Hello America! The holidays are upon us, or so the radio has been telling me with its incessant Christmas music. And what does that mean? A season to be thankful? No! A time to gather around and enjoy the company of family and friends? No! Why would we do such a thing? So what then? It means it's that time to do what America does best - shop!
And just like that, before we can stuff our faces with a second round of Thanksgiving turkey, or enjoy a post meal game of Monopoly with loved ones, we American's will be off, rampaging through the malls like the bulls of Pamplona to shop and shop and shop.
So okay, I'll bite, I'll swim with the tide, I'll throw my hat into the ring and abide by my patriotic duties in support of consumerist America. Since the reality is 'tis the season to be buying, so here are my 17 holiday gift ideas for every cyclist.
Ornot Merino Blue Line Socks - $18
So you may have noticed (Ornot) that temperatures are dropping, which makes this wool sock the perfect go-to. Particularly during those early mornings. Not overly ornate, you can pair them with just about any kit.
Far Ride Magazine - $18
From Argentina, to Canada, South Korea to the South of France, Far Ride Magazine is documenting cycling adventures from around the world. I don't know about you, but I always find it exciting to read about where other people's cycling journey's are taking them.
Tubolito - $35
The fact of the mater is, we all get flat tires from time to time. Tubolito as revolutionized your typical spare tube making it up to 65% lighter and 2x less likely to puncture. Sure the price tag is hefty, but we cyclists have been known to spend a lot more to shave grams.
Draft Animals, By Phil Gaimon - $12
From the author of the cult favorite Pro Cycling on $10 a Day and Ask a Pro, follow ex-pro cyclist Phil Gaimon as he recounts what it was like to achieve his child hood dream and reach the top echelons of pro-cycling. Perhaps what's most appealing in the book is Phil's honesty about his experiences in the pro-peloton - which is something most of us only glimpse from the outside looking in.
Bonk Breaker Energy Chews - $25
Bonk Breaker's Strawberry Energy Chews are packed with 240mg of vital electrolytes and 100mg of caffeine from all-natural white-tea sources. Not to mention they're easy to digest - a must when hammering on the bike - and always made from real ingredients. Real Food. Real Fuel. Real Flavor.
Gifts That Won't Break The Bank
Lezyne Strip Drive Pro Rear Light - $50
It used to be that you'd only see bike lights on when it was dark. But that's been slowly changing, and for good reason. Even a day time light can attract a drivers attention, helping to keep you safer on the road. This LED light can delivery up to 300 lumens, has nine combined lumen and flash modes, including the extremely visible 300-lumen Daytime Flash mode. It also has built-in side visibility, and integrated cable-free recharging USB stick.
MAAP Motion Pro Base Jersey - $180
MAAP's been dishing out cool kit for awhile now. And they've managed to keep producing fun, colorful patterns but with a paired back asthetic and not overly kitchy. Not to mention they've managed to introduce elements from the 80's - a true win for any millennial.
Giro Empire E70 Knit - $200
Giro's line of Empire road shoes has got to be one of the hottest cycling shoes available on the market right now. With all the new age technology one would expect while simultaneously ditching the velcro and Boa systems for shoelaces, the Empire E70 is a perfect marriage between modern and classical styling.
Brooks Cambium C15 All Weather Saddle - $120
What's there to say about Brooks other than that they've been around making bike saddles for well over 100 years and they're still rocking it! In fact when it comes to classic saddle styling they are pretty much the undisputed king. And the Cambium C15 All Weather Saddle is just one more arrow in the quiver. With its look decidedly Brook's, this saddle is still meant to be raced on, all while holding up to the crummy, rainy, snowy weather that Winter brings.
Eroica California - $150
Taking place on April 14th-15th, 2018, on the gravel roads of Paso Robles, L'Eroica is a bike ride aimed to bring back the essence of cycling's bygone era. A time when cycling's hardmen had no carbon fiber bikes, no handlebar shifters, and no gel-shots to keep them from bonking. Having ridden L'Eroica California for the first time last year on a required vintage bike, I can tell you it was a first class experience, and a truly unique event. Sign yourself up for this ride and you won't regret it!
Alchemy Goods Brooklyn Backpack - $140
What's cooler than an stylish looking backpack made from up-cycled bike tubes? Featuring a padded laptop sleeve compartment, a number of internal dividers and a pair of easy-access outside pockets, the Brooklyn Backpack is functional too. Not to mention the up-cycled bike tubes its made from make it highly water resistant.
Bellroy All-Conditions Phone Pocket - $110
Sure, your cycling jersey may have 3 pockets, but holding onto your car keys, phone, cash and credit cards while on a ride can still be messy business. Thanks to Bellroy's Phone Pocket it keeps your valuables nicely contained. And just in case you're caught out in foul weather it'll keep your phone dry as well.
The "I've Got Dough To Blow" Gift
Omata One - $550
The Omata One is to your Garmin or Wahoo what a Rolex is to the Apple Watch. There is something to be said for stayed classical design in a world of often over engineered, digital information. And riding with the Omata One is like being back in the cockpit of a Porsche rather than a Prius.
Seasucker Komodo - $1,395
For most of us a pair of Yakama's thrown on top of our Subaru will do just fine. But for others - we're looking at you Tesla and Ferrari drivers - it's not so simple. Enter Seasucker's Komodo bike rack, a perfect substitute for those looking for a temporary solution on an unlikely car. It gives those high-rollers a chance to cart around their $15k bikes to the Saturday group ride and then remove the whole rack in time to take their sports car out on the town.
Lightweight Meilenstein Wheelset - $4,500
Quite possibly the best wheelset on the market. These German made baby's are extremely light (1,100g according to Lightweight) without compromising on stiffness. How do these wheels maintain such stiffness despite its weight? Lightweight claims it's because they make the spoke holes in the rims during the molding process rather than drilling through any of the individual fibers and damaging the structure afterwards. So whether you're climbing, sprinting, or taking tight corners on a descent these wheels can handle it with ease.
Franco Latigo RS1 - Price Upon Request
Handmade in northern Italy one bike at a time, the Latigo RS1 is a true dream machine. Customization has always been a true measure of luxury. From custom suits, to custom sports cars and mega yachts, and this bike is no exception. Franco offers customers the ability to customize every aspect, from geometry, to paint scheme and components. Heck, throw some Gucci logos all over it if you want. It's ALL your choice.
Stinner Refugio Gravel - $2,599 (steel frameset only)
No doubt about it gravel is the route d'jour these days, and for good reason. It's fun! Or rather, what makes gravel fun is the ability to jump from tarmac to dirt and back again exploring just about any path at will. There in lies freedom. And Stinner has delivered you a freedom-machine in spades. Located right in beautiful Santa Barbara, California, Stinner has a plethora of dirt and gravel roads to test and explore, making it the perfect place to develop a superb gravel bike. With the liveliness of a road bike and the compliance of a cyclocross bike, if this bike doesn't put a mile-wide grin on your face then Lord have mercy, because nothing will!