2020 Gift Guide for Cyclists!

1) Brush Hero Pro – This is one item you or your rider doesn’t even know you need yet! Riding on wet or grimy days gunks up the drive train and it’s important to clean it while it’s wet. The brush hooks to a garden hose, and allows you to scrub away gunk as you go! $49.95
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2) Bike Cleaning Brush Set – You’ll never regret picking up a set of brushes such as the Park Tool Cleaning Set which will run about $22. Make sure to pick up a standard 5 gallon bucket at your local hardware store for your brushes and soapy water.
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3) Bike Stand - The bike stand is one of those things that makes life SO, MUCH, EASIER. Cleaning and working on your bike becomes less of a struggle and more of a habit with a good bike stand. It’s important to get one strong enough to hold your bike (go heavy if you’ve got an off-road rig) and it should last you a solid 20 years. Expect to spend $160-$200 for a great one (don’t go cheap (under $150) or it’ll fall over or fall apart).
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4) Tall Winter Cycling Socks – Wool is key! Thickness matters too, but not how you’d think. It is important that a cyclist be able to still wiggle their toes in their cycling shoes to keep blood flow, so a sock that is a mid-weight wool vs a fat and fuzzy sock works best. Think of those used for down hill skiing which are designed to keep feet warm, dry and supported. Assos produces superior products and their socks are simply delicious. The Assos UltraZ are said to keep you warm in the coldest conditions, and at $25 that’s a steal!
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5) Over those socks, a pair of Neoprene Booties will allow you to ride year-round without freezing your fit. These neoprene boots add an additional layer of wind protection and insulation. There are fleece lined booties with a stretchy material that’s water and wind proof like these Castelli Pioggia’s. Note – Pioggia means “Rain” in Italian. They should fit easily over your cycling shoes and zip easily. (Pictured: Castelli Pioggia Shoecover $59.99)
Castelli Pioggia Shoecover $59.99
6) For those days when the winds are up but the temps are low and you or your rider just wants to get some sunshine, Bar Mitts are amazing! They look admittedly like a cumbersome gimmick, but let me tell you, when it’s below 20 degrees, even with the best gloves, on long rides hands will get cold. These brilliant mitts fit over your handle bars and are shifter specific guaranteeing ease of shifting and braking, while protecting your paws. These are a simple and affordable option to keep hands warm in the winter. Skip the trial and error expensive approach of buying all the latest gloves.
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7) Base layers are awesome at keeping sweat off the skin and also for being an initial warming layer as you head out the door. They come in sleeveless, shortsleeve and full sleeve. Wool is my preference as it’s stink-proof, dries fast if you do get saturated by wearing a non-breathable shell, and will keep you warm all day. Modern man-made fabrics may do a better job of wicking sweat off the skin, but then make sure you have other layers to keep you warm. (Pictured: Pearlizumi Women’s Merino Wool Long Sleeve Baselayer & Men’s Merino Thermal Long Sleeve Baselayer)
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8) Garmin Varia – When your ears are covered and you’re hunkered down, hearing may be compromised. While we would hope keeping hearing and sight are foremost in mind while riding, sometimes our focus is simply getting the miles when it’s cold. This is the perfect time to invest in a Garmin Varia Radar. Set to your head unit or your watch, you’ll hear an audible alert and see blinking lights indicating where and how many cars are coming up behind you, and their rate of passage. Knowing where the cars are and approach is key to letting us stay safe. Seen on sale at Bike Tires Direct for $159.99 (and save your money and get the RTL 510 if it’s cheaper).
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9) Hand Warmers & Thin Gloves – Pack to toss in pockets or cycling tire change kits. It is SO hard to change a flat tire in the winter with freezing hands. Many of us ride with insulated gloves and must remove them to change flats. Having a pair of very thin liner gloves (either worn or in a pocket) and some hand warmers can make a bad situation tolerable. Wear the thin gloves while fishing out your changing kit from your bike bag or area, then set about a speedy tire change. Once changed, put the hand warmers between your liners and your cycling gloves to help quickly bring heat back to your hands. This may just prevent hand numbness from cold and worse. A cheap and simple precaution. (Pictured: Warmers, Liners and an Example of Liner with a Shell for Cycling)

Note – Hand Warmers can also be put in jersey pockets to help keep your body warmer, and between cycling shoes and booties. So many options!

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10) Gift Card! A gift card to the bike shop lets your rider pick up a few things guilt-free! Trying out new nutrition, picking up some spendy socks or gloves, or even splurging on some cool kit is such a treat, and isn’t that what holiday gifts are all about?
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Kit up yourself or your rider this winter and stay warm, dry, and happy! It’s the holiday season, it’s time to splurge!

Riders – Did I miss your Must Have? If so, then please let me know below in the Comments section on the Blog! Don’t miss out!

Happy Riding & Gifting!
Coach Clare

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