It’s that time of the year again. For those seeking gift ideas for your favorite cyclist, we’ve curated a list of standout gear suitable for mountain bikers, commuters or road trippers/ travelers.
The worst part of most multi-tools is having to actually use them. Half the time you can’t actually reach the bolt or adjustment screw to get the job done. The Wayside Multi-tool gets around that by featuring individual hex keys instead of fold-out tools, with a hollowed out 8mm key that allows you to use the body for added leverage. It also has an integrated chain tool for a total of 19 functions. It even has a blade so you don’t need to also tote your Swiss Army knife. Brilliant.
Best for: people that actually use their multi-tools
We love any tools or accessories that make it easier to ditch our packs on shorter rides. One of the challenges to swapping gear between packs is forgetting something important, a problem solved with the Matchbox Tailor Cage from Syncros. The integrated mini-pump / bottle cage / toolset puts the essentials in plain sight so you’ll never be stuck without them.
Best for: trail riders that like to pack light
We love packing light for rides, but running out of water can be a big problem — that is, unless you’re packing a water filtration system like the Katadyn Bee Free. The BeFree is lightweight, portable insurance that filters out debris and microorganisms, and it packs small enough to fit into a jersey pocket or waist pack.
Best for: mountain biking, hiking, adventuring
Adding a dropper post to a bike is a game changing upgrade, and the Fox Transfer seatpost is easily our favorite dropper post to date. With models starting at $264 (the lever is sold separately, allowing the choice of lever configuration) long service intervals, and a relatively low cost to service, the new Fox post is setting a new standard in the adjustable height posts category.
Best for: trail riders looking to up their game
Point6 Wool Socks — $16
You can never have too many pairs of nice socks for riding, and a good pair of wool socks not only keep your feet warm even when wet, but their natural odor resistance make them ideal for travel. These socks rule.
Best for: cycling, people that like nice socks and comfortable feet
Waterproof Shoes: Shimano MW7 / DZR H20
Waterproof shoes are quite possibly the best investment I’ve made in my riding since moving back to the northwest, and our Shimano MW7 winter shoes ($250, reviewed here) rule. If you’re looking for something more après work friendly, the DZR H20 ($160) is a less expensive option that won’t look out of place at the pub.
Best for: Mountain biking, commuters, bike touring, gravel grinding
A good quality waterproof jacket is amazing. You can get by on spending less but unless you enjoy swimming in sweat, quality materials that wick as well as breathe are key. The Refuge Jacket from Showers Pass is fully seam taped and uses Elite performance hardshell fabric to control the temperature. The middle of the road fit works for cycling, but is versatile enough for other activities; I’ve even used it as a shell snowboarding. The best part of this jacket though, has been the ability to stand in a downpout and remain isolated from the elements.
Best for: commuting, touring, trail riding and multi-sport activities.
Although these gloves are intended for racing cross, they also happen to be amazing as everyday gloves for commuting. They’ve kept my hands warm even when wet, and unlike other cool weather gloves, feel like “normal” gloves. With a great feel, they happen to be great for mountain biking as well.
Best for: Cyclocross, commuting, trail riding, gravel grinding, bike packing
I’m not sure how I’ve managed to be a mountain biker this long without being hip to Chamois Butt’r Embrocation. This muscle warming cream allows one to run shorts in cold and wet weather in temperatures down to 49º by sealing exposed skin from the elements. I’ve just starting using the product this year and not having to wear soggy tights is amazing. Plus it’s only $20 for an 8oz jar.
Best for: cool weather XC/ CX racing, trail riding, commuting, running and other cold weather activities
Because you can always have another really nice belt. And they don’t have to cost an arm and a leg, making them a great item for gifting. The Wilderness Original Instructor Belt costs a bit more, but is tough enough you could rappel with in a pinch.
Best for: adventures, holding up your pants, rappeling in a pinch
Everything we’ve used from Feedback Sports has a solid product, and what rider couldn’t use a sweet, easy to transport tool kit for road trips? With one of these easy to tote kits you’ll always have the essentials on hand. For a less expensive option look at the Ride Prep Kit which would be enough to serve the casual enthusiast, but for the die hard road tripper or racer, you’ll want the Team Edition Took kit. It even has a dual sided pick, useful if you ever have to service the seals on a stuck down rear shock. (which we did once in the parking lot of a bike shop in Moab)
Best for: aspiring home mechanic, traveling cyclists
Remember when underwear was the lamest thing you could get for X-mas? It isn’t if its high performance merino wool underwear. You need to pick the right ones though, as all merino is not created equal; some lack durability, others are just not comfortable. The Basis Power Dry Boxer from Stio is uses Polartec Power Dry fabric, a merino/ polyester blend that wicks moisture, dries quickly and is naturally odor resistant, making it the first pair that gets packed on any trip.
Best for: travelers, campers, hikers, van-lifers
Stainless TrailKeg Package – $126
Growlers are a great way to enjoy beer straight from the tap, but since they lose carbonation quickly, you have to drink them within a few days. The TrailKeg is a pressurized growler system that’s basically a portable keg. Not only does it maintain the quality of your growler fills, but the insulated growler will keep it cold all day and ready for post ride refreshments. If you already have a Lifeline or Hydroflask Grower, TrailKeg also offers lid packages to convert them into a trail side keg.
Best for: beer lovers that ride, camp and glamp
The worst part of traveling is never being able to find a good cup of coffee on the road, regardless of Yelp reviews. Another common scenario is the lack of a coffee maker or just straight up horrible coffee served at the inlaws during the holidays. This coffee travel kit from Looptworks solves all that, plus it comes wrapped in a leather carrying case that also can be used as a handlebar bag. The leather travel bag is upcycled from pre-consumer excess as well, making it eco-friendly by utilizing existing resources.
Best for: van life, visiting inlaws, road trips
Stio Azura Insulated Vest – $155
An insulated vest is a must have for any road trip. The Stio Azura Insulated vest is a midweight vest with a low bulk factor keeping it packable. Since I’ve acquired this one, I pretty much live in it.
Chrome Merino Hoodie – $180
The Chrome Merino Hoodie is pretty much the best bike hoodie ever; they pretty much nailed it with this one. The unofficial uniform of bike shop dudes all over for the ridiculous comfort, this is another piece of clothing that you could wear everyday. I have to try not to. Seriously, ask anyone that owns one. Pairs well with the Stio vest above.
Best for: casual riding, post riding wear, bike life
Rumpl Puffy Blanket – $90 & up
Rumpl Puffy Blankets are the car camper’s best friend. Made using the same materials as puffy jackets and performance sleeping bags, these blankets work well both indoors and out. Easy to clean with a DWR weather-resistant treatment, ours accompanies us on every road trip.
Best for: travelers, road trips, camp fires