Christmas gift ideas: 14 presents for the designer cyclist

Got a design-loving rider in your life? Here's your list

There's a reason why bike manufacturers agonise over every curve, scallop and carefully machined perforation on their designs. Yes, sure, performance, but there's also the unbridled perfectionism of the discerning cyclist. We're sticklers for beautiful, thoughtful, heritage-infused design, and by golly do we like a good font.

If you know a rider who also considers him or herself to be a bit of an aesthete, here’s a list that’s sure to make them happy. (Likewise, if you’re a bit of a bike snob yourself, prepare to want.)

The Handmade Cyclist prints

Beautiful prints to hang on the stylish cyclist's wall:
Beautiful prints to hang on the stylish cyclist's wall:

There are cycling posters, and then there are The Handmade Cyclist’s cycling posters. Taking inspiration from cycling’s most iconic climbs, routes and monuments, THC’s graphical style means the images are arresting for cyclists and civilians alike – although anyone with a fondness for bikes will appreciate them all the more.

Buy now for from £30 / US$46 / AU$64 plus postage

Bellroy Elements Phone Pocket Plus

Stores more than you'd think:
Stores more than you'd think:

Getting out for a ride is a great way to escape life's drearier elements, but remaining in touch is a necessary evil. Having cash for catastrophes (and cake) is helpful, too. This slim wallet has space for an iPhone 6-sized mobile, cash, 10 cards, your passport, keys and a smaller items such as a spare SD or SIM card. It’s made from treated, water-resistant leather, and has a waterproof zip. It looks the part, too.

Buy now for £90 / US$120 / AU$140

Catlike Whisper

Protection, ventilation, and it looks like a sculpture:
Protection, ventilation, and it looks like a sculpture:

Most helmets are resolutely not works of art. Meanwhile, the Whisper looks as much like one of Gaudi’s architectural works as it does a bonce-protector. With 39 large vents and a well sorted fitting system, it’s a cool and comfortable lid – others may be better finished at the price, but few are as distinctive.

Rapha Team Sky Long Sleeve Training Brevet Jersey

Rapha's team sky brevet jersey in the team's now nigh-on iconic colours:
Rapha's team sky brevet jersey in the team's now nigh-on iconic colours:

Team Sky’s (soon to be defunct) partnering with Rapha was an inspired piece of work. Although the special-edition Brevet jersey carries its sponsor’s branding, it does so in a way that doesn't make you look like a big advert on wheels, and the colour combo is now iconic. This long-sleeved Brevet is highly visible in the dark, warm enough for colder conditions and, as we're used to from Rapha, beautifully finished.

Buy now for £140 / US$210 / AU$250

Bialetti Moka Express

A bona-fide design icon, and a great way to make a coffee:
A bona-fide design icon, and a great way to make a coffee:

Coffee is the lifeblood of the cyclist, particularly on a fresh winter’s morning. This solid aluminium Italian design classic comes in various sizes that will produce anything from a single perfect measure of espresso to nine of them. Simply add water and ground coffee, heat on the stove and the former percolates through the latter, creating magnificent shots in minutes.

Cyclepedia: 100 Postcards of Iconic Bicycles

100 postcards that you won't want to send to anyone:
100 postcards that you won't want to send to anyone:

Four years ago Thames and Hudson made a book featuring medical-grade photography of 100 of history’s best known, most innovative and craziest bike designs. That book, Cyclepedia, has now given rise to this pack of 100 postcards, which details each of the bikes individually. Fine presents, both.

Loopie Route poster

Immortalise your finest rides in style:
Immortalise your finest rides in style:

Is your giftee proud of a ride, race or sportive they've completed? Or have they just got a really interesting cycle commute? Whatever – immortalise it in a Loopie Route poster. Provide the GPS data from Strava, Garmin Connect or another service, and Loopie will conjure from it a ribbon of yellow set in a geographically accurate landscape of black or white. Available in sizes from A3 to A1.

NB: Loopie Route has been overwhelmed with demand so can no longer deliver new orders before Christmas 2015.

Buy now for £100 / US$152 / AUS$215 plus postage

The Rules: The Way of the Cycling Disciple

Do you know the rules?:
Do you know the rules?:

It’s hard to know if the rules set by the ‘keepers of the cog’ are tongue-in-cheek or serious. In truth, they are the former in tone, the latter in practice. Some examples:

Rule 12: The correct number of bikes to own is n+1 (where n is the number of bikes you currently own)

Rule 22: Cycling caps are for cycling. “Cycling caps can be worn under helmets, but never when not riding, no matter how hip you think you look.”

Rule 32: Humps are for camels: no hydration packs.

This book will not only keep your riding chum on the straight-and-narrow, but put a grin on their face, too.

Full Windsor Shop The Nutter Multitool

Multitools don't normally look this sophisticated
Multitools don't normally look this sophisticated

If your riding friend has a Brooks leather saddle, The Nutter (which comes in brown or black leather) will strap on to the tabs at its rear and look terribly sophisticated. If not, it’ll look lovely all the same – and it’s a clever piece of kit. Functions include a Nylon tyre lever, a 15mm box head spanner, a spoke key, a Philips and flat-head screwdriver, 3, 4, 5, 6 and 8mm hex tools, a bottle opener and a T25 Torq key, all in a neat 110g package.

Buy now for £40 / US$61 / AU$86 (plus shipping)

Crane Suzu Lever Strike Brass Bell

Ring their bell this christmas:
Ring their bell this christmas:

The city cyclist (or those found on busier trails) will have a better time on the bike if he or she alerts others of his or her presence when at a junction or heading down a bridleway. Crane’s Suzu brass bell is a miniature work of art – iconic and sonorous, with nary a Mickey Mouse sticker in sight.

Buy now for £11 / US$17 / AU$24 (plus shipping)

Vulpine Raw Selvedge Men’s Cycling Jeans

They look like normal jeans, but they're far cleverer than that:
They look like normal jeans, but they're far cleverer than that:

Yes, they are simply jeans, but they’re jeans designed with the city cyclist in mind. The Jinzus are cut for cyclists’ over-developed quadriceps and feature a seamless ‘diamond gusset’ which means the rider isn’t forced to sit on an uncomfortable bind of selvedge denim and thread. The material is thick and tough, so a rider won’t wear them through after a few city commutes, and the belt loops are sturdy enough to hook on a D-lock. Simple, functional, and good-looking.

Buy now for £159 / US$242 / AU$343

Clug bike clip

An ingenious bike storage solution (tree not included):
An ingenious bike storage solution (tree not included):

Bike storage, particularly for the more aesthetic city cyclist, can be a challenge, but it’s particularly tough to find a solution that looks good when it’s not holding a bike. Meet Clug. This robust plastic clip comes in sizes suitable for skinny road tyres, middleweight commuter bikes and mountain bikes (although fat bike riders may still struggle) – mount them on a wall at the correct height, wheel your bike in (either horizontally or vertically if you’ve mounted it higher) and it’ll be held fast with a satisfying ‘clug’. Hence the name.

Santini Replica Molteni Jersey

Have you earned these bands? no, but you can still look good in the jersey.:
Have you earned these bands? no, but you can still look good in the jersey.:

Does your cycling chum deserve to wear the iconic Molteni/Arcore shirt worn by Eddy Merckx during his incredible run of form from 1971 to 1976? Almost certainly not, and wearing the world champion bands has got to be against The Rules for your mate Dave (see above) – but this is a fine-looking warm weather shirt, made by Santini in 100% polyester. There are few frills here; it has three pockets to the rear and a 14cm zip at the neck for ventilation. But if it looked good enough for Eddy…

Buy now for £55 / US$82 / AU$115

Brooks England Pickwick Rucksack

Canvas, leather and italian artisans =
Canvas, leather and italian artisans =

Brooks leather, water-resistant (if not water-proof) canvas and classic, roll-top styling? Oh go on then. We haven't tried the Pickwick out on the bike, but it's certainly one of the most sophisticated-looking cycling bags out there, and its 24l capacity (with stealth tool/lock storage) should be sufficient for most commuters. Given Brooks' status as a artisanal-grade crafter of bike accessories, we suspect it'll be well made, too. 

Related: All of our Christmas gift ideas in one big feature

Will Findlater

Global Editor-in-Chief
Will has been cycling for as long as he can remember. Starting with a Raleigh Bullet, his enthusiasm for bikes blossomed some time maround 1992 as he discovered MBUK, the North Downs and the GT Triple Triangle. He still loves trails, but city living and the RideLondon 100 turned him on to road riding. Few things make him happier than cresting Box Hill on a dewy September morning, although new technologies and new materials come close - Will is an avowed geek having worked on Stuff magazine for 11 years.
  • Discipline: Road, cross-country, trail
  • Preferred Terrain: Rolling hills laced with perfect tarmac. And rolling hills laced with perfect berms.
  • Current Bikes: Avanti Quantum 2, On-One Scandal
  • Dream Bike: Canyon Spectral CF 9.0 LTD
  • Beer of Choice: Surprise me
  • Location: London, UK

Related Articles

Back to top