and whether they’re male or female. Finally, you choose the price band.
You can buy Kask Rapido Helmet for £55.20 (RRP £69.00), for instance.
Many other online stores have similar gift suggestion tools and they’re a good option if you’re looking for ideas.
The premium gifts section contains pricey items like the Garmin Edge 1030 Plus GPS Cycle Computer – check out our review – for £461.99 (RRP £519.99).
There’s also the option of creating a wishlist. You can choose products from the site, add them to your wishlist and then share that wishlist with others to save them trying to work out what you’d like to receive.
Wiggle says that you’ll get standard orders delivered free in the UK in time for Christmas if you shop by noon on Thursday 16th December.
Bikes must be ordered by Tuesday 14th December.
The last day for express/courier delivery is Tuesday 21st December, and you can order Next Day deliveries up until Wednesday 22nd December.
Wiggle also has a list of Christmas last posting dates for other countries.
Chain Reaction Cycles has a dedicated Christmas section on its website and you can buy gift vouchers for any value you like. These are eGift vouchers that are emailed through to either you or the recipient on a date of your choosing, so you can get these last-minute – Christmas morning if you leave it really, really late!
Chain Reaction also offers all sorts of present suggestions: stocking fillers, gifts for roadies, indoor gifts, and so on. It also suggests gifts for your bike which, let's face it, are gifts for you.
The dhb Aeron All Winter Softshell Jacket is available in several colours and is good value at £78-£80 – down from £120-£130 – although some colour/size combos aren't available. As we mentioned up top, availability is one of the issues with many items this year.
Chain Reaction says that you can have items delivered to UK addresses in time for Christmas by standard delivery if you order by Thursday 16th December and by express delivery until Tuesday 21st December. You can use next day delivery up until Wednesday 22nd December.
Bikes need to be ordered by Tuesday 14th December for Christmas delivery.
Look for gifts under £250 for a commuter and you'll find Garmin's Varia RTL515 tail light – that pairs with an Edge bike computer or compatible smartphone to alert the rider of vehicles approaching from behind – for £129.99 (RRP £169.99).
Evans says that the final ordering date for customers who want to guarantee delivery before Christmas is Thursday 23rd December if you order on next day delivery.
Hargroves offers Christmas gift suggestions, a few at discounted prices.
The Exposure Axis Mk7 TAP Front Light With Helmet And Handlebar Mount, for instance, is £149 (RRP £190).
Hargroves offers gift vouchers – which are codes presented in a coupon format that are emailed.
You can browse various sports, including cycling.
A Sigma BC 14.16 STS wireless computer (including cadence sensor) is £44.99 (RRP £54.99), for instance, and a 1,000 lumen Oxford Ugoe Mountain bike light is £49.99 (RRP £79.99).
If you choose to send an e-gift card (values from £10 to £200), you can personalise it with a message. You can have it delivered on any date you choose, so it could arrive on Christmas Day.
A Garmin Edge 530 GPS Cycle Computer is £219.99 (RRP £259.99, check out our review here), for example, while an Elite Zumo Smart Interactive Turbo Trainer is £449 (RRP £529, read our review).
You can buy Halfords Gift Cards for up to £1,000 that can be sent by post or electronically. You can add your message and request a delivery date.
Halfords overs free next day delivery on orders over £20, although this excludes bulky items, built bikes and online-exclusive products.
Edinburgh Bicycle Cooperative offers gift vouchers from £5 to £500, supplied with a greeting card and an envelope.
If you want to check availability and delivery times in your area, give Edinburgh Bicycle Cooperative a call on 0345 257 0808 or 0131 331 5010 between 10am and 6pm and they'll let you know if it’s feasible to get an order to you in time for Christmas.
Merlin doesn’t have a dedicated gift section although there are plenty of bargains to be had in its sale.
Merlin says that orders are usually processed and out of the warehouse within a few hours at the most so use the Royal Mail final postage dates (above) to ensure delivery before Christmas.
ProBikeKit has some bargains. The Saris H3 Smart trainer is £599.99 (RRP £750), for instance. We said in our review, “It's an excellent trainer and ideal for a serious home training environment”.
ProBikeKit says that your final ordering dates are:
Standard Delivery Tuesday 21 December 2021
Next Day Delivery Before 5pm, Thursday 23 December 2021
Sure-Fire Favourites includes things like socks and gloves – proper Christmas staples!
Then there are Stocking Fillers for under £50 – like a Rapha Trail Beanie for £30.
The Rapha Roll Top Backpack is down from £100 to £60.
Rapha's final shipping dates for the UK are as follows (but are subject to change in case of any logistics issues; check Rapha's website for the most up to date info).
Standard Delivery 3pm, Monday 20 December 2021
Express Delivery 3pm, Thursday 23 December 2021
Proviz offers loads of cycling kit that’s excellent for this time of year because it’s reflective and/or hi-viz.
It offers a Christmas Gift Guide with suggestions for various types of cyclists, all products priced under £100.
If you want to spend a little more, the REFLECT360 Plus Men's Cycling Jacket is £119.99. It is made from 100% reflective material and is waterproof and breathable.
Our reviewer called it “an excellent jacket for roadies and fast commuters who want to be seen when caught out in the dark” and gave it an overall score of nine out of 10.
The women’s version is the same price.
Proviz says its final ordering dates for Christmas are:
Standard Delivery Monday 20 December 2021
Express Delivery Tuesday 21 December 2021
Right, that just about covers most bases in terms of sorting your last-minute presents online, but don't forget as we said earlier – you can always keep it local by visiting your local bike shop – they may have had a good year, but they'll still be pleased to see you. Finally, if all else fails there's always chocolate.
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.