Choosing a gift for someone is tough.
Also, if you’re like me, you’ll have left it to the last minute. Giving yourself very little time to hunt out the perfect item. Oh, I nearly forgot, you’ll probably have a budget to work to as well. And that will instantly cut out all the diamond-encrusted, solid gold options that you were previously considering. Sigh…
Luckily though you’ve got a great starting point in your gift hunting. Knowing that your gift recipient is a cyclist means that you have a head start in picking the perfect item. Whatever your budget or timescales. It also opens up a wide range of excellent bike accessories and, believe me, cyclists LOVE their accessories.
So, let’s dive into the gift sack and take a look at the best options available. After that, I’ve also included a handy guide to the things you need to consider when choosing the most awesome gift for a bike rider.
Ready? Let’s go.
How to choose a gift for a cyclist
Whether you’re choosing a gift for a cyclist dad, or a friend who’s a bike commuter, or even Christmas or birthday gifts for bike lovers, it’s good to know that you’ve got plenty of options. So, the hard part is choosing between them and picking just the right present for your giftee.
Let’s take a look through the things that you need to consider when you’re choosing an unforgettable gift for a cyclist.
What kind of cyclist are they?
By this I mean what kind of bike do they cycle. There’s no need to get into technical details with this, but it’s useful to know what type of cycling they do. There’s a number of different bike types and these can be handy in pointing you in a particular direction and narrowing down the seemingly infinite number of gift options.
If you know the cyclist well, then you probably already know the type of bike they have. If not, don’t worry, just engage them in a bit of bike conversation and ask them what cycling they do. You’re looking for something along the lines of: I’m a mountain biker, or, I’m a road cyclist, or, I go on bikepacking adventures on my touring bike.
Give gifts that solve problems
When you’re looking for gifts for anybody (not just cyclists) then it’s useful to think about the kind of problems that they have currently and how a gift might be able to alleviate that particular issue.
What do I mean? Well, let’s take a couple of examples. Bike tires go flat. Your cyclist may well have a super-duper bike pump or fancy air compressor at their home that will inflate their tires to just the right pressure in under a second. Sadly, most tires don’t go flat at home. They tend to go flat at the furthest point on a bike ride from home/bike pump and then the cyclist has a long walk back. To avoid that unpleasantness it’s useful to have a small bike pump with you when you go out for a ride and one of the best is a CO2 tire inflator – these are compact (so are easy to carry) and do the job much quicker than a hand pump. They also look cool and appeal to the show-off nature that all cyclists have.
One problem that bike tourers have is trying to work out where they’re going. This is a pain as it involves stopping the bike, dragging a map out from a pocket, unfolding it (being careful that it doesn’t blow away), finding out where they are and which turning they need to take next, then re-folding and re-pocketing the map, and pedaling off again. This is a real PITA believe me. The latest invention in bike tech solves all of this – let me introduce the GPS cycling computer. Just like the one in your car, this has a little screen that fits to the handlebars and shows you exactly where you are with the route showing exactly where you’re going next. There’s no fiddling about with paper maps and you can easily follow the route as you move along.
Forget about sizing (and other things to steer clear of)
Unless you absolutely know what size bike clothing they are (they might have already told you!) then I’d recommend that you avoid buying any kind of bicycle clothing. Buying the right size of clothing for someone is hard enough but bike gear tends to be more form-fitting (otherwise it flaps about in the breeze) so is even more of a challenge to get right.
Having said that, if you DO know what size they are, then a great gift is a new bike jacket. These are always appreciated by cyclists as they’ll likely be using an old, tired jacket that has lost its water repellency and leaves them soaking wet after a downpour.
Similarly, I’d give a sidestep to bike accessories that come in different sizes or styles. You might find the perfect tires, in the most amazing color, but unless they’re the right diameter/width/tread style for your recipient’s bike, they’ll have to go straight back to the store.
Gifts that keep on giving
My favorite gifts are the ones that last the longest. One of the best gifts is a magazine subscription. Now I know that in our 21st Century world magazines seem like something from another era but a bike magazine subscription is actually something really exciting.
Do you remember the time when you used to get exciting post delivered? Remember the feeling of waiting by the mailbox for the postman to arrive? Well now you can give your giftee that feeling by gifting them a subscription to a magazine. For the next 6 months or 12 months (or whatever you choose as the publishers are normally very flexible), they’ll get a new piece of exciting mail every few weeks that they can lock themselves away in a quiet corner with and read to their heart’s content.
What every cyclist needs
Safe bets for cyclists are bike multitools and consumables (such as bicycle cleaning kits) – these always get lost, misplaced, or run out. Bike tech is always (always!) a winner – examples include bike lights (the more illumination a cyclist can have the better), GPS computers, or smartwatches.
Cyclists also love to immerse themselves in the world of bikes when they’re not even on a bike. So cycling books are very popular and themed things (like bike-shaped pizza cutters or cycling mugs) will give them the opportunity to indulge their cravings.
So, you thought choosing a gift for a bicycle rider was going to be difficult? Ha! It’s actually really easy. Cyclists love their kit and accessories and there’s so much of it available and at a wide range of different price points. I’m quite sure that you’ll find the perfect item for your giftee.