The Best Gifts for Cyclists this Holiday Season

By Molly Hurford

The holiday season is here, which means many of us are looking for presents for the cyclists we know. While some cyclists love some fun bike-themed gear or cycling kit, we’ve found that many prefer more practical presents—but ideally ones that don’t require specific sizing, since it can be tricky to choose the right size for the cyclist you know. Let’s talk about a few great ways to celebrate the cyclist in your life, with gifts and experiences for all budget ranges.  

A thin beanie 

This might be the only piece of clothing other than socks that’s an easy win for almost any Canadian cyclist. We love Pearl Izumi’s ultra-thin merino wool toque for tucking under a helmet on chilly rides. It’s small enough that it can fit in a saddlebag so your riding friend will always have it on hand, and can be stuffed easily into a pocket if temperatures start to rise mid-ride. And because beanies like this are so thin, they can even be layered with more casual toques so that other outdoor activities are even cozier than usual. Look for a toque that’s 100 percent merino wool, since that will do the best job wicking sweat while keeping a cyclist’s head warm.  

A local trail system or indoor riding pass 

Many local trail systems with great mountain biking have optional trail memberships that help raise money for regular maintenance—and some trail systems even require membership in order to use the trails! Look at what’s local to your cyclist: You don’t want to join a club for them, of course, but if there are trail fees that you can cover to allow your rider to have full access, that’s a great gift! If your cyclist is in the GTA, consider gifting them a few sessions at the Mattamy National Cycling Centre in Milton or the Joyride150 indoor bike park in Markham: Since both are indoors, they’re gifts that can be used year-round.  

Passes to a local yoga studio 

Cyclists are notorious for not stretching enough, so why not give your cyclist a helpful nudge in the right direction with a gift card for a local yoga spot? If you or your cyclist are not comfortable with being in gyms yet, consider a gift card for an app like Glo, which offers thousands of yoga, mindfulness and mobility-driven classes for all levels, skills sets, flexibility goals and time slots available. Need a 10-minute power yoga session to get warmed up for a trainer ride? They’ve got it. 90-minute slow paced recovery stretch? Yep, they have that too.  

A loud bike bell 

Whether your cyclist rides on trails, roads, paths or all over, having a loud bike bell is a great way to warn people when you’re about to overtake them, in a way that doesn’t involve yelling on your part. This one is a great stocking stuffer at only $15, and is just as loud as many pricier models. Of course, we also recommend heading to your local bike shop and supporting them by buying a bell in-store if possible!  

A skills session with a local coach 

While most coaches aren’t doing much in-person coaching in the winter, if you know a local coach who runs private or group skills sessions in the discipline your cyclist loves (or is considering trying), a gift certificate for some skills training is a great way to help them boost their confidence and safety on the road or trails.  

Stockings, stuffed: Cycling socks packed with snacks 

This is my personal favorite gift idea for those shopping for a whole cycling crew—the buddies you ride with on a weekly basis, your mountain biking club, that kind of thing. You don’t want to break the bank, but you want to find something meaningful and cycling-themed. In that case, I love buying a fun pair of cycling socks for each rider—some riders get loud patterns, others get simple merino wool depending on their style—and then stuffing the socks with a variety of bars, gels, single-serve drink mixes and stroopwaffles. It’s a great way for your friends to try out a variety of new snack options on their rides, and you can buy each gel/bar in bulk boxes of 12 or 24 in order to make it a budget-friendly gift. If you’re trying to keep it even cheaper, you can check out our easy energy ball recipes we shared earlier this year and DIY some ride snacks for all of your friends instead! 

Gift card for a massage 

What cyclist doesn’t want (or need) a little TLC this season? Giving the gift of a session with a local sports massage therapist can be one of the nicest presents you can get for a cyclist, since often riders skip the more relaxing things like massage in favor of an extra session at the gym, or would rather spend extra cash on bike gear. There’s not much that’s better than the gift of lowered cortisol and happy muscles.  

A cycling-specific cookbook 

And consider pairing the cycling cookbook with a fun cycling tea towel to make it a more comprehensive gift. Here are a few of our favorites cookbooks to gift: 

The Feed Zone Cookbook by Allen Lim and Biju Thomas 

The Cyclist’s Cookbook by Nigel Mitchell  

The Cycling Chef by Alan Murchison  

The Feed Zone Table by Allen Lim and Biju Thomas 

Rocket Fuel by Matt Kadey 

About the writer:

Molly Hurford is a journalist in love with all things cycling, running, nutrition and movement-related. When not outside, she’s writing about being outside and healthy habits of athletes and interviewing world-class athletes and scientists for The Consummate Athlete podcast and website, and most recently launched the book ‘Becoming A Consummate Athlete.‘ She’s the author of multiple books including the Shred Girls, a young adult fiction series and online community focused on getting girls excited about bikes. Molly is a little obsessed with getting people psyched on adventure and being outside, and she regularly hosts talks and runs clinics for cyclists and teaches yoga online and IRL… And in her spare time, the former Ironman triathlete now spends time tackling long runs and rides on trails or can be found out hiking with her mini-dachshund DW and husband, cycling coach and kinesiologist Peter Glassford.