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Offbeat Gift Ideas for Cycling Friends and Family (or for Yourself)

By Siegfried Mortkowitz

It’s that time of year again when you are going a little crazy trying to find the right gift for all your loved ones and good friends. If some of them are cycling amateurs (from the Latin amāre, to love) and you’ve already found a perfect present for them that is not cycling-related, but want to acknowledge their favorite sport and/or pastime without breaking the bank, here are some online sites that have offbeat and funky presents that they might like.

A really great site for cycling-related presents is Cycology. They offer, for example, this line of very attractive cycling thermal beanies. Yes, these beanies are cool – and they keep you warm. They have a soft micro-fleece lining and well-designed skull fit for warmth warm on cool days or in winter – and you surely know that you lose most of your body warmth through the top of your head. They fit comfortably under helmets, without feeling bulky, and the stretch fabric makes it easy to pull them over the ears. And if it warms up on your ride, just fold them and stow them in a pocket or saddle bag. They are so bright and stylish that the recipient might not want to hide them under a helmet. Well, tell them to forget that: They have to wear a helmet. The beanies sell for a modest €19.90, so get one for yourself too.

Another possibility is discerningcyclist.com. For example, right off the top it offers a stainless steel bottle opener in the shape of a bicycle that would be perfect for those long rides on warm days when you’ve brought along a few bottles of non-alcoholic beer or anything else that needs to be opened with an opener. It’s small enough to be easily transported, comes in a lovely gift box and is sure to impress cycling aficionados, who will no doubt ask where it was purchased and how much it cost. The answer is £9.99 (€11.65) on Amazon, where it is listed under “Cycling Gifts for Hipsters.” I didn’t know there were any hipsters still around.

Bicycle bottle opener
Bike bottle opener from Amazon

I know socks are not the coolest of presents to give any time – unless they come in cool colors or bear a cool message. Amazon (of course) offers a wide variety of socks that are either colorful or message-bearing or even both. They go for as little as 3 pairs for £9.99 and up to one pair for £17.95, for this pair of black “GripGrab Merino Winter Cycling Socks Insulated Thermal Padded Cushioned Breathable Warm Soft Thick Wool Bike Socks.” My favorites are these six cool unmatched calf-length Oddsocks, which are stylish, colorful and breathably comfortable. And they sell for only £15.99 for the six.

Etsy offers this classy Christmas t-shirt that would be great for young riders. It’s made of hoodie-quality cotton, so is durable, and the graphics on the front are stylish and seasonal. Currently, until December 13, they are being offered at a 50% discount, for €9.07 (£7.78). So if you hurry you might be able to afford to buy a few, for the cyclists you know of all ages.

How about some bicycle chain bracelets consisting of a flexible cotton band and an individual chain link? They are all handmade and made to order from recycled materials. You choose the color and pattern of the band. I believe they are unisex, which makes them handy to have around when you remember at the last moment that there were a few people you totally forgot on your Christmas shopping list, but shouldn’t have. They are an attractive and inexpensive solution, going for only €7.98.

Also offered on Etsy is this very cool wall-mounted hook for bike helmets. It can be personalized with the name of the helmet’s owner and a significant year, such as year of birth, printed on it. If there are multiple helmets in the family, these will certainly make it easier for everyone to find theirs. It’s a little pricier at €26.09, but it’s also a little cooler.