Choosing a gift for cyclists as a non-cyclist yourself is not easy because a lot of cycling stuff is very personal and there isn’t always such thing as “the best” for any given category of product.
If you are looking for the perfect gifts for cyclists in your life, we have put together a list of 14 gifts that any cyclist would love. From bike accessories to cycling gear, we have something for everyone on your list. So, whether you are looking for a gift for your loved one or perhaps yourself, be sure to check out our list!
1. Radar Tail Light
A radar tail light is a light attached to the seat post or saddle of a bicycle that doubles as a radar to detect cars that are approaching it from behind. This device is perfect for cyclists who like to ride alone, providing an extra layer of safety and visibility.
Depending on your budget, there are some good radar tail lights on the market:
Radar tail lights work with smartphones and compatible bike computers. Garmin radar tail light works with Magene, Bryton, or Wahoo bike computers, and so does Magene’s radar. So if you are buying a radar tail light for someone who already has a compatible device, this might be the perfect gift.
2. Arm and Leg Warmers
Arm and leg warmers are a must-have for any cyclist who likes riding during colder months. These nifty gifts keep your arms and legs from getting cold while you’re on the bike but can be quickly taken off and stored in the jersey’s back pocket when you get too hot. Look for warmer sets with windproof fabric or waterproof options if you know they’ll be riding in the rain.
3. Cycling Cap
Caps are essential during winter, but some cyclists also like to wear a cap under their helmets during the summer to protect their scalps from the UV and absorb sweat. Keep in mind that summer and winter hats are made of different fabrics. Look for lightweight and breathable caps made of cotton, mesh, or other quick-drying fabrics if you’re looking to buy summer caps.
Don’t buy a cheap cycling cap, though, because the bill part doesn’t usually work well and they use bad materials. My favorite caps are from Cinelli and Prendas Ciclismo, and cycling apparel brands do usually make caps too.
4. Bidon/Water Bottle
Cycling water bottles don’t last long, so it’s always nice to have extra. You can go in three directions with your bidon gift. Either get them actual good quality bidons, maybe insulated ones, or something that matches the color of their bike. Some of the best bidon brands are Elite, Camelbak, Tacx, or Specialized Purist. Or get something from a well-known fashion brand like Rapha or Pas Normal Studios. Or choose funny/novelty bidons from Watrbodl or somewhere else to get some good chuckles.
5. Aero Socks
Why buy normal socks if you can buy fast socks, right? Normal cycling socks can be a good gift too, but if your cyclist likes going fast, aero socks are a great gift. As the name implies, these socks have an aerodynamic design that helps reduce drag while cycling so you can go faster easier.
6. Massage Gun
Riding a bike can cause sore muscles, so gifting a massage gun to help them keep their bodies in tip-top condition is a great choice. Massage guns come in different sizes, shapes, and prices, some come with additional settings for more specific areas.
Our favorite massage gun for cyclists is Theragun. It is the quietest, feels the best, and comes with a nice companion app.
7. Open-Ear or Bone-Conduction Headphones
Open-ear or bone-conduction headphones allow you to listen to music while still being able to hear what is going on around you, making them perfect for cyclists who like listening to podcasts or music while they ride while still being safe. They don’t sound great at all compared to normal headphones or earphones, especially if you’re going fast on the bike, but they are the safer option.
Our favorite bone-conduction headphones are the AfterShokz OpenRun. Alternatively, you can also gift the AirPods Pro which has a transparency mode that allows outside noise to come in.
8. Box of Energy Gels/Bars
Energy gels are essential for endurance rides and training sessions, and you can never have enough of them. Gifting a box of energy gels is an easy last-minute gift to show your cyclist that you care. They are easy to find and aren’t that expensive.
You can also make your own homemade energy bars as a gift if you want to show your cyclist that you put effort into the gift.
9. Action Camera
Cyclists love taking videos of their rides and sharing them on social media. It’s one of the best parts of being a cyclist. Many of us record videos with a smartphone, which is often good enough in terms of quality but you need to hold it with one hand and it’s dangerous to record while going fast. So, gifting an action camera is a great way to help them document their rides.
The popular brands are GoPro, DJI, and Insta 360. There are so many models available in different shapes and functionalities, and new models come out often. So do some research first to find which one is best for your cyclist. Going in blind, your best bet is probably GoPro Hero.
10. Smart Trainer
If your cyclist hates riding in the rain or cold weather, gifting them a smart indoor trainer is perfect. Smart trainers are more expensive than regular trainers, but they offer more features like a power meter, ERG mode, and gradient simulation which adjusts resistance smoothly mimicking real-life incline.
Smart trainers are also great for cyclists who are obsessed with training but don’t have much time to ride outdoors. Paired with apps like Zwift or TrainerRoad, smart trainers can provide an effective training session while still having fun.
11. Bicycle Work Stand
Working with bikes without a good work stand is a nightmare once you’re used to using one. That’s why gifting a bike work stand is a great idea for cyclists who like doing things themselves. Even if your cyclist doesn’t fix the bike themselves, they will still find a work stand useful for washing the bike and some occasional check-ups.
However, you should absolutely never buy a cheap, brand-unknown work stand. Cheap work stands are horrible, they will drop your bike and tip over with the slightest push. Instead, get one from Park Tool or Feedback Sports. They are not cheap, but worth the price.
12. Bike Cleaning Kit
This one is a no-brainer. Every cyclist loves a clean bike and it also makes it last longer, so gifting them a bike cleaning kit is always appreciated. A bike cleaning kit includes all the essentials like brushes of different sizes, a chain cleaner, degreaser, soap, lubricants, and microfiber towels. Again, don’t buy cheap cleaners to save money, instead choose a proven brand like Muc-Off.
If your cyclist doesn’t currently have bike-specific brushes and chain cleaner, they will greatly appreciate the gift when they realize how much easier it is to clean a bike with the right tools.
13. Ass Savers
Ass Savers is a small piece of plastic that easily attaches to the saddle or chainstay (depending on the model) and prevents mud from splashing onto your backside when it rains or is wet out. They are cheap, lightweight, and easy to install and remove. It’s basically a mudguard that is not as good as real mudguards in terms of protection, but cyclists usually find attaching and detaching real mudguards a hassle.
There are cheaper off-brand Ass Savers, but I find their stuff works the best and they have so many designs that your cyclist might like.
14. Chain Waxing Kit
Chain waxing kits are a great gift for cyclists who want to take their bike maintenance to the next level. Chain waxing is an advanced technique that coats your chain with wax, resulting in much less friction and less maintenance after the first application.
Chain waxing supplies and equipment aren’t usually being sold as a kit, but that doesn’t mean you can’t build your own kit. To wax a chain, you will need a degreaser to clean the lubricants off of the chain, the wax itself, a slow cooker, and maybe an ultrasonic cleaner if you have the budget.
The best wax for bike chains is Molten Speed Wax or Silca Secret Chain Blend. If the waxing process seems to be too complicated for your cyclist, you can also get drip wax lube like the CeramicSpeed UFO Drip or Silca Super Secret Chain Lube.
Bad Cycling Gifts
These products aren’t bad per se (except the last one), but you should probably not buy them as a gift. Especially if you’re not sure if the cyclist needs it or will like it.
1. Cycling Apparel
This includes jerseys, bib shorts, gloves, shoes, base layers, and any outerwear. Cycling clothing needs to be absolutely the right size for the cyclist, or they won’t be able to use them. Moreover, some cyclists might have a brand preference and there might be some popular brands that just don’t fit them.
If you want to buy cycling apparel as a gift, they need to be there to try the item. Or, you can also buy gift cards from their favorite brand.
2. Helmets and Sunglasses
The same thing applies here as with cycling apparel – it is better to not buy a helmet as a gift since it needs to fit the cyclist correctly. Not just the size but the overall head shape and comfort.
Cyclists like to buy sunglasses that go together well with their helmets, so a sunglasses gift is also not a good option.
3. Bike Computer
Unless your cyclist doesn’t currently own a bike computer, and not planning to buy one themselves, don’t gift them a bike computer. Buying a bike computer is like buying a smartphone, some people like iPhones, and others like Android. It’s a big decision to get your first bike computer, and your cyclist might want to buy it themselves.
4. A New Bicycle
It is almost impossible to buy someone else the perfect bike. There are so many different types, sizes, and models of bicycles out there that finding the right one for your cyclist is going to be overwhelming. Not only that, your cyclist might have the plan to buy a new bike on their own and you don’t know it yet. So it’s best to give your cyclist the chance to pick their own gifts.
Also, a new bicycle that’s better than your cyclist’s current bike is probably much more expensive than you might expect.
5. Bicycle-Themed Non-Cycling Stuff
Finally, gifts that have a bicycle image on them but have nothing to do with cycling should be avoided. I’m talking about a keychain or a mug with a bike on it, or a pizza cutter with the shape of a bicycle. They might look cute and fun, but they are not actually good products and can be embarrassing to use. It’s better to gift them something high-quality and not-bike-themed altogether.