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There’s no quicker way to cyclists’ hearts than the gift of gear. Whether it’s a tricked-out tent for bikepacking or a simple pair of socks, they’re sure to love anything that helps them spend more time in the saddle. Below, some of our favorite bespoke (get it?) buys.
Fort Collins-based Niner, one of the pioneers of the 29-inch-diameter wheels that have revolutionized mountain biking, entered the e-bike game in 2020. The brand now offers the RLT e9 RDO, an electric gravel model, and the RIP e9, a trail bike with 150 millimeters of suspension in the front and rear. But if your cycling pal likes to send it—and you’re willing to shell out—we recommend going for the WFO e9 ($6,999), a monster, 180-millimeter-travel enduro rig that will tackle anything your loved one throws in its path. Available online and at various retailers
Give One Year of 5280 for just $16.
This writer loves Osprey cycling packs because they are built to last. Proof: He still uses his 12-year-old Raptor 14 every time he rides singletrack (and when he’s off-trail, too). But the cycling world has moved on from backpacks like the Raptor to hip packs—for good reason. The new generation of bags lowers riders’ centers of gravity and, more importantly, reduces back sweat. Unlike the bottles some other hip packs require, the Cortez company’s Seral 7 ($110) comes with a 1.5-liter water bladder and compression straps to keep the pack in place. Available online and at various retailers
A tent on a cycling gift guide? You bet. Bikepacking is one of cycling’s hottest trends, but finding a compact tent that can easily strap to your steed is no small thing. That’s why Sea to Summit—an Australian brand with its U.S. headquarters in Boulder—designed the Telos Bikepacking TR2 ($699) to have shorter pole segments, meaning it can be packed into a shorter bundle than most traditional backpacking tents. Those squat proportions ensure it can be strapped pretty much anywhere on your rig, including the front fork, so it’s a good thing the Telos also comes with two waterproof stuff sacks to prevent tire spray from soaking your shelter. Available online
The Expedition Bib Shorts ($130) from Louisville-based Pearl iZumi are designed for the riders who like to tackle tough terrain. They’ll get a welcome boost from a new, extra-cushy chamois pad. Cargo pockets on the thighs, a rear pocket large enough to stow a jacket, and recycled materials worked into the construction also make ultra-long days in the saddle more comfortable and convenient, whether your giftee is riding the entire Colorado Trail or tooling around Boulder County farm roads. Available online
The Mile High City is home to a slew of social bike rides that set off after dark, such as the Denver Cruiser Ride. Get in on the party—and stay safe when cycling at night—by dressing up your rig with these rechargeable wheel lights ($20) from Boulder-based Nite Ize. They click onto your spokes sans tools and feature six hours of charge, plus they can be set to one of four color options or a color-changing Disc-O mode to make your ride feel more like a rave. Available online
Point6 churns out high-performance wool socks and apparel for all sorts of activities, but its Extra Light 3/4 Crew socks ($23)—now available in this new arrow pattern—are ideal for cycling. The 62-percent-wool construction keep your tootsies toasty (and stink-free), ventilation panels help keep them dry, and nylon reinforcement prevents your toes from wearing through the fabric. What happens if they do break free? The Steamboat Springs company offers an unconditional lifetime guarantee. Available online and at various retailers
Carbon bikes are expensive, so it’s best not to strap your rig to your car by its frame where it can be damaged. RockyMounts, a 30-year-old rack manufacturer based out of Grand Junction, uses two load arms on its trailer hitch–mounted GuideRail ($850) to secure your bicycle by its wheels instead. It’s not a particularly novel idea, but the GuideRail sweetens the deal with its two-bike capacity (which can be bumped up to three by purchasing an extra tray, $300); asymmetrical loading so handlebars don’t get tangled; and anti-wobble system that prevents your bikes from rattling to death on the way to the trailhead. Available online and at various retailers
You know exactly what you’re getting with a product named the Bike Bag ($49). But just in case its use isn’t clear: This three-liter-capacity triangle straps to the front of your handlebars so you can store extra tubes, tools, snacks, cellphones, and anything else you might need easy access to during a ride. Like the Fort Collins-born brand’s other beloved bags, the Bike is made from recycled materials. Even better: It comes with a removable shoulder strap, so it can be used when you’re not on two wheels, too. Available online and in various retailers
The best thing about gifting a 20-pack of hydration mixes ($22) from Boulder’s Skratch Labs is how easy it is. You don’t have to know anything about the giftee’s riding style, measurements, or what they already have squirreled away in their gear shed. (Although you will need to know if they prefer pineapple or fruit punch.) Every cyclist needs to stay hydrated, and they can never have enough electrolyte mixes—especially when they’re as tasty and light-on-sugar as these. Available online and in various retailers
Smartwool, owned by Denver-based gear juggernaut VF Corporation, makes a variety of technical biking apparel, including jerseys, gloves, and socks. But we picked this five-panel cap emblazoned with a bike wheel ($35) out of the pack for one simple reason: Cycling isn’t a hobby. It’s a lifestyle. Available online and in various retailers