Guest Author - Sharry Miller
If you’re looking for an inexpensive gift for the cyclist on your list, here are several must-have items, many of which cost much less than $50. Most of these items are the types of things that even if they already have one, a spare doesn’t hurt, so don’t be afraid of buying something they already have. Most of these items are available at any bike shop or cycling website. The price ranges given are typical. You may find less expensive versions, and, as with anything, you can always spend much more if you want.
Multi-function Mini-tool - $20 - $50
As its name implies, the bicycle multi-function mini-tool has several tools in one handy item. This tool is a must-have for every cyclist so that they can make common repairs on the road. The only thing it doesn’t have is the mechanic!
Tire Tube Patch Kit - $10
Every cyclist should carry a tube patch kit for repairing a flat on the trail. The contents of these kits do run out or get old, so a new kit is always welcome.
Tire Pump - $30 - $50
Another necessary tool that every cyclist should carry is a tire pump. It doesn’t do any good to fix a flat if you can’t pump up your tire. Because pumps can be specific to Schrader or Presta valves, be sure to find out what type your cyclist has or buy a pump that works with both.
Cycling Socks - $8 - $12
Cycling socks, while also useful, are really just pure fun. They come in a wide variety of colors and styles, and usually have nifty graphics on the cuffs. My favorites are bright and silly, but more sedate ones are also available.
Water Bottles - $5 - $20
Every cyclist needs water bottles, and with recent health concerns over plastic bottles containing BPA there’s a good chance the cyclist in your life needs new ones. Fun colors and designs abound, so pick one or two they’ll really enjoy.
Cycling Jewelry and Such - $15+
A number of on-line stores such as Team Estrogen, Terry Bicycles, REI and others are now selling cycling themed pendants, earrings, bracelets, picture frames, coffee mugs and other such fun items. Some show bicyclists having fun, while others are designed to look like they’re made from bike chains or sprockets. You’re sure to find something for everyone.
Cycling Books - $10 - $30
Whether technical tomes about bike mechanics or training or travelogues designed to inspire a nomadic life, there’s sure to be a book out there to please your loved one. If you don’t know which one to pick, go for a gift card to a favorite book store and specify that she should indulge in a cycling fantasy.
By no means is this a comprehensive list, but it is a fun sampling of inexpensive gifts the cyclist in your life will love. Now get out there and spoil her!