Best Christmas gifts for cyclists

It’s that time of year and if you’re looking for something a bit different for a cycling-enthusiast in your life, hopefully, we can help you find it writes Ruth O’Connor

From cheap and cheerful items stocking fillers to gadgets for the tech-lovers to once in a lifetime adventures – we’ve tried to think outside the box!

Under €20

The Boy Who Biked the World – Alastair Humphreys

The Boy Who Biked the World – Alastair Humphreys (from €6.80)

This wonderful book by Humphreys is part of a trilogy of books for kids. Humphreys, an adventurer himself, adapted the tale of his own bicycle trip around the world into a delightful story of Tom, a young boy who decides to embark on his own adventure. A great way to encourage a young, adventurous mind!

Full Tilt: Ireland to India on a Bicycle – Dervla Murphy (from €11)

Another book – I know! But there is something so wonderful about the gift of a good story! Dervla Murphy is a legend in the bicycle touring world and hails from Lismore, Co. Waterford. This book is far from new, 54 years old to be exact. Murphy chronicles her solo cycling adventure at 31 years of age. She travelled through nine countries as she made her way to India and her bravery and openness to other cultures is utterly inspiring.

Cinelli Cycling Cap (from €18)

When it comes to cycling caps, you can go as plain or as bonkers as you want. Cinelli have some pretty amazing designs in their range and they’re the perfect addition to any cyclist’s kit! Not only do they protect your head from the elements and keep the sun out of your eyes, they also ensure you look as stylish as possible while out for a spin!

Ass Saver Mud Guard (from €7.99)

Ass Saver Mud Guard (from €7.99)

If your cycling buddy doesn’t have a mud-guard on their bike, the Ass Saver is a great stocking-filler. In Ireland, if it’s not raining, chances are it was in the not so distant past and it won’t be long before you, your bike and your gear to be covered in filthy road spray. This lightweight, versatile, easily removed mudguard will do the job without breaking the bank.

20 – €50

Bike Maintenance Course (from €40)

Giving the gift of knowledge is a wonderful idea and knowing how to fix your bike only adds to the joy of cycling in my opinion. There are courses around the country offering a variety of courses (check out your local bike shop). Understanding the basics of how to keep your bike ticking over is invaluable in building confidence and in reducing the overall cost of owning a bicycle. Most courses cover the basics (repairing punctures, replacing tubes, tuning gears, cleaning your bike, replacing brakes) while more advanced get into the nitty-gritty of bike building.

Indik8a (from €42)

Indik8a (from €42)

This is a fantastic gift for the commuter in your life. Indik8a is a safety signalling system that enables cyclists to let other road users know their intention to turn with the press of a button. The lights sit comfortably on each hand using a wrist and finger strap (can be worn on bare hand or over gloves). With the press of a button, a directional arrow illuminates, flashing brightly to alert other road users. This is great for gadget loving folk but also a fantastic addition to any cyclists gear to improve their safety on the daily commute.

Mountain Biking Adventure (from €35pp)

Giving the gift of an experience is a wonderful way of reducing waste and supporting local businesses. For someone who loves cycling but has yet to experience the thrill of mountain biking, a voucher for a mountainous excursion could be just the ticket! Ballyhoura, Tipperary and Ballinstoe, Wicklow are two of the most popular spots for MTB tours and there are options for all levels. There are also some great options for lessons, kid’s camps and classes on their websites.

Over €50

See.Sense icon 2 Bike Lights (€178 for front and rear lights)

See.Sense icon 2 Bike Lights (€178 for front and rear lights)

See Sense is a Northern Irish company, set up by a husband and wife team. Their lights are pretty impressive. The Icon 2 lights are visible from up to 3km away and they have inbuilt sensors that can adapt in higher risk situations (in traffic or on roundabouts) by automatically flashing brighter. There’s an app you can link to on your phone to personalise the settings, get battery alerts, detect unsafe roads on your route, theft alerts and even notify emergency services if you’re in a crash.

Ferry trip to Wales / Scotland / France (from €90pp Return including bicycle)

Why not go on an adventure by booking a mini (or not so mini) bicycle tour? Rosslare, Cork, Dublin and Belfast offer very reasonably priced travel to Wales, Scotland and France. You can wheel your bike directly onto the ferry and keep the budget low by forgoing a cabin (for the longer journey to France, just roll out your sleeping bag in the communal rest area). You could add in a local guide book to help with all the planning they’ll be doing in the lead up to the adventure.

Proviz Reflec 360 Waterproof Jacket (from €90)

This jacket is the absolute business for cycling in low light or darkness. The whole jacket is reflective so you shine brightly in the dark, ideal for commuting or bikepacking adventures that go into the night. A jacket like this is, obviously, great for visibility and safety, but the Proviz is also a great waterproof jacket and has a lovely, flattering fit.

Ruth O’Connor

9th December 2019

Author: Ruth O'Connor

Ruth is a horticulturist turned baker who loves nothing more than heading out on two wheels when she can. It began with necessity - cycling to work. But this was a revelation as Ruth discovered the freedom and joy that can come from going for a spin. As well as actively getting out on her bike, Ruth is a member of WEXBUG, an advocacy group for everyday cycling in Wexford. Her particular area of interest is encouraging more women to hop on their bikes. She is also a co-founder of Stokers Bike Collective - a bike-packing adventure group based in Wexford. You can find Ruth on Twitter at @ruthoconnorwex 

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