Stocking Fillers For Festive Cyclists

This post is effectively a series of mini-reviews for kit, tools, snacks and gadgets that I own, desire or have tested which would make great little Christmas gifts to fill up any cyclist's stocking:

dhb Pace Roubaix Knee Warmers (Wiggle Bike Shop)
Knee warmers are one bit of kit that are very desirable in autumn and spring. For those days when it is too warm to be wearing full length tights, but your knees feel a bit exposed and cold (which is not very good for your joints) when you are just wearing shorts. This pair from dhb are fantastic quality and value; full review: Dhb Pace Roubaix Knee Warmers

Pedros Tyre Levers 
Tyre levers are an inexpensive bit of kit, but when they break, or puncture your tube when you are using them it only adds to the aggravation of getting a puncture.
These ones from Pedros are fantastic - touch wood I have never had a set break on me, they are incredibly strong and they lock together to make a small package. It is always useful to have a spare set of tyre levers, even just to keep at home on the workbench and save rooting around in your saddlebags; a useful gift to any cyclist.
They even come in pink for the girls (or Rapha boys)!

Crank Brothers M19 Multitool (Wiggle Bike Shop)
I have quite a few multi-tools, most of which have come free in a tool kit, or I've won them in some prize-draw. All of them do the job, but none of them really stand out. However, the M-19 from Crank Brothers soon changed that... with an average of 4.7/5 stars from close to 300 customer reviews on Wiggle, this tool should last a lifetime and features a vital trail-side chain-tool.

Lezyne Alloy Drive Hand Pump (Wiggle Bike Shop)
Most people will look at that price and think "£30 for a hand pump!". Yes, it is right, but in my opinion it's worth it.
Perhaps it's because I used to be a rower, perhaps it's because I'm clumsy or perhaps it's just that when I get a puncture I get a bit hot headed. But the amount of times I used to break a valve off when I was pumping up a tube (normally an old tube) on the trail side was annoying. When it takes 100 or so pumps to get a tube inflated, that valve takes a lot of abuse! As a result when I last bought a new pump I was pleased to find this beautiful piece of engineering from Lezyne - it has a detachable hose (like an old style pump), which screws onto the valve, allowing you to go nuts with the pumping without fear of damaging the tube. It pumps to a respectable 90psi (with a good few pumps) and is very neat and compact enough to fit in a jersey pocket. A really great bit of kit - and set to last a long, long time. I would recommend it to anyone. Full Review of Lezyne Pumps

Topeak Harpoon Master Blaster (Wiggle Bike Shop)
If the Lezyne hand pump is a bit out of your price range, check out this  offering from Wiggle. I haven't tried one, but there are some good reviews on the website, and it pumps to an impressive 160psi, with an ergo grip. At this seriously reduced price it could well be worth a look - Topeak kit generally seems to be of good quality in my experience.

Assos Mille Cycling Cap 
I've always been a little bit sceptical of cycling hats, they looked a bit retro and "silly" for me. But this summer on our touring trip to France and Spain I found myself quite envious of one of my cycling companions that had a freebie cycling cap - it was great to act as a sweat band in 35'C heat, a rain visor in torrential downpours and just a cap to keep your head warm when it was a bit cold on Alpine mornings. I looked at a few in various shops, but because of my rather large head, I needed one with a fair bit of stretch in it. This one fitted well and also has a nice headband inside rather than bare stitching, which helps to make it more comfortable. I would recommend it highly - usually Assos stuff is very pricey and out of my budget, but for a few pounds more it is worth the extra for this nicely made bit of head-wear.

Planet X Merino Base Layer 
These base layers from Planet X are very tempting (if they've got your size) at just under £15. Merino is a natural fabric - which is highly breathable and does not smell when it gets sweaty (or at least not as much as synthetics), which in my opinion would be a highly desirable trait on a three week bike tour, or even just on the commute into work! I got one last Christmas and am now on the look-out for a second.

Book - Robert Penn's 'It's All About the Bike: The Pursuit of Happiness On Two Wheels 
A great little book that I was given last year about Robert Penn's journey around the globe to build his dream bike - it offers a captivating insight into the inner workings of the bike industry and artisan manufacturers.

It might be short, but you won't be able to put it down - well worth a read.

Endura Coolmax 3 Pack Cycling Socks 
Everyone gets socks at Christmas - they may as well be cycling ones!
This three pack from Endura seems like a great value option at £9.99 from CRC. I have some very nice white Giro cycling socks, but for dirty autumn and winter rides, and for the mountain-bikers out there, these may be a more sensible and better value option.

Jelly Babies Corner Shop ~ £1 
One of my favourite riding snacks, and a great "get me home" food - a pack of jelly babies has saved me from the dreaded "Bonk" many times.
You can never have enough of them :-)
One of my favourite Alternative Energy Foods

Tacx Shiva Pro Team Water Bottles 750C (Wiggle Bike Shop)
As used by several pro teams, the Shiva bottle is a timeless classic - you can now support your favourite team of 2012.
To make it an even more special gift, you could combine it with its partner the Tao Bottle Cage - both great bits of kit. Full Review on Bottles and Tao Cages


  1. Thank you so much for making this website! It has been very useful and awesome.


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