Best Gifts for Cyclists – A Buyer’s Guide

best gift ideas for bicyclists, road bikers, gravel cyclists, mountain bikers and commuters

Looking for the best gift for your favorite cyclist? Whether for the holidays, a birthday, or just because, here’s a highly curated list of useful, interesting bits that will surprise and delight.

I’ve grouped them by category, and most are affordable as small things or “the big gift”. And most of these are things any cyclist will appreciate and should be very obvious if they already have it or not, so there’s little chance you’ll get something they don’t want or already have.

Bags, Mounts & Racks

Don’t have a “burrito bag” yet for your handlebar? The Ornot Bar Bag Mini ($44) comes in five colors with matching Seat Bags ($28), because we love to match! Combined, they provide just enough storage for a basic repair kit, wind breaker, snacks, phone, and wallet. What sets their bar bags apart is a semi-rigid structured inner layer so it won’t sag or bulge into weird shapes. From gravel rides to all-day adventures on road or trail, this is the “I didn’t know I needed that, but I love it” accessory for every cyclist. They also have XL bar bags, too!

The Problem Solvers Seatpost Binder w/ Rack Mounts ($16) provides a sturdier bolt-on rear rack mounting point for bikes without built-in mounts. Just make sure to get the right size for the seat tube it’s going on.

The Old Man Mountain Divide Rack ($168) is the best on the market. It fits standard eyelets on both your frame and fork, so it works front or back, and adapters let it mount directly to your QR or thru axle for a rock-solid setup with big payload capacity!

revelate bikepacking framebags and saddle packs.
The ECOpak Shrew saddle pack, Tangle framebag, and Mag Tank top tube back make a perfect “light” bikepacking setup. (image: Revelate Designs/REI)

REVELATE DESIGNS BIKEPACKING BAGS: Most of us dream of bikepacking, and this setup works for a self-supported camping overnighter, or lets us get out on the road for a 2-3 days of “credit card bikepacking”, where we pack light and stay in a hotel and eat at restaurants. I really like Revelate Designs’ gear, and this is a perfect setup:

  • Mag Tank Top Tube Bag ($59, bolt-on) – Slim enough to avoid knee rub, it still holds my phone, a GoPro with Bite Mount, and a couple gels or bars. The magnetic closure is super easy to open one-handed, and flaps itself shut so you can stay focused on the road. Also available in a Strapped version for bikes without top tube mounts.
  • Tangle Framebag ($105) – Strapped under the top tube, it’s slim enough to still fit two water bottles underneath, but easily fits snacks, a pump, tools, tubes, wallet, vest, and other little stuff you need easy access to.
  • Ecopak Shrew Seat Pack ($65) – Just big enough for a change of clothes and flip flops, plus a few spare snacks, this one straps securely to your seatpost and saddle without flopping around. Personally, I want more space for extra clothes (and a second riding kit!), so I prefer the Terrapin 14L ($189), which has a removable dry bag that makes packing much easier.
  • Handlebar Harness ($95) – Not shown, but if you’re packing a sleeping bag in a compression sack or need somewhere to stow a tent, this gives you a secure mounting point on your handlebars.

Handlebar Tape

supacaz and wolf tooth components handlebar tape for gift ideas for cyclists

Fresh handlebar tape is always appreciated…it’s an easy way to make your bike look new again! Here are two of my all-time favorites:

SUPACAZ: With the most and best color options of any brand, Supacaz also makes the best handlebar tape out there. Try the Super Sticky Kush for maximum grip, or go with one of the shiny or muted finishes to match your mood. I’ve tried them all, and they’re all fantastic.

WOLF TOOTH COMPONENTS: The Wolf Tooth Supple Bar Tape ($40) is thick and cushy and perfect for riding rough gravel roads. It smooths the bumps and damps energy-sapping vibrations, and comes in five colors. It’s 5mm thick, which adds a lot of girth to a bar, so smaller hands may prefer the 2.5mm-thick Supple Lite Bar Tape ($30).

Sports Nutrition

If there’s one thing an avid cyclist will definitely go through, it’s nutrition. And it’s expensive, so it’s always appreciated as a gift. If they’re not dedicated to a specific brand, here are four of my favorites for fueling rides and recovering afterward.

SKRATCH HYDRATION: I recommend Skratch Hydration because they have a ton of great regular and seasonal flavors (Summer Peach, anyone?!?), and I don’t know anyone who doesn’t like their sports drink mix. That includes my kids, who typically don’t like powdered sports drinks but do like Skratch, which helps keep them going on longer rides.

FIRST ENDURANCE: Their EFS Sports Drink is the best I’ve tried for really long rides. The carbs and electrolytes are dialed, but it also adds SunTheanine to improve focus and mental toughness, and it works, keeping me in good spirits late into 5-6 hour rides when I’d otherwise be ready to quit. I save Ultragen for after the biggest rides because it’s expensive, but with a ton of carbs and whey protein isolate, it’s especially great for refueling on back-to-back days.

PROMIX: If you want the best, most highly bioavailable, and least likely to make you gassy whey protein, then you want grass-fed whey isolate. Promix’s formula adds a little bit of fair trade organic coconut sugar and organic vanilla or cocoa, and it works great in smoothies, cereal milk to boost protein, or on its own.

DRINK WHOLESOME: I’m a huge fan of Drink Wholesome’s Meal Replacement Shakes because a) they use egg whites, which have a complete and highly bioavailable amino acid profile for rebuilding muscle, b) they use clean, real food ingredients with no artificial sweeteners, and c) they have a healthy fat profile and no added sugar. If you can’t do whey protein, or just want a real-food option, this one’s awesome.

Lights, Tech & Gadgets

headphones radar taillights and garage door remotes as gifts for cyclists

SHOKS OPENRUN PRO: Riding (or just working out) with music is awesome; science has proven it boosts our output and positive attitude. But riding with ear buds is dangerous (and even illegal in some spots), which is why the Shokz OpenRun Pro bone-conduction headphones ($179.95) are so great. They keep your ears completely open to ambient sounds like traffic, dogs, and other riders, and the “Pro” version has way deeper base. They charge quickly and pack 10 hours of listening time.

GARMIN VARIA: Having ridden with one of these, I can say it’s a gamechanger. The Garmin Varia ($200) senses cars coming from behind (even whisper-quiet EVs!) and sends an alert to your cycling computer (compatible with Wahoo, Bryton, Hammerhead, and Garmin units). It’s perfect for riding solo, but also when riding with friends so you have plenty of time to merge into a single file.

The light’s blinking pattern and intensity changes as cars get closer to better alert drivers, too. The standard model is great, but there’s one with a built-in camera, too. Anything that improves rider safety is a gift for the giver, too.

DOORMATE: The Doormate Garage Door Remote fits inside a road or gravel handlebar end and works with any brand garage door opener (they also have an MTB version that fits in your steerer tube). It’s waterproof, super easy to pair, and makes it quick, easy, and secure to get in after a ride…or close the door on the way out…and it’s just $40. I have one of these and love it!

Bike Care & Maintenance Gifts

bike chain lubes and cleaners as gifts for cyclists

SILCA CHAIN WAX: Hands down, nothing compares to wax chain lube for ultimate performance and longevity. Silca’s Super Secret wax chain coating is one of my absolute favorites, and their Chain Stripper will get their chain prepped for wax by completely removing the factory grease and any other oil-based lubes. Wax lubes are hands down the best, most efficient, cleanest, and quietest chain lube, and this Combo Kit has everything you need to make the switch.

MUC-OFF DRY LUBE: Where I don’t love wax chain lubes is for indoor riding. If you have a bike that lives on the trainer for Zwifting, the Muc-Off Dry Lube not only works great, it smells great, too! Just be sure to fully clean your chain first, and apply sparingly…you don’t want it to drip, and you don’t need much for indoor use.

FINISH LINE SPEED DEGREASER: There’s nothing as quick and easy as Finish Line’s Speed Degreaser. Just remove the chain and cassette from your bike (you definitely do NOT want to use this on the bike, overspray could get on rims, brake pads, etc!), stick them in a bin, and spray away the grease, gunk & grime. It dries quickly and completely, then reinstall and re-lube. Beats scrubbing any day of the week! (Side note: This removes standard chain lubes and oils, but you’ll need a wax-specific cleaner, like Silca’s, or mineral spirits to remove chain wax).

Gifts for Kids & Young Cyclists

GIFT IDEAS for young cyclists and kids

KIDS’ CYCLING BOOKS: Here are three books/series – A Bike For You, Shred Girls, and If You Give a Girl a Bike – that your kids will love, whether you’re reading to them or they’re reading on their own.

BIKE BELL: Electra’s Domed Ringer Bike Bell comes in six fun designs (plus standard chrome, for your little hipster) and gives them the tools to alert others and learn good bike path etiquette.

HANDLEBAR BAG: The PoCampo Woosh handlebar bag is perfectly kid-sized with an open top so their “best friend” can poke their head out while riding. Or they can just keep snacks and a juice box at the ready. Works great on scooters, too.

Tours & Experiences

Thomson Bike Tours’ Gravel Series (top left) combine their legendary ride quality with a more grassroots, backroads vibe that explores far more interesting off-the-beaten-path routes. I’ve ridden their Portugal trip, and it’s absolutely incredible, but they offer trips all over the world.

Ride & Seek’s tours are longer and cover the globe with themed rides that explore routes and areas inspired by famous people or cultures. Their latest is the Samurai Japan (on right), which runs two segments plus a bonus trip up Mt. Fuji. If you have 10 to 30 days to spare, these look amazing.

Guided cycling tours are expensive, but there’s no better way to see a place than by bike, and no better way to do it then with an experienced guide that pours hundreds of hours into killer route recon and takes care of all the logistics, food, and drink!

Like the idea but need it contained to a weekend? Give them a trip to do a bucket list event like Grinduro, BWR, or Five Boros Bike Ride. Or jump on for a couple days of RAGBRAI, the world’s largest rolling cycling party!

the lunch ride logo cycling cap

Disclosure: There are NO paid placements in this post, all items are selected purely on their merit as an interesting product from a reputable brand. Some links are affiliate links for which we may receive a small commission if you buy something.

The Lunch Ride is a curated weekly TL;DR recap of the best new cycling products and tech, written for Riders, not Algorithms. SUBSCRIBE HERE to get it every Friday.