This season, we’re publishing different gift guides for different types of riders, from road to gravel to MTB and more. But for those of us who ride all the things, or are just getting into the sport and haven’t quite found our tribe yet, there are basics that are loved by anyone who’s pedaling two wheels for fun or exercise.
Here are our top gift ideas for the cyclist (or cyclists!) in your circle, from budget stocking stuffers to roll-up-the-garage-door surprises at every price point…
Best Cycling Gifts Under $25
Blackburn Designs MTB Grid Seat Bag ($20, available at Competitive Cyclist and Backcountry) has been our go-to saddle bag for years now. It doesn’t have a strap around the seat post which is convenient if you have a dropper post on your bike. It’s just the right size to fit a mini-tool, tube, CO2, patch kit, and even their tiny Airstik 2Stage mini-pump ($25, available at Amazon)…meaning you can literally pack every essential for any ride into it for a minimalist look that cinches tight so nothing rattles around inside. Considering it’s held up to years of rides on-road and gravel rides while packed full, and that the side panels are reflective, it’s an easy recommendation.
Every cyclist needs a multi-tool along for the ride, and the Park Tool IB-2 ($19, available at REI and Backcountry) has most of what you’ll need in a tiny, lightweight package that fits in a saddlebag, jersey pocket, or even the tiny side pockets on some hydration pack waistbands. It’s a great starter tool or a perfect replacement for the weight weenie. (Check out all our favorite mini-tools here)
Chamois Butt’r may be the original anti-chafe cream (or at least the best known), but it wasn’t until they introduced their Coconut Oil & Shea Butter formula ($20, available at Amazon and Performance Bike) that it became one of our favorites. Along with a good pair of padded shorts, a good chamois cream will improve rider comfort, especially if you’re not used to spending much time on a saddle. (Check out all our favorite chamois creams here)
Best Gifts For Cyclists Under $50
The Topeak SmartGauge D2 ($38, available at Amazon) digital tire pressure gauge does a bit more than just check the air in your bike tires, it’ll also check your suspension fork and shock (up to 250psi at least, so heavier riders might find it doesn’t quite go high enough on some rear shocks). It works with both Presta and Schrader valves, rotates to keep the screen in view, and has a pressure release valve to help you dial in your setup.
The Rider Box ($28, available at Runnerbox) subscription goodie box ships every other month and is packed full of snacks, treats, and other fun stuff that makes every ride a little more tasty or interesting. They start at about $24/month with an annual subscription, but usually have almost $50 worth of stuff in there, plus discount codes for the things you want more of!
The Uncharted Supply Co. Triage Kit ($40, available at Backcountry) is a compact first aid kit in a waterproof pouch that fits in a jersey pocket. This means it’ll fit in a hip pack, hydration pack, or glove box just fine, too. We take one with us on almost every ride, and there’s a bit extra room to customize it with whatever meds or little additions you want to add.
Bicycle Gifts under $100
The Muc-Off 8-in-1 Bicycle Cleaning Kit ($75, available at REI) gets you all of the essential brushes to clean every part of your bike, plus a spray-on cleaner that gently releases grime from your chain or road spray. We like this because it lets us add whatever degreaser and chain lube we like, and it’s half the price of their bigger kit while still giving you all the right brushes.
Regardless of what type of cyclist you’re buying for, there are times when we’ll skip the full Spandex kit but we still want some padding. Whether it’s for a long spin around town, or a casual ride with friends. The Club Ride Woodchuck (Men’s, $55 available at Club Ride Apparel) and Montcham (Women’s, $60 available at Club Ride Apparel) are super comfortable under regular shorts (or even jeans), with just enough compression to support muscles on longer, harder rides, too. They’re great under MTB baggies, too!
Don’t forget your Local Bike Shop! In fact, any of this stuff you can find locally should be bought locally. And let’s face it, there’s always going to be some repair we don’t wanna do ourselves or some part we need in a pinch. Buying local and supporting your favorite bike shop means they’ll be around when you need them! Grab a Gift Certificate to your cyclist’s favorite shop so they can get exactly what they need when they need it!
Best Cycling Gifts under $250
Sure, you could get them good bike lights for far less money. But these Bontrager Ion 200 RT/Flare RT lights ($130, available at REI and Trek Bikes) are some of the best we’ve tried. They’re tiny, and ultra-lightweight, but are extremely bright and long-lasting. Their blink patterns can be seen from up to 2km away in full daylight, and they’re even bright enough to navigate dark backroads in a pinch, too.
Similarly, you can get cheaper floor pumps, but few if any will outlast a Silca. In fact, chances are this will get passed down to the next generation of cyclists from its original owner. The Silca Pista Plus Floor Pump ($200, available at REI) is a do-it-all pump with its special Presta valve chuck that makes it quick and easy to inflate any bike you’ve got. And it’s fully rebuildable, so it won’t end up in the landfill if something does break.
The Chrome Volcan 26L Backpack ($140, available at REI) may not look like much or have any bells and whistles, but that’s exactly what makes it so useful. Headed to the grocery store? You can shove a ton of food in this. Or a case of beer with ice (it’s 100% waterproof). Or a bunch of clothes for changing at work and the gym. It’s a giant, gaping black hole of a bag that works for anything without tiny pockets and organizers dictating how you use it (though it does have a padded laptop sleeve). If you don’t have a cargo bike, you need a bag like this.
Best Cycling Gifts over $250
A fresh pair of glasses complete the cycling kit, so why not get your favorite cyclist a pair of ENGO 2 glasses ($330 at ENGO)? These glasses aren’t just ordinary shades – they are super light, and data-enabled so cyclists can see their stats right in their field of view for real-time data that’s gesture-controlled.
If your favorite cyclist gets out early to ride, consider this one a gift to yourself, too. The Fellows Ode Brew Grinder ($299, available at Amazon) is a remarkably quiet burr grinder that delivers excellent results. This means they get the caffeinated lifeblood that nearly every rider lives for, and you get to stay soundly asleep. Seriously, we can’t believe how quiet this coffee grinder is!
Every cyclist should have a good work stand, and our favorite is the Feedback Sports Pro-Elite Bike Repair Stand ($330, available at Feedback Sports and Backcountry). Their entry- and mid-level stands are great, too, but this top-of-the-line model’s quick-release clamp is what sets it apart. Top-notch construction, an ultrawide base for supporting heavy bikes (even e-mountain bikes), and a lightweight design that folds down very compact for storage combine to make it a work stand that’ll last for many, many years.
If we’re dreaming big, then we think everyone should have an e-Cargo Bike. They make short trips around town a breeze, whether it’s a grocery run, taking kids to school, hitting the farmer’s market, or even taking your sweetie out on a date, the Yuba Spicy Curry ($5,100, available at Yuba) is one of our faves. We’ve been riding one for years, and it is quite literally a life-changing bike. You’ll be surprised at how often you ditch the car in favor of riding this!
Disclosure: The ENGO glasses are a sponsored inclusion in this list, but we haven’t had a chance to try them yet ourselves. We strive to only recommend products that we actually like, and every other item in our Gift Guide has been tested or used by one or more of our team members.