Christmas is coming but don’t panic–the great thing about cyclists is there’s always something new to buy them! At Wild Atlantic Cycling we’ve done the hard work for you and narrowed down the very best gifts that’ll make you their favourite person this season.
Money No Object
As you’d expect from a machine in this price range, the Propel was the standout bike of the year. With its wide gearing range, you can tackle the hairiest ascents while still having plenty of power for the flatter stuff–this is a seriously quick bike. Highly stable in crosswinds with ultra-responsive brakes and a sublime ride all add up to the ultimate all-rounder.
Along with the usual army of features we’ve come to expect from GPS (speed, time and distance data) the Edge 1000 also comes equipped with a host of functions that put this in a league all its own. Its turn-by turn-navigation, rare on bike GPS, uses Garmin Cycle Map software that includes both on and off road information, meaning you can use the one unit for your road and mountain bikes. Coupled with live tracking, text notifications, automatic data upload and more data than you’ll know what to do with, this is the only unit you’ll ever need.
3. Tacx i-Genius Virtual Reality Turbo Trainer–RRP £999
Even the most dedicated of us are beaten by the weather at some point, but that’s no reason to get lazy. While training indoors will never match the thrill of the open road, what sets this turbo trainer apart is the incredible interactive experience. The bundled software lets you ride through film footage of real landscapes, with automatic resistance control on the back wheel to simulate inclines. And the Tacx i-Genius is the only machine available today with a motor brake, which also recreates the downhill sections. Expensive for a turbo trainer? Sure, but it’s the next best thing to being there.
4. Sustrans Sponsor A Mile Scheme–£30 a mile (1 year)
Having the finest kit available isn’t a whole lot of use if there’s nowhere to ride. Fortunately, the National Cycle Network now covers over 14,000 miles in the UK and is still expanding. Sustrans, the organisation responsible for the routes, spends over £1 million a year on its upkeep and are giving you the chance to sponsor your own 1-mile section. For £30 you’ll receive a sponsor’s certificate, emails on the latest developments and an “I love the NCN” fridge magnet! The ideal gift for any cyclist.
You can tell them this counts as two presents! The fully adjustable stand will accommodate most bikes as it raises the rear wheel, and is perfect for basic maintenance allowing you to work on the drive train. The pump can be used in situ or detached to operate separately.
6. Elite Nanogelite Thermal Bottle 500ml-£17.99
Staying properly hydrated on long rides is essential, but keeping your drink at the optimum temperature is no job for traditional bottles. The Elite Nanogelite is fully insulated, keeping cold drinks cold for those scorching hot days(!) and, more importantly, keeping the hot ones hot for when you’re freezing your spokes off.
7. Topeak Alien II Multi-Tool–£29.59
With a 26-piece tool set wrapped up in its compact body, the Alien II can take on just about any job at the roadside. Featuring a range of allen keys, screwdrivers, wrenches and spanners, there’s not much it can’t handle. And crucially, it comes complete with a bottle opener.
A cyclist without coffee is like a Delorean without a flux capacitor–not gonna work. Here at Wild Atlantic Way we like to keep it classy with this range of beauties from Supermugs.com.
9. Muc-Off Shower Scrub–£6.00
There’s nothing like a long winter ride to really get that dirt ingrained into your every nook and cranny. The softly abrasive multi-sized granules in Muc-Off’s shower scrub will remove the accumulated grime, clear blocked pores and nourish your skin, leaving it soft, hydrated and moisturised.
You know, if you’re into that kind of thing.
10. Below The Belt Sports Lubricant–£7.95
Stop sniggering at the back! No one likes a chafing, especially ‘down there’. Slap this on anywhere that needs protection and enjoy a long day on the road without having to worry about the John Wayne walk tomorrow.
11. GoPro Hero 4 Black–£409
What better than the official camera of the Tour de France to document your adventures? With broadcast quality 4K image resolution as well as the ability to capture super slow motion, the GoPro is the most accomplished camera of its type out there. Now comes with Bluetooth compatibility as well as wifi. Attach it to your chest, helmet, handlebars or seatpost.
12. Garmin Forerunner 920XT Fitness Monitor–£274.99
One of the best all round smart watches available right now, the Forerunner crams in a heart rate monitor, GPS navigation, VO2 max estimates and social media sharing as well as a calorie counter and live tracking. There’s even a metronome to provide cadence training. Designed to work as an extension of your smart phone, the Forerunner will display emails, texts and other alerts on the move.
13. See.Sense bike light–£64.99
Stay visible–stay safe. That’s the idea behind this ingenious new bike light. Equipped with sensors that read and adapt to your conditions, See.Sense recognises a number of potential dangers on the road, such as approaching car headlights or roundabouts, and automatically flashes faster and brighter in order to make the rider more visible. Connected to a smart phone, the sensors can also be used as a theft detection device, alerting you if your bike is being tampered with, and it can even be set to automatically send an alert for help in the event of an accident.
14. ICEdot Crash Sensor–£89.59
Some of the best rides are the ones we take alone. The ICEdot was developed as a safety system for the lone cyclist should the worst happen. Fitting comfortably on any bike helmet and connected via Bluetooth to a smart phone app, the ICEdot uses the same sensors as the See.Sense (above) to detect changes in motion and impact force. It can alert emergency services in the event of an accident with your GPS coordinates as well as supplying your name, medications, allergies and emergency contact information.
A cyclist’s guardian angel.
15. Hammerhead One–$85
If, like me, your sense of direction isn’t your finest attribute (“You couldn’t find your a*** with both hands” as I’ve been told, often), then this impressive little navigation system could be just what you need. The elegant ‘T’ shaped unit fits on the front stem and connects to your phone via a free app. An array of bright blue LEDs then lights up, pointing you in the right direction, flashing faster as you near your junction and changing to green to indicate the exact place to turn. Easily visible in daylight, the LEDs are bright enough to be seen in your peripheral vision so you can keep your eyes on the road, taking away the dangers of glancing down at a GPS unit or smart watch.
One of the biggest names in eyewear, Oakley produces some of the best sunglasses available. With a range of different lenses, all with 100% UV protection, this model features the Switchlock Technology quick lens changing system, as well as interchangeable nose pads for a customised, comfortable fit.
17. Uvex Boss Race helmet–£59.99
The one truly essential item for all cyclists, bike helmets have been shown to reduce head injury risk by around 85%. This model from German manufacturer Uvex offers adjustment along both vertical and horizontal planes to ensure the perfect fit. It has 19 vents to allow air to circulate around your sweaty head and the hypoallergenic padding is removable for washing.
18. Sportful Fiandre NoRain Jacket–£129.99
It’s not outside the realms of possibility for the weather to turn unpleasant for the UK cyclist, so make sure you’re prepared for the worst with the right protection. The Sportful Fiandre is a jacket that you can wear in any conditions due to its excellent breathability, but it has class-leading waterproofing and wind resistance too. Made from a combination of fabrics to provide the perfect blend of stretchiness, fit, insulation and weather protection, it’s the most stylish way to shield youself from the elements in a way only the Italians could manage.
19. Spiuk Z16RC road shoes–£179.95
These high-end shoes come with a heat-moulded upper to ensure the perfect fit. Give them a quick, low heat bake in the oven then pop them on for 15 minutes and let the shoes form themselves around your feet as they cool. Carbon fibre soles and reinforcing ribs mean there’s no flex at all and they’re sold with seperate hot and cold weather insoles.
20. Rapha Winter Gloves–£85.00
Your fingers are always going to feel it first! Made from a mix of high-quality materials, including ultra-soft goatskin leather, these are definitely pricey but for the serious cyclist who’s out in all conditions, a little bit of luxury might be just what’s called for. There’s even a soft nose wipe section on the back of each thumb, if you can face the idea of snotty £85 gloves!
So that’s our guide to our favourite Christmas cycling gifts and we hope it’s given you some great ideas. Not long to go till the big day. Have a very merry Christmas from everyone at Wild Atlantic Cycling.
About Wild Atlantic Cycling
Paul Kennedy is the founder of Wild Atlantic Cycling, a cycle tour company operating the MizMal, a fully supported end-to-end tour of Ireland along the breathtaking Wild Atlantic Way. The 525-mile route from Mizen Head in the south to Malin Head in the north takes in the very best that Ireland has to offer–it’s music, culture, unique landscapes and the famous Irish hospitality. Click here to find out how you can become a part of the next great adventure.