20 Christmas Gifts For Cyclists

From my column at The Washington Times Communities

WASHINGTON, DC, November 21, 2012- If you have a cyclist or occasional bicycle rider on your Christmas list, it may be difficult to find just the right bike-related gift.  Some of the items on this list are practical, others are fun, some are for gadget lovers, and others are just crazy and difficult to find, but deserved a mention.  There is sure to be something on this list for every bike lover you have to shop for.

1.  The United Pedal Saddlebag (around $90):  I have started to see more and more bike commuters using saddlebags to carry their stuff in.  United Pedal has a variety of stylish and trendy saddlebags that connect to the saddle or handlebars of most bikes.  Made in New York City.

2.  The Bento Box (starting a $7):  Cyclists love this small but very useful item for carrying essentials. The Bento Box  can be found in several different styles, and mounts to the bike frame near the handlebars.  It has a single zipper for easy opening and attaches to your bike with Velcro straps for easy removal.

3. Bookman Lights ($29/pair): If riding at night or commuting during the fall months, cyclists should have mounted lights to remain visible at all times.  Based in Stockholm, Bookman Lights creates stylish lights in an array of colors that can be mounted almost anywhere on your bike in seconds.

4.  Pedalite 360 Degree Visibility Pedal Lights ($55): For a great way to stay visible on the evening commute, Amazon has the Pedalite 360 Degree Visibility Pedals.  The pedal lights charge as you pedal to flash built-in pedal lights, which stay on for a full 5 minutes after pedaling stops.  The reviews form customers, however, seem mixed.

5.  One Two Three Speed Reflective Helmet Bows ($15): On the subject of being visible, these reflective helmet bows attach to the back of most helmets, and can be adjusted for top visibility.  One Two Three Speed Reflective Bows come in a variety of colors, so that you can change them up according to your look or mood.

6. Bells (staring at $4):  City riders and commuters need to be seen as well as heard.  Bicycle Bells make really fun stocking stuffers.  There are amazing bicycle bells, starting at very reasonable prices. For really unique bike bells at great prices, search “bike bell” on Etsy.com.  You will be on there for hours.

7.  The Bicyclick & Click-base ($15/$25): For mountain bikers, group riders, trail riders, and kids, the Bicyclick allows you to connect two or more flat-handle bicycles and stand them on virtually any terrain.  The Click-base allows you to stand your bike in your garage, driveway, or workplace.  Being married to a man who collects bicycles like stray dogs –“baby, I just found it on Craigslist and it was so cheap, they were basically giving it away to a good home,”- the Bicyclick has really made a difference in our bike storage.

8.   SportHolster by Urban Tool: An award- winning design, the URBAN TOOL sportHolster  has 5 different pockets for various media and other necessities, as well as a cable router, key strap with yo-yo, and reflective patches for the ultimate hands-free experience.  “This is the most practical cycling (hiking, running and other outdoor sports) item that I own,” says Lesly Jones of Black Women Bike DC (BWBDC).

9. The Burley Travoy Cargo Trailer  ($260): This is a great gift for the cyclist husband who says, “I would have picked up that gallon of milk you asked for honey, but I was on my bike.”  With this fully collapsible trailer that attaches to the saddle of almost any bike, your husband will be able to bring home an entire week’s worth of groceries!

10.  The GoPro Camera ($199 and up):  GoPro HD Helmet Heroseems to be on almost every rider’s list this year.  Fantastic for capturing every minute of your ride, these cameras have built–in Wi-Fi, and can be mounted on virtually any bike.  Bike commuters are also using mounted cameras to document accidents, aggressive drivers, and to protect themselves in case of an accident.  If your cyclist has been especially nice this year, the GoPro may be the perfect gift.

11.  The Biologic Reecharge ($110): The BioLogic ReeCharge Unit allows you to charge your iPhone or iPod while you pedal.  It has a 1600 mAh Lithium polymer battery and can be mounted on most bikes.  The battery can also be charged via USB for extra juice while on your ride.  Again, it seems like the reviews on this are mixed.  The Biologic ReeCharge sells for about $110.

12.  The MiniWiz HYmini ($50): If you want to spend half as much or don’t have an iphone, the HYmini may be more suitable.  The HYmini harnesses solar and/or wind power to charge any device.  It also has an LED night-light and charge indicator.   The Editors at PC Magazine gave the HYmini a 3 ½ star “good” rating, citing its multiple charging methods and designs as pros.  However, they also found that the charge capacity was relatively small and that the recharge time was considerably long.

13. Voltaic Fuse 4W Solar Charger ($129): Made by Voltaic , the 4W is a lightweight solar power addition that can be added to almost any bag.  It can also be connected directly to a bicycle, tent, or any other place where you want solar power.  Equipped with two 2.0 Watt solar panels, the 4W will give you approximately 3 hours of talk time on your phone (depending on phone) from a one hour charge in the sun.  A typical phone will charge in 4 to 5 hours.

14.  The Apollo shirt ($105): For those who have to dress up for work, the Apollo shirt will make sure you arrive at the office cool and dry.  The Apollo shirt is a dress shirt by Ministry of Supply that uses NASA space suit technology to regulate body temperature.  The Apollo also has unique “moisture wicking” construction and is antimicrobial. Another bonus, it is also wrinkle- free, so you never have to iron it.  Apollo shirts are, however, not cheap.  The Apollo shirt starts at $105 at the Ministry of Supply website. Ministry of Supply also offers the Agent shirt, which has all of the technology of the Apollo shirt, minus the heat-regulating technology.

15. The Outlier Women’s Daily Riding Pant ($188): These sleek pants by Outlier, suggested by Veronica Davis of BWBDC, are made with a core 4Season fabric, four way stretch and doubleweave twill fabric.  Treated with “self-cleaning” Nanosphere, these pants are highly resistant to dirt.  Made in New York City, Outlier adheres to strict bluesign environmental standards, and the fabric is low impact, made with tight emissions standards.

16.  The Hovdig ($600): The Hovding is a stylish working girl’s or metrosexual guy’s dream.  For fans of the elaborate hairdo, wearing a bike helmet has always been a problem.  No more!, say the Swedish makers of the Hovding.  Working on the same principle as automobile airbags, the Hovding is a collar worn around the neck that pops out into a full helmet when triggered by sudden movements.  The Hovding is currently only available in Europe and sells for around $600.

17. The road popper ($39): Who doesn’t want a bottle opener mounted to their bike saddle?  Well, for $38.58 you can have one too at Shapeways.com.   Is your cyclist more of a wine lover?  No problem, the Bicycle Wine Rack ($38) fits 1” to 1.5” bike frames.

18.  The ICEdot Crash Sensor: Launching next year, with a projected price of $200, the ICEdot Crash Sensor is a tiny circular sticker- the “dot”- that goes on you helmet.  The “dot” detects and measures force and impact.  Once it detects an impact, the dot sends a message to your smart phone starting a counter that alerts your emergency contact numbers and provides coordinates of where you are should you fail to stop it in time.

19.  The PUYL tire pump/ headlight: Winner of the 2009 Eurobike award, the PUYL combines a bike pump and headlight in one gadget that fits to the frame of the bike.  The LED light charges with pumping through electromagnetic induction.  The PUYl can be viewed in formpasch’s website, but I have not been able to find it for sale anywhere.

20.  Gift card:  Cyclists are notoriously picky and complicated when it comes to their accessories and gear.  Sometimes the best idea is a gift card.  “Most of the things I want I can’t really explain to non-cyclists, says Allyson Criner Brown of BWBDC, “at least not without sounding overly specific and greedy…. The clothing needs to be the right fit and the gear needs to be specific.”  Sometimes you’re just better off getting a gift card.

Happy shopping!
Read more: 20 Christmas gifts for cyclists | Washington Times Communities