To help you shop for the cyclists in your life, local riders have once again helped out to give you a creative list. Take ideas from last year's list or check out the new items below. Gift ideas are sorted into three categories beginning with gifts under $50, some at $51 to $500 and finally a few items over $500. Happy shopping!
? Cycling reading material. Cycling books are still a great holiday gift idea. Some great training, racing books and general cycling information books are available from VeloPress ranging in price from $16.95 to $21.95.
? Pearl Izumi ELITE Thermal Toe Cover. These are great for cool to cold mornings on the road. Depending on individual temperature tolerances, these can be worn down to around 40 degrees Fahrenheit. They are easy to put in a back pocket if the temperatures heat up. MSRP is $18.
? Indoor-outdoor thermometer. Cyclists like to know the current outdoor temperature while getting dressed for a ride. Many battery operated models are available for around $20.
? Bar Mitts. These are neoprene mittens that mount directly on bicycle handlebars allowing your hands to slip into and out of cover. The mittens cover your hands so you can ride, and shift, wearing regular cycling gloves. Some models are currently on sale for under $50.
? K-Edge Chain Catcher. These nifty gadgets were originally designed for Olympic time trialist Kristen Armstrong to prevent chain drop at the 2008 Olympic Games. There are models made for road, mountain and cross bikes. The mountain model prevents chain suck. Depending on the model you want, prices run from just under to just over $50.
$51 to $500
? Fototec sunglasses by Tifosi. Reasonably priced sunglasses that have variable tint technology to change light transmission in changing light conditions. Great for mountain biking in and out of trees or riding around dusk or dawn. Lots of different models and fits. Some small fits for women too. Many are priced at under $70.
? Park Tool TW-5 Torque Wrench. Many bolts and nuts have torque specifications. For the cyclist that does a lot of work on their bike, rather than taking it to a shop, using the proper torque is critical. $75-$100
? Gore Bike Wear ALP-X Jacket. Some jackets are too tight and restrictive, not allowing layering in cold weather. This one is tight enough not to flap around, yet it still allows two under layers. It also has room for extra items in the pockets. Cyclists love the chest pocket that allows easy access. Of course it's made of waterproof, Gore material. MSRP is $280.
? Bike fit by a certified fitter. Many bike shops offer a range of bike fits from simple to three dimensional. There are also some physical therapy offices that offer bike fits by people not only trained in a particular bike fit technology, but they are also trained in human body movement and injury prevention. There are a number of different fit techniques, see what is available in your area. Prices run from $150 to $400.
? Acheson Art Bike Series. For the total bike geek, an original piece of bike art is cool. Original pieces run $500 and up. Notice on the original art pages, that some of the pieces are available as prints for $75 to $100.
? Light & Motion SECA 1400. This top-end model would be great for commuters, 24-hour racers and for mountain bikers that love to night ride. No need to quit cycling just because the days are shorter. MSRP is $699.
? Specialized S-Works Epic 29er. This bike has gotten rave review by Mountain Bike Action and Bike Radar. There's finally a 29er mountain bike that doesn't penalize the rider with weight. The 2012 front fork has been redesigned to allow easy adjustment by the rider, including full lockout. MSRP is $9,900.
A big thanks to column contributors Sam Acheson, Pam Leamons, Kurt Ireland, Ross Livingston, David Newman, Barb Schultz and Ed Shaw.