It's that time of year again, where you start to stress out about finding just the right gift for that crazy cyclist Uncle Fred... You are worried that that piano key neck tie waiting under the Christmas tree won't exactly bring the smile to Fred's face that you were hoping for? Well fret no more, because we have put together a list of a few items that we think will turn his frown upside down AND won't break your piggy bank either because honestly you don't really want to spend that much on Fred in the first place... So without further ado here are a few (cheap) present ideas for that cyclist in your life for this Christmas.
1. A New Pair of Cycling Socks
I know it isn't exactly the most creative gift in the world but cyclists do love their socks and any time you can add to that arsenal of good socks...they are happy. There are plenty of varieties out there to choose from, whether it be from DeFeet, Rapha, or the SockGuy AND it is a very affordable gift too.
2. The Rider - A Pretty Darn Good Book About Cycling
For your literature-loving frien—or that guy on the ride who won’t stop waxing poetic about the time he watched the Tour de France in person—pick up a copy of The Rider, the 1978 cult cycling classic from Holland that was recently released in English for US distribution. Written by Tim Krabbé, the 148-page book details the grit and glory of a 150-kilometer road race. It’s essentially a passionate love letter to the sport of cycling—so buy it as a present so you can borrow it later.
3. Nuun Tabs
Wrapping up a carton of Gatorades may be just a little too heavy and an unoriginal gift you pick up at the grocery store. This will solve both the packaging problem and the coolness issue. Nuun makes a tube of little magic tabs that you can just pop in your water bottle that is packed with electrolytes and has no sugar or carbs in it. Plus you can use it immediately the morning after Christmas if you may have had one too many drinks the night before.
4. An Extra Bike Tube or CO2 Cartridges
If you are that practical person and want to give a practical gift that will definitely get used in the coming year, a simple bike tube(s) may be just the thing you are looking for. If your cyclist gift receiver bikes any reasonable amount of miles in 2016, they will encounter a flat(especially if they live near goatheads) and it is always nice to have spare tubes around. Besides your local bike shop, you can get these pretty much any place they sell bike stuff like Amazon, REI, heck even Wal-Mart, and plenty of other online retailers. A nice combo gift could even be a couple tubes along with the CO2 cartridges to fill them up...
5. Bike Wall Art
Does your cyclist need to think about cycling when they aren't even on their bike...in their living room? Then maybe some bike art is the ticket for your cyclist. There are plenty of very cool prints you can get from Etsy under $25 that would look great on their wall. If you want to open the wallet a little more and spend around ~$45 on some bike art, Artcrank has some excellent pieces.
6. Bicycle Pizza Cutter
You know what is an extremely satisfying and glutenous way or recovering after a nice long bike ride??? Chowing down on a giant cheesy pizza pie along with some cold beer of course. Now you can even cut that pie with a little bike after you get off the bike with this bicycle pizza cutter.
7. Cycling Snacks
This gift is pretty much our food version of the Nuun tabs... Honey Stinger makes some great snacks that will keep your cyclist friend from bonking on that next group ride. Basically they will be able to personally thank you for keeping them from getting dropped on that big climb. OK, maybe a little time on the trainer this winter may be the key to that one but at least they will have a smile on their face(or their taste buds) when they eat that delicious Caramel Waffle honey snack...
8. Clean Bottle
This is one that we have definitely enjoyed ourselves for the past few years... Instead of that bottle that you never wash and thus gets very weird gunk that grows in it, Clean Bottle makes a cycling bottle that opens from the bottom as well in order to keep it clean...hence the name. It may be a bit more than your typical cheap bottle but it is definitely worth it as you shouldn't have to throw it away any time soon. They even make an insulated version for your cyclist that rides a lot in the scorching summer time.
9.Grease Monkey Wipes
We've got the hydration covered, the food-ration covered...but what about the bike. The bike takes some maintenance too to keep it running in tip top shape and it is dirty work. Once you're done working on that iron steed, clean your hands with Grease Monkey Wipes. These little handy hankys have the cleaning power to take that grease right off your mitts. They are also very convenient packaged to throw a wipe in your jersey pocket on your ride, just in case.
10. Top Tube BikeWrapper
Come on, we can't make one of these lists without shamelessly including one of our own products. In the past year we have added the option of just our top tube wrap, which keeps us under the $25 limit. This wrap goes on the top tube and of course is reflective on one side and a print on the other, just like our full BikeWrapper sets. Heck, we even now have a Colorado wrap to celebrate us now being in the front range ourselves...
We hope our little list may give given a little nugget of inspiration to find that gift or stocking stuffer for your own Fred... If Fred isn't your favorite then maybe you can get him this then instead...