Stuck for presents, or just want to treat yourself? Cyclists are very easy to buy presents for, whether it’s a complete new bike or bike accessories. Here are some present ideas that other cyclists have found useful.
We point some examples to Amazon’s brilliant website, as their range of products and review system might help you choose. But other shops are available – once you’ve found a product, you can Google for it elsewhere if you prefer.
We’ve found some great gear, often at bargain prices, with Decathlon (online and at Port Solent), Aldi special buys, Halfords in Havant, and places like Tesco, Aldi, Lidl, Wilco. For more specialist gear and huge ranges, but often higher prices, we’ve used Wiggle and Chain Reaction (now merged), Tredz, the legendary SJS Cycles, and others.
Locally, Hayling Cycles (no relation to Cycle Hayling!) is great for bikes, servicing, accessories, or friendly advice. If you don’t know what to get, what about a voucher for a service?
Just across the bridge, Emsworth Cycles has a good reputation and huge experience.
A new bike doesn’t need to be expensive for everyday cycling on a flat island, and will get you there just as fast, with less worry about it being stolen. And it could pay for itself in no time if it saves a few car or bus journeys.
But cheapest often means cutting corners, so paying slightly more can often get you a lighter, better, longer lasting bike with better components. if you’d like a bit of guidance, ask your local shops, or Google, or us!
Do consider a folding bike if storage space is an issue, or if you want to carry it in a car boot or a train. Or if you’re worried about kids growing out of bikes, as most folding bikes are one-size fits all. I’ve had kids of 7 ride my Decathlon folder just by lowering the saddle. See our guide to folding bikes here.
See all our tips on choosing a bike here.
And there are plenty of good second-hand bikes. You can save a lot of money as people enjoy their cycling more and decide to upgrade to a better bike, or even an e-bike. On Hayling, we’re lucky to have two people who enjoy reviving old bikes and don’t charge much for doing it – 33 Rails Lane and in Manor Rd.
Re-cycling an old bike to a new rider is the best form of cycling and recycling!
We have plenty of ideas for existing riders’ presents and stocking fillers.
Be safe, be seen
- Be safe, be seen, with hi-vis clothing and lights. There’s a good reason road-workers wear hi-vis. Reflective velcro ankle straps start at £3, while a hi-vis gilet or rucksack cover can be not much more.
- For lights, small ones are fine for other people to see you, but if you’re cycling without street lights, you’ll need a stronger front light to show you the potholes. We like rubber straps, for instant fitting and removing.
- Hayling Cycles have those brilliant little Cycle Safari lights, which use CR2032 watch batteries, so worth buying some spares.
- To save on batteries, what about USB rechargeable LED lights, slow flashing for better visibility and battery life. Keep them charged up, like your phone, so they’re always ready. We’ve seen them from £1.50, but £10 to £15 might be a better quality. We have used and like these because they’re small, bright, and waterproof. But there are plenty more to choose from.
- And we love helmet mirrors to see what’s behind you. The best one we’ve found is this one from Zefal.
- Helmets are regulated, so it’s hard to buy a bad one, but it needs to fit well and be adjusted correctly to hold it in place if you fall.
Keep warm and dry
- Keeping warm and dry makes all the difference, and cycling jackets are designed for riding position and to allow a bit of movement.
- Things to consider: whether you need a hood, how much you care about pockets, short rides or all-day, breathability, underarm vents, heavyweight or light, and of course, how much you want to spend.
- We like hi-vis jackets, yellow for daytime riding, with reflective strips front, back and sides, for riding in the dark. Fully breathable GoreTex jackets are fantastic, but for everyday cycling up to 3 or 4 miles, semi-breathable jackets will do the job much cheaper. Mountain Warehouse jackets get good reports.
- You can buy online, but there’s nothing like trying them on for size and fit, and checking pockets, comfort, etc. We suggest looser is generally better – room for warm clothing underneath in winter, and for air to circulate in summer.
- Tiny pack-away jackets are great to throw in your pocket in case of rain.
- And gloves to keep your hands warm. We like open-finger, thinner gloves to help you still work gears and brakes, and maybe your lock and your phone. We’ve never found any truly waterproof gloves, but anything helps.
- Waterproof trousers keep you dry (and clean if you use the Billy Trail in the wet). We love these top of the range Berhaus GoreTex PakLite‘s because they’re tiny, comfortable and breathable to wear all day, and they zip up to the waist so you can get them over your shoes. But cheaper ones are fine for shorter journeys.
- Everyone needs a puncture repair kit and a cyclist’s multi-tool.
- A can of TF2 chain lubricant or similar will smooth your ride and prolong the chain’s life. We like the smart nozzle for directing the spray to where you want it. WD40 is a great rust solvent, but it’s not designed to lubricate your chain.
- All bikes need a bell to warn pedestrians and dog walkers, from £1 up.
- Spare inner tubes are always good (check the size and type of valve).
- Bike racks and panniers let you carry shopping and any gear you need.
- Modern tiny hand pumps are good to carry with you, but for home use, you can’t beat a track pump with a pressure gauge.
- A cable combination lock is good for quick locking in safer places, but for valuable bikes or dodgier places, we’d suggest a good brand D-lock, rated ‘sold secure’ gold or silver. And most have a clamp to attach to the bike which makes them easier to carry (and harder to forget).
- Smaller D locks are lighter, and offer less leverage for thieves to break them.
- But having both lets you loop the cable through wheels, or attach to bigger anchor points, such as fences or trees.
But if you want the nearest thing to real cycling, you’ll want a Peleton, with full 22″ screen, where you can pretend to be riding anywhere!