Need help finding a gift for that special cyclist in your life? Want to get yourself something extra special? This list was assembled by our team, who either love these items, or really really want these items as gifts (hint, hint).
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Wool Socks 🧦
Yes. Seriously. Unlike when we were kids, wool socks are one of the best gifts for a cyclist. Smartwool is the standard... they're essentially the "Levi's of wool socks". Alex likes Tenspeed Hero for cycling-specific socks (not all of them are wool, and the wool ones are mostly 3-season weight, not winter weight, but they're nice socks):
Added bonus: It's relatively easy to get the size of socks right.
Bike Shop Maintenance 🛠
Many bike shops offer gift cards. Some shops even offer maintenance subscriptions that cover tune-ups and other repair needs. If your loved one bikes through the winter, they're likely going to be interested in a tune up once spring hits to clean off the winter grime. If your loved one purchased a new bike recently, or has been mentioning pain after riding, their bike might not be fitted to them properly. Bike shops can fit their bike to them so their ride is extra comfy. Try finding out where your loved one normally gets their bike serviced. If that doesn't work, try searching online for one nearby their home.
Added bonus: You'll be supporting a local business and your loved one's bike will be in tip-top shape.
A good waterproof backpack is key when you're biking and running errands. Nikki, yes, the same Nikki behind our "Nikki's Doughnuts 🍩 " gaiter swears by her Chrome Industries Urban EX 2.0 Rolltop 20L Backpack.
Added bonus: It looks great and there are spots built into the bag to carry a U-lock.
Reflective EVERYTHING 💡
The days are short and chances are your loved one is biking when it's dark out. Reflective items can help your loved one be seen by drivers. We sell a few reflective options in our online store, including shoelaces, buttons, backpack covers, Razzle Dazzle Bike Spoke Covers. The most coveted reflective item we sell is hands down our fully reflective jacket. This thing is BRIGHT! We recommend ordering a size large enough to allow your loved one to wear a thin insulated jacket underneath. This will allow them to layer and wear this all winter long.
Added bonus: All proceeds support our work towards making biking safer.
Coffee Subscription ☕️
Most people are working from home and are going through more coffee than they used to. Save your loved one a trip to the coffee shop by gifting them a coffee subscription. We love Dark Matter Coffee. Dark Matter offers a variety of subscriptions options, including, coffee variety, whole bean or their preferred grind. (Please buy me this 🙏 )
Added bonus: You'll be supporting a local Chicago business who has a history of giving back to the community.
Thermal Tights 🦵
Baby it's cold outside and thermal tights, long johns, or whatever you prefer to call them, will keep your loved one cozy while they're out and about. Year round cyclist, Will, recommends this option.
Added bonus: Your loved one won't freeze 🥶 .
Bar Mitts 🧤
Bar Mitts are wildly popular with winter cyclists. They wrap over bike handlebars and protect hands from wind, rain, snow, and sleet. Many people tend to think of these as a winter only item, but Elizabeth, (who brought you tips on bike cameras, and what to wear for each season) recommends putting these on in the fall and keeping them on through spring. If you don't know what type of handlebars your loved one has, you might want to purchase a gift certificate.
Added bonus: Your loved one will be able to wear thinner gloves or no gloves at all.
Lobster Gloves 🦞
If you don't know what type of handlebars your loved one has, or if they ride a bikeshare, you might find it easier to gift them a set of lobster gloves. A few Chicago folks recommended Pearl iZumi P.R.O. AmFIB Lobster Gloves. They're warm and durable (although admittedly expensive). Like most serious cold-weather gloves, these have multiple layers built in.
Runner's Headband 🏃🏽
Alex, yes, the same Alex behind our "Alex Baloba 🌸 " gaiter says, a windproof (non-insulated) runner's headband is magical. Keeps your ears from falling off without overheating. Wear it under a helmet or a more fashionable hat if you want. Stick it in your pocket when you get where you're going. Alex has this one, although it seems to be out of stock everywhere at the moment.
Added bonus: You can be twinsies with Alex
Will recently purchased these 180s Chesterfield ear warmers and is pretty happy with them.
Added bonus: You can be twinsies with Will
Alex recommends full-coverage fenders. Winter road grime is horrible for a bike (and also not ideal to have sprayed up your backside). If cost is most important, take a look at SKS and Planet Bike fenders. If you're looking to splurge, Velo Orange are good. Velo fenders (shown in photo) cost twice as much, but Alex thinks they look better, fit better, and will probably last longer. See your local bike shop for advice on what will fit your bike.
Added bonus: Less clothes soaked or ruined.
Phone Case 📱
Cyclists bike year round and in all weather conditions. This means phones can take a beating. Will recommends REI Co-op Packmod Rainshield Pocket for keeping his phone within arms reach and dry.
Added bonus: This will make it easier to quickly grab your phone and get your 'gram on.
Lots of people who bike also like to record their rides and keep track of their stats. While many features on Strava are free, there are added features if you have a paid subscription. If your loved one likes data and seeing where they've biked, chances are they already have a free account. For about $60, you could gift them an annual subscription and unlock added features.
Waterproof Socks 🧦
Yes, socks are on this list twice. We told you we have a thing for socks. Dry warm feet are amazing and we highly recommend everyone's feet stay happy. Will likes these Shower Pass waterproof socks - a bit of a splurge, but useful and won't go out of style.
Bike Lights 💡
As a cyclist, you can never have too many bike lights. Personally, I have two sets, so that I ALWAYS have a set charged. There's nothing worse than being out on a ride and having your light die. We recommend a set of front (white) and back (red) USB rechargeable bike lights. Our followers have been sponsoring bike lights for us to give away for free to people who need them. In fact, we're hoping to have 1,000 sets of these bike lights sponsored by the end of the year. We have also started to sell bike lights in a buy 1 / sponsor 1 model in our online store.
Bike Camera 🎥
Shoe Covers 🌧
For the cyclist who bikes year round in cold climates (and has cycling specific shoes), Will recommends the Ultralight Aero Shoe Cover. These slip over your cycling shoes to help keep your feet dry and warm when it's wet and cold out.
Added bonus: These are flexible enough that your mobility isn't restricted.
Malort has a cult following within the Chicago bike community. Non-Chicago cyclists recently became familiar with it after a photo of us went viral. After Biden was announced the president-elect we celebrated by handing out shots of Malort outside of Trump tower. Many cyclists are now curios what the heck Malort is and Chicago expats want to know how they can get their hands on a bottle. Here's where you can get a bottle shipped outside of Chicago.
Added bonus: This is really a gift for you - this is the coal of holiday gifts. Have your loved one take their first shot while you're on video and record their #malortface