With thousands of different bikes, styles of riding, types of riders, and ability levels, shopping for an avid cyclist can be difficult. You want to surprise them with a thoughtful gift, but you don’t want to disappoint them with something that won’t get used or that they don’t even need.
To help with your woes, we’ve rounded up a group of twenty gifts that will satisfy and suit even the most selective of bike riders. At a wide variety of price points and with options for every type of rider, you’re sure to find something on this list that works for the cyclist you’re shopping for.
- Best Cycling Gifts for Men 2020
- 1. Best Overall: Giro Register MIPS
- 2. Best for Mountain Bikers: CamelBak M.U.L.E.
- 3. Feedback Sports RAKK Storage Stand
- 4. Best for Racers: Swiftwick Performance Four Socks
- 5. Best Budget Cycling Gift: Park Tool I-Beam
- 6. THULE Chasm Duffel Bag
- 7. Best Jersey: Pearl Izumi Men’s Select Short Sleeve Jersey
- 8. AfterShokz Titanium Open Ear Headphones
- 9. Best Premium Gift: Wahoo Elemnt Bolt Cycling Computer
- 10. BV Y-Series Strap On Saddle Bag
- 11. Cygolite Metro Bike Headlight
- 12. Best for Triathletes: TriggerPoint GRID Textured Foam Roller
- 13. Best Bike Lock: Kryptonite New York Lock
- 14. Best Cycling Book: The Rider
- 15. Finish Line Bike Care Pack
- 16. Finish Line Bike Care Pack
- 17. Best Hand Pump: Lezyne Sport Drive
- 18. Shimano SPD Clipless Pedals
- 19. Pro Bike Tool CO2 Inflator
- 20. Ascher USB Rechargeable Bike Light Set
- The End of the Road
Best Cycling Gifts for Men 2020
The greatest gift you can give to a cyclist is one that keeps them safe, and for this reason, the Giro Register helmet tops our list. By incorporating a technology initially only employed on Giro’s premium-priced product lines, this helmet helps prevent concussions and TBIs, the most dangerous and common type of injury in cycling.
The design of the helmet utilizes MIPS, which stands for Multi-Directional Impact Protection System. In practice, it looks like a secondary inner helmet liner that rotates with the head independently of the outer helmet. Conventional helmets are typically made of a layer of foam, which helps distribute the energy from direct impacts but doesn’t cushion the head from whiplash-like movements. That’s problematic, since it’s those type of movements which cause concussions.
The Giro Register is the least expensive helmet with anti-concussion technology on the market right now, incorporating the exact same technology for less than a third of the price of other versions.
With neutral styling and bright colors, it’s a good fit for road cyclists, mountain bikers, and even the bike-to-work crowd. More important than style, though, is the fact giving this helmet as a gift could save a life.
If you have an off-road rider in your life, you know how fussy they can be about their equipment. It’s hard to know exactly what kind of gear mountain bikers want, especially since the discipline now has a whole spectrum of sub-categories that all require slightly different hardware.
So why not get something that works for everyone? All types of riders need to stay well-equipped and hydrated on the trails, so a hydration pack is something all types of riders require.
Our favorite is the sturdy and spacious CamelBak M.U.L.E., backed by a lifetime guarantee and the recommendation of virtually any serious mountain biker. The combination backpack/hydration system is a little more expensive than others at a manufacturer-suggested $100-ish retail price, but it’s well worth the price.
There’s a reason the CamelBak brand name has become synonymous with hydration systems in general. A sturdy suction hose wraps around the front of the backpack to make drinking accessible even on the gnarliest of routes. The water reservoir contains CamelBak proprietary CRUX technology, which allows more water to flow when drinking.
But the pack isn’t just for water storage—alongside the durable bag’s three-liter reservoir are nine liters of storage capacity, enough for a day’s worth of snacks, tools, and even a couple of extra layers.
Bike storage is a contentious issue, especially among partners who have different ideas of a bicycle’s place in the home (or garage). For riders who like to baby their bicycle, a great gift idea is a bike holder that allows the bike to stand by itself, preventing it from getting scratched or tipped over.
This Feedback Sports rack is perfect for smaller spaces to help minimize the bike’s footprint, keeping it tucked out neatly out of the way of cars and foot traffic. The device fits all types of bikes, so its universal design accommodates everything from fat-tire mountain bikes to skinny-tire racing bikes. Unfortunately, it doesn’t fit ultra-thick-tire ‘fat bikes’ meant for riding on snow.
An automatically-adjusting swingarm doesn’t require any readjustment to fit any bike, and it folds down to tuck out of the way when not being used.
While the sturdy metallic construction is long-lasting and durable, our one complaint is that the bike stand’s narrow base makes it less effective for heavier bikes. If the rider you’re shopping for owns an older and heavier steel bike, consider buying something with a wider base to hold the bike properly, but if they own a newer lightweight bike, this stand is perfect.
Bike racers are world-famous for being detail-oriented. Buying parts made out of exotic materials, perfectly adjusting their seat height, counting every gram on their bike—everything a racing cyclist does to their machine is dedicated to maximum speed. So why should their clothing be anything less than perfect?
Most racers are sock aficionados, fanatics for fancy wicking materials that keep their feet cool and dry during long rides. The debate for ‘best cycling socks’ is often a contentious discussion, but for us, the answer is clear: Swiftwick.
With a proprietary fiber called Olefin, the US-made socks maximize moisture management, weight, and breathability. The socks themselves are designed with built-in structural support, sewed-in channels to optimize airflow, compression to support muscles, and a foot-hugging fabric for arch support.
While typical cotton socks wear out every couple of hundred miles, these socks have reinforced toe boxes and heels to give them the maximum lifespan. They’re also without a doubt one of the most comfortable socks available for cyclists.
Our one issue is the lack of color schemes available: for the style-conscious, these socks only come in a couple of colorways to show off personality. Swiftwick makes up for its simple colors with multiple cuff lengths—the company sells everything from ankle-length to mid-calf.
One of the worst things that can happen to a cyclist is an unfixable mechanical issue that prevents you from getting home—and worse still is if you know you could’ve fixed it with the right tools.
That’s where Park Tool’s I-Beam comes in. Park Tool is a revolutionary name in the cycling tool industry, and almost every bike shop in the country specifically only uses Park Tool tools. The I-Beamis one of the smallest cycling-specific multitools on the market, with Allen keys ranging in size from 1.5mm up to 8mm. It’s also got a standard screwdriver and a Torx screwdriver for those with Torx fittings on their bike. All in all, it’s got pretty much everything you need to fix a minor mechanical issue.
It’s as small as it is lightweight, so the blue anodized metal tool can easily slip into a jersey pocket or a saddlebag. Weighing less than four ounces, it won’t slow you down on the uphills either. Although the sub-$20 pocket-sized device is both inexpensive and compact, it lacks some of the features of more expensive multitools. There’s no chain breaker, for example, and it lacks the tire levers necessary for a quick flat change. Still, it’s functional, small, and inexpensive, making it a top pick.
With other high-end duffle bags from companies like Patagonia and North Face typically costing over $250, the equally-capable THULE bag is less than half of the price. It also brings in bike-specific features like loops to attach a helmet, and specific pouches for tools and bike accessories, while the North Face and Patagonia bags only have one main compartment. Thankfully, the less-expensive THULE bag is as equally heavy-duty and waterproof as other offerings.
The duffel comes with a padded bottom to protect expensive cycling equipment from damage. Zippers are designed to be lockable and tamper-proof to protect gear from prying eyes and fingers. The best part about this bag, though, is its straps that convert the bag from the standard duffel configuration to a backpack strap configuration, by just adjusting a small clip. For everything from camping to supported bike touring, having the backpack functionality is incredible, especially considering how impossible it is to carry a duffel in your hand while riding.
Our only complaints are related to design. The brand’s selected colors for this bag are ‘Poseidon,’ ‘Bluegrass,’ and ‘Roarange,’ as well as a plain-jane ‘black.’ For a company normally sensitive to cycling trends, we wish THULE had some middle-ground colors that were a little less radical. Also, the duffel’s sloping side panels make it difficult to stack in a van, especially if it’s in shared cargo space with other duffel-style bags.
With the advent of ultra-high-end apparel manufacturers, it’s suddenly become incredibly difficult to pick up a decent jersey for under 50 bucks. At the same time, it’s a big investment to shell out for a luxury jersey which can run up to over $200!
Industry standby Pearl Izumi has come to the rescue with a jersey that competes with the best for a fraction of the price. The innovative wicking polyester material is designed in the same laboratory that created other technological cycling revolutions like hydraulic disc brakes and electronic shifting.
The half-zip design is meant for more casual riders getting into the sport—this doesn’t have the tight-fitting (and uncomfortable) aerodynamic properties of a racing jersey. The sleeves, though, are fashionably form-fitting and the whole jersey does a good job of not flapping around in the breeze.
To create such an affordable product, Pearl Izumi did have to leave out some of the highest-end touches. The zipper’s plastic doesn’t inspire confidence and the stitching is not as tight or as accurate as the stitching of premium manufacturers. However, for such an inexpensive jersey, it’s hard to complain. Our recommendation? This is the perfect garment for someone new to the sport that is finally ready to start their collection of cycling-specific clothing.
Riding with headphones is a contentious topic in the cycling community, with one side that loves to enjoy tunes during a ride, and the other worried about safety concerns related to hearing traffic.
AfterShokz ends the debate with the AfterShokz Titanium Open Ear Headphones that allow you to hear traffic and listen to music at the same time. The design fits around the head below a bike helmet and conducts sound through the cheekbones, allowing the ears to stay open and aware of surrounding sounds.
Unlike a conventional pair of headphones, it doesn’t cover the ears at all. Sound conduction is good for music, but it can get a little tricky to hear with quieter and more detailed sounds like podcasts. Furthermore, while they are great for cycling, the way they wrap around the ears can sometimes interfere with sunglasses.
The headphones wirelessly connect via Bluetooth to a cell phone or MP3 player, so you don’t have to worry about a hazardous cable getting stuck in wheels or brakes. There are controls on the headset, so you don’t have to mess with your phone screen while riding, simply reach up to make an adjustment or skip to the next song. The headset is IP55 certified to assure water resistance from rain and sweat.
Gone are the days of clunky wired computers using spinning magnets to estimate distances. Here to take their place is a matchbox-sized lightweight GPS device that probably has more features than your work computer. Wahoo is a relative newcomer to the cycling world, but they’ve made a tremendous impact and now their computer is used on the bikes of the biggest professional teams.
This computer’s innovation is its ability to measure distances and speeds using GPS, a simpler and more elegant way than counting rear wheel revolutions with a magnet-based sensor. Using a GPS comes with the added benefit of knowing where you are in the world, as the Wahoo Elemnt Bolt can both track where you are as well as provide turn-by-turn directions on its black-and-white LCD screen.
The computer can directly connect to your phone, adding compatibility with several applications for bike enthusiasts, such as the exercise-based social network Strava. It’s also programmable, can connect to a power meter, and utilizes proprietary online software, along with all the features of other bike computers. It’s not inexpensive, but it’s packed with features that enthusiasts will undoubtedly appreciate. On that same note, more casual cyclists won’t need all of the specific and advanced features.
Cyclists, especially those who enjoy road riding, love to obsess over ride data and route planning. If you’ve got a cyclist on your shopping list that loves the latest tech, the Wahoo Elemnt Bolt is sure to please.
Essential for anyone who’s planning to take on long-distance bike rides, bike accessory company BV makes an excellent saddle bag that stands up to extensive use. It attaches cleanly to the back of the seat, using a single but tight-fitting Velcro strap to stay attached. It’s spacious enough to hold all the accouterments, like a bike tube, some basic tools, a hand pump, and a wallet. While it’s big, it’s not enormous, and isn’t big enough to fit a large smartphone—that’ll have to go in a jersey pocket.
Unlike other saddlebags that rattle all over the place during transit, the BV Y-Series does a great job of staying tightly in place during a ride while also being simple to install. Its semi-rigid structure is durable and abrasion-resistant, but not hard enough to damage the bike frame or seat post. The bag has a small loop at the back to attach a reflector or bike light, keeping the rider safe. In fact, it’s even got a 3M reflective border along the seams that lights up when hit by a headlight, notifying a driver of a rider’s presence.
With thoughtful safety touches and an emphasis on long-lasting practicality, a nice spacious bag like this is a perfect gift for any rider that likes to head out by himself.
It can be a worrying experience to have a loved one commuting at all times of the year, sometimes arriving home in the dark. How do you make sure they stay safe while riding in all elements and conditions?
A headlight, while not a complete solution, is a good start. This Cygolite rechargeable version is available in anywhere from 400 lumens to 700 lumens, completely illuminating the road or trail in front of the rider. For reference, a car headlight is around 700 lumens.
While this headlight helps a rider navigate while revealing the road and its obstacles, it is meant to help a rider see, not to help a rider be seen. For running lights that make a cyclist more visible to drivers, we recommend a smaller set with a flashing function like the Ascher Rechargeable light set further down our list.
While the 400-lumen option is great for on-road use, for night-time mountain bike trail riding, something like the 700-lumen version will be better suited for the job. With several modes on the headlight, battery life or brightness can be optimized depending on the conditions. Although not waterproof, the headlight is water- and cold-resistant, allowing it to continue lighting up the road in all conditions.
While many endurance cyclists only want to ride, millions of athletes (maybe one on your shopping list) participate in the growing discipline of triathlon, a three-discipline sport that consists of swimming, biking, and running.
Triathlon’s three endurance sports can end up being harder on the body than the low-impact sport of cycling, which means some maintenance measures have to be taken to keep the body working well. In the triathlon community, foam rollers are popular to reduce pain and increase recovery speed after heavy workouts. Studies show they can also improve range of motion in athletes.
By creating blood flow, the textured foam surface can stimulate muscle, promoting the healing and rebuilding of damaged muscle. Circulation is also improved in the area, helping with performance after the fact. The TriggerPoint roller contains a patented texture with multiple patterns on its multi-density foam surface, creating several options for the type of stimulation promoting muscle growth. It’s great for general body maintenance, but can also be used to get out knots and strains.
The roll is constructed with an inner plastic cylinder and a sturdy exterior foam that allows it to hold up to travel and heavy use. Its 13-inch length is small enough to fit in a duffel bag. However, for some exercises, a longer foam roll is a better option. It’s also on the expensive side as far as foam rollers go, but it’s a gift that’s a great investment in an athlete’s comfort and health.
A cyclist’s worst nightmare is getting their prized possession stolen, and finding a lock that will provide adequate protection from thieves can sometimes be a preoccupying (and expensive) experience. Famed lock manufacturer Kryptonite makes the lock-buying process easy with a secure option that’s sure to keep your bike where you last left it.
The chain is made of two parts, a hardened manganese steel chain and an 18mm thick shackle lock. The thick steel chain is covered in a cut-resistant nylon cover. The lock protects from all but the most coordinated attacks, covering everything from hand saws to bolt cutters and even angle grinders, although every lock can be cracked with enough time and the right tools.
Kryptonite is so confident in their product that they’re willing to back it up by reimbursing up to $5,000 of the value of any bike that gets stolen while locked up with this product. They also offer a lifetime guarantee from any defect, wear, or breakage.
Heavy-duty protection comes in a heavy package, and this 11-pound lock is nowhere near as transportable as a simple U-Lock. Sometimes, though, you have to make compromises in the name of theft resistance. For any avid cyclist that keeps their bike outside, a truly solid lock like this is a fantastic gift idea.
Any bike rider will tell you that there’s a camaraderie among cyclists, a mutual acknowledgment of a sport that is as beautiful as it is difficult. To honor the intense athletic discipline, Belgian author Tim Krabbe has written an ode to the sport, recounting the odyssey of a particular grueling French race in which he participated in 1978. What he produced is one of the most meaningful books about cycling ever written.
The book is incredibly well known in cycling circles for its fantastic yet simple descriptions of the race, addressing everything from equipment, to suffering, to the connections the sport allows cyclists to make. Its short length and inexpensive price make it a great stocking stuffer, and it’s a meaningful gift for any rider who has begun to get serious in the sport. The book is appropriate for all ages of cyclists, although it’s definitely a dense read. Since topic matter sticks to road cycling, it might not be the best for mountain bikers or commuting cyclists.
Bike enthusiasts love their bikes, and bike care products like this set of lubes and the Feedback Sports RAKK Stand can be just as appreciated by riders as on-the-bike items. As far as regular maintenance goes, one of the most important things to do to keep a bike running smoothly is keeping it clean and lubricated.
That’s why we recommend Finish Line’s combination set which takes you from grimy to shiny in just a few easy steps. To start out, use their Super Bike Wash concentrate with a bucket of water to clean up the bike—it’s specially formulated to work on all surfaces, from greasy chains and rims to shiny carbon frames, without stripping paint or factory lubrication. After the bike is shined up, use the green bottle of degreaser to clean up the drivetrain and strip dirt and grease from the chain. Once the chain is clean, finish off with the Teflon lube which not only lubricates but also decreases pedal resistance, making the bike easier to pedal.
While there’s a good range of cleaning and lubrication products here, we’d love to see a rainy-weather lubricant included since the Teflon-infused lube is prone to picking up dirt in the rain. For all other conditions, though, this inexpensive set will keep things running like butter.
Rubber sometimes gets overlooked on bikes, but a set Continental GP 5000s can make an entry-level bike feel like it costs $10,000. Continental is a German company that typically focuses on car parts and tires, but it has a storied and successful cycling tire division.
From their car-rubber technology comes the Black Chili Compound that makes this tire special, as it creates great traction while also having a low rolling resistance, vital for making rides faster and easier. Alongside the innovative compound come laser engraved treads to create cornering grip and Vectra technology, which protects the tires from puncture-causing road debris.
Mainly meant for road riding, the manufacturer has added sizes up to 32mm that are great for multi-surface riding on back roads and crushed gravel trails—just make sure to check that they’ll fit on the bike you’re buying them for. However, at double the price of entry-level budget offerings, a set of tires that costs around $100 depending on the size can seem expensive. Just like with car tires, though, the best offerings are both expensive and worth it.
The perfect tire inflation device is a handheld pump: floor pumps aren’t portable enough, air compressors are wasteful and noisy. A hand pump can fit in your pocket and pump up thousands and thousands of tires without complaint. So for frequent riders who are looking for something that will never leave them stranded, a pump like the Lezyne Sport Drive is perfect.
It’s our favorite hand pump due to its durable construction and inexpensive price. Made of plastic to cut costs, the inexpensive device is almost as durable as metal pumps that can cost up to three times as much. A bonus of its plastic construction is weight, as the pump comes in at only 75 grams, which is less than a deck of playing cards.
To keep the package small enough to fit in a saddlebag like the BV Y-Series or a jersey pocket (check out the Pearl Izumi Select Jersey) , the pump uses a unique construction that utilizes multipurpose parts to minimize its size. The top cap is unscrewed, revealing a hose that flips around and connects back into the pump. That same cap screws in the other direction, serving as a handle.
Effective pumping is a little difficult, and to save space the air chamber is quite small, meaning it takes a significant amount of time to fill up a tire to high pressure. Bigger tires, like mountain bike tires, will take even more time to fill.
Any cyclist who races or rides long distances will tell you that the single best upgrade on a bike is switching to clipless pedals. There’s a reason pretty much every professional cyclist uses them on their bike—from power transfer to safety, keeping your foot solidly attached to the pedal brings advantages.
A clipless pedal, sometimes known as a clip-in pedal, uses a specific cleat that screws onto a cycling shoe that then clicks into the pedal when you step down. While they take some getting used to, the connection enables you to put pressure on the pedal for a full 360 degrees, not merely the 180 degrees with a standard pedal. For technical trails, there’s a secondary advantage of being able to better maneuver the bike with the feet.
Shimano SPD pedals are the most classic and best-selling variation of all time, combining ease of use with simplicity and light weight to create an inexpensive pedal that is near-ubiquitous. They can be used on road bikes, mountain bikes, and commuters. A durable steel body combines with sealed bearings for smooth pedaling; the mechanism is easy to clip into and doesn’t get clogged with dirt.
If we had one complaint, it would be the size of the investment. To get set up, you need to buy the pedals as well as a pair of cycling-compatible shoes, which can be a significant cost. However, most riders who pick up a pair never go back, so a set of pedals can be the perfect gift for someone looking to take their cycling to the next level.
While some riders prefer the perpetual simplicity of a hand pump like the Lezyne Sport Drive, others prefer the ease of use and speed of a CO2 inflator like the Pro Bike Tool CO2 inflator.
CO2 inflators use small metal cartridges that are available for individual (and separate) purchase and use. While they can only be used once, the cartridges are much quicker than using a hand pump, as the volume of the air you can force through a pump is minimal. Conversely, with CO2, gas can be highly compressed and then sent through a small nozzle for rapid inflation.
This inflator is our favorite for the task, with a couple of well-thought-out design features that make cartridge-style inflation easy to use. It’s lightweight, and the actual piece that fits on the cartridge is made of a durable anodized metal. The hinges and fittings feel solid, and it’s available in two colors: red and black.
As CO2 escapes from the canister, the canister cools down, so the included sleeve is vital to prevent frozen fingers. The device is compatible with both types of bike inner tubes, both Schrader and Presta valves, although it’s a little trickier to use with Presta valves. Pro Bike Tool offers a comprehensive refund or replacement program, so in case you have an issue, you’ll always have a way to resolve it.
Most cyclists know that lights are mandatory for staying safe at night, but research shows that using lights during the day as well can reduce the probability of a collision by around 19%. With hundreds of inexpensive but high-quality light sets on the market, there’s no excuse for a cyclist to not use illumination every time they head out.
For about $20, you can pick up this Ascher set of USB rechargeable lights to keep your friend or a family member safe 24/7—and at a ‘stocking stuffer’ price, it’s well worth the investment. This set includes a white front light that attaches to the handlebar and a red rear light for the back part of the bike. The rear light clips on and can actually be attached to a saddlebag like the BV Y-Series so that you can store supplies while staying visible.
While some riders avoid lights for their bulk and weight, innovative charging and LED technology allows lights to be bright, long-lasting, and less than two ounces in weight. Silicon mounting straps make these lights easy to attach and reattach, with the strap adjustable enough to fit on multiple bikes.
These lights are more to stay visible than to actually illuminate the road, so to light up the road or trail, something like the Cygolite Metro Light might be better suited. But for high-value running lights, the Ascher USB set is unbeatable.
The End of the Road
With many different types of cyclists and cycling, there is a whole universe of options to choose from when looking for a bike-related gift. From inexpensive little presents like the Park Tool I-Beam Multitool to gifts like the Giro Register MIPS helmet that could end up saving a life, there’s something for everyone on this list of our favorite gifts.