Christmas gifts for road cyclists

10 great gift ideas from stocking stuffers to eye-poppers

Need a last-minute idea for that roadie in your life – or an idea for yourself to pass along to your family? We're here to help with 10 great gift ideas at a variety of price points.

1. GPS bike computer

Incorporating GPS into cycling – and cycling social media – is easier than ever. Garmin leads the market, with affordable bike computers from the Edge 200 on up to the definitive touring and training device, the Edge 1000. But Mio (sold as Magellan in the US) is making strong inroads with competitive products at lower prices. And the often-overlooked CatEye offers great value for basic GPS bike computers.

Related reading: Buyer's guide to GPS bike computers

2. An event entry

An entry fee into a cycling event is two gifts in one. Yes, there's the event itself. But perhaps even more important are the months of anticipation and motivation it (hopefully) guarantees beforehand. Whether it's a gran fondo/sportive, a race or guided tour, putting something on the 2015 calendar makes for a great start to the year.

Good sites for buying event entries: active.com, bikereg.com, granfondoguide.com, ukcyclingevents.co.uk

3. Loud socks

While a fresh pair of merino cycling socks are always welcome this time of year, why not consider a pair with a little more pop? You can go with something from a bigger company like DeFeet or Rapha, or dig down a little more with a younger company like Handlebar Mustache, The Athletic or Panache.

Small companies with big, loud socks: The Athletic, Panache, Handlebar Mustache

4. A premium cycling app

There are a number of free, innovative cycling apps out there. But spending a little can open up the premium features. We particularly like Strava Premium US$59/year (£36) for year-round use, and TrainingPeaks Premium US$49/quarterly (£31) when we are training for a particular event.

Related reading: Best iPhone and Android apps for cycling

5. Trainer software

Can you put a price on winter motivation? Training software companies seem to have agreed that it should cost US$10/mo. At least that is the price for the interactive trainer software from TrainerRoad, Perf Pro, Tour de Giro, Bkool and the soon-to-be-relased Zwift. Trainer software comes in two categories: guided workouts (TrainerRoad, Perf Pro) and entertainment/virtual racing (the others listed here).

Zwift is due out soon

Related reading:

6. Touchscreen gloves

Whether you're operating a cycling computer or a smartphone, it's nice to keep your gloves on when it's cold outside. And there are more touchscreen cycling gloves than ever this season, from knitted Coolmax gloves like the Castelli Prima or DeFeet DuraGlove ET to thicker thermal styles such as Pearl Izumi's Thermal Conductive Glove or Giro's burly Proof gloves for winter.

Good sites for buying touchscreen gloves: Castelli, DeFeet, Pearl Izumi, Giro

7. A power meter

There is no better way to measure improvement – and to do the specific training that generates improvement — than by training with a power meter. This year, there are more options – and more cost-effective styles – than ever.

Related reading: Best power meters

8. Complete bike tune-up, with new bar tape, cables and chain

Sure, we'd all love a new bike, but that isn't on the cards every year. Giving a bike a mechanical makeover can revive the look and performance of a trusted steed. Most good shops offer comprehensive tune-up options this time of year. Adding some fresh handlebar tape, new cables and housing and a new chain can make an old bike feel like new.

Best place to get it: Your local shop

9. A pair of quality bib shorts

If there is one type of clothing to splurge on, it's a good pair of bib shorts. We have never, ever heard someone regret owning high-quality bib shorts.

Related reading: Best bib shorts of 2014

10. An expert service

If you really want to go above and beyond, hook up the lucky person on your list with an expert: a coach, a sports masseuse, a pro bike fitter or even a wind-tunnel service. In a sport like cycling where the vast majority of us are self-taught and self-trained, a little professional guidance can go a long way. This is the gift for the rider who 'already has everything'.

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