As part of our annual help to harried shoppers everywhere who are struggling to find the perfect gift for the bike rider on their list, we present you with this list of the top items for cyclists from 2011. We tested all of them, and you'll find them both useful and fun, and a hit with even the most finicky recipient on your list.
When you're looking for a helmet camera, there are a lot of choices on the market. Quality and price are all over the place with the various models, but in terms of the ones we've seen, the GoPro HD Hero helmet camera is a clear winner in all categories: value, functionality, video quality and ruggedness. If you're going to invest the money to record your adventures, the GoPro HD Hero helmet camera should be at the top of your list. Price: in the range of $250, depending on accessories.
The Premium Bike Speed and Cadence Sensor by Wahoo Fitness is a nifty device. At around $60, it turns your iPhone into a high-tech cyclocomputer, showing your bike speed, distance traveled and pedal RPMs in an attractive, easy-to-read interface using the company's own Fisica app or another product. Sleek and low-profile, it provides the essential information any cyclist needs in tracking ride performance. Note that the Speed and Cadence Sensor uses the same Fisica Sensor, an ANT+ wireless receiver that goes with the Wahoo Fitness Heart Rate Sensor, providing the potential for a couple related gifts here for the same cyclist.
Colorful cycling jerseys make a statement. And your favorite cyclist can show off their allegiance to their favorite pro sports team with these jerseys from VOMax. From one of the leaders in custom team jerseys, they're constructed by people who know cycling apparel, so the jerseys are well-made, are going to fit right and are constructed in time-tested cycling design with the right material for moisture control. Best of all, the pro team logos are bright and colorful, and simply a lot of fun to wear. Retail price: around $80.
If you want to carry stuff on your bike, but don't want a full-fledged, permanently-mounted bike rack, Arkel has created the Tailrider Bag and Randonneur Rack combo in an ideal combination of stability and relatively light weight that also allows for easy transfer between bikes. $200 for both may seem expensive, but the price is right for a well-made bag and rack that allows for light touring on and off road, and can turn any bike into a commuter. The Tailrider Bag is compact and aerodynamic, yet expands far beyond what you'd expect to make room for a lot of extra gear or food that you might need on a long ride.
The Wahoo Fitness heart rate monitor tracks (what else?) your heart rate during exercise and transmits that information to your iPhone for display. This device, priced around $60, uses the same Fisica Sensor, an ANT+ wireless receiver that goes with the Fisica Premium Speed and Cadence Bike Sensor, providing the potential for a couple related gifts here for the same cyclist.
One of the bummers about wearing bike shoes for cleated pedals is that they are generally no good to walk around in. For instance, when I arrive at work on my bike and enter the building, I either have to walk around the office in my socks until I change clothes or else do the tap tap tap routine, clumping around the building like a goof in my bike shoes. But with the DZR Strasse bike shoe, problem solved. They look like a pair of ordinary, albeit very cool mid-top shoes, but they've got an Inspector Gadget-like secret cut-out sole that takes cleats for your bike pedals. Compatible with all standard two-bolt cleat systems, these'll run you about $110.
The Pro Elite Bicycle Repair Stand by Feedback Sports is the top portable work stand on the market, making bicycle maintenance and repair more fun and convenient. The Pro-Elite Workstand is smartly designed and well-built, allowing you to easily position your bike in the best way for your specific task. The quick-release clamp holds your bike firmly, yet allows for instant in-and-out. Folds down into a small package for easy transport and storage and comes with its own durable tote. $250.