Compiled by Iain Treloar.
1. Northwave junior shoes
If you’re a kid with a taste for two wheels, and you’re looking for footwear to emulate your heroes, options are limited. That’s why Italian shoe crew Northwave’s junior sized cycling footwear is a big deal. Available in sizes from 32–38 (kids’ size 13 to adult sized 6), this is an opportunity for your budding road or MTB superstar to put their best foot forward.
2. Silca HX1 Home and Travel Essential kit
There are tools, and then there are tools. Silca was an Italian brand of long standing—revered for their floor pumps—until their recent purchase by a former big wig at Zip. They’ve now shifted production to the US where they make a limited range of products designed to last a lifetime. Case in point, this tool kit. It’s a super high-end offering, with precision hex and torx keys, socket drivers and Phillips head screwdriver bits all presented in a beautiful Beech case. Expensive, yes … but my goodness it’s desirable.
3. Ride the Night and The RACV Ascent Gift vouchers
Give the gift of an unforgettable experience with Bicycle Network’s Ride the Night and The RACV Ascent 100km, women-only ride gift vouchers. These gift vouchers are a great way to inspire your friends and family to get out on their bikes in 2016. Plus – they’re the perfect last-minute gift.
Ride the Night (Melbourne, Hobart, Brisbane) – Saturday 30 January, 2016 – ridethenight.org.au
The RACV Ascent 100km, women-only ride – Sunday 17 April, 2016 – theascent.com.au
4. Eleven Velo prints and T-shirts
If you love bikes, Star Wars, Lego or a combination of the three, then you’re doing something right with your life. Sydney design studio Eleven Velo produce a range of signed and numbered A3 prints or tshirts blending these elements; a TIE fighter/road handlebar design, for instance, or a ‘Hard Men of Cycling’ compilation featuring cute stylised Lego figures of Mario Cipollini, Eddy Merckx and others.
5. MAAP socks
Socks may not be the most technically sophisticated garment for bike riding, but they’re certainly one of the most polarising. With questions of cuff length and colour scheme dominating a disproportionate amount of conversation in any bunch, it’s obvious that there’s more to them than just something to wear in your shoe. MAAP’s Australian made options are quickly becoming a favourite, and are available with a bang-on-trend 6 inch cuff in a range of bright, fun designs.
The latest in helmet technology is MIPS—Multi-directional Impact Protection System—a new system developed by scientists and brain surgeons to protect against secondary impact and reduce shock transmitted to the brain in the event of a crash. Lazer’s well regarded kids’ helmets, the Nut’z and P’Nut, are the first to offer this technology for younger riders, and it’s packaged up in an appealing exterior with easy adjustment.
Your bike’s not the only thing that might need a bit of attention on the road—you can pamper yourself, too, with this kit from Rapha. Incorporating tubes of the company’s shaving cream (for your face or legs), chamois cream and post-shave lotion, it’s hardly essential stuff, but the chamois cream is excellent, everything smells delightful and it’s chock-full of genuine botanicals inspired by the slopes of Mont Ventoux. Now, you don’t get that from Gillette, do you?
8. Reid Esprit
Wallet-friendly bike juggernaut Reid are going from strength to strength, and the Esprit is a particularly nice demonstration of the strides they’ve taken in the quality of their products. It’s a sevenspeed vintage-styled ladies bike, but it’s not just pretty—it’s also light and robust enough for everyday use. With a clean design, pared-back graphics, and full-length mudguards, the Esprit is the kind of bike to reinvigorate a love of bike riding.
9. Campagnolo bottle opener
The revered Italian component manufacturer, Campagnolo, have a bit more to offer than just gearing. Designed by Tullio Campagnolo himself, and handmade in Vicenza, these enormous bottleopeners (30cm long) are a very fancy way to remove a cork. These openers are designed to hold the cork straight, preventing wiggles and reducing the risk of anything spoiling the bottle’s contents. Campagnolo owners consider themselves connoisseurs of the groupset, and this is a serious corkscrew for connoisseurs of wine, beautifully presented in a big ol’ wooden box.
Bronze or silver, $229
Peace of mind is a beautiful thing, and RoadID’s bracelets offer a stack of it. There are a range of different bands available, upon which you can mount a laser engraved tag with contact details of your nearest and dearest, as well as any relevant medical information. Those with Fitbits can get a RoadID tag to fit, and it’s also possible to jazz up their appearance with a number of fun badges. The RoadID can be a big help to first responders, and they make for a considered gift for a loved one.
From US$19.99 (plus US$5 postage)
11. Brooks bar tape
If you were playing a word association game, you’d probably go with something like ‘classy’ for the brand Brooks. Their English-made leather saddles have been revered for well over a century, and they’ve got a very nice range of other leather products to complete the package. Their bar tape is both hard wearing and beautiful, comes in a range of colours (from brown and black all the way to green and blue) and adds a bit of elegance to any road handlebar.
12. Bicycle chain cuff links
There’s no reason you can’t wear your passion on your sleeve with these elegant cuff links from Melbourne sustainable design studio Tread & Pedals. There are a range of options available, including some blingy gold KMC chain cuff links, but for sheer sophistication it’s difficult to go past the Campagnolo Record variety.
13. Zero THandle torque wrench
You may look at torque wrenches and see them as an unnecessary extravagance or an exercise in pedantry, but if you’ve got any carbon fibre on your bike you’d be wrong. Zero’s handy option is preset at 5Nm, the most common setting for stems and seatpost clamps, and comes with bits from 2mm to 6mm (although note that there is no T25, which is an annoying exclusion). Nonetheless, this should get you out of trouble for most torque-related eventualities and is considerably less of a faff than an adjustable torque wrench.
14. POC Do Half Blade sunglasses
Swedish brand POC make lovely gear, including the Octal; my favourite road helmet on the market. But to be completely upfront, it’s eye-wateringly expensive. That’s why Christmas is the right time to write one of their products on your list. The brand’s Do Half Blade sunglasses are either quite pretty or pretty hideous, depending on your point of view. But if you like the look of them, chances are you’ll really like them; those big lenses are anti-fog and crystal clear, the rubber inserts on the nose piece and arms hold them tenaciously in place and they’re fancy and orange.
15. DOIY fixie pizza cutter
Is there a more universally loved food than pizza? For bike riders, there’s the added bonus that it’s practically a complete sports food of carbs, vegetables and protein—or, even though it’s not, you can rationalise it that way to yourself. But if you’ve ever thought that your method of chopping up a pizza lacks a little bike specificity, worry no longer. The DOIY fixie pizza cutter has dual stainless steel discs to slice through your Margherita.
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