The Best Gifts for Your Cycle-Riding Friends

By Kim Snaith on at

"Cycling?", you scoff as you sit in the driving seat of your new, petrol-guzzling 4x4. "To hell with that!" You're driving to work, shaking your fist angrily at all those damn cyclists hogging the roads, dodging road taxes, and whatnot. But upon reaching the office, you realise the company bike rack outside is actually full, and reception is filled with sweaty lycra-clad sporty types who all insist on cycling to work.

Even at your desk you're not safe, as you can't help but overhear conversations from all directions about how amazing and exhilarating cycling is, and how Fred in Accounts rode 40 miles last night "just for fun". You despair. Turns out everyone is into cycling... apart from you.

Chances are, you'll have to buy a gift for one of these unfortunate cycling types this Christmas, and of course, you have no idea what that type of person would like to receive from Father Christmas on the big day. Fear not, we've got you covered.

Padded gel seat

In the luxury of your four-wheeled vehicle, you may not be able to appreciate just how uncomfortable sitting on a rock-hard saddle can be for extended periods of time. I mean, there's... delicate stuff down there, you know? Make your biking friend's bum a lot happier by buying them a more comfortable seat. KT Sports via Amazon sell this gel cover that they self-proclaim is "The Most Comfortable Bike Seat". It fits most bikes, and it's less than a tenner. Win-win. [Buy here]

Premium Strava membership

One thing that most cyclists have in common is they love to talk about their cycling endeavours, share their accomplishments and brag how far they got before they broke out in saddle sores. Mobile app Strava allows them to track each of their outings, record performance stats, compare with others, and share it all via social media. The premium membership costs £44.99 for the year and apparently offers live feedback, advanced analysis and personalised coaching. [Find out more here]

Crazy wheel lights

If you had something like this on your car, you'd probably be pulled over by the police within your first mile. But on a bike, it's a different story: lights are all in the name of "safety". Revolights are the premier option, lighting up a cycle's wheels like some kind of bonfire night fireworks display. Admittedly, they do look pretty cool – but they ought to, since they're a bit on the pricey side (£175.95). If you're on a bit more of a budget, £6.99 can buy you these wonderfully chintzy LED spoke lights – likely to dazzle passers-by in wonder (and/or trigger photosensitive epilepsy). [Buy Revolights here]

Cycle computer

Sat-nav is pretty much standard for any car journey longer than driving to the local shops and back. But on a bike? It's still pretty advanced tech. Fortunately, cycle computers are available in a range of specs, from basic speedometers to fully fledged GPS trackers. The Garmin Edge Touring Plus is a bit on the 'spensive side at £170, but it's got all the bells and whistles of any good sat-nav along with all the tracker tools that a cyclist will find useful. [Buy here]

Bike lock

For some baffling reason, rapscallions like to sometimes steal bikes that aren't properly secured in a careful fashion. Therefore, a key piece of any cyclist's kit is a sturdy and reliable bike lock. The Kryptonite is one of the best available. I mean, even bloody Superman can't get past it, that's how secure it is. Though I can't guarantee that a no-gooder with a blowtorch won't fare better. [Buy here]

Bell (with compass)

When you're overcome with road rage, you've got your big fat horn in the middle of your steering wheel to bash your fist on. But your cyclist chum? Well, they've got nothing. Unless you buy them a piddly bell to pathetically ring to alert nearby road users of their displeasure. This aluminium number fits securely to the handlebars of any bike, and a quick flick of the finger will send a shrill ring into the air. Even better, it doubles as a compass, so just in case the North Star isn't visible, they can still find their way home. [Buy here]

Rehook

The last time you rode a bike you were probably 10, and all you can remember is your bike chain coming off every five minutes, requiring you to get oil all over your hands to change it. Well, bike chains still come off sometimes, and it's still just as annoying to put 'em  back in place. This handy little gizmo means that your cyclist chum's hands can stay nice and clean every time they have to pull over to sort out that blasted chain. Apparently, it only takes three seconds to do with this tool. Sounds like a challenge. [Buy here]

And last but not least...

Vaseline

We've already talked a bit about uncomfortable seating. It causes a lot of... chafing, in certain areas of the body. It's not pleasant, and thinking about it, it's probably the single one reason why you can't at all comprehend why anybody would want to subject themselves to riding a bike. But for whatever reason, it's what your friend likes to do, and you should support them in doing what makes them happy. The best way to support them? Protect their "special areas" with lubricant. Lots and lots of it. [Available from all good chemists]