Looking to buy a personal, useful or beautiful gift for someone who loves to bike? We asked some of our avid bikers to tell us about their favorite gadgets, and here are some of their picks.
1. High Energy Enterprises LED Multi-color Wheel Lights—These waterproof motion-sensitive automatic color-changing lights are designed to make your bike wheels visible, but they’re also fun to watch. “I can never have enough lights or gloves or water bottles. They are easy to lose,” says Paul Black, Senior Transportation Planner with Capital Area Metropolitan Planning Organization (CAMPO). “Anything that helps with side visibility is good. I have these ‘firefly’ things that go on the tire valves that are cheap and fun. When I pass little kids on the greenway, they always comment.”
2. Safe Zone Bicycle Helmet Mirror by EVT — This large mirror has an adjustable linked arm that allows you to see what’s behind you. “It’s super nerdy, but the utility and safety win over fashion,” Black says.
3. Topeak Modula Java Cage—A few months ago, Dale McKeel, Bicycle and Pedestrian Coordinator with the Department of Transportation for the City of Durham, bought this bottle holder. “It is nice because it can be modified to carry a wide range of bottles,” he says. “Some people also use it for speakers.”
4. Phone Holder/Digital Speedometer—Wondering how fast you’re going so you can keep up your speed when you’re doing timed rides? Having a phone holder on your handlebar, like this Topeak RideCase, allows you to view apps that track speed changes using GPS. You can also opt to buy a digital speedometer.
5. Bike Repair Stand—If you’re looking for a bigger ticket item, a bike work stand is probably a good bet as it comes in handy. A gadget like this Park Tool PCS-10 Work Stand could be on many bikers’ wish lists. “If you’re on the road, a bike stand is useful to fix or clean anything,” says Brendan Burns, a recreational cyclist. “To have your bike mounted is like putting your car on a jack. That’s why many people invest in it because it makes maintenance easier.”
6. Biking Bags— Biking bags some in all sizes and shapes, so getting the right one means doing a little research in advance to see if your biker is inclined to picnic and carry a load or to travel light. Type in “biking bag” on amazon.com and you’ll find a range of choices, from backpacks you wear to those that fit on the handlebar, crossbar or behind the saddle. A garment bag pannier is useful for those who ride to work.
7. Cycling Apparel: Biking Shorts and t-shirts—Padded biking shorts, like these Eco-daily Men’s 4D Padded Cycling Shorts, act as shock absorbers to cushion riders on long or bumpy rides. Some riders like wearing t-shirts that are made out of Coolmax fabric because they wick moisture well on hot days, unlike a regular cotton t-shirt. Opt for biking clothing that is as bright so it’s visible.
Don’t forget to check our Bike Month calendar to find fun events throughout May!