Cycling is often described as the sport of kings. It is one of the few sports where participation age spans from the young to very old. It’s good for the heart, great for the leg muscles, and wonderful for stress relief.
So how do you help your new-to-cycling loved one? Supply them with one or more these gift ideas.
1. Cycling shorts. These are padded in all the right places to make logging the miles more comfortable. (By the way, most cyclists wear them without shorts to avoid the chafing from underwear.) The fabric is designed to wick sweat out and away from the skin. Good quality ones will run $40 on up per pair. Don’t go cheap on these!
2. Bicycle computer. It’s more rewarding when you can see how fast and how far you’ve come. Look for one that offers average speed, distance, odometer (lets you track total miles), maximum speed (neat to see). Cadence is nice but not necessary for a beginner. Keep it simple. A $10 department store special will be fine to get going. Later on you can upgrade.
3. Biking gloves. Choose from full gloves or fingerless. The padding in the palm makes the dampens the road vibration making longer rides easier on your hands and wrists. If you’re coming into colder weather, get ones with fingers. Warmer climates, try the fingerless.
4. Water bottle and cage for the bike. One should never exercise without water handy. Bike cages keep it safely attached to the frame where it’s easy to grab (with a little practice). Insulated bottles are great for warmer climates. They also work to carry warm beverages in cold climates.
5. Tire repair kit. What fun is cycling when you get a flat? Go beyond the standard patch kit. Pick of the tire inflator kit with CO2 cartridges. And don’t forget tire levers to help pry the tire off the rim. While this is one of the gifts you never want to use, it’s nice to know that you have it when the time comes that you do need it. Also make sure you supply whatever tools may be needed to remove the wheel. If their bike has quick release, then you won’t need any. Most lower end bikes don’t, so check to see if you’ll need to include a small socket or wrench to remove the wheel from the bike. It’s no fun having the flat fix stuff but then no way to get the wheel off to use it.
These five little items will get your loved one pedaling in greater comfort and let them start racking up the miles and the fitness. As they grow in the cycling, the items available that become more and more useful increase too. Makes shopping for them that much easier!