Top 10 gifts for cyclists this Christmas
Cyclingnews' ultimate wishlist for the cyclist who has everything
From apparel and components to artwork and literature, every imaginable cycling product is now available and attainable at an array of price points.
Ahead of a ride, instant coffee might not cut it when professional-standard espresso machines are available in your own home, enabling perfectly steamed milk and espresso combinations as a caffeine boost for a pre-ride ritual.
While a simple plastic sandwich bag can ensure you keep your phone and cash dry on a wet ride, luxury boutique leather pouches are also available to do the same job but with a touch of style. And when you're finished training or racing, and you are still yet to have your fill of cycling, why not read about bygone eras of the greatest sport in the world, while being overlooked by some iconic imagery in your own home…
As the month turns to December, and many will be celebrating Christmas in the coming weeks, Cyclingnews takes a look at some of the ultimate gifts for the cyclist who has everything.
MAAPxBellroy phone pocket €109/£96.61
Boutique Australian cycling apparel brand MAAP partner with leather carry goods brand Bellroy, also from Australia, to produce this cycling specific 'All-Conditions Phone Pocket'.
The pocket is made from Bellroy's 'All-Conditions' durable leather, which will protect your phone, cash and cards from sweat and the worst wet weather.
Inside the pocket a microfiber lining and two separated slots will prevent any scratches to your phone screen and offer ample room for a phone up to 156x92mm (iPhone 6/7 or similar), up to 8 cards, and cash or a few coins.
A YKK Aquaguard zipper runs along two sides of the pocket ensuring ease of access even with cold hands or gloves during the winter.
Available in Arctic Blue (photographed) or Black.
Shimano S-Phyre RC9 shoes £319/$400/AU$449
Shimano's S-Phyre RC9 shoes were first spotted at the 2016 Criterium du Dauphine as unbranded prototype shoes, and officially launched the shoe later in the year.
In 2017, Tom Dumoulin wore the shoes to both his Giro d'Italia and World Championships victories, while Mathieu van der Poel has worn the off-road version of the shoe to his European cyclocross title and current World Cup lead.
The shoes feature a stiff carbon sole and two Boa dials with 'Powerzone' wires to ensure a secure fit, and the synthetic leather perforated upper offers a well-ventilated and supple feel.
Available in blue, white, yellow and black, the shoes have been one of the more popular shoes in the WorldTour peloton this season.
Click here for our review of the Shimano S-Phyre RC9
Rocket Appartamento espresso machine from £1,069 (dependent on spec and location)
Based in Milan, Rocket Espresso produces a range of both commercial and domestic espresso machines. The Appartamento is perfect for smaller kitchens when quality coffee is a must.
The Appartamento has a milk steamer, one espresso head and a hot water spout ensuring everyone's coffee preferences are satisfied.
Rocket Espresso have around 80 WorldTour riders as brand ambassadors, including Peter Sagan, Alberto Contador, Greg Van Avermaet, Romain Bardet and Mark Cavendish. Bora-Hansgrohe and Bahrain-Merida are also official partners of the brand. As part of a deal to purchase the machines, Rocket Espresso offers a preferential price in return for brand exposure and a signed jersey from each of the cyclists. Many riders have stopped by the company's offices in Milan for barista training during their own training rides when in the area.
Rocket Espresso also offers an engraved finish for a personalised touch, with Greg Van Avermaet and Tom Dumoulin buying machines for each of their teammates following their Olympic road race and Giro d'Italia victories respectively.
Rocket Espresso are supporters of the Dave Rayner Fund in the UK, which offers grants to young British cyclists as an opportunity to better their careers and reach the top level of the sport.
CeramicSpeed OSPW system from €459
Designed and produced in Denmark, CeramicSpeed use ceramic bearings in hubs, bottom brackets, headsets and pulley wheels to offer a superior performance to standard steel bearings in race bikes.
Quick-Step Floors, AG2R La Mondiale and Bora-Hansgrohe will all be using CeramicSpeed components in the 2018 season.
The Oversized Pulley Wheel Systems are compatible with Shimano, SRAM and most recently Campagnolo electronic and mechanical derailleurs and offer a claimed power saving starting at 2.4 watts.
Beyond the watts savings, the pulley wheels' coating is '75 per cent harder than hardened steel' and claims to add longevity to the pulley wheel system.
Available in red or black, the company produced specially engraved pulley wheels for Tom Boonen's final race at Paris-Roubaix in April.
Chris Auld Tour de France crash photograph £55
The first image that you might envisage when you say Tour de France 2017 crash will more than likely be the infamous incident between Peter Sagan and Mark Cavendish on stage 4 of the Grand Tour.
However, during stage 2 of the race between Dusseldorf and Liege, a rain-slicked corner took down the yellow jersey-clad Geraint Thomas, race favourite and eventual winner Chris Froome and third place finisher Romain Bardet, among several others.
British cycling photographer Chris Auld captured the iconic moment perfectly, and an A3 print is now available from cycling gift specialists Band of Climbers.
Specialized S-Works Tarmac SL6 Sagan Superstar frameset £4,500/$4,250
The 2018 Specialized S-Works Tarmac SL6 was spotted by Cyclingnews at this year's Criterium du Dauphine underneath Dan Martin (Quick-Step Floors) and Emanuel Buchmann (Bora-Hansgrohe). Available in either rim or disc brake options, the 2018 model of the legendary frameset sees a raft of changes from its predecessors.
As at home on the Flandrien bergs as it is on Alpine passes, the Tarmac has excelled at the biggest races in the sport for years and will continue doing so next year.
Specialized are known to make specially painted framesets for their star riders and the three-time world champion Peter Sagan is no exception. This 'Sagan Superstar' finish was first seen on the aero Specialized Venge at the Tour Down Under and was later seen on the Slovakian's Tarmac.
The American company offers the colourway on the latest Tarmac model, as well as the Venge and the aluminium Allez Sprint framesets.
The Ascent: Sean Kelly, Stephen Roche and the Rise of Irish Cycling's Golden Generation by Barry Ryan £19.99
The 1980s saw Ireland graced with not one, but two of the world's best cyclists of the era, and perhaps among the list of all-time greats.
Sean Kelly and Stephen Roche won the Tour de France green and yellow jerseys, the Giro d'Italia, a world championships road race, seven Paris-Nice and six Monuments between them, eclipsing a generation dominated by the usual suspects from France, Belgium, Spain and Italy.
Barry Ryan definitively recalls the era with exclusive interviews with the riders themselves, as well as their rivals, teams and friends who lived through the unforgettable period.
Available from Gill Books here.
Kask Valegro helmet £/$/€TBC
Team Sky debuted the latest offering from Italian helmet specialists Kask at this year’s Tour de France. Chris Froome wore the helmet throughout the race to his fourth title, and again during August and early September as he completed the Tour-Vuelta double, becoming only the third rider in history to achieve the feat.
How much the Valegro contributed to the Briton's victories is perhaps negligible, but the 37 air vents combined with a vastly reduced head-to-pad contact area will have certainly helped during the summer heat.
Glasses can be stowed at the front or rear of the helmet, and other features include new fast-wicking carbon padding and a claimed 180 grams for size small.
The helmet is expected to be available with retailers in December and comes in nine designs.
Stages Shimano Dura-Ace R9100 power meter
Following last year's launch of Shimano's update for their flagship groupset, Stages updated their power meters and have integrated them into the Dura-Ace R9100 cranksets.
First prototypes of the new Stages power meters were seen on Chris Froome's bike in February at the Herald Sun Tour, and have since been distributed to the entire WorldTour squad throughout the season.
Weighing in at 190 grams for the left side power meter crank, Stages have a claimed accuracy of +/-2% and a battery life of over 200 hours.
Power meters enable the most accurate assessment of your performance, allowing detailed training or race analysis of your power. With a power meter you can also accurately see what training works for you best, and at the very least compare your own power to those at the top level of the sport.
Alongside Team Sky, Stages also provide power meters to a range of cyclocross, XC and professional triathletes.
World Bicycle Relief donation
World Bicycle Relief was founded by a SRAM co-founder and his partner in response to the Boxing Day tsunami disaster in 2004.
The organisation provided simple and robust bicycles to help reconnect communities, enable healthcare professionals to visit more patients, and children to cover long distances in less time to get to school. Following the success of the campaign, the organisation now has a heavy presence in African nations and other developing countries around the world.
The 'Buffalo Bicycle' is a bike that can cope with the rough terrain of countries and areas with little infrastructure. The simple yet robust steel bike can carry up to 100kg of cargo and the single-speed, back pedal braking system requires minimal maintenance, but is also easy to repair.
Just £95/$147 funds an entire Buffalo Bicycle, which could change someones life immeasurably.
World Bicycle Relief's programs have had proven success in breaking cultural norms of young girls staying at home instead of going to school. The vastly reduce travelling time enables them to fit their home tasks and an education into their day.
Healthcare professionals are also able to travel further distances, visiting, caring for and educating more patients, while small business enterprises are able to travel further with more goods to mobilise their businesses and flourish.
You can learn more about the work World Bicycle Relief do and make a donation here.
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