Forget the Xmas list – just leave this page open to drop the perfect ‘hint’ to your loved ones…
Ritchey Torqkey £12
Simple, inexpensive and very, very useful. Install your carbon bars and stem without the fear of overtightening and cracking – this tiny tool is set to 5Nm (the usual maximum recommended setting). A great stocking filler for plastic fans…
Ritchey: www.paligapltd.co.uk, www.ritcheylogic.com
The Bike Book £14.99
Are you a complete numpty when it comes to bike maintenance? The Bike Book is almost as good as our Workshop section and covers every job you’ll ever need to do on your bike, explains what all the bits do and it’s now updated to cover Shimano, SRAM and Campagnolo.
Haynes: 01963 442080 www.haynes.co.uk
Brooks Barbican messenger bag £199.99 (large) £189.99 (medium)
Brooks has been producing exquisite hand-made leather saddles for 125 years. Recently the range has expanded to include a wide variety of beautifully produced leather cycling goods – bar tape, grips, saddle packs and the like. Our favourite is the Barbican messenger bag featuring a strap system patented way back in 1910. It’s made with exquisite attention to detail, finished superbly and really is the ultimate statement in messenger bag – which is reflected in the price!
Brooks: Extra Tel: 01933 672 170 www.extrauk.co.uk www.brooksengland.com
Descente Team CSC Varsity jacket £38.49
Look like an off-duty pro-cyclist when off the bike with this official CSC jacket from Descente. Available in sizes small – for the climber – through to extra large – team boss?
Pro Cycling Season 2007 £24.99
Strategy game Pro Cycling Manager has been around on the PC for a few years, but this is a more arcade-style version for the PSP (Playstation Portable) and arguably it’s a better game. You spend less time mulling over stats and training regimes and more just racing Pro Tour events (20 – including the Tour de France and Paris Roubaix). You’ll lose hours trying to secure an elusive sprint victory in Le Tour for Cavendish – before getting into trouble with your kids because they want the PSP you bought ’em for Christmas back…
Pro Cycling 2007: All good games shops
The Cyclist’s Companion £9.99
Did you know that George Clooney, Tom Hanks and Arnold Schwarzenegger have been spotted cycling around Hollywood? Or that 4.5m bikes were sold in the UK in 2004? No? Well you do now and you’ll be able to pick up even more fascinating cycling facts – and some truly useful hints – from this excellent book.
Think Books: www.think-books.com
LewisKit Merino Wool Ox Socks £10 pair £24 3 pairs
As long as they haven’t got reindeers on them and don’t play jinglebells, we don’t mind socks for Christmas. And these are hard-core outdoor socks, developed for running and mountain biking in the freezing cold. They’re made of the technical material of the moment: merino wool, mixed with synthetics. Despite the low bulk, which means your bike shoes will still fit without squeezing your feet, warmth is good – even when they get damp. They don’t pong like fully synthetic socks and they’re machine washable.
Mr Speaker art from £11
Mister Speaker is a Sweden-based Brit called Jim who sells his art on Ebay. We love his Warholesque, pop art renditions of cycling legends including Eddy Merckx, Fausto Coppi and Raymond Poulidor (pictured.) So does Bradley Wiggins – he commissioned a painting from Jim.
Mister Speaker: stores.ebay.co.uk/ Mister-Speakers-art
Cycling’s Greatest Misadventures $16.95
Cycling’s fun right? Well it is most of the time, although we’re not sure we’d enjoy being part of some of these bike-based misadventures. Giant rats and wild bulls contribute to some of the funniest, scariest, weirdest and saddest riding tales from around the world…
ISBN 10: 0976951622 casagrandepress.com
Le Vélo de Ghislain Lambert £19.99 DVD
“I know, let’s watch a Belgian comedy!” Okay, this isn’t something any of us ever say – but set aside any national stereotyping for Le Vélo. This cult classic about a super keen amateur cyclist trying to fulfil his dream of becoming a pro is beautifully observed and very funny. It’s a full-on farce set in the classic era of Eddy Merckx et al and the attention to detail is also spot on. Highlights include the hero coming to terms with the pitfalls of certain ‘performance enhancers’. Beats The Sound of Music hands down…
Le Vélo: www.prendas.co.uk
Brooks tool roll £69.99
A faithful recreation of a 1910 Brooks tool set, this leather pouch holds 21 tools, all bang up-to-date: three tyre levers, 8/9, 10/11, 12/13, 15mm spanners, Phillips and flathead screwdrivers, 8/6, 5, 4, 3, 2.5, 2 Allen keys and 3.3, 3.4 spoke keys. The roll is available in brown (pictured), honey or black.
Brooks: Extra Tel – 01933 672170 www.extrauk.co.uk www.brooksengland.com
Surly hip flask £24.99
We don’t advocate drinking and riding but you could always fill this cool Surly flask with energy drink. Made from stainless steel with a no-loss screw cap, it could also be the ideal companion on that cold New Year’s Day club run. (Brandy-filled purely for medicinal purposes…)
Rapha Apron £35
Probably the most exclusive workshop apron available, Rapha’s take on the apron features four tool pockets and is made from waterproof epic cotton to keep the stains at bay, and comes packaged in a neat musette (which makes a great shoe bag). Almost too good to use in a workshop, you could always wear it when barbecuing in the summer or preparing Boxing Day lunch.
Foska Test Dummy training jacket £80
The Foska Test Dummy jacket gives an ironic nod to many car drivers’ attitude that we’re only on the road for target practice. Whether any of them will pay attention to the ‘Keep Clear’ print on the rear is open to question, but at least the bright yellow colour will make you highly visible. The jacket itself is made from water-repellent and breathable Respira fabric, has a brushed, fleecy lining to keep you warm, and 360 degree reflectivity.
Muc-Off Optix pack £11.99
Not content with keeping your bike ship shape, Muc-Off now offers this handy pack for keeping those expensive shades in top shape. The handy case contains a pump action cleaner and super soft cleaning cloth to keep scratches and dirt at bay.
Giro d’Italia GPM long sleeve £15
Much better than a Christmas jumper, this official Giro merchandise green long sleeve jersey pays tribute to a classic edition of the Italian tour with 1974 on the chest – the year Eddy Merckx won – and homage to the green climber’s jersey won by Manuel Fuente in the same race. An understated way of letting fellow cyclists know you’re a bikie when you’re not on the bike.
Official Giro wear: www.prendas.co.uk
Present Aid charity bike £55
How about a present for someone you’ll never meet? For just £55 at www.presentaid.org you can buy a bike for one of the Likulezi project’s outreach volunteers in Malawi. They’ll use it to visit and support people living with HIV in remote areas. And if you’ve got an old bike that you were thinking of taking to the dump, then why not send it to Africa instead? Find out how by visiting www.re-cycle.org
Rapha Rouleur photo annual £35
A 240-page hardback annual, recording a year in cycling, with moody shots from some of the best photographers working in cycling today. Light on words but superbly presented and perfect for the coffee table.
Campagnolo Big corkscrew £120
Campagnolo’s patented corkscrew design (from 1966) features a telescopic self-aligning cover so the ‘screw’ always hits the centre of the cork. ‘Big’ is an apt name as it’s a foot long! A smaller version, the Miro, is also available for half the price but still retains all the precision and beauty of its big brother.
Assos Six Days gift pack £94.99
Reassuringly expensive and highly technical Swiss clothing brand Assos meets the legend of Six Days track racing. The limited edition boxset (isn’t that term sooo Christmas) includes matching shirt, cap and socks. Unfortunately the track mitts aren’t included, and aren’t yet available in the UK – but that’s one present for next year sorted! You also get a nicely designed booklet full of history, facts, folklore and cracking photographs that celebrate these track racing events, from their big-money glory days in New York’s Madison Square Gardens (where the hand-slinging ‘Madison’ race comes from) to the modern day UCI World Champs.
Colours: Black and white, white and black, red, blue, yellow, pink, green, aqua
Sizes: XS, S, M, L, XL, XLG
Assos Yellow: Tel – 01785 811810 www.assos.com