Stocking Stuffers from Rene Herse CyclesJan Heine
It’s the holiday season, and finding gifts is one of the things that can contribute to holiday stress. It needn’t be that way—gifts can be fun for both the giver and the recipient. At least for cyclists, it’s easy to find something that will delight and be useful. Hopefully we don’t need to remind you that bike parts generally don’t make good gifts—the lovely, only slightly worn front derailleur that’s languishing in your toolbox probably should stay there or go on ebay, but not to an unsuspecting friend who is about to upgrade their bike to a one-by drivetrain. To make your task easier, here are eight cycling-related gifts for $ 40 or less that have universal appeal and will bring joy, not just in the moment, but also when using them in the future.
If there is a perfect gift for a cyclist, it’s the NUDA minipump. ($ 39) Every cyclist needs a pump. We hope we won’t actually have to use it—and these days, with wide tires and courses that stay away from debris-littered highway shoulders (and tubeless tire sealant), we rarely have flats. But we still need to be prepared. Bringing a pump is no hassle when that pump is as light and small as the NUDA: It weighs just 30 g and is just 20 cm (7.95″) long. Yet the NUDA is surprisingly fast and efficient when filling your tire. It’s also elegant and cute, with its carbon barrel and titanium cover, making it the perfect stocking stuffer. If your cyclist is a true minimalist, give them the even smaller NANA pump instead. It’s small enough to fit in a jersey pocket, yet it’ll inflate any tire when called upon. ($ 38)
The All-Road Bike Revolution is unique among technical books, because it’s not about theory at all. Based on real-world experience and testing, this book details how bikes work so that we all can enjoy cycling even more. If your cycling friends are trying to make sense of wide tires, or wonder how to find the right gravel bike, they’ll enjoy this book. They’ll also enjoy it because it’s written in an easy-to-understand style and illustrated with fun drawings by Miyoshi. Because reading about bikes should be as much fun as riding them. Available in English, German and Japanese. ($ 28)
Many of us are excited that we can travel again. Your cycling friends may be planning some great trips. If they run disc brakes, they’ll appreciate the Ostrich Disc Rotor Cover. The cover slips onto the rotor, protecting both the rotor from contamination and your other luggage from getting damaged by the sharp edges. The cover also works great for freewheel cassettes (up to 160 mm diameter). ($12)
For anybody who carries a disc brake bike with one or both wheels removed, the Ostrich Disc Brake Spacers are a great gift. The clever elastic makes sure that they don’t fall out when carrying the bike. No more worries about the brake pads closing all the way and having to pry them apart with a screw driver! ($ 12)
The Rene Herse Pedal Bag keeps the greasy spindles off your other luggage, and it ensures that your pedals aren’t getting lost in the shuffle of packing your bike. The pedal bag is also great for filling with chocolates or other small gifts. ($ 12)
There’s one exception to the rule “Don’t give tools as holiday gifts”: If the tool is so universally useful that every cyclist should have one, and having two is even better because you’ll misplace one. The Kool-Stop Tire Bead Jack meets those criteria. With tubeless-compatible rims, tires tend to fit a bit tighter than in the past. Especially with brand-new tires, it can be hard to mount them, and we’ve all pinched tubes (and hopefully not damaged expensive rims) using standard tire levers. The Kool-Stop tire bead jack makes the task easy and foolproof. (For added value, show your friends how you don’t just manhandle the tire on and off the rim, but first push the bead into the well in the rim center, all the way around the tire to create slack. Especially if you’re nice about it, that skill will be the most useful gift you can give them.)
If your cycling friends are into posters, they’ll be delighted by the Rene Herse Posters with our favorite photos from the René Herse book. The posters show that looking good and riding well go hand-in-hand. Choose between Jacques and Madame Delmas in full flight on a classic Rene Herse tandem or Serge Félix on his way to third place in the 1955 Poly de Chanteloup—or give both! ($ 20 / $ 35 for two)
A subscription to Bicycle Quarterly is a gift most cyclists will enjoy. Your gift will start with our special 20th Anniversary Edition that’s coming out in a few days (above): Lael’s story of racing in Kenya, illustrated with Rue’s incredible photos. Gabriel Refait’s reportage of touring Corsica with a group of friends on repurposed classic bikes. The story of the Arkansas High Country Race. A gravel adventure from the half-way point of Bicycle Quarterly’s journey, ten years ago, when we still had to explain why we rode on gravel. Your friends will spend many enjoyable hours with the magazine, and they’ll be inspired to plan memorable rides for next year. And if you’re lucky, they’ll even take you on those rides! Beautiful photography, well-written articles, a great diversity of authors—Bicycle Quarterly is quite different from mainstream magazines. And if your recipient is in the U.S., we’ll send them a neat postcard to tell them about the give you gave them. ($ 40)
We hope these ideas have inspired you to give your cycling friends something that will bring joy, not just in the moment, but also when they use it in the future. We wish you a happy holiday season!
—Jan, Natsuko & the Rene Herse Cycles team