Best Christmas gifts for cyclists

Everything the MAMIL or, er, MAWIL in your life could want for Christmas 2018

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Cyclists are obsessed by the latest kit, tech, gadgets, and looking good in Lycra. Mmm-mm. And what better time than Christmas to indulge the two-wheeled fanatic in your life with a shower of cycling-based gifts? Or perhaps indulge yourself, if you’re a rider looking to expand your collection of gizmos.

We’ve put together our pick of the best Christmas presents for cyclists. Whether you’re shopping for a road cyclist, mountain biker or commuter, you’re sure to find the ideal gift here. From GPS computers to waterproof jackets, via action cameras and even a coffee machine, our list contains ideas for a wide range of budgets as we know that not all cyclists are reasonably affluent, middle-aged men. Just most of them.

Gifts for road cyclists

Wahoo ELEMNT Bolt

A fantastic bike computer that isn't by Garmin, for a change

Reasons to buy
+Comprehensive data and navigation +Simple setup and configuration via app +Excellent battery life +Competitively priced
 

Wahoo has emerged as a genuine rival to Garmin in the GPS computer market in recent years and it’s easy to see why with the ELEMNT Bolt. This one’s a winner for any road rider’s wish list.

Wahoo’s second-tier computer is packed with enough features to satisfy the most speed-obsessed cyclists, with more than 170 data options, while ANT+ and Bluetooth compatibility ensures it can be paired with a huge range of Wahoo and third-party heart rate, power and cadence sensors, and display call, text and email notifications from your phone. It's also got Wi-Fi, completing the connectivity line-up.

You can use Wahoo’s app to upload workouts and routes, and share your location using the LiveTrack feature – ideal for your loved ones to keep an eye on you when you’ve snuck out for a Christmas ride to work off the turkey.  

Battery life is excellent, with up to 15 hours of power per charge. Throw in turn-by-turn navigation and you’ve got a seriously capable computer, whether you’re looking to shave a few seconds off your PB or explore new routes.  

CHPT3 x POC Ventral SPIN

Cycling head protection with added style

Reasons to buy
+Looks great+Excellent ventilation+Class-leading bonce protection

• Buy from Sigma Sports for £264

Set up by David Millar, and obviously intended as a rival to Rapha in the 'stylish cyclist' market, CHPT3 has here teamed up with Stockholm's POC, the masters of head protection. The result, as you might expect, is a stylish and safe helmet. 

The CHPT3 x POC Devesa Ventral Spin Road Helmet is inspired by the Devesa forest near CHPT3's base in Girona, Italy, and is the classic POC Ventral Spin, given a bit additional design va-va-voom.

Venting in the helmet creates airflow zones with differing pressures, giving improved aerodynamics and cooling, while the the SPIN (Shearing Pad Inside) technology counters oblique impacts, which can cause the worst kind of internal head injuries, by twisting and shearing. Ouch. 

An ergonomic precision strap and dial design mean a perfect fit is easily achieved, and yes, there's a slot for your sunglasses. A lot of cyclists won't wear a helmet because they think it makes them look stupid, but with this there's no excuse.

Sealskinz Road Thin Mid Socks with Hydrostop

Reasons to buy
+Effective seal and waterproof membrane keep you dry +Lightweight
Reasons to avoid
-Not as breathable as regular socks

Socks for Christmas? Excuse us for the cliché but these aren’t any old socks. Sealskinz’s Hydrostop technology creates a seal between the sock cuff and skin to reduce the amount of water running down the leg and into the socks.

On top of that, the socks have a waterproof membrane with a fast-wicking merino wool lining, so you can say goodbye to soggy feet when riding in the rain.

The socks remain lightweight, so they won’t restrict blood flow to the feet when strapped into cycling shoes, and you can take your pick from three colours. We’re fans of the red option pictured.

Krups Essenza Mini

George Clooney's favourite is also a big hit with the Lycra brigade

Reasons to buy
+Makes excellent espresso +Compact design+Good value

Road cycling and coffee go hand in hand, although we do recommend getting off your bike before attempting to sup potentially scalding beverages. This slimline machine from Nespresso will provide perfect the pre-ride hit before heading out on the bike.

We actually named the Krups Essenza Mini as our best Nespresso machine thanks to the compact design, which takes up barely any space on a kitchen counter, and great-tasting coffee.

There’s no milk frother, so cappuccino fanciers will have to buy a separate one. No true, caffeine-fuelled cyclist would drink anything other than double espressos, anyway.

Best gifts for mountain bikers

GoPro Hero 7 Black

The state of the art when it comes to action cams

Reasons to buy
+Gimbal-killing stabilisation+Excellent image quality+Updated interface

The Hero 7 arrived in September as GoPro’s self-proclaimed gimbal-killer, thanks to the action camera’s HyperSmooth image stabilisation technology. If you want to capture silky-smooth footage on tight, technical trails, look no further – after all, we awarded the Hero 7 five stars in our review.

The Hero 7 is actually available in three variants – the Hero 7 Black, Hero 7 Silver and Hero 7 White – but only the top-end Black edition gets that flagship HyperSmooth stabilisation. Image quality is first-class, thanks to the 12MP sensor, capable of recording 4K video at 60fps, 2.7K video at 120fps and 1080p at 240fps.

HyperSmooth is the star of the show but we were also impressed by the Hero 7’s TimeWarp feature and GoPro’s improved audio recording capabilities (with the option to hook up an external microphone). 

The touchscreen interface is also easier to use than ever and the Hero 7 is waterproof down to 10m without a case, all combining to make this GoPro’s best ever camera. Anyone unwrapping one of these on Christmas day will be seriously impressed, and can then get stuck in to the huge wealth of GoPro accessories and add-ons, on the market.

Smith Tempo Performance sunglasses

Enhance your vision (as long as you don't get them too mud spattered)

Reasons to buy
+Polarized lens technology +Three colour options +Two lenses supplied

Smith Optics has established a reputation as one of the world’s leading eyewear brands for mountain bikers and these Tempo Performance sunglasses utilise the firm’s latest Chromapop lens technology.

Chromawhat? Smith’s proprietary polarized lens tech filters two specific wavelengths of light that cause color confusion, resulting in greater definition and improved clarity – ideal when linking turns in the woods.

These Tempo glasses offer medium facial coverage with an interchangeable wraparound lens (two lenses are supplied). Anti-slip nose pads and temple grippers help lock the Tempos in place, while the frame is available in three colours, including the rather fetching tortoiseshell option seen here. 

Muc-Off 8 in 1 Bicycle Cleaning Kit

Ideal stocking filler for mucky mountain bikers

Reasons to buy
+Grime-shifting bike cleaning kit +Part-specific brushes make cleaning a breeze
Reasons to avoid
-Degreaser not included

Mountain biking can be a messy business. Whether you’re a rider who takes pride in polishing their machine after hitting the trails, or you want to drop a subtle hint to a loved one, Muc-Off’s 8 in 1 Bicycle Cleaning Kit contains the essentials.

Inside, you’ll find Muc-Off’s much-beloved grime-shifting cleaning solution, a selection of brushes and sponges to ensure the toughest-to-reach parts of your bike end up spick and span, and a post-wash protective spray, all kept in a handy storage tub.

Best gifts for commuter cyclists

Rapha Commuter Jacket

Affordable luxury from the well-heeled MAMIL's label of choice

Reasons to buy
+Lightweight, waterproof fabric +Smart design features

• Buy direct from Rapha

Rapha has long made some of the most desirable cycling kit out there and the Commuter jacket is a new addition to the fashion-conscious brand’s range, launched in September.

Bold and bright is the name of the game here, with the jacket available in three eye-popping colours: 'chartreuse' (green), orange and pink. All of them help to improve visibility out on the road, although there’s also a considerably more subtle black version if your not a rainbow colours guy.

The jacket is designed to keep out the elements, with a hydrophobic membrane, sealed seams and a waterproof zip, set off-centre to avoid irritation against the chin. Other well thought-out features include a stowable hood with a reflective retention strap and reflective detail on the tail, low enough to sit beneath a backpack.

Cycling gear needn’t all be about lycra shorts and skin-tight jerseys - the cut of Rapha’s jacket is relaxed enough to throw on top of your civvies as a first line of defence when riding across town.

Cycliq Fly12 CE Front Light

A camera and light in one handy package

Reasons to buy
+Integrated light and camera+Maximum output of 600 lumens +Stable, high-definition recording +Impressive battery life
Reasons to avoid
-Bulkier than a regular light -Awkward mount

Another innovative lighting solution, Cycliq’s integrated light/camera combos continue to be a hit with tech-savvy, safety-conscious cyclists. The powerful light (up to 600 lumens) is paired with an HD camera, helping to keep you seen out on the road and record your ride at the same time.

The Fly12 CE is a seriously clever unit. The internal 'black-box' sensor can detect if there's been an accident and will automatically lock the preceding footage to ensure it’s not recorded over, while Cycliq’s HomeSafe feature switches off the camera and keeps the light on for up to 30 minutes if the battery is running low.

Not that it should, with up to eight hours of power in recording-only mode and up to five hours with the camera and light running simultaneously. Throw in Bluetooth and Ant+ compatibility, plus an integrated alarm, and you can see why this is one of the smartest products cyclists can get their hands on.

PEdALED Thermo Reflective Gloves

The best current way to keep your hands warm in winter

Reasons to buy
+Fleece-lined fabric with windproof panels +Reflective outer
Reasons to avoid
-Not waterproof

• Buy direct from PEdALED

If you’re searching for a gift for a cycling-mad friend or family member determined to ride through winter, PEdALED’s Thermo Reflective Gloves combat two of the problems faced by cyclists at this time of year.

The fleece-lined gloves feature windproof panels across the front to keep the winter chill at bay, while the reflective outer fabric will light up like a Christmas tree when hit by a car’s headlights - ideal for those dreary mornings or pitch-black evenings when the temperature struggles to get far past zero.

Stretchy inserts ensure a snug fit and the close-fitting cuffs stop the breeze sneaking in, plus you’ll find a little padding on the palms to take the sting out off rough roads.