With so many choices between components, sizing, color, etc., it can be a daunting task to purchase the right bike for someone as a holiday gift. In addition, clothing, helmets, shoes, and other cycling accessories are usually a very personal choice that can be made difficult without knowing the sizing of your gift recipient. To help take some stress out of shopping for your cyclist, here at Contender Bicycles we have prepared a list of cycling gifts from $25 and up that are a safe bet for buying the cycling enthusiast in your life this holiday season.
At first thought, a bike bell might not be something to splurge on, but that is until you have seen and heard the Spurcycle Bell. Made in the USA and guaranteed for life, it has a bell ring that lasts 3x longer than the standard bike bell. You will be able to give notice well in advance of your arrival to prevent any collisions with other cyclists or pedestrians. It can be used with handlebars sizes 22.2 to 31.8mm and looks beautiful with its modern, minimalist design. The Spurcycle Bell is available in two finishes, Raw Metal and Black.
Skratch Labs Feed Zone Books
In order to perform at peak level, cyclists need to make sure they are fueling their bodies with proper nutrition. Instead of processed bars and gels, the Skratch Labs Feed Zone books encourage nutrient and energy packed foods for on and off the bike that will enhance any cyclist’s performance.
The Feed Zone Cookbook is the perfect balance of science and practice, sharing recipes that are big on flavor, use simple ingredients, and will change the way endurance athletes eat. Feed Zone Portables keeps all the most popular elements of The Feed Zone Cookbook and applies them to recipes that are simple, delicious, easy to make, and easy to pack on your next ride. With the success of these two cookbooks with non-athletes and athletes alike, Skratch Labs created their latest cookbook, Feed Zone Table, featuring healthy, simple recipes that encourage family-style eating to help athletes connect with their loved ones.
Fat (Snow) Bike
While not a bike that every cyclist would consider splurging on for their own use, a Fat Bike provides a unique cycling experience that is super fun and sure to hook anyone who enjoys pedaling on two wheels. Compared to road and mountain bikes, Fat Bikes are easy to size people on easy to size people on, making them a safer bet when you want to surprise your cyclist with the perfect bike. A couple of Fat Bikes that we recommend:
Scott Big Jon – With extra-wide knobby tires at low pressures, this bike floats across sand and snow. An all aluminum frame and fork maintain a responsive ride quality. A combination of Shimano SLX and Deore components, with a Race Face crank, comprise the drivetrain while Shimano hydraulic disc brakes take on speed control duties. A set of crazy wide 4.8 inch Jumbo Jim EVO tires give a firm grip on the ground and can be run tubeless. These fatties are mounted to 80mm wide Syncros rims to provide ample stability and use Syncros alloy parts to complete the build.
Cannondale Fat CAAD 1, 2, or 3 – Cannondale makes the Fat CAAD frame with super-short chainstays and fat-bike specific geometry that bless it with a much livelier feel than other bikes in its class. The Cannondale Fat CAADs roll on 4.8 inch wide tires to give traction and control no matter the trail conditions. Low-pressure tires and low-range gearing allow you to float over and ride terrain that would cause your old mountain bike to sink. The Fat CAAD 1 is Cannondale’s premium Fat Bike with Lefty fork with 100mm of travel and SRAM X1 and X01 components. The mid-range Fat CAAD 2 features a rigid fork with Sram X5 and X7 components while the lower priced CAAD 3 feature a rigid for with Shimano Deore components.
Indoor Cycling Trainer
During winter, daylight becomes scarcer and the temperatures drop, making it more difficult to get a ride in outdoors. This does not mean you have to skip your workout, however, if you have an indoor cycling trainer. Trainers allow you to specifically tailor your workouts, increasing or decreasing resistance and providing accurate power measurements. Without coasting or stopping, as you often do on the road, a workout on the trainer can be done at higher intensity for a shorter time.
At Contender Bicycles, we are big fans of the Wahoo Fitness Kickr trainer and also the Wahoo Fitness Kickr Snap. The Kickrs will woo you with it’s instant, accurate power measurement and controlled resistance that’s controlled via your iPhone, iPad or any Bluetooth 4.0 (Bluetooth Smart) or ANT+ enabled device. The Kickr also supports open third-party software such a Kinomap, Virtual Training, and TrainerRoad. It has a whisper quiet drive and it’s space-saving design features collapsible support arms to make it compact for storage or travel.
All outdoor athletes, not just cyclists, can use a base layer in the Fall and Winter months. Whether cycling, hiking, skate skiing, alpine skiing, or doing any other outdoor sport, a warm, dry base layer is essential to a fun day in the cold weather. Because a base layer is worn beneath a jersey, jacket, or other outer layer, you won’t need to worry as much about buying the wrong look or style as a gift for someone since a base layer is not meant to be seen anyway.
At Contender Bicycles, we carry male and female specific base layers from such noticeable brands as Assos and Giordana. For men we like the Assos LS.skinFoil_winter_evo7 Base Layer with its compression design and extra warmth in the winter months. We also like the Giordana Wool Blend Long Sleeve Base Layer for men with its Merino wool making it extra breathable. For women we are fans of the Giordana Wool Blend Long Sleeve Base Layer, made the same as the men’s model but with a specific, slender cut for the female body.
With the rise of enduro and all-mountain biking, a new breed of helmet has emerged. New, full-face helmets offer the best in crash protection, and the Uvex Jakkyl HDE Helmet is a true 2-in-1 helmet. For trail riding, the chin protector easily removes for storage, ventilation, and comfort. The two dials used to connect and disconnect the protector are easy to use, even wearing gloves. Most notable is the Jakkyl’s weight at just 630 grams. Compared to the latest full-face from Giro, the Uvex is over 300 grams lighter. Uvex uses a premium Boa retention system to make micro-adjustments to its sizing. A dial at the back of the helmet pulls or releases the boa wire conveniently and quickly. Buckles are clumsy and don’t allow for easy adjustment, so Uvex uses a unique, sliding connector that requires just one hand to adjust. Available in only two sizes, SM-MD (52-57cm) and LG-XL (56-61cm), this helmet can be easily purchased as a gift and sized to your special mountain biker.
Open U.P. (Unbeaten Path) Gravel Bike
If you’re buying for a seasoned cyclist, they most likely already own a road bike and mountain bike. What they probably lack, however, is the next big thing in biking, a gravel bike. As more riders seek adventure on back roads they are finding the need for better brakes and bigger tires. OPEN Cycles provides both of these and more with their unique Unbeaten Path (U.P.) gravel plus frame and fork. This is a disc-equipped road bike that can be ridden with 650b knobbies or 700c cyclecross tires. With through-axles front and back and consistent disc-rotor sizes the U.P. frame and fork can accept numerous wheel and tire combinations. All the rider has to do is decide where the next ride will be, and install the appropriate wheels and tires, then just saddle up and let the OPEN Cycles U.P. do its job on the chosen terrain. Available in just 4 sizes, the Open U.P. is easy to size. It comes as a frameset only, allowing you to let the recipient to pick out exactly how they want to spec the bike.
For your loved one who lives on two wheels, an electric bike is a no-brainer gift. Not every rider considers buying an electric bike, but once they saddle up and ride, they will wonder how they ever lived without one. Perfect for commuting and running errands around town, electric bikes are convenient, environmentally friendly and loads of fun. For your mountain biker who loves to ride and could use a little assist up the trail to keep up with faster riders, an E-MTB is an excellent gift option. Here are a few of our favorite electric bikes at Contender Bicycles:
Farady E-Bikes – At first glance, a Faraday electric bike looks indistinguishable to a classic city bike. Faraday engineered numerous details to hide its e-bike features, such as a special battery that fits inside the downtube, a sculpted front hub with built-in motor, and a polished aluminum handlebar that houses an LED headlight. Faraday’s elegant design isn’t skin deep, however. Instead of a big, clunky system with a massive motor and a heavy battery, Faraday developed a smaller, efficient system that provides ample pedal assist for up to 25 miles. More importantly, it keeps the bike lightweight and balanced. At sub-40 pounds, a Faraday rides like a normal bike, which is a great thing. Faraday’s ground-up approach to design affords many unique advantages, many of which you’ll notice the second you get on one.
Stromer E-Bikes –Stromer utilizes a quiet, efficient, low maintenance brushless rear-wheel motor, housing the battery in the downtube. This design allows for miles of reliable riding and confident, stable handling. The Stromer ST1 has been a go-to in the Stromer line for years. We’ve seen continued refinement of the bike, and its current state is perfect for commuting and most any on-road riding. Stromer’s powerful batteries allow the ST1 to travel up to 60 miles on a charge. The new Stromer ST2 takes Stromer’s integrated approach to new levels. The ST2 features refined aesthetics, a more powerful motor, a brand-new series of advanced batteries, and a Bluetooth connected digital display that is tied to a user-friendly phone app. Brand new for 2017 is the Stromer ST1X, which blends many of the new technologies found in the ST2, in the classic body of the ST1. While not quite as advanced as the ST2, the Stromer ST1X offers nearly 90 miles of range, a powerful Cyro Drive motor, and the ST2’s top-tube-mounted digital display.
Orbea E-Bikes – If you’re sticking to the city streets, the Orbea Keram Asphalt is your perfect around-town electric bike. The bike houses a Bosch Performance 20-mph motor with a Bosch 400Wh battery. To help you generate power, the bike uses a 9-speed Shimano drivetrain with matching Shimano hydraulic brakes, to help you navigate city traffic with precision and confidence. You can pedal all day throughout the city running errands, knowing the bike’s motor’s pedal assistance will get you safely to any destination. The Orbea Keram pairs the same motor and battery as the Orbea Keram Asphalt with a 10-speed Shimano drivetrain and Orbea’s big-wheeled concept if you’re thinking of using the bike on and off-road. For those riding mainly on the trails, the Orbea Wild 20 uses a more aggressive geometry and a Bosch Performance Line CX motor with Bosch’s top capacity 500Wh battery to give that extra push up the mountain.
Cannondale E-Bikes – For use on the pavement, the Cannondale Contro E-Speed is a great e-bike option. It offers a comfortable, relaxed geometry with low-slung top tube for all riders to find a comfortable position in the saddle. The Bosch Performance 250W drive system is integrated into the bottom-bracket of the frame to directly add power to pedaling. If you’re seeking even more cushion on bumpy roads, the Cannondale Kinneto E-Bike uses a SR Suntour suspension fork and fat commuter tires to dampen out road chatter. Built with male and female specific frames, the Kinneto offers a comfortable, relaxed geometry for everyone. A 9-speed drivetrain consists of Shimano Deore derailleurs and shifters to make being in the right gear very easy. For your mountain biker that needs an extra push up the mountain, consider the Cannondale Moterra E-MTB delivers. As soon as you step on the pedals the Bosch 250W drive unit with 500W battery kicks in to give you a powerful boost. Cannondale has designed the Moterra E-MTB with wide 27.5″x2.8″ tires for superior grip in any type of trail condition. A RockShox Yari fork with 130mm of travel and a rear RockShox Monarch shock with 130mm of travel further help to smooth out the trails.
Blackburn Chamber HV Floor Pump
For your rider to make quick and easy work of filling mountain bike tires, the Blackburn Chamber HV Floor Pump is a great gift. This pump is designed to push more air per stroke, saving energy that might be needed for riding, made possible by using a low 50 PSI/3.4 Bar max pressure. It uses a huge, four-inch gauge so it’s easy to read the pressures in both the PSI and Bar measurements to easily dial into a specific pressure. It works with Presta, Schrader, and Dunlop valves, to swap tires without worrying about swapping pumps to inflate them. Final touches on the Blackburn Chamber HV Floor Pump include a 47-inch hose for extra-long reach, an oversized pump shaft for increased durability, an alloy cap and lever, a conveniently placed hose keeper on the handle for clean storage, and a bottle opener to help your rider celebrate post ride with a drink.
Garmin Edge 1000
In Contender Bicycle’s opinion, the Garmin Edge 1000 is the best Garmin on the market for cycling. As a bonus, through Christmas it is on sale for 25% off! The Garmin Edge 1000 will push your rider’s performance on the bike. In addition, your rider will never get lost with the Edge 1000’s bike specific navigation and mapping. Open street maps are pre-loaded, containing routable roads and paths, elevation, address search and points of interest. The Edge 1000 also has a round-trip feature that lists cycle friendly routes based on the number of miles the rider wants to ride.
With a color touchscreen and brightness that adjusts to light conditions, the Edge 1000 is easy to use. It tracks speed, cadence, and heart rate and if integrated with Shimano Di2, displays the current gear on screen. With a dual-sensing Vector power meter it displays Cycling Dynamics metrics for pedal stroke analysis to improve cadence and power. It also displays incoming calls and texts, receive weather reports, and use social media with the app.
Whether you’re shopping for new rider or for a seasoned professional, at Contender Bicycles we want to help you find the perfect gift that will put a smile on your cyclist’s face and make them want to get out and ride. For questions or concerns related to any of our above suggested cycling gifts or other potential gifts you are thinking of for your cyclist, don’t hesitate to give us a call or visit us at the shop. Happy Holidays from our team here at Contender Bicycles!