Searching a for a gift for that special girl on a bike?
Here are some cool new gift ideas, along with a little advice on what not to get for your girl on bike.
First, let me save you some money with the do not gets:
- Do not surprise her with a bike she has not participated in buying. Instead, arrange a few days worth of demos (do your research on women’s fit). It will make her feel more connected to the bike if she participates from the beginning. Besides, women can be harder to fit than men, so it’s important that she’s there, physically, so that you can get it right. Far too often people are sold bikes that are too big for them, because that’s what in stock at the shop, and the salesman is trying to make his/her commission. Be wary of this, PARTICULARLY for mountain bikes, where she’ll need to get behind the saddle, for riding safely, downhill.
- Do not get expensive components without being absolutely sure that they can be returned after they are installed, if they don’t fit. Things like handlebars, stems, and saddles are often the solution to women’s bike fit issues, however, some bike shops are not friendly about returning these kinds of components, once the have been installed. And no, they don’t care that you’ve never ridden it; they care about the tightened screws, and the clamp load, and that the part really can’t be sold as “pristine new” after that; they are within their rights to worry about such things. So talk to them, and make sure about policy before you buy/install.
Anything else is pretty much fair game.
Now to the FABULOUS gifts for your favorite girl on bike.
Nice Little Stocking stuffers for Little Money:
- Knog Frogs ($14.00) and Gekkos ($30.00) – They are little, stylish LED lights, that keep you seen, as with Frogs, and allow you to see as with Gekkos. Frogs require a watch battery, so although it’s replaceable they don’t last very long,. They are sort of an emergency light, for people find occasionally find themselves in a situation where being seen by traffic would be an immediately awesome thing. Gekkos, on the other hand, run on two AAA batteries, and have three LED lights as opposed to one. Although it’s not amazingly bright, it’s enough to allow you to see along a dark road fairly well. The AAA batteries mean that you can get rechargeable batteries, and never worry about having to buy batteries for your bike lights again. You’ll have that battery thing taken care of. EDIT: Ever since I posted this, I’ve had numerous complaints about the Knog lights. Most of the complaints are about them not being bright enough. THAT concerns me so much, that although I like the Knog lights, I will no longer recommend them. I will be trying some by Planet Bike, and write a head to head review when I have more info. Thanks to those of you who voiced your concerns.
- Action Wipes - I have just discovered these. This is an AMAZING product. They are these reuseable “Apres Sport” moist cleansing wipes made with fresh ingredients like Eucaplytus and Tea Tree oil; they come in a little ziploc packet that you can tuck into your back pocket, and WOW are they cleansing and refreshing. Did I say that you can wash them and reuse them? 5 count pack is $3.49!
- Brave Soldier’s Crash Packs – Does your gal mountain bike, and occasionally push the envelope? Get her the gift that says you care about her knarly extreme sport boo-boos. For $12.00 you have almost everything thing you need to get yourself through trail/road rash crashes. I’d add in one big patch of Tegaderm or Duoderm for good measure (cause nothing says “I love you” like taming the burn of road rash). Find this at your local bike shop.
- Makai Bike’s Bells – I have to mention this cute little company and their cute little bells. If they weren’t cheap enough at $10.00 a pop, they have some adorable fishie bells on sale right now for $3.79!
Very Nice Choice gifts for $40-$500
- Deuter Race x Backpack/Hydration system – I use this for commuting, as well as mountain biking and hiking. It has everything I need and nothing I don’t. The back length is small, the straps are comfortable and placed for small shoulders, the weight is distributed well on the back, and the hip belt which has two front pockets, conform to the curver of women’s hips. All of this lead to an exceedingly comfortable pack that stays puts on rough mountain terrian. It even has a stow-away helmet holder, something I appreciate as a commuter. $100.00. The Deuter name is European, and had been making backpacks for generations. I find the general consrtuction and quality of these packs to be some of the best ever. By the way, another good Deuter Hydration pack for women is the Deuter EXP 6 SL, for $80.00
- Does she NOT wear a helmet, but you wish she did? Maybe she’ll wear this one – Nutcase Helmets – Perfect as a commuter helmet, Nutcase helmets may be the answer for women who have hair damage from the stupid plastic parts on the inside of ALL the other dang helmets. Girlz with long hair, you know what I mean. These have pull out pads, and each helmet comes with two sizes of pad. I have not tried one of these helmets yet, because I just got mine in. Try to get the Nutcase Helmet at a local bike shop if you can, because the the graphics have to be seen in person to be believed. The girly ones are SO cute, she’ll want to wear a helmet, for once. What a great way to say “I love your brain.” $40.00.
- Base Layers – I am an absolute sucker for that which keeps me cozy and warm. To keep me cozy on the coldest days I go for Craft Base Layers, particularly the Pro Zero, which has ribbing, to form a small layer of dead warm air. It works very well, and the wicking capabilites exceed any other synthetic layer I worn. But if I think even for a moment that I might get wet, I immediately switch to wool. Technology be damned, wool is the only thing I know of that keeps you warm, even when soaking wet; some things we just can’t improve upon. I like both Ibex Wool the best, followed by SmartWool as a close second. Either way, it’s like giving warm hugs.
- And speaking of keeping dry How about a really great Rain Jacket? – Castelli has done a beautiful job in designing the New Amazzonia. The shape is precise, and form fitting, without being restrictive. There’s no doubt that this is a cut meant to fit in “bike position” as the tail swings way down to protect your bum from rainy day “skunk pants” (also avoided with fenders), or any torential downpour you might happen into. This jacket is actually rugged in it’s materials and construction, quite surprising for the less than rugged Castelli brand. Of course, they didn’t skimp on the style points either. Zips under the arms help to control temperature regulation. $140.00
- Baby, it’s cold outside! Keep her Apple Cider Warm in a Bombshell Red Batitti jacket from Castelli. The cut is casaul on the bottom; there’s no elastic, so it’s non-binding. Up top is all style and tech that keeps the cold completely off of her neck. Inside is thick luxerious fleecy goodness and outside is a special Windstopper fabric with 4-way stretch made exclusively for Castelli. And can we say gorgeous? Oh yes we can. $190.00.
- And the best Jacket for Winter 2008? That would be the Vertice by Castelli. $330.00 will say she’s this kind of special. There, now that you are over the sticker shock, let me tell you about the jacket. It has Moto styling that says “hot and ready for action”, Fabric that stretches just enough for comfort, that same awesome keep the cold out collar as the Batitti, and Full Windstopper 4 way stretch fabric. As the Batiti feels cozy, fluffy, fuzzy warm inside, the Vertice is not; it’s fleecy, but the fabric is thinner, making it a perfect shell. The zips on the chest are vents, and have the best placement I’ve ever felt or seen. This is the jacket for the gal who has to deal with large temperature fluctuations, like 40 or fity degrees in one ride. Oh, and this jacket laughs at rain, and wind, and general inclement weather. So, is she this kind of special? Wouldn’t you spend that much on a stylish and warm coat for her anyway?
- Best Winter Tights ever, Etxe Ondo’s Sies Tights – If you haven’t ever read my blog before then know this; I’m obsessed with Exte Ondo. They have bar none, the best chamois, cuts, and construction. The Sies Tights are no exception, in that the quality is superb. The pattern on the leg is not just a pattern; it places compression on the leg exactly where you need it. The fabric is Themalite, which will keep you warm and dry, as it has amazing wicking capabilities. And of course, they are HOT looking. $205.00
- Still wanna get her a bike? Okay, how about an inexpensive, one size fits most beach cruiser from Makai Bikes - For less than the cost of a Castelli Jacket, you can get her an awesome little run-around bike. This little online store has cruisers starting at $159.00.
- OR even better, make it into an Xtracycle! For less than $500.00, you can convert her bike into the most fun commuter bike around. Longtail bikes are more stable, and can of course haul incredible amounts of stuff. For the gal who’s mostly a commuter, this is a really sweet option.
- OR the Best Gift of all, (still wanna buy her a bike?) A BIKE FIT from a professional bike fitter, preferably one who specializes in women’s fit. This is the ultimate gift that keeps on giving. Depending upon Who’s doing it, expect to pay $125.00-$500.00 depending upon the technology and equipment used for the fit. Expect to pay even more when you have to swap out for the parts that fit her. But this is the gift for the Ultimate cyclist.
- Is she an eco-girl but not exactly the Ultimate cyclist? Consider getting her a Totally Tubular Messenger bag. The bags and wallets are made from used tires and tubes, and remnants from an upholstery factory. Obviously they are wicked waterproof and strong. No two are the same. $80.00
What’s on your wishlist, girls?