Now’s the time of year when people start asking me for recommendations for gifts for their loved ones who bike. I usually say the same thing every year- depending on budget get them one of these: 1. a tune-up from their favorite mechanic at the local bike shop 2. better lights 3. socks
But since I’ll be asked, I thought I’d write a list and post it on the K-blog so I can just reference it as needed and have some links for the lazy.
1. A full-service tuneup from your local bike shop. (Bicycle Heaven in SA | American Cyclery in SF)
2. socks (defeet)
3. Better lights: DiNotte Lighting – Just a note on lights: I personally try to avoid odd battery sizes- like coin batteries. Get rechargeable lights- or get lights that use AAs or AAAs that you can recharge on your own. Triple-check to make sure you’re not buying a cute light with a crappy battery size.
4. ANYTHING from Swrve. Swrve kicks ass. They make great clothing. Just double-check your sizing. Especially if you’re a big-boy like me. Everything I have from them is great – weather resistant pants, some shorts, some knickers, a hat, jeans..
actually, I sold the jeans- I lost weight and needed to downsize.
5. Cool Frame stickers from VeloInk
6. Gobha reversible merino weatherproof hats – yeah, that sounds like a weird rec, but they’re awesome hats.
7. Bro, get some embro from Mad Alchemy – okay this may be more for the sport rider as a general, hey I’m riding to get groceries, but Mad Alchemy makes great (and BPA free) products
8. Speaking of creams and embro – Doc’s All-Natural Chamois Cream (with tea tree oil) is a cool gift (cool AND soothing, get it?)
9. Get some replacement lenses for her or his favorite old frames. If you know what frames your loved one has, you can get replacement lenses or updates from places like Walleva or Revant (even on eBay). It’s a good way to make a favorite old pair of glasses new again.
10. Put together a spare kit (should be $15-30 depending on how you do it)
- get a small school supplies bag from a place like Daiso, they’re like a buck
- get a spare tire for your friend’s bike ($7), put it in the bag along with some
- 2 slim tire levers ($5 for the kind I like) and a small patch kit ($3)
- and if there’s room, maybe a slim multi tool $10 if you want to splurge
this will fit in your jersey pocket
Here’s what mine looks like:
11. A winter collar from Rapha – yeah, I know, you could just use a nice bandana, but these are neat
12. Another nice DIY thing would be to give a bike cleaning kit that you put together (~$50 or less)
- all you need is a $4 2 gallon bucket from home depot (the SMALL paint buckets w/ a handle)
- some empty spray bottles from the dollar story or container store
- a bottle of simple green to dilute into one of the spray bottles ($10 for a gallon)
- some good degreaser (to put into the other spray bottle) ($10)
- a good chain brush like this one (don’t bother with those chain cleaning kits) ($12)
- some cheap sponges ($3) from home depot – look in the car wash section
- 2 bottle brushes ($3) – but make sure the brushes aren’t too stiff, or metal
- some shop rags ($5 for a big bag)
- and a bottle of Boeshield lube $10
- some stickers— for the bucket
13. And perhaps a jersey or a semi-casual riding shirt from Road Holland?
Anyway, I hope that helps give you some ideas.