Saturday, November 27, 2010

Holiday gift giving

You have a bike nerdy friend/family member/sig. other/frenemy/boss/secret gift giving recipient who needs some stuff. Bike folks can be hard to find a gift for, because there are lots of different types (commuters, recreational roadies, charity riders, randonneurs, competitive roadies XC mountain bikers, all-mountain mountain bikers, cyclocrossers, vintage aficionados, and so on...), so how do you know what to get them? Don't worry, here are a few suggestions, broken down by category, that are reasonably priced, practical (two of my favorite things) and are good for all types:

Cleaning and fixing:

All bikes get dirty and need some maintenance. If your cyclist is particular about the cleanliness of his/her bike, you know, a type-A type (I'm talking about roadies...) then bike cleaning brushes would be an especially thoughtful gift. We've got a few sets here, each with different brushes for getting at different greasy parts, gears and whatnot. $20-ish.

If you've ever gotten a phone call that goes something like, "Oh hey, are you busy? I was out on a ride and I got a flat. I was wondering if you'd come pick me up..." You might think about gifting a flat fix bottle. It's everything you (or someone else) needs to fix a flat out on the road- patch kit, tire levers, presta adapter, CO2 inflator and cartriges all in a water bottle! Then you can say, "No, I'm not busy. But remember that present I got you?" $20

Multi tools are always a fine choice for folks who like to make their own adjustments. From the basic allen wrench set, to a super set complete with torx wrench and chain tool $14 to 35-ish

Lava soap is always a nice stocking stuffer for any hands-on bike cleaner, flat fixer, or home mechanic. Your regular soap just won't cut it for bike grease. You can pick it up at almost any grocery store for a couple of bucks.

Beverage accessories:

I worked with a guy (a real surly mechanic type) who claimed he only drank 3 liquids: coffee, water and beer. That's a theme you see run through the world of bicycles.

Coffee- I like the PDW Bar-ista. It attaches to your (or someone elses) handle bar, and holds a standard coffee-shop-coffee-cup steady with a little layer of foam rubbery stuff. Simple and slick. $20

Water- Most cyclists can never have too many H2O bottles. Just like they can never have too many pairs of cycling socks. Both of these humble cycling necessities take a beating, get neglected, and end up smelling like feet. Get 'em a fresh one. $5

Beer- If you want to drink a beer from a bottle, you (or someone else) needs to open it. There are approximately 8,293 different bicycle related bottle openers available. You could open your beer with this little guy, made locally from 100% recycled stuff- even the packaging. $7

Gift Certificates:

When in doubt, a gift certificate always works. Available in what ever amount coincides with how much you like your gift receiver. Now through December 24th all gift certificates come with a free(!) Hub Bicycle Co. water bottle (see above: Beverage accessories> Water), for creative gift delivery.

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