What Cyclists Really Want
This time of year everybody is in a gift giving frenzy. Looking for THE thing that the cyclist in their life might really want. Some of us might have significant others, parents, friends, etc that are also cyclists and the ones picking out the gift, but the reality is that likely the person buying cycling related gifts isn’t a cyclist at all. That can make it difficult for them to pick something out that their die hard cycling giftee will be really excited about, but it doesn’t have to be so hard. This post is for those people looking for a gift and might not know what to get. We will look at what to avoid, top picks, and even some of our favorites here at SILCA.
What We Don’t Want
Most cyclists have had the cycling deprived people in their lives get them gifts that were well intentioned and maybe just weren’t something we were all that excited about. There are some exceptions that maybe the cyclist in your life has mentioned they really want an ugly Christmas sweater jersey, but as a pretty safe rule that is not high on the list of gear we were hoping for at Christmas.
Another common one we have seen is the kitchen sink tool set/multi-tool. Usually an Amazon purchase that has every tool that we might not even know what it does. These sets are often extremely budget conscious and typically not made to last. A great saying we like to go by at SILCA is “cheap tools are expensive.” Cheap tools are often prone to wearing out quickly along with causing damage to that precious bicycle that your loved one will be using them on.
Maybe we also look at skipping the vanity t-shirts with upside down text asking if my bike is ok. While it might seem funny at the time and might even get a laugh when the person opens it, its likely getting thrown in the back of the closet to not see the light of day again. We are here to try to help avoid that situation because nobody wants to give a gift that isn’t appreciated.
What We Do Want
The common saying is buy something for somebody they wouldn’t buy themselves. This can be especially difficult when you don’t know what they might buy themselves! There are a few good things to keep in mind when choosing the perfect cycling related gift and the biggest being, think back to anything they have particularly mentioned that is frustrating about their ride. Have they been frustrated by discomfort while riding, maybe a new roll of bar tape will help with hand discomfort? Have they mentioned wanting to go faster on the bike, maybe a bit of a speed upgrade is the answer. Maybe they are on the indoor trainer and need some new water bottles for those rides. The point is, try to pick up on something they might like to use this next season.
A great set of tools for a cyclist that has a little bit of mechanic knowledge is always a great option. If your cyclist does all of their own work on their bike or at least enjoys tinkering from time to time, maybe thing about something like our HX-One Home Essentials Tool Set. For the holidays we are even offering a custom engraved version to make it extra special. This is one of our most gifted items and is always a big hit.
Maybe they aren’t doing much maintenance and are taking it to the bike shop a couple times a year so something like a really good multi-tool for the small adjustments might be better. We offer a wide range of multi-tools from our Italian Army Knife – Nove that is the bare essentials all the way up to our T-ratchet + Ti-Torque Kit that is perfect for on the go adjustments on carbon bikes.
Another great option now that we are talking tools, is something for them to go in. If your cyclist is out riding regularly, they likely carry a seat pack of some sort with them. Lots of them are bulky and covered in Velcro that will pick those expensive shorts you bought them last year. We offer a couple different options with the most popular being our Mattone Seat Pack. It holds everything they would need to fix a flat or small mechanical while they are out riding without having a big bulky bag strapped to their bike.
My personal favorite cycling gift I have received might be a Neck Gaiter. This piece of clothing is surprisingly warm for those early spring, late fall, or even mid-winter rides outside. We have some great friends over at Rapha that make the Winter Collar, or Backcountry that offers their own branded Buff.
If you really want to be a hero in the cycling clothing gift giving department, spring for a great set of Bib shorts. You can either go with a matching Jersey and Bib Short combo, or just a simple pair of high quality Bib Shorts are always a welcomed gift to a serious cyclist. We are big fans of the Classic Flyweight Bib Shorts from Rapha.
Things to Make Their Life Easier
Falling back to things you have heard or noticed that might be welcomed, one common complaint is around a cheap floor pump. The pump won’t seal, it takes too long to inflate the tire, it leaks, etc. It wouldn’t be a SILCA post without mentioning that we have some of the best floor pumps ever made. Consider a great quality floor pump might make their pre-ride routine that little bit better every time they get on their bike.
We mentioned earlier in the article something like bar tape being a great option all around. Everybody loves a little extra comfort and grip on their bike. Here at SILCA, we happen to make some of the most comfortable bar tape on the market. Our NASTRO CUSCINO comes in a variety of colors and is really thick and tacky so they have all day comfort and grip for long days on the road or those dreaded trainer sessions in the winter.
While this is certainly not an exhaustive list of things the cyclist in your life might enjoy, it is hopefully a place to start and will help you find something they will truly enjoy. Please take a look at our offerings at SILCA and some of our friends in the industry as well. We hope you have a happy holidays and look forward to getting back out on the road in the new year!