With multiple disciplines within the sport and hundreds of different types of bikes, it can sometimes be tricky to find the right gift for the female cyclist in your life. To help you out, we’ve collected a list of our top twenty favorite gifts for all types of female bikers.
In a predominantly male sport, cycling clothing and equipment for women can sometimes play second fiddle to products targeted at men. Fortunately, in recent years, thanks to a number of forward-looking industry players, the cycling world has begun to step into the women-specific market, creating a whole host of great products specifically for female riders. Take a look—you’re sure to find something that works perfectly.
- Top 20 Best Cycling Gifts for Women 2020
- 1. Best Cycling Gift for Women: CamelBak Podium Chill Bike Water Bottle
- 2. Best Cycling Shorts for Women: Beroy Women’s Cycling Shorts
- 3. Best Cycling Socks for Women: Swiftwick Vision Team Eight Cycling Socks
- 4. Best Multitool: Crankbrothers M19 Multi-tool
- 5. Best Bike Pump: Topeak Joe Blow Sport
- 6. Best Clipless Pedals: Shimano M520 SPD Pedals
- 7. Best Cycling Shoes: Fizik R5 Road Cycling Shoe
- 8. Best Premium Cycling Gift for Women: GoPro Hero 5
- 9. Best Chamois Cream: Chamois Butt’r Her
- 10. Best Bar Tape: Lizard Skins Bar Tape
- 11. Best Cycling Headband: Halo II Sweatband
- 12. Baleaf Women’s 3D Padded Cycling Capris
- 13. Best Gift for Triathletes: Profile Design Handlebars
- 14. Castelli Velocissima Bib Shorts
- 15. Best Hand Pump: Lezyne Sport Drive Hand Pump
- 16. Best Budget Cycling Gift for Women: USB Rechargeable Bike Light Set
- 17. Cygolite Metro Bike Headlight
- 18. Best CO2 Inflator: Pro Bike Tool CO2 Inflator
- 19. Best Overall Cycling Gift for Women: RipSkirt Hawaii
- 20. Sabre Red Pepper Gel Spray
- Wrapping Up
Top 20 Best Cycling Gifts for Women 2020
Cycling water bottles have been the same for too long—restricted to the same shape for years and years, manufacturers basically only competed on price and design until CamelBak released this model and changed the water bottle game.
It might not sound like much, but the simple changes CamelBak made have resulted in a product that runs circles around other water bottles. The first design improvement comes via a dripless water valve that’s simple to operate, has a wide mouth for flow, and is most importantly easy to clean. You can store this bottle completely upside down and it will still maintain a seal.
Although a little pricier than standard designs, this bottle also contains an inner insulative layer that really works in keeping water ice cold for your whole ride. It doesn’t add hardly any weight but it keeps water cold for twice as long according to laboratory testing. On a hot day, it’s worth its weight in gold.
Lastly come the bottle designs, and CamelBak’s product innovations didn’t hold back in the graphic arts department. Our favorite design is the Burgundy Perforated, which comes in a lush reddish-purple color with small holes that keep the bottle insulated, but make it possible to see the water level.
One of the most essential pieces of equipment for a cyclist is a great pair of shorts. Cycling shorts contain a small cushion in the seat of the pants, padding the body from road vibration and the harsh pressure of the bike seat. Generally, more expensive shorts have nicer materials and a better chamois.
These Beroy shorts, although inexpensive, use the same high-quality materials as used by premium manufacturers. The sewing quality is superb as well, while other budget shorts options have the notorious reputation for splitting in the wrong places as very inopportune moments.
The stitching on these shorts is tight and reinforced, while still being comfortable against the skin: it’s important to note that these shorts (and all cycling shorts) are meant to be worn directly against the skin without underwear.
Its three-layer foam matches the very best chamois on the market, offering great comfort against the seat. To maximize comfort, a chamois cream like the Chamois Butt’r Her should be used to prevent chafing.
Where these shorts sacrifice is in design, as they don’t have the comfortable straps of other offerings like the Castelli Velocissima Bib Shorts, some riders might prefer these for their simplicity, but there is no denying that ‘bib shorts’ with straps are much more comfortable and less likely to slip down while riding than simple shorts like this one. Without a doubt, though, for riders looking for a basic and simple pair of bike shorts, these are a great pick.
Cyclists are sock fanatics, and gifting a nice pair can go a long way. For the female cyclist in your life, we recommend these Swiftwick Vision Team Eight Cycling Socks. The inexpensive but cute designs come in eleven separate style variations, with performance-oriented touches that don’t forget that this sock is useful for form as well as function.
Swiftwick is a legendary name in cycling socks, with thousands of bikers swearing by the high-quality, high-comfort designs. With a mainly nylon construction, these socks are reinforced in the toe box and heel for durability and sewed with channels in the arches to improve airflow and arch support.
In cycling, long durations in socks and shoes can cause the toe seam to chafe and rub uncomfortably against the tips of the toes. These socks employ an intricate sewing technique that nearly eliminates this toe seam, leading to a more comfortable sock overall. Wicking material brings moisture away from the foot, making things cooler overall.
At about $10 per pair, these socks aren’t the cheapest on the market, but there’s a reason that thousands of cyclists are willing to pay the price of these up-market socks. These calf-length socks with cute designs are a small token to show whoever you’re shopping for that you put some thought into a gift for them.
Self-sufficiency is a rite of passage for any cyclist, and a multi-tool is necessary ride equipment for anyone headed out on solo rides. The best option on the market by far is Crankbrother’s M19 multi-tool, a device that fits 19 different tools into a pocket-sized package.
Along with the standard multi-tool Allen keys and screwdrivers, this Crankbrothers tool includes several less utilized tools that come in handy when outside of cell range on a long-distance adventure ride. Most important is a chain tool, used to reconnect a broken chain link, turning a bike from incapacitated to road-worthy in about thirty seconds. The multi-tool also has a bottle opener, handy for opening the beverage of your choice at the end of a long day.
In a lightweight and compact 175-gram package, the tool will easily fit in a jersey pocket or a saddlebag. It comes in two color options, black or gold, both of which are covered by Crankbrothers comprehensive lifetime warranty.
We’d love to see a lighter-weight update that eliminates some of the bulk and some of the more mountain bike-specific tools for road riders, but for any trail rider in your life, this is a perfect ‘little gift’ to show you support their hobby.
A reliable pump is necessary for any cyclist, as nothing improves performance and prevents flats like a properly inflated tire. The perfect tool for the job is the Topeak Joe Blow Sport, a workhorse floor pump meant to last for years and work for all types of bikes.
The Joe Blow works on anything from mountain bikes to road bikes with an adaptive pump head that works on both the common Presta valve and the ubiquitous Shrader valve. The easy-to-attach head connects to a sturdy rubber hose that allows air to flow from a large air chamber at the base of the pump, meaning inflation is easy and requires very little effort. With a gauge that measures in five PSI increments, the 160-PSI approved pump will inflate your tire to a higher pressure than will ever be necessary.
Although the pump is mostly made of durable metal and high-density plastic, the gauge is located about four inches above the ground, making the pump a little off balance and prone to falling over. While it’s inconvenient, the durable materials and bombproof build-quality make the off-balance construction a minor issue. Other pumps on the market are less expensive, but nothing combines value and long-lasting durability like the Topeak Joe Blow.
There comes a time in every cyclist’s life when they have to take a great pedal stroke into the unknown: clipless pedals. Clipless pedals, sometimes known as clip-in pedals, are used by almost every serious cyclist in every discipline for their immense performance and safety benefits.
While getting used to the feeling of being locked into a pedal can be nerve-wracking, once a cyclist becomes accustomed, the pedal stroke becomes smoother and more powerful. With this type of pedal, cyclists are able to simultaneously lift up and push down when pedaling.
The perfect pedal for a beginner rider is the Shimano M520 SPD, something that is easy to clip into, durable, and works for all styles of riding. With a few pointers and some patience, it’s not a hard skill to learn.
With adjustable tension to fine-tune the difficulty of ‘clipping out’ of the pedal, this is a pedal that’s particularly great for beginners that aren’t used to disconnecting from the pedals. The pedal body itself is adjustable and can be serviced periodically to run smoothly, although you probably won’t need to due to the impermeable o-rings sealing the pedal body.
With a durable metal body, a steel pedal shaft, and easy service, this pedal will last for thousands of miles and with any luck will last longer than any bike they’re put on. These are the industry standard ‘beginner’ pedals for a reason, and at $60 they make a great gift for anyone looking to take the next step.
To be able to clip into a clipless set of pedals like the Shimano SPDs, a cycling-compatible pair of shoes is required. Our favorite for the task are the Fizik R5 shoes, a utilitarian and stylish model that includes a stiff carbon sole for efficient pedaling and a synthetic upper for comfort. These shoes run a perfect line between performance and utilitarianism, sporty but not uncomfortable, durable but not heavy.
Fizik is a popular name in cycling shoes, and the company has plenty of experience developing the best shoes, sponsoring Team Ineos, the winner of seven of the last eight editions of the Tour de France. Some of its most advanced technology trickles down to this shoe, specifically the way the upper part of the shoe conforms to the top of the foot, simultaneously improving power transfer and comfort.
While this shoe can work for both road cyclists and commuters, mountain bikers will be better served by a mountain bike-specific shoe that contains a notch to place the cleat for walkability. For these shoes, the part that clicks into the pedal sits on the surface of the shoe, making walking long distances off-road pretty tricky.
If you’re shopping for a road cyclist that is looking to take their riding to the next level, a high-quality pair of shoes can be a great way to unlock performance benefits.
GoPro has become synonymous with ‘action camera,’ and the brand has become a standby for any cyclist looking to film their riding and racing. While the company’s cameras originally came at a cost premium, they’ve dropped tremendously in price over the years, and now the company delivers the same ultra-durable cameras for well under $200.
The GoPro Hero 5 isn’t the latest model version, which means it’s available for a stunningly low price. It largely has the same features as the newest version of the camera, shooting in 4k footage at up to 30 frames per second. The camera is WiFi capable, allowing you to stream and edit with a smartphone. It’s slightly larger than GoPro’s ultra-small latest model, but for most cycling applications that will make little difference.
Helmet and frame mounts for on-the-bike use are available separately, but they’re quite affordable, and the GoPro branded versions work better than any other aftermarket option. When riding outside, rain is always a risk, so to prepare for a wet-weather eventuality GoPro made this camera waterproof up to 33 feet.
The camera comes loaded with accessories, including a frame you can add for additional durability and two separate adhesive amounts. The battery charges via an included USB-C cable and lasts for about two hours, a little lower than the industry average. Not included is an SD card that needs to be bought separately.
As cyclists get into riding longer distances with bike shorts, a problem becomes apparent: chafing. The issue is especially prominent with women, as sensitive parts can be particularly prone to friction.
On top of that, products meant for men can sometimes cause pH issues for women, compounding the problem. Chamois Butt’r Her is a freshly reformulated blend that contains natural ingredients like aloe vera, tea tree oil, shea butter, and lavender to create a naturally comfortable product that helps lubricate bike shorts, preventing the cloth from irritating the skin.
Chamois Butt’r Her is specially pH balanced and doesn’t contain parabens or artificial fragrances, so as to not mess with the natural balance of the body. The made-in-the USA product is particularly helpful on hot rides, where sweat can further irritate the skin.
For women getting into longer rides for the first time, finding a product like Chamois Butt’r can be a relief, helping riders to realize that they’re not the only one with an uncomfortable problem. Gifting something like Chamois Butt’r can be a great way to show that you care about a cyclist you’re shopping for, although it might not be the best gift for someone you don’t know very well.
On bikes, the easiest upgrades with the biggest impacts come via modifications of the ‘contact points’ on the bike: the seat, the pedals (our recommendation is a set from Shimano), or the handlebars. To maximize comfort on the handlebars, a high-quality handlebar tape is necessary, something that combines comfort and grip in equal parts. Handlebar tape is a good option to gift due to how easy it is to install.
This Lizard Skins tape is a great upgrade from the cork-style tape that comes stock on most bikes and wears out easily. With a slightly tacky surface that doesn’t lose its grip when sweaty, the handlebar tape is also water impermeable, making it resistant to odors that other bar tapes pick up.
It’s also easier to clean, as it can be shined up with a simple wipe down with a rag or cloth. Comfort is a priority, and although the tape isn’t as thick as some options available, the proprietary material cushions the hands from road vibrations to prevent hand numbness.
With several color options including rose and celeste green that might fit the color schemes of women’s bikes better than traditional black bar tape, it’s easy to find a color option that works well with a rider’s personal sense of style.
Although this bar tape isn’t as cheap as other offerings, the Lizard Skins tape simultaneously offers better grip, style, and comfort than the factory cork tape typically installed on new bikes.
Sweaty bike helmets and windy conditions can make long hair difficult to manage as a cyclist. Making things a little easier to handle is the Halo II by Halo Headbands, an inexpensive piece of kit that makes a world of difference for those with longer locks.
Utilizing a wicking material that channels sweat away from the eyes, the headband pulls double duty by tightly holding back stray hairs that would otherwise fly around in the blowing wind. With a tight design and seams specifically designed to not become uncomfortable when sweaty or when under a bike helmet, Halo has put in a lot of thought to make these headbands work for cyclists and multi-sport athletes.
Although the headband is designed for the heat, it can get a little uncomfortable to use in ultra-hot temperatures. The fact that it doesn’t contain any warming properties means it sits in the middle of the temperature range—while it works in all conditions, there are other options better for the heat and even more that are better for the cold.
Coming in several design variations, you’re sure to find a style that works with the personality of whoever you’re shopping for. The bands are machine washable, which is a nice convenience for cyclists who are used to hand washing and hang drying fragile cycling garments. And, coming in one universal size, you won’t have to worry about purchasing something that doesn’t fit.
There’s a problem with women’s cycling clothing: bottoms are often either too long or too short. If you buy longer pants, there are only warm insulated cycling tights available. If you want shorts, you end up with something that isn’t appropriate (or comfortable) to wear while out and about or at a coffee shop.
Cycling apparel company Baleaf has come up with something in between. Originally designed as an option for spinning class attendees, the Baleaf has expanded to be a popular middle-ground and middleweight option for all types of cyclists. With a wicking yet slightly insulative material and a three-quarters Capri length cuff, it’s truly a ‘goldilocks’ option. The only issue is the sewing quality, as some of the seams are prone to unraveling and the bottom silicon gripper at the cuff of the pant can be uncomfortable against the legs.
A breathable UPF50+ material makes up most of the pant, a multi-density foam chamois helps cushion the bike seat against the body. In general, the most popular bike shorts are bib shorts, like the Castelli Velocissima Bib Shorts, but these pants utilize a wide elastic waistband that doesn’t slide down during use and still stays comfortable. Integrated into the elastic is a small zipper pouch, big enough to hold a car key, a credit card, or a little bit of cash. It’s a nice touch to top off a great piece of cycling kit that is both fashionable and practical.
For triathletes just starting out, a standard set of road bike handlebars is fine, but for female athletes looking to get to the next level of the sport, a set of aerodynamic handlebars is a great way to improve performance. Aerodynamic bars attach to the existing handlebars, adding an additional riding position that helps with both power transmission and speed.
The system works by securely clamping around the front handlebar, giving an option of resting the forearms on the comfortable pads built into the bars, with the hands stretching out in front in a Superman-like position. Along with minimizing the aerodynamic footprint of the rider, it creates a more efficient aerodynamic footprint. A forward-oriented torso is better able to press down on the pedals and minimizes drag.
With ergonomic pads and a specially curved bar designed to accommodate the natural angle of the wrist, these bars are particularly comfortable compared to other aerodynamic handlebar designs. To save weight, they’re made out of a mix of nylon and fiberglass; we’d be a little more comfortable with an aluminum bar that has more resistance to breakage in a crash.
As the forearm pads are not adjustable, make sure you have your fit dialed before sticking the pads to the aero-bars. Learning to ride can be a little tricky, but with a little practice and thought, riding will be faster and more aerodynamic.
Castelli is a legendary name in cycling clothing and for good reason: along with a nearly 150-year cycling history, their cycling clothing is used by Tour de France and Ironman winners. These Velocissima bib shorts are a comfortable model used by serious cyclists, with straps instead of a waistband to hold them up.
Castelli Velocissima shorts are backed by years of history and millions of dollars of research and development. Castelli custom tailors their clothing to create the best fitting products for both male and female cyclists. The Velocissima shorts are Castelli’s flagship cycling bottom, outfitting the biggest female professional teams in the world with thousands of units sold each month.
With a lightweight fabric material and a thin yet comfortable chamois that contribute to the shorts’ minimal 158-gram weight, the shorts maintain a breathability perfect for summer riding. Although the material is thin and wicking, it’s sturdy as well, and the shorts’ durability justifies the hundred-dollar-plus price tag. Although some shorts have a silicone leg gripper to prevent the short from riding up, these shorts use a wide strip of fabric that keeps the short from moving around on the leg without any of the tightness of a silicone gripper.
Without a doubt, the biggest drawback is the high price of these shorts, as shorts from companies like Beroy can sell shorts for about a third of the price. And while those shorts are phenomenal and perfectly adequate, Castelli produces a product that, although expensive, ends up worth it for people who cycle competitively or frequently cycle long distances.
For the on-the-go inflation necessary for fixing a flat, there are two options: carbon dioxide canisters like the Pro Bike Tool CO2 inflator, and small hand pumps like this Lezyne Sport Drive pump.
While CO2 canisters are convenient for ultra-quick inflation, hand pumps have a distinct advantage: they never run out of air. Although it can take a couple minutes to inflate a tire, you can survive numerous flats and still keep pumping. The Lezyne, with a compact form factor and durable construction is our favorite for the job.
Although the pump is made out of plastic, it’s still plenty durable, and perhaps the material helps contribute to its light weight, as the pump only weighs 75 grams. It’s also incredibly small, and its 170 mm length fits well into a saddle bag or directly attaches to the bike with the included velcro mount.
With a 120 PSI limit, the pump will get even the skinniest road bike tires fully up to pressure, although with a small air chamber, it might take you all day. A sturdy rubber hose connects the chamber to the tire, and watch out when connecting it, as if you’re not careful you can strip the threads of the air valve.
The best way to prevent on-road collisions is to stay visible to traffic, and lights drastically increase visibility, especially at night. During the day they can be a powerful tool as well, reducing the risk of an accident by about 20 percent, according to a study done in Denmark.
Our favorite inexpensive set for staying well illuminated at all times is this two-light set from Ascher with simple mounting, easy recharging, and bright LEDs. The two separate lights, one for the front and one for the rear, each have four separate brightness and flashing modes to maximize visibility. Each light mounts with a silicon strap, flexible to accommodate different sizes of handlebars and seat posts. It’s a great mounting system compared to most other lights which mount via a screwed-on bracket, meaning you need a different set of lights for every bike.
While these lights are good for staying visible, they’re not really meant for lighting up the road. If you’re looking to buy a gift that illuminates the bike path or trail, check out the Cygolite Metro Bike Headlight. The Ascher set of lights don’t have the illumination power to adequately light up the road, nor do they have the right angle to light the proper distance ahead. In an emergency, they’re better than nothing, but they are by no means meant for charging down a gnarly mountain bike trail late at night.
The Ascher set does come with an excellent quality and satisfaction guarantee, and the team works hard to make sure that any customer issues are either resolved or refunded. For commuters who ride on roads with car traffic, a set of reliable lights are an essential gift.
While being seen is important, it’s also necessary to see the road ahead to stay safe. The difference between day and night visibility lights like the Ascher Bike Light Set and an actual headlight like the Cygolite Metro is the difference between daytime lights on your car and the brights you use on the back roads—one is for being seen, the other is for seeing the road ahead.
The Cygolite Metro Bike Headlight is the best at getting the job done at an economical price, shining with between 400 and 700 lumens of power at half the price of more expensive lights. The 400-lumen option is more for road riders, perhaps those who ride home on bike trails after dark, the 700-lumen version is about as bright as a car headlight, and can be used to illuminate even dark mountain bike trails.
When in doubt, lean towards purchasing the brighter option, as the different illumination modes can tamp down the brightness but can’t boost it. The brightest modes decrease battery run time, which is about three hours on the highest setting and up to twelve on the lowest.
At an inexpensive price point in the category, some sacrifices are made in weight and build quality. The 150 gram (almost a third of a pound) headlight has an almost completely plastic construction, while other light companies use technical, lightweight alloys to create products that are both durable and lightweight. However, at well under $50 for the 400-lumen version, it’s a great value pick.
While plenty of riders prefer hand pumps like the Lezyne Sport Drive, a whole contingent loves the quick inflating speed and convenience of carbon dioxide inflators.
CO2 inflators use single-use cartridges that connect to an adaptor that plugs into the valve of a bike tube. When the valve is open, the compressed gas fills the tube in a matter of seconds. After the fact, the cartridge can be discarded. However, due to the single-use nature of the cartridges, if you run out, you could end up stranded.
CO2 inflators are both more compact and lighter-weight than hand pumps, and this CO2 inflator from Pro Bike Tool is especially compact and lightweight, measuring just a couple of inches and weighing under 50 grams (about as much as a golf ball). Its anodized metal construction is sturdy and seals well against the tire valve and the CO2 cartridge itself, making inflation a breeze. The inflator comes with a sleeve that slips around the cartridge, as quick inflation rapidly cools down the cartridge, freezing fingertips.
For a rider focused on speed that doesn’t ride alone in areas with less traffic, a CO2 inflator makes a great stocking-stuffer type gift that could end up saving the day. Since the product doesn’t come with CO2 canisters, including some CO2 cartridges with the gift is a thoughtful add-on.
Whether at the mountain bike trailhead, the racecourse, or the parking lot after a group ride, it can be tricky to get a little privacy to change out of sweaty ride clothes and into the next phase of the day. While a hygiene hack like using some baby wipes can work wonders, there’s nothing like a product like the RipSkirt to make changing easy.
The RipSkirt slides over the waist with an elastic band, creating a small private space that makes it easy to change in and out of cycling shorts. With fashionable prints available in flexible sizes from 00 to 18, this skirt can work for nearly anyone. Along with several solid color options, there are flower, striped, and abstract prints for sale.
Each skirt is adjustable by about two and a half inches, allowing it to be loosened for changing clothes and later retightened to fit properly to head out for a coffee or errands. Made of a comfortable, stretchy material, it’s also good for everyday wear, although not as great as a conventional skirt. However, for female cyclists on the go, this is a thoughtful, practical, and inexpensive gift.
Personal safety brand Sabre adds some innovations to traditional pepper spray bottles that make it easier to use as an athlete. The biggest issue with pepper spray as a cyclist is accessibility. Adding an elastic holder to the bottle makes the pepper spray not only easier to grasp, but it can also serve as a mechanism to mount it on the bike or to wrap around a bicep. With pepper spray easily mounted, it is more accessible, and thus much more likely to protect the user.
This pepper spray’s 12-foot range uses a gel-based technology to increase the range of conventional pepper spray, simultaneously eliminating the ‘blowback’ that is sometimes caused by aerosol sprays. Both the long-distance range and gel technology both increase the safety of the user.
The three-quarter ounce unit is light enough to mount on a bike frame or throw in a back pocket, and its simple to operate switch means that the pepper spray is almost impossible to accidentally discharge while in a bike bag but easy to use once it’s in your hand. 35 bursts provide extended efficacy and an opportunity to practice the device before you might actually have to use it.
Sabre reaches an inexpensive price point by taking a couple of shortcuts. The ingredients of the spray itself aren’t certified to be military strength, and while gel is effective, it’s not as powerful as some premium brands. Initially made for jogging, the pepper spray isn’t perfect for cycling, but it’s also not too difficult to adapt for cycling purposes either.
In a male-oriented industry with tons of options available, finding the right gift for the female cyclist in your life can get pretty difficult. There are so many types of riders and disciplines of cycling that bikers can feel impossible to shop for. But with options on this list ranging from street-ready apparel for casual cyclists to competitive bib shorts for serious riders and racers, there are a whole host of ideas on this list when shopping. Happy hunting!