Not sure what to get that special bike rider in your life? We’re here to help! From books to bells to bib shorts, and everything in between, here’s Ride On‘s guide to the festive season by bike:
Ortlieb bikepacking range
Bikepacking is the new cycle touring, except it’s lightweight and fast. Now it’s all-weather as well because Ortlieb are on the case. The handlebar pack and the seat pack have just about sold out in Australia so far, such is the appetite for bikepacking and the reputation of Ortlieb. The frame pack that will complete the range is due out in 2017. It’s sure to be great stuff – if you can get hold of it.
stkildacycles.com.au, seat pack $299, handlebar pack $259
Kudelka and First Dog’s Spiritual Journey
If you ever doubted that the bicycle is the vehicle of ultimate happiness, this tale of one island, two bikes, nine distilleries and too many whiskies will banish that dreadful thought. Cartoonists Jon Kudelka and First Dog on the Moon crowdfunded a two-week tour to sample the delights of the Tasmanian Whisky Trail, and this richly illustrated hardcover is the irreverent result. How did they travel? By ebike of course. Funny and insightful like the best cartoons should be.
Bell Sidetrack kids helmet
On the Bell Sidetrack, coverage is king. This little helmet borrows the shape of Bell’s mountain bike helmets, providing heaps of protection at the back of the head and a visor at the front, with an easily adjusted fit system. The Sidetrack is available in two sizes – the Sidetrack Child (5 years+, 47-54cm) and the Sidetrack Youth (50-57cm) – with four cheerful colour-schemes apiece.
Quad Lock case
There’s a reason why Quad Lock have become a dominant force in mobile phone accessories – their system works really well. The design is fairly universal, comprising either a case for the back of an iPhone, or an adhesive adaptor for Android devices, which installs with a quick twist onto a bracket mounted to the bike. It’s all super secure, and puts the exercise-tracking functionality of your smartphone in easy access. They’ve also just released a model for the iPhone 7.
quadlockcase.com.au, from $49.99
Knog Oi bell
Melbourne-based Knog made global headlines earlier this year when their crowd-funded bell, the ‘Oi’, smashed its target – they aimed for $20,000, and raised a cool million. It’s easy to see why; the design-focussed brand’s reinvention of the bicycle bell is very subtle and elegant. Available in four colours (brushed aluminium, brass, copper and black) and two diameters, the Oi’s clean profile circles the handlebar discreetly and has a pleasingly melodic tone.
Full Tilt by Dervla Murphy
In 1963, young Irishwoman Dervla Murphy set out to ride unaccompanied from Ireland to India, via eastern Europe, Afghanistan, modern-day Iran and the Himalayas. What followed is one of the classics of travel writing, and something of a sacred text in bike touring spheres. Full Tilt is an honest, vivid account of an incredibly audacious journey, with Murphy braving broken ribs, extreme conditions and starving wolves, all while maintaining her sense of humour and wonder of the world.
BBB Co2 Blaster Minipump
Dutch-brand BBB have a reputation for functional gear, and the Co2 Blaster minipump is a nice demonstration of their savvy. Picture this scenario – Co2 canisters are the fastest way to inflate a tyre roadside, but what if you have a string of punctures and run out of canisters? Easy; you pull out the Blaster – which is a dual-function gadget that also functions as a perfectly adequate handpump – and continue on your merry way.
a’qto womens polo
Bike-related casual wear for women has been a slightly overlooked category, but a’qto’s range of after-ride wear is a nice deviation from the norm. Their polo shirt is quite minimal in its design, with a stylish fit – because why should you be repping Ralph Lauren when you can have something a little more bike-friendly?
Tread and Pedals earrings
The clever team at Tread and Pedals have been upcycling old bike parts for years, giving a second life to countless chains, cogs, tubes and tyres with their jewellery and cufflinks. These lovely, light-weight earrings, sculpted from old bicycle tubes, are a way to show off your love of all things bike.
Fetha bar end plugs
At the end of your handlebars are a pair of caps. You know the ones – they’re forever popping out, getting lost or sitting askew because the bartape doesn’t quite fit in. There is, however, a better way. These alloy end caps have an expander plug inside, which means that they a) fit in better, and b) stay there. Fetha offer their alloy end caps in a range of colours and can even lazer-engrave a personalised message of up to 15 characters on them.
Temple Brewing Company Bicycle Beer
It’s Christmas day. You’re sitting down with the family, the sun’s shining and your uncle’s grabbing a drink from the esky. Now, in any other yuletide family get together, he’d have his hands on an insipid lager. Not this time, because you’ve brought along a six pack of Bicycle Beer – a conversation starter that will let you steer the chat towards how much you love bike-riding, for a few minutes at least.
templebrewing.com.au, $22 (six pack)
There’s a range of ways to carry your phone, cards, cash and keys on the bike, from the humble ziplock sandwich bag all the way up to super-fancy, oh-so-serious leather pouches. The waterproof VeloPac RidePac pouch is a cheerful alternative, constructed from tarpaulin outer and lined with microfiber to keep your valuables safe and dry.
Velocio Signature Fly bib knicks
Nature breaks are complicated in bib knicks. Blokes have it easier; women have to take off many layers. Several clothing manufacturers have tried to overcome this issue, with magnets and clasps and goodness knows what else. Velocio, a brand founded by former Aussie pro Kristy Skrymgeour, tackle the problem in a different way with a hidden zip down the back of the shorts. Consensus suggests that these are a revelation in women’s bib knicks. Yes, they’re expensive, but they’re of excellent quality with a 30 day satisfaction guarantee.