- Cool cycling gear is available without spending crazy money.
- You won’t believe it, but socks are a thing for cyclists.
- Great gloves or grips can make a huge difference in rider confidence and comfort.
The easiest people to buy for this Christmas, are cyclists.
For even a modest budget you can access a diversity of accessories or apparel, that will be greatly appreciated by any family member or friend, who loves spending time behind the (handle)bars.
South African physical and online retailers are well served with most of the international and local brands and you are sure to find an ideal deal.
To help you along, Ride24 has collated a selection of gifting ideas with a cycling theme, for less than R500.
Traditionally the most stereotypical and underappreciated gift of all, but in the cycling world, socks are cool.
Outrageous colours, audacious designs and different lengths all attempt to impart some calibre of ‘sock doping’. The idea is that when you are suffering away on that steep climb, or battling into a bitter headwind, you’ll eventually look down and catch sight of inspiring socks, which should lift the mood.
Mountain bikers prefer black socks, due to the dust and mud, with a subtle graphic design element – if any at all.
Gravel bikers and road riders are the ones who are given to outlandish colours and designs. The brighter and more ridiculous, the better.
Versus has its roots in Stellenbosch and markets a range of 17 cycling socks. SaKO7 is a Cape Town cycling apparel brand that combines daringly original design with the kind of length that begets status in the road riding community, offering a large assortment of socks.
Pricing is mostly well below the R500 budget, allowing you to even buy two pairs.
A crucial contact point for any rider, good cycling gloves fulfil many functions. The primary role is safety, to prevent abrasion during a crash.
Your natural inclination is to flatten a hand, bracing your fall. Without a quality glove, your palm is going to look a lot worse for wear - and risk horrible infection, especially if you are crashing on off-road terrain.
Beyond the personal protection element, gloves also need to be comfortable. If the fit is odd and there isn’t sufficient airflow, your hands will become uncomfortably warm during a summer training ride.
The best gloves are those with a stretch cuff, ergonomic panelling and a combination of mesh inserts or perforations, to facilitate airflow. Giro, Leatt, Specialized and Titan are amongst the brands that market decent gloves below the R500 threshold.
If you want the ultimate insider’s tip for mountain bike gloves: visit your local motocross racing store. Some of the motocross gloves are virtually identical to branded cycling gloves, at a more reasonable price.
A mountain biking accessory that riders often forget about replacing.
Worn grips can trigger hand numbness, reduce the quality of your descending confidence and look awful. If your mountain biking friend or family member is riding a lot of steep ascending and descending trails, they’ll be hard on grips.
When you are climbing or descending, the natural inclination is to grip the handlebars a touch more intensely, and over time, that will accelerate wear. And worn grips can slip, with nasty consequences.
For under R500 you’ll have a choice of many grips, in an array of colours and surface patterns. Most riders prefer black grips. If the mountain biker you are buying for has a specific colourway on their bike, you might wish to match that with a similar colour grip.
Endurance mountain bikers might prefer a foam-type grip that slides on, providing additional vibration damping. ESI is a popular brand in this regard.
If you are mountain bike gifting for someone who rides technical trails and prefers challenging descents, ODI lock-on grips are the default choice.
The Californian company produces grips for mountain bikes, all-terrain vehicles, snowmobiles and motorcycles. As such, they know what they are doing.