The Cycling Gift Guide : 2018 Edition

First up on our 2018 gift guide: The 2018 Edition Cyclist Gift Guide Most Wanted List!


Struggling to find a gift for that dad, soon to be dad, wife, mom, husband, grandfather, friend, or pretty much anyone else in your life?  Do they have hobbies that cause your eyes to glaze over when brought up in regular conversation?  Do they spend more time outside than inside?  Well then, do I have the gift ideas for you! 

Yes, these lists arrived later than everyone else’s wish list.  Why you may ask?  I don’t like it when the Christmas decorations go up in stores after back to school shopping or Halloween.  I guess I’m a December 1st is the start of the holiday season, for whichever holiday you may celebrate, type of guy.  I’m a Christmas guy myself and you won’t catch me putting up decorations until the first or second week of December.  I need to let all of the tryptophan work its way out of my system from Thanksgiving.  Yep, that is still a thing greedy retailers!

Take a look below at the different categories with several ideas in each and wrap up that cumbersome shopping list!  I’ll include a few links too that will take you to some of our favorites (psst..we might receive small percentage of the purchase if you click through the website.  We appreciate it greatly!)

Safety First!

Blinky Lights

Everyone loves a blinky light AND they make you much easier to see at all times of day (blinky during the day, solid at night).  Don’t forget to think big lumens, I always feel the brighter the better. Be obnoxiously bright on the road! If you truly love your gift recipient, check out the new lights by Bontrager, Cateye, Lezyne, Lupine, Specialized and more.  Newer lights are also smaller and brighter than ever before for the aesthetically motivated rider.

While you’re thinking about lighting, don’t forget the headlight. Help your cyclist to see at night and be seen at any point during the day!

Brightly Colored (and Warm) Riding Gear        

This time of the year, or any time of year for that matter, is not the time to perfect your ninja outfit when cycling on the road.  When buying cycling clothes for your loved ones, think 80’s ski slope.  For you youngins, that means fluorescent EVERYTHING! 

Also, don’t forget that while it may not feel that chilly outside when jogging, everything feels a lot colder at 20+ miles per hour.  Look for gear that blocks wind, or a nice soft balaclava.  You can never go wrong with a nice set of warm gloves (I like the lobster style) or one of those wool hats with the ear flaps that hang down.

The Quick and easy or budget friendly list

Please see below for a quick list of cheap, kinda boring to the non-cyclist, but useful, ideas. At the end of this blog post I will include links to many of these items. If they’re listed, rest assured we’ve tried them and like them.

  • New tire levers: Or just tire levers period, carbon wheel users need not apply.

  • CO2 Air Pump: If they don’t have one already, make sure they practice, otherwise they’ll end up with cold hands and a flat tire on the side of the road, ask me how I know.

  • Spare CO2 Air Canisters: As long as they have one on their ride they’ll never need it, true story!

  • Extra Stan’s Tubeless Fluid: Your special someone hasn’t checked theirs in over a year…

  • Tire Patch Kit: Because humans…

  • Spoke Wrench: Because pot holes…

  • Bar Tape: Contrast or matchy matchy, how bold is your cyclist?

  • A Cool, and or Funny, Stem Cap: You can get all kinds, some that look like a donut to my favorite from Niner Bikes (YAWYD Stem Cap) that allows you to stick a cap from your favorite beer on it.

  • New Brake Pads?: If they still use brakes that is(I kid).

  • Cycling Caps: From cool to bizarre, take your pic

  • Stickers!: More HP and Watts instantly!

Cycling Accessories

A Cycling Computer:

These days a cyclist is spoiled for choice compared to just 5 years ago.  Is your special someone an around the neighborhood type of bike rider or a 150+ miles per week data hungry cyclist?  There are many options at many price points, but here are the top three options to get you going (We’ve tried them all and think they are all quality cycling computers).

Wahoo ELEMNT GPS Bike Computer
Wahoo Fitness (Sports & Outdoors)

Water Bottles:

Self explanatory, but I like the insulated bottles for summer and winter, usually by Camelbak.  Buying for a funny guy or gal?  They make bottles that look like siracha, ketchup, mustard, relish, etc. too. 

A Cycling Wallet, Saddle bag, or Jersey Wallet:

Keep your cyclist's phone, wallet and repair tools dry.  Trust me, they will thank you for it the first time they are caught in foul weather.  Check out options from brands like Silca, Topeak, Waterfield, Rapha and many more!

A New Air Pump:

Is someone you know still rocking a Huffy air pump from the 80s?  Consider an upgrade to a pump made by Silca, Specialized, Bontrager, Topeak, Lezyne or any number of other brands.  Floor, frame mount or Jersey pocket sized, their arms, and sanity, will thank you.

A New Multitool:

Get your special someone a multitool that has all of the tools they actually need.  Having the right tools can be the difference between riding or walking back to the trail head. If they have a multitool from the early 90s, chances are half of the tools won’t work on their shiny new rig.  They have tools in stainless, steel, titanium and (drool) carbon fiber.  One can never have too much tool bling.

Flat pedals

Great for the casual ice cream or coffee shop ride.  Also great for mountain biking and snow biking because frozen cleats and pedals stink, ask me how I know…

The Money is No Object List

Smart Trainers:

Different from the old 70s trainers that sound like a turbine engine when in use.  The new trainers can be controlled by cycling specific apps for your phone, laptop, smartwatch and even some cycling computers.  Programs like Zwift connect to your trainer and combine training with a video game/racing atmosphere.  This can help with the massive boredom encountered on the trainer., but I found winter fatbike riding to be much more satisfying.  Your results may vary.  If you’re down south where you can ride all year in short sleeves and shorts, well, I will practice restraint and just say...lucky you…

A Fat Tire or Plus Sized Tire Bike

First and foremost, yes, there are Fat AND Plus Size Tire Bikes, I am not making chubby jokes.

Again, a bit northern climate oriented, but awesome fun anywhere in the world.  These bikes take on sand, snow, rocks, jumps and more with ease.  No they aren’t as fast as a road or mountain bike, but man are they fun!  Ditch the trainer, get bundled up and go for a winter fatbike ride.  Be sure to throw in a gift certificate to the local coffee shop for a complete gift any winter cyclist would love. For this category, we have to recommend your local bike shop. They can help you with the right size and features for that lucky gift recipient, or you?

Hitch or Roof Mounted Bike Rack - Is he or she still using duct tape and rope to get their bike to the trail head?  Get them an awesome bike rack from Yakima, 1UpUSA or Thule and save the duct tape for plumbing repairs...

Carbon Wheels - Not Pro?  No problem! Everyone loves carbon bits, even if you’re slow as molasses like I am!  Carbon wheels are super stiff, super light, they look cool and they make a cool whooshing sound when going fast on pavement, need I say more?  Be sure not to skimp here as a cheap carbon wheel might night hold up to regular abuse and you wouldn’t want your loved one to end up drinking holiday leftovers through a straw for a few weeks, would you? Also, as with any major cycling purchase, make sure they will work for your particular bike setup. There are hundreds of standards for wheel sizes, spacing, gearing, etcetera. Again, this is a time when your local bike shop can help you make the perfect selection.

Last, but certainly not least, a gift certificate to your local bike shop or LBS.  Is the cyclist in your life ultra picky?  Do they follow the rules religiously (they’ll know what that means)?  Allow them to go to the bike shop and drool over the latest carbon and titanium bits before making their gift selection. That is, of course, if you can trust them to stick to the gift card limit.  My wife will not be getting me a gift card for Christmas...

The Wrap Up

With that, thanks for reading and stopping by I hope you found this article helpful and check out the Short and Sweet list below for last minute stocking stuffers, Secret Santa at work, or just because. As always, if you don’t see something listed that should be, or even a mistake, let us know. Also, check back for our Amazon Store coming soon!