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"Don't buy me this!" Gifts not to get for cyclists this Christmas

Thanks, but no thanks... if you need to get a present for a cyclist and want to avoid Christmas clichés, here's our definitive list of what not to buy this year

As always, has been kind enough to offer you a vast array of Christmas gift ideas this year for that person you know that does cycling, no matter where their pedalling allegiances might lie... but the special day is approaching fast, delivery times are unpredictable, and you might get in a bit of a flappy panic.

> Christmas gift guide for discerning cyclists — what to buy for the awkward cycling fan in your life

That ensuing panic could leave you vulnerable to making a hasty decision, like buying one of the exclusive bicycle-related items in the list below just before the shops shut and that last Hermes delivery guy punts a parcel over your fence. We politely ask that you don’t, but here they are anyway with 'don't buy here' links where appropriate just to serve as an extra reminder not to...  

Something made from a bit of old chain

Recycled Chain Key Hook.jpg

Recycling and upcycling are well on trend right now, we get that this is generally a good thing to do and with a bit of creativity new life can be breathed into old tat... but an old bicycle chain will always look like an old bicycle chain, no matter how much you try to tart it up.

Don't buy some bicycle chain cufflinks for £16 here

A personalised bike rack

Personalised Bike Rack.jpg

Having somewhere to put your bike where it’s out the way and keeps grub and oil off important bits of the house is to be recommended to maintain a level of household harmony. There are all sorts of solutions to this problem out there and you can spend nearly £300 on a personalised bike rack if you want. A £1.99 hook from Screwfix can be customised with a bit of matching handlebar tape, just FYI.

Don't buy one here for £140

Anything made from an old inner tube

Inner Tube Bow Tie.jpg

As a way to reuse all those inner tubes that have more than eight puncture patches on them (your limit may vary) these are a good thing but we have enough pouches, bags and cases already as they’ve been the caring, earth friendly, responsible cycle present for a while now. They’re in the drawer in the garage with all the Park Pizza Cutters and Cyclopath mugs. We definitely don’t want an inner tube bow tie.

Dont't buy an inner tube bow tie for £16 here

Park Tool Pizza Cutter

Park-Tools-Pizza-Tool-Gifts-Blue-QKPZT2 (1).jpg

Seemingly invented to end up on listicles like this one, the PZT-2 Pizza Cutter from Park Tool is pretty much the Slade of cycling. If your bike-mad gift recipient has space for a fifth one in the drawer, get it by all means. 

Don't buy one here for £17.99

A 'fun' multi tool

fun bike multitool.PNG

We don’t need any help rounding out or stripping any bolts, thanks though.

Avoid buying one here for £8.99

Some personalised bent wire

Bent Wire Bike.jpg


Anything with a bike on

Bike Rider Duvet Cover.jpg

Cyclists are cursed in much the same way that cat and dog owners are come the time for choosing Christmas presents... or rabbit owners, or people that like owls, or frogs, or anyone with a remote interest in anything, you can bet they will get a present with their 'thing' on it because it is all they are and they’re not a rounded and complex individual with a broad variety of emotions and desires. Tea mug, t-shirt, cushion, label on a bottle of wine, face mask... it doesn’t have to have a bicycle on. No, really! 

Don't buy a cyclist duvet cover here for £59.99

Campagnolo Corkscrew

Campagnolo Corkscrew.jpg

The Campagnolo Corkscrew has been the mainstay of every single cycling Christmas gift guide since the Magi couldn’t get one because of delivery issues and had to give frankincense as a substitute. Its price is probably the only reason people buy the significantly more attainable (and second on the obvious cycling gift guide list) Park Tool Pizza Cutter as a present instead. Coming from a bygone era where wine corks were actually used, the price per bottle of wine pulled makes it even more prohibitively expensive and obsolete. It makes a nice wall ornament though; next year they’ll be for sale as upcycled table lights, probably.

Don't buy one for £199.99 here

A comedy jersey

Comedy Cycle Jersey.png

Christmas is the time for amusing sweaters and socks (and that’s debatable), but not cycling jerseys. The best you can hope for is receiving a summer top, so that once you’ve stretched the Lycra beyond its design parameters over your Christmas dinner stomach and everyone’s taken a picture to share on WhatsApp and had a laugh, it will have been long forgotten once it’s warm enough to wear. There are Lycra recycling schemes available now, should you need to know.

Avoid buying the jersey above here for £11.84

Solid tyres

airless no flat tyre

You’ve put up with all the epic tales of disastrous punctures miles from home in the rain just as it’s getting dark, and you’ve had to step over that pile of punctured tubes waiting to be mended too many times... so you surmise that banishing all of this in one fell swoop would make a welcome and thoughtful present. Only gift these if you’re happy to replace those epic tales with a barrage of swearing from the garage as they’re fought to be fitted, and requests for delicate Sudocrem application as the ride they produce is without the benefit of air. Or joy.

Indicator gloves

Indicator Glove.jpg

You know the cyclist in your life rides a lot, you quietly think it’s a bit dangerous but it keeps them happy, and you’ve already had several helmet chats. You want to show them you care, you think they’d be useful and you saw that nice Phillip Schofield show them off on daytime telly or something. But no thanks, they’re another bicycle thing invented by people that don’t even like riding bicycles, and appear every six months under the guise of a new manufacturer that hasn’t done their research on what happened to the previous manufacturer of cycling indicator gloves.

Don't buy some for £14 here

And finally...

If you’re in any doubt about the right gift... don’t guess, just ask. Please. Any feigned joyous surprise at your wonderful cycling-themed gift will be far surpassed by the pleasure of receiving something that we need and will see repeated use, rather than a trinket that we'll quietly put in the charity pile, or accidentally drop out of a pocket under a bus...

Anything to give a miss that we've missed? Do drop your suggestions in the comments, and check out our other 2020 Christmas Gift Guides for recommendations of what you should actually consider buying!

Jo Burt has spent the majority of his life riding bikes, drawing bikes and writing about bikes. When he's not scribbling pictures for the whole gamut of cycling media he writes words about them for and when he's not doing either of those he's pedaling. Then in whatever spare minutes there are in between he's agonizing over getting his socks, cycling cap and bar-tape to coordinate just so. And is quietly disappointed that yours don't He rides and races road bikes a bit, cyclo-cross bikes a lot and mountainbikes a fair bit too. Would rather be up a mountain.

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