It’s the most wonderful time of the year… nearly. With Christmas just peeping its red-hatted head over the horizon, we thought we’d suggest some gifts for the performance-minded cyclist.
Okay, it's a few weeks away yet but now's the time to start thinking about presents. Maybe you’re a rider yourself, in which case you might want to point family and friends in this direction, or maybe you’re after some ideas for what to get someone with an urge to ride fast.
This isn’t a list of all the best products we’ve reviewed this year because some top kit just doesn’t make a good present. Your heart isn’t going to leap up on Christmas morning if you unwrap a bunch of inner tubes or some new brake pads. Practical? Yes. A cool gift? No. We’ve tried to go for stuff that’s both very good and present-ish. Presenty. Present-worthy. Here goes…
It’s Christmas, innit? Giving socks is as much a part of Christmas as the Baby Jesus and little kids with tea towels strapped around their heads. These are good socks in their own right and they’re in yellow to commemorate Wiggo’s victory in Le Tour. Back of the net. www.prendas.co.uk
Giving consumer electronics is as much a part of Christmas as… Hang on, did I use that line already? Anyway, this little GPS computer is great. It gives you all your ride measurements via satellite trickery and you can upload all your logged rides to the interweb. Give it to an old person. It’ll blow their mind. www.madison.co.uk
Now you might think we’re breaking our own rules here because a bottle cage might not sound like the most thrilling present ever. That would usually be true but this one is brilliant. It’s very light (28g), it holds your bottle unbelievably securely, and it manages to look cool too. £45? Well, there is that! And you’ll need a matching pair, really. www.saddleback.co.uk
Giving chocolate is… Not really funny the first time, was it? These contain a load of carbs along with some protein, just like your Christmas dinner… but in a bar format that’s less messy to carry in your jersey pocket. www.multipower.com
Oh, the weather outside is frightful, but this hat is so delightful. That’s Windstopper fabric at the front there and that’ll, um, stop the wind getting in. It fits under a helmet no bother. Winner. www.craft.se
Toiletries are another Christmas staple. Toiletries from a bike brand… bingo! And it’s from Rapha so it’s definitely posh enough for a Christmas present. It smells of lavender and rosemary and you can use it on your legs as well as your chinny chin chin. www.rapha.cc
These are great glasses that come with three different lenses to suit different light conditions, including a high-contrast yellow for dull days. The frames are available in six different colours so you can even match your bike. Plus, unlike some eyewear, the price isn’t nuts. www.windwave.co.uk
Yes, it’s a ridiculous amount to spend on a multi-tool, but if you’re looking for a present for the cyclist who has everything, this weighs a teensy 80g and it looks really neat. If you’re after something more affordable, go with something like the Lezyne Stainless 20 for half the price. www.upgradebikes.co.uk
Lezyne do a fine line in shiny stuff and this humble bike pump manages to make it onto our list largely by dint of its lustrous sheen. Well, that and the fact that it’s a genuinely impressive mini pump. www.upgradebikes.co.uk
We’ve had a crazy number of top shoes in for review at road.cc this year. Rapha’s Grand Tour shoes, Bont’s A Three, Zero and Vaypor, the Factor and Prolight SLX from Giro… we’d recommend any of them. Fizik's new R3s are excellent too, combining high performance with masses of comfort. www.extrauk.co.uk
It’s a great jersey-cum-jacket with stretchy windproofing and a fitted cut; a worthy addition to any performance cyclist’s wardrobe. www.saddleback.co.uk
See how cool and handsome this rider looks? That could be you. Makes you think, doesn't it? We do merino wool ones too.
Mat has been in cycling media since 1996, on titles including BikeRadar, Total Bike, Total Mountain Bike, What Mountain Bike and Mountain Biking UK, and he has been editor of 220 Triathlon and Cycling Plus. Mat has been road.cc technical editor for over a decade, testing bikes, fettling the latest kit, and trying out the most up-to-the-minute clothing. We send him off around the world to get all the news from launches and shows too. He has won his category in Ironman UK 70.3 and finished on the podium in both marathons he has run. Mat is a Cambridge graduate who did a post-grad in magazine journalism, and he is a winner of the Cycling Media Award for Specialist Online Writer. Now over 50, he's riding road and gravel bikes most days for fun and fitness rather than training for competitions.