Cyclists are tricky to shop for. Sizing for gear is really tough, so buying clothing or bikes or shoes is generally out. And bike and component choice is super personal, so you don’t want to get cyclocross tires that are the wrong width for your athlete’s preferences. Where does that leave you? Usually with kitschy bike-themed presents that, while well-intentioned, generally end up in basements collecting dust. (That’s not true for everyone, but most cyclists—even those who love bike-themed art!—already have a ton of bicycle-themed stuff.) Here, we have a list of practical presents that can fit any budget that will definitely get used:
Take Off Your Chamois Sandals
You know *exactly* who this is for. (Pair them with a changing towel and possibly a pack of baby wipes for maximum trailside effect.)
Velocio Rain Cap
Most cyclists already own a cycling cap, but Velocio’s Rain Cap kicks it up a notch with a Polartech Neoshell that makes it a cozier shoulder season staple, but looks like a normal cotton cycling cap.
Shred Girls Books!
I’m really stoked that all three of the Shred Girls books by me (Molly Hurford are available in print! For middle-grade + young adult athletes (or girls who you’re hoping to get excited about sport!), this series is a fun way to introduce riding.
Topeak SmartGauge D2
I swear, if Peter could gift this to every cyclist he knows, he would. But if you’re a mountain biker or cyclocross racer, you really, really need a good smart gauge. This is an awesome stocking stuffer or an easy-to-ship (read: tiny!) gift option for a distanced Christmas.
Rest Day Sweatshirt
For the cyclist who really, really, really struggles to take a damn rest day, this sweatshirt is the perfect visual reminder. Gift best given with an accompanying to-do list for those rest days…
Want to learn some new bike skills, from bunny hopping to remounts to yoga for cyclists? Trials legend Ryan Leech has brought technical MTB coaches together to create hundreds of tutorials that he’s constantly updating to teach riders of all levels how to boost skills.
Swiftwick Aspire Seven High Vis Socks
For athletes like Molly who really hate all things bright and colorful, but who really should be more lit up when they ride or run, Swiftwick Aspire Seven High Vis Socks are a reasonable compromise. They’re—duh—ultra high vis, but still comfortable, totally functional cycling socks. And come on, who doesn’t love getting socks as a gift?
Wahoo KICKR Multi-Purpose Floor Mat
Whether you have a Wahoo KICKR or some other trainer, we love this black, thick, heavy mat for dampening sound and vibration while making a trainer area a little less messy and prone to getting grease stains on the carpet. We also like it for ‘creating’ a space for your trainer to live, making it more likely that it’ll get used. If you know someone who just got a trainer and is psyched to use it, this is a great accompanying gift!
Garmin 530 Cycling Computer
This is Peter’s favorite cycling computer to recommend. Garmin has the easiest interface to learn, in our opinion, and while $300 is pretty pricey for a present, it’s a great ‘primary Christmas present’ for a cycling partner who’s in need of a computer. This one is the cheapest Garmin cycling computer you can go for that will still have all of the navigation and mapping bells and whistles that you need. It also syncs super well with a phone and popular apps—Peter has been stoked to find that he can instantly send Strava routes to the computer.
Gore-TEX INFINIUM Stretch Gloves
Remember how we talked all about how we decide on what new gear to buy? These gloves tick a lot of boxes for us, since they’re ideal for riding, running and hiking, they’re basic black, and honestly, they fit both of us! We love these for stocking stuffers because even the pickiest cyclists will be able to use them.
Bivo Water Bottles
We’re in love with these super cool stainless steel Bivo water bottles (that’s right, a cycling water bottle that’s a bidon but also stainless steel!) along with a box of goodies to keep in theme. They’re a bit pricey for a cycling water bottle, but cheap for a stainless steel bottle! It’s one of the nicest bottles I’ve had, and has stayed new looking after months of hard use. It’s a little different, but super useful, which makes it a great gift for a cyclist who already has everything.
Ride Checklist Bag
For your riding partner who ALWAYS forgets something… This is a weirdly useful large tote that’s great for remote-start rides where, if you forgot something at home, it’s going to be a serious hassle to go get it. (And on the other side, there’s a run checklist!)
Athlete-Friendly Stocking Stuffers: Snack Pack
My family and Peter’s family love doing candy and chocolate in stockings, but if you’re doing small presents or exchanging stockings with an athlete, why not get them something fun, but still super practical? I love doing little gift bags for my cycling friends buy buying boxes of these gels, bars and hydration things, then mixing and matching them, maybe even adding some homemade cookies or energy balls, so that everyone gets to try a bunch of fun new flavors!
If you want the present to be a bit bigger than a stocking stuffer, consider adding one of those super cool stainless steel Bivo water bottles.
My holiday faves that are a bit more festive than your average plain gels and Clif Bars:
Saddle, Sore + Chamois Cream
When a new female cyclist starts riding, it can be intimidating, even if she’s super speedy. From my own experience—and from the hundreds of women I’ve talked to about this stuff—one of the biggest challenges is that no one talks about the nether-region stuff… like not wearing underwear with your bike shorts, what to do about chafing or saddle sores, and whether you should use a pad or a tampon. That’s why I wrote “Saddle, Sore: Ride Comfortable, Ride Happy” and why it’s an awesome present for a new cyclist: it answers those questions and a ton more, without forcing your new friend into a conversation she may not be comfortable having. She’ll thank you later. Ditto with the chamois cream, which most new cyclists don’t know about but will be a huge help for long rides…. Get started with chamois cream early, avoid issues in the future!
Ass Savers sound hilarious, but holy crap, these things WORK. Sure, they’re not long-term commuter solutions, but for the average cyclist, this is all you need to make your ride less soggy. They install in 5 seconds, are super lightweight, and are the perfect stocking stuffer for the cyclist who’s sick of ruining bike shorts with mud splatter (or literally freezing her butt off!). We give these to new cyclists often, and we keep a couple in the van for when we need a fender in a pinch.
For those remote rides where your cyclist really needs to get changed after their training, or for post race cleanups, a shower rocks. And we’ve said it before, but this awesome ($10) camp shower is the absolute best! You wouldn’t think a shower like this would get super hot, but it honestly gets quite warm, and it’s also great for cleaning off bikes, doing dishes, and of course, giving your dog a quick rinse before letting him jump into the car. (Pair with this gallon weed sprayer for a full DIY bike + body wash for under $40!)
Consummate Athlete Training Plans + Bike Skills Gifts:
If you love the podcast or get any value from our articles, we deeply appreciate you spreading the love! In addition to shopping our online store for mugs, sweatshirts and T-shirts, you can also:
- Grab a copy of our new book, Becoming A Consummate Athlete
- Book a coaching consult call as a gift right here
- Gift a 3-month custom-made training plan to the cyclist in your life
- Get your wannabe pro athlete friend or family member a copy of The Athlete’s Guide to Sponsorship
- If your giftee lives in the Southern Ontario region, you can even buy him or her a bike skills package for IRL coaching next year!
- For young girls into cycling, head to the Shred Girls Store for fun stuff for them!