The GearJunkie staff have been deeply rooted in the two-wheel world for decades. Let us help you find the best gifts for cyclists to be used and appreciated by even the pickiest pedaler in your life.
As you probably know, prices in cycling can be astronomical, but we cover every budget along the financial spectrum in this guide. You’ll find the best cycling gifts for everyone, whether they ride road, dirt, gravel, or anything else.
Happy holidays, and here’s to being the best gift-giver a cyclist could ask for!
The Lectric XPedition Cargo eBike lets you carry all your gear without sacrificing mileage, so you can go the distance with a full load. Capable of carrying up to 450 pounds, the XPedition is a true e-hauler. It’s perfect for making deliveries, dropping the kiddos at school, and a host of other heavy-duty cargo missions.
A single charge lasts up to 150 miles (pedal assist), so you’ll have no problem getting around and taking whatever you need with you.Check Price at Lectric
The continuing development of tubeless tires and wheels has rendered most older pumps useless during the initial tire-mounting process. For the tire to gain pressure and move to the next step of spreading the sealant, you need a quick blast of air to seat the tire bead against the rim.
However, not everyone can obtain and house an air compressor. But Topeak’s clever TubiHead valve head combined with the two-stage pump on the JoeBlow Tubi 2Stage pump conquers all.
The Tubi valve head removes the Presta valve core so the pump can quickly blast the maximum volume of air into the tire. This seated every tire I had to mount for the past 6 months of bike testing for GearJunkie (which is a lot).
The JoeBlow Tubi 2Stage has a low-pressure, high-volume pump barrel that goes to 30 psi. Then, with a flick of a switch, you get up to 160 psi through a smaller barrel. After that, the TubiHead allows you to replace the valve core without losing air.
From skinny, tubeless road tires to fatty downhill rubber, the Topeak JoeBlow Tubi 2Stage pump ($150) handled all comers with the least amount of effort and equipment.Check Price at Backcountry Check Price at Amazon
Sports glasses protect the eyes from potential disasters, like branches in the trail or rocks thrown up by the rider ahead, but style does matter. And glasses from well-known brands can cost hundreds of dollars, some of the inherent value tied, no doubt, to the brand name.
Tifosi Optics turns much of this on its head. The brand’s sports-worthy glasses start at just $25, and the ones I’ve tested for cycling average $80. I have a drawer full of sports glasses, some costing up to four times as much.
But after trying Tifosi glasses over the last 2 years, I can’t always say that more expensive options are worth the extra price.
The lenses have all been durable, and I’ve always found a tint perfect for the situation. The adjustable temples and nosepieces on most of my models have made Tifosi glasses the best for my hard-to-fit face (narrow nose bridge, high cheekbones). And there are so many styles and variations — including virtually frameless options our editor-in-chief loved — that any Scrooge can be satisfied.Check Price at Tifosi Check Price at Amazon
At an MSRP of $1,399, this Aventon Soltera.2 e-bike is a low-cost way to power up your urban commutes with a little electric boost. Our editorial director scooted around Denver on a test unit and was impressed.
The turn signals, headlight, brake light, and 46-mile range all played well as a daily office commuter, and the consumer-direct bike was easy to assemble. The 350W rear hub motor delivered four levels of assistance, modulated by a torque sensor, that powered the bike to its 25mph limit. The bike’s 46-pound weight made maneuvering, transporting, and storing indoors easy.
Although the bike needed some initial mechanical adjustments, the price makes it almost irresistible to anyone on the hunt for a budget-priced urban commuter that absolutely gets the job done.Check Price at Aventon
One of those “why didn’t I think of that?” products, these tire levers thread onto standard CO2 cartridges we carry anyway. This forms solid, usable-length tire levers. Once I laid eyes on the two-pack of the Altangle Cycling A2 Tire Lever ($10), all I could do was the Homer Simpson head slap and say, “D’oh!”
The total length of the lever plus CO2 cartridge is 4.5 inches, which yielded enough leverage to pry off even the most stubborn tires in my arsenal. And at a verified 24 g per pair, it didn’t weigh down my repair kit.
These make a great stocking stuffer and will surely elicit the “D’oh!” from your family or friends. No, we didn’t think of it, but it’s good that Altangle did.Check Price at Amazon Check Price at Altangle Cycling
The Adult Aggressor Pro Mountain Bike and Women’s Laguna Pro Mountain Bike are GT’s answer to curvy singletrack, rocky terrain, and all things dirt. Built with beginner mountain bikers in mind, the bikes have a 6061-T6 Aluminum Triple Triangle Frame, 80mm-travel suspension fork, and mechanical disc brakes. It runs a 3×8-speed drivetrain for easier transitions through different elevations.Check Price at Public Lands
Do you have a cycling friend or family member who has been extra nice this year? And are they motivated through the dark days of winter to stay fit? Maybe they deserve an interactive indoor trainer to keep the stoke alive until the snow thaws. I can wholeheartedly recommend the Elite Direto XR-T indoor trainer as one of the best gifts for cyclists at the top of your “nice” list.
This trainer has been my stormy weather and late-night companion for over a year. It has never failed to entertain and put the screws to me on Zwift and other training platforms.
The Direto XR-T can simulate up to a 24% gradient and is compatible with Elite’s Rizer, delivering the ultimate interactive simulation with physical gradient change and steering input. Elite also graces the Direto XR-T with an optical torque sensor, which the brand says makes the unit’s power meter accurate to within 1.5%.
The trainer was stable under heavy pedaling loads and has super solid build quality. I can’t say that about every trainer I’ve tried over nearly 4 decades of cycling.
I can’t honestly say the Elite Direto XR-T was always fun while deep in the hurt locker. But it was much more tolerable than the old days of spinning on rollers with zero distractions.Check Price at Amazon Check Price at Elite
Ah, the time of darkness descends before the holiday season. The clock rolls back, and suddenly, there isn’t enough time after work or school to ride in daylight.
Luckily, we have the technology. But most bike lights can’t boast the engineering chops of Outbound Lighting. The team has automotive lighting and LED industry stalwarts putting their expertise and experience into bike lights so we can stay sane during the Time of Darkness.
This Detour handlebar light ($185) cut through the black on my road and gravel bikes. It has a horizontally oriented form factor and beam pattern, which make sense for cycling. The higher-intensity center blended into usable a lower-intensity spread towards the edges.
But what set the Detour apart was the discrete horizontal cutoff. It prevented blinding oncoming drivers, so they didn’t do the same to me. The cutoff is much better than anything else I’ve tried on a bicycle.
Another unique feature is an “adaptive mode.” It kept the brightness high for about 5 minutes and then gradually reduced it to the medium setting over 30 minutes while my eyes adjusted. It’s a brain “trick” that allows longer runtime, which Outbound Lighting claims is 2.6 hours in this adaptive mode.
Finally, the pass-through charging ability means the total runtime was only limited by the number of battery packs I was willing to haul.
I gave the Outbound Detour bike light a long-term test and review; it’s my light of choice when I’m on a personal ride at night.Check Price at Outbound Lighting
Post-bike beers are a tradition for many cyclists. But I’ve always found it ironic that much effort gets spent on improving health, only to become at least partially negated by the alcohol in the tasty suds.
Nonalcoholic beers have been around, but I’ve never liked any of them — until recently. The new crop of “near beers” opened my mind and taste buds to parking lot or trailhead happy hours. Athletic Brewing Co. ($14+) is one of the brands that made drinking with the crew enjoyable without any drawbacks. And it makes them a no-guilt best gift for cyclists.
I’m partial to heavy, dark concoctions in the colder months, and the All Out stout tasted rich, went down smooth, and filled me with satisfaction that I drank a “real beer.” When the Texas summer hit, I often chose the Run Wild IPA and found the flavors from the five Northwest hops to be refreshing.
Athletic Brewing Co. offers 100% vegan and low-gluten brews as well.Check Price at Athletic Brewing
The advent and continued advancement of tubeless tires challenge our list of “must-haves” to carry while riding. In addition to a tube, we now need to carry a tubeless plug kit, adding to our jersey pocket inventory. But Cannondale has introduced a multitool that eliminates at least one item by incorporating a Dynaplug tool.
The double-ended plug tool gave me two shots at that sucker. The remainder of the tools took care of most other road or trailside adjustments and repairs. The list of tools is impressive for something that is only 3.25 x 1.75 inches and weighs a verified 126 g:
- Hex keys: 2 / 2.5 / 3 / 4 / 5 / 6 / 8mm, Torx: T25
- Screwdriver tools: Phillips #2, Flat #5
- Chain-breaker tool that functions as a brake pad spreader, bottle opener, and includes three spoke wrenches
- Valve core tool
Finally, the Cannondale 18-in-1 with Dynaplug multitool has a clever magnetic master link compartment. This $80 tool is my go-to whenever I head out on two wheels.Check Price at Amazon Check Price at Cannondale
Bicycle parts don’t last forever, and bottom brackets are often the next to die after the chain. Contaminated bearings have led to the early demise of many bottom brackets. And cyclists often want an upgrade that will last longer and lessen frictional losses.
Enduro Bearings has made its name in recent years by providing durable, reliable, and high-performance bottom brackets to replace the often subpar units originally supplied on the bike.
The number of bottom bracket standards is mind-boggling, but Enduro Bearings lists 181 bottom brackets ranging from old-school Italian, forgettable press-fit models to the current en-vogue T47 units. The brand purveys the highest-end ceramic bearings and trusted stainless-steel and chromium-steel models in angular or radial contact versions.
So, whatever bottom bracket you are running, Enduro can most likely replace and upgrade the bearings that quietly carry their burdens without fanfare.
I was thoroughly impressed with the stainless-steel Enduro Bearings bottom bracket I installed to replace a SRAM DUB unit. The original unit gave up the ghost early due to a steady diet of fine talcum powder-like dust in an incredibly dry summer.Check Price at Enduro
Cyclists can be data-driven; it’s in the nature of the bike, equipment, and sport to measure, calculate, graph, and plan. And today’s bicycle supercomputers leave little to want. But some are cumbersome to use, unreliable, or not durable enough for rough use.
I have been frustrated by some newer models and have had some glitches while navigating unfamiliar routes. Others have cost me endless hours of fiddling to work with the various electronic drivetrains and power meters. Although I have yet to experience the perfect cycling computer, the Garmin Edge 530 has withstood long-term use across all my test bikes for almost 2 years with zero issues.
As with many modern cycling computers, the Edge 530 ($300) can display and report more metrics than you could possibly want. From wattage, hydration and calorie status, heat acclimatization status, and countless other physiological markers to electronic drivetrain battery levels, the little Garmin has more than enough data for the geekiest roadies. It also reported fun “radness” factors for mountain biking, alerting me when I caught air and my ability to “flow.”
The Edge 530 also supports Garmin Vario radar units and has incident detection, which can alert loved ones if it senses an accident. And, in my opinion, it has the best navigation system for a cycling computer, never once steering me wrong on a downloaded route.
The Garmin Edge 530 has physical buttons, which I preferred over touchscreen systems, especially for mountain biking, as I always wore gloves. Finally, Garmin claims a 20-hour battery life, upgradeable to 40 with an optional power pack.Check Price at Garmin Check Price at Backcountry
The Heybike Tyson e-bike has chunky tires capable of outdoor adventures and folds down to fit in a car trunk. It has a magnesium-alloy uni-body frame to cut weight. It charges in less than 5 hours and has a max range of 55 miles.
A front and back suspension can smooth the ride while hydraulic disc brakes help control it. The motor cranks 750 W of power and has a top speed of 28 mph.
The companion app connects via Bluetooth or 4G cell so you can track its location and mileage. On Black Friday, the Tyson will be discounted by $200.Check Price at Heybike Check Price at Amazon
Water bottle cages can get overlooked. They have a simple function, but I’ve jettisoned plenty of bottles, some over bridges, never to be seen again. I’ve also seen incredibly fine full-carbon wonder bikes outfitted with cheap plastic cages, which seemed wrong.
I’ve tried so many bottle cages. Some super-expensive carbon versions unleashed my bottle on the first rough gravel road. The Elite Vico Carbon Water Bottle Cage ($45) gripped my bottles with tenacity, weighs only 25 g, and is as classy as the Ciussi “button” cage that put Elite on the map.
Elite has been a cycling staple since 1979, making its bottle cages a tradition-oriented choice for the best gifts for cyclists.Check Price at Backcountry Check Price at Amazon
Gravel-specific shoes came onto the scene recently, placating those who wanted road shoe efficiency but some ability to walk. And I think the best of these so far is the Specialized S-Works Recon. It combined WorldTour-worthy stiffness and low weight, an incredibly comfortable fit, and just enough walking ability to get by.
The dual BOA closure was a snap to adjust on the fly, and the wide forefoot gave my feet the room needed to stay comfortable over long miles of punishing terrain. The synthetic upper broke in nicely, although I wished it had larger and more perforations for the hottest days.
The S-Works Recon mimics Specialized’s WorldTour stomping road shoe, the Torch. So it’s unsurprising that I felt all my efforts went through my drivetrain to the rear tire. The S-Works Recon ($450) is an excellent gift for gravel hounds who chase speed and efficiency.Check Price at Backcountry Check Price at Specialized
The 1UP 2-inch Super Duty Double hitch rack is the epitome of durability and quality in bike racks. Crafted in the USA with meticulous attention to detail, this rack boasts an extruded aluminum construction, stainless steel hardware, and an anodized finish to ensure it withstands corrosion and rust.
Its double-wheel arm system securely holds bikes without touching their frames, making it an ideal choice for high-end bicycles. Plus, up to two more bike mounts can be added for a total carrying capacity of four bikes (including e-bikes). It’s the gift that keeps on giving; every component is replaceable with hand tools. It’s bound to be the last hitch rack your cycling enthusiast will ever need.Check Price at 1Up
How to Shop for the Best Gifts for Cyclists
Cycling is so gear-oriented, and cyclists can be very particular about every widget they use while riding. This can make finding the best gifts for cyclists difficult, even for the newbies. So we’re here to help.
Best Gifts for Cyclists: The Daily Needs
Daily necessities are obvious places to start searching for the best gifts for cyclists. Outside of the bicycle, safety gear like helmets, cycling glasses, bicycle lights, and radar units are exceptionally thoughtful gifts if the cyclist in your life doesn’t already have them.
Preparing tires for every ride is one area that isn’t obvious to a non-cyclist. This is complicated by modern tubeless tires that are becoming more common. At the very least, your cycling buddy requires a pump and a way to check tire pressure if the pump doesn’t have a gauge or is inaccurate (very common).
Chain cleaning and lubrication are next on the list of frequently done and required tasks. Biodegradable degreasers and chain scrubbing contraptions can hasten the potentially messy task. And chain lube is something that can be in constant need.
If your cycling friend or family member really gets into the weeds on chain efficiency and life, they may delve into waxing the chain. At the very least, this involves chain wax and a crock pot. And a new chain in itself can be an excellent gift for high-mileage riders, but it’s also logical to gift it along with chain waxing supplies.
The Best Gifts for Cyclists That Ease Bike Maintenance and Repairs
Periodic bike maintenance and repairs can’t be avoided. So gifting tools or supplies that ease such chores makes for much-appreciated gifts.
Depending on their level of mechanical competence and comfort level, they will also periodically need items to maintain tubeless tires. First on the list is tubeless bicycle tire sealant. Getting the sealant into the tire without removing the bead eases maintaining the sealant. A valve core remover and a way to force the sealant through the valve stem will save a lot of labor and mess.
The most common trailside or roadside repair will be fixing a tire puncture, and the items necessary also make great gifts that are truly appreciated when needed. Tubeless riders will need a plug kit (which can now be found on multitools, as mentioned above), while those on tubed tires can always use spare tubes (check out the new, much lighter polyurethane versions). And everyone can use tire levers and a compact pump or CO2 inflation system to complete the repair.
After tire repair, loose bolts or adjusting things like bar and saddle position are often required while out. A comprehensive multitool should always be in a cyclist’s jersey pocket or saddle bag. Ensure that the tool you choose for your cycling aficionado has all the necessary bits for their particular bike, including Torx and whatever size bit is required to tighten the bottle cages.
Seasonal Cycling Apparel
New cyclists usually start spinning their legs when the weather is good. But seasons change, necessitating the expansion of the cycling wardrobe. Arm warmers and leg warmers will extend the usability of the warm-weather kits they already have, as will under-the-helmet hats, warmer gloves, windbreaker vests and jackets, and shoe covers.
For the mountain biker in your life, apparel also means safety gear. Those who frequent downhill bike parks or revel in the gravity-fed aspects of mountain biking need several bits of kit. These can include full-face helmets (or MTB helmets that convert between open and full-face), goggles, elbow and knee guards, and chest/torso protectors. Like trailside or roadside repair gifts, these safety-related items are truly appreciated when you’re lying on the ground but OK.
This best gifts for cyclists guide is only a starter on the potential best cycling gifts. Cycling is one of the most gear-intensive outdoor activities, so the gift-giving possibilities are truly endless.
Why Trust This Best Gifts for Cyclists Guide?
4 Decades of Experience
I’ve been cycling for nearly 40 years, starting with road racing in the ’80s as a teen. Back then, we shifted on the downtube, there were six cogs in the back, and there was no indexed shifting; you had to “find” the gear. We also glued “sew-up” tires to our race wheels, and the cycling computer wasn’t a thing just yet.
There was no carbon to be seen. My apparel was mostly wool. I nailed my cleat to the bottom of my wood-soled cycling shoes and anchored them to pedals with leather straps. And bicycle frame tubes were round, period.
Fast forward to now, and we have 12 or 13 cogs in the back and — holy moly — electronic shifting. Hydraulic disc brakes have replaced rim brakes, and carbon is everywhere, including on the bottom of cycling shoes and spokes.
We’ve gone through the sew-up tire era to high-performance tubed tires, and now we are on tubeless. I haven’t pulled on a pedal strap in decades, and round frame tubes are in the minority.
I witnessed all these spectacular advancements and was almost always an early adopter of new cycling tech or methodology. I spent months of rent on the first power meter. I suffered through early iterations of new cycling tech that half the time caused more problems than they fixed, if any. And I’m fortunate to use all this experience to create content usable by GearJunkie readers, including this best gifts for cyclists guide.
A Job I Take Seriously
I feel I test gear for a long time and very intently before keying in my opinions. I believe that my standards are very high to give anything the green light.
All of this is to say that you’re reading a culmination of decades of road, mountain, and now gravel cycling, both competitive and recreational. And I don’t take it lightly. My name is on these things; as they say, these words live forever on the interwebs. I’m doing my best to guide the spending of hard-earned dollars in the endeavors I love.
Choosing the items I include in any buying guide is hard for me. I extensively tested everything on this list, and every potential gift met my expectations, often by a large margin. I asked myself, “What would I want as a gift if I didn’t have this job? What would I appreciate as a thoughtful gift from a loved one during the holiday season?”
Be assured that this gift guide was a massive and serious effort. I did enjoy it, and often envisioned myself as a 14-year-old, just starting to shave his legs and learn French (you know, to go to the Tour de France) and receiving one of these items during the holidays. That made my job much more enjoyable. And these visions bolstered my confidence that my choices for the best gifts for cyclists are worthy.
Thank you for coming to my TED Talk.