Whilst you can spend a hideous amount of money in your local bike shop, there’s a multitude of potential gifts on the shelves to interest your two-wheeled friends or relatives at Christmas, birthdays or any other celebration.
Just as the N+1 formula works for bikes, there are many more things we will either use up, need to replace or have not yet got around to buying. Such as:
- A track pump
For about £30, a track pump is an excellent investment that many of us simply overlook. We think we are getting enough pressure in our tyres simply because they “feel hard”. With a road bike tyre, there’s hard…and there’s HARD! Get him or her a track pump like the Topeak Joe Blow Sport 2 and remove any doubt from their minds, not to mention the risk of punctures.
Overshoes are also a useful investment, mainly because they wear out quite quickly. You’ll need to know roughly how big their feet are though. Overshoes made from neoprene are a safe bet and will set you back around £25.
- A mug
A humble piece of ceramic with something bicycle-related on the side? Let’s not lose sight of the fact that some of us cyclists can be a preachy bunch and would love nothing more than to walk about the office with a steaming brew and an advert for the fact that we cycle, all rolled into one.
- Geraint Thomas’ autobiography!
Whitchurch boy and 2018 Tour De France winner, “G” has a book out called The World of Cycling According to G. We’ve not got around to reading it yet, but word has it that it is one of the better cycling autobiographies.
- A new D-lock
Spend any time looking at the public bike stands and it’ll become clear that many of us could do with a better lock. This may be at the upper limit of your “last-minute” stocking-filler budget at £50, but a gold-rated D-lock is always a wise investment.
- A chain wear gauge
One of the most important parts of your bike is the chain, but it’s also one of the cheapest. However, they do wear out and when they do, they’ll prematurely wear your cassette and chain rings, which will add significantly to the cost. An 11-speed cassette will set you back around £35-£50 on top of the £20 for a new chain. So, a really cheap gift is a wear gauge.
- Neoprene gloves
This is Wales. Our default state is “raining and overcast”. Any divergence from this sends our fair nation into a frenzy. However, for rain there’s no better glove than a neoprene glove. If neoprene is good enough for deep-sea divers, it’s good enough for us. Plus, they’re quite cheap and can be layered (a pair of wool gloves or mittens over the top) for the really cold, wet days.
No, get your mind out of the the gutter. We’ve all heard it, that tell-tale squeal of a dry, possibly even rusty chain. We get through this stuff fairly rapidly, whether you buy wet or dry lube. Wet lube is great for the winter, but tends to collect dirt and grime and needs frequent cleaning. Dry lube is great for the summer because it doesn’t collect dust as much as wet, but needs to be re-applied if you even cycle past anything moist.
- Cleaning stuff
For all that chain-cleaning you’re going to need to do once the lube situation is sorted, you’re going to need something to clean it off. A good degreaser and general bike detergent should be on anyone’s shopping list. Muc-off seem to have this market sewn up though…
- Bike Nation: How Cycling Can Save the World – by Peter Walker
Peter came to see us in March 2018. A little while before that I read his book and was thoroughly impressed. If you ever wanted all of the arguments ever made for why cycling is awesome, all in one handy-sized book, this is what you need. There’s a link over on the reading list.