Yes, Black Friday and Cyber Monday are all over already, but I bet you’re still shopping for that special something for the cyclist on your list. As I’ve done for the past few years, here are a few fun gift suggestions for 2-wheeler types – most with a technical twist since this is Tech Talk after all.
Because it relates to several of the gift ideas, let’s start with a plug for my eBook Your Home Bicycle Workshop ($19.95). This is the only book available, online or in print, that covers everything they need to know to set up a custom shop at home for working on their bicycles. Having a nice home shop is the best way to maintain their machines, save money and can even be a fun place to hang out before and after rides with their riding pals.
If you purchase my book, tell the cyclist on your list that they can feel free to ask me any questions. And, tell them to be sure to send me photos of their new home shop. I love seeing every one. You’ll find my book, along with dozens of other great eBooks and eArticles you can download immediately to give as unique gifts, in the RBR Bookstore.
And giving the gift of RBR (to yourself or a friend) in the form of a Premium Membership is another terrific option loaded with great benefits, and the primary support that helps keep the doors open here.
Repair Stands are Ideal Gifts
One of the things needed to have a home workshop, and that also comes in handy at events, is a bicycle repair stand. There’s an interesting new and inexpensive model that just hit the scene called the Scorpion Road bike repair stand ($69.99). This stand only works on road bikes with SRAM, Rotor/FSA, Specialized OS Carbon and Cannondale SL Hollogram cranksets.
That’s because the stand holds bicycles upright by the through hole in the bottom bracket. It’s a unique new way to hold a bicycle upright to work on it and it promises easy and fast bike mounting, stability and convenience (it’s great for bike parking and display, too). If you’re not sure your giftee’s bicycle is compatible, visit the company’s site to learn more.
If you’d like to get them a more deluxe repair stand that’s compatible with all bicycles, Feedback Sports’ Sport-Mechanic Work Stand ($169.99, below) is a nice choice.
Another great tool to give is Park Tool’s Cassette Lockring Tool with Handle ($45). Park’s new lockring tool is for tightening and loosening Shimano and SRAM cassette lockrings, and splined disc-brake rotors, which all may loosen after awhile. You also need to remove lockrings in order to replace cassettes. The special features of Park’s tool include a built-in handle and a lockring tool that fits right over most quick releases so it’s unnecessary to remove the QR when working on the cassette. The lockring tool can be replaced should it wear out, too.
Another high-tech gift they’ll love is the Saris Cycle Glide bike storage rack ($244.99). It’s made to mount over your car in the garage and holds up to 4 bicycles (add-ons are available to hold even more).
The reason the rack is called the Glide is because the bike mounts and wheel hooks glide front-to-back and side-to-side, respectively, which is a clever trick that makes it possible to take bikes down and hang them up even when the car is parked beneath. Ingenious!
Also ingenious is the LifeBEAM Smart Helmet ($229). If you’ve seen your cyclist struggle putting on a heart-rate chest strap or heard them complain aboutwearing one, giving them this helmet will put a huge smile on their face.
The Smart Helmet actually has an optical sensor and electronic unit built right in to send accurate heart rate and calorie consumption data straight to their favorite apps and devices. No chest strap is required. RBR publisher John Marsh gave the LifeBEAM a 4.5-star review.
Finally, since many of us are in the midst of the winter doldrums and can be struggling to stick with our training schedule, let’s end with something to help their motivation going into 2016. It’s the new VeloPress book, How Bad Do You Want It? ($18.95) by journalist, coach, sports nutritionist and author of over 20 books, Matt Fitzgerald.
Recounting true racing tales from superstar athletes like Greg LeMond, Cadel Evans, Ned Overend, Paula Newby-Fraser and Steve Prefontaine, coach Fitzgerald teaches your athlete how they can get more out of themselves by developing their mental toughness. With this book around it’s unlikely they’ll be lacking motivation for long!
Jim Langley is RBR’s Technical Editor. He has been a pro mechanic and cycling writer for more than 40 years. He’s the author of Your Home Bicycle Workshop in the RBR eBookstore. Check out his “cycling aficionado” website at http://www.jimlangley.net, his Q&A blog and updates at Twitter. Jim’s streak of consecutive cycling days has reached more than 8,000. Click to read Jim’s full bio.