If you’re anything like us, you’re now being bombarded with phone calls and emails from your family, demanding to know what you want for Christmas. You might have seen a thousand things on Wiggle or Velovixen over the course of the year, but you’ll be damned if you can remember any of them when you’re put on the spot.
Alternatively, you might be that family member, trying to find the ideal gift for your cycling-obsessed daughter/husband/grandmother/nephew.
We have put together a Vamper Christmas list of excellent gifts for those who prefer the two-wheeled life. Read on for our round up of the best Christmas presents for cyclists in 2015…
A silk scarf is a versatile – and glamorous – accessory to have in your armoury. It adds colour and flare to an otherwise simple outfit; it can hide a multitude of sins as a headscarf (useful on those days when a helmet hasn’t done your hair any favours); and on the mild days we’ve been experiencing this winter, it can be tucked in to your collar to keep draughts out without overheating.
What’s more, if you’re not cycling too far and want to keep your hair looking nice, wearing a silk headscarf underneath your helmet instead of a cap will keep your hair smooth and sleek. (Not recommended for long, fast rides when all you will do is make your beautiful silk scarf sweaty). We like Rapha’s purple silk offering: it’s timeless and chic and allows you to channel Rapha style on and off the bike.
The ideal post-sportive get up, when you’re keen to maintain your cycling credentials down the pub but can’t wait to get out of your sweaty kit. Endurance Conspiracy tees are made from incredibly soft, lightweight 100% cotton and they’re supremely comfortable, for either a pint with the cycling club or at home with your jogging bottoms. Fit & Vicious definitely floated our boat.
Anyone who follows Vamper.cc on social media will be only too aware of our penchant for bold cycling gear. We’re not shrinking violets and we won’t fade into the background. A pair of these bold and beautiful arm warmers from Svelte Cycles (in Botanical for Victoria, please) would be welcome in our Christmas stocking, particularly during such a mild winter when we’re still not quite in need of full on winter cycle wear every day.
Victoria is a hot-blooded sort, fiery tempered and too warm for about 50% of the time. Unless it is a very cold day, long sleeved and high necked base layers are just too much. Isadore Apparel’s sleeveless base layer proved itself to be a huge hit: extremely comfortable and well fitting, unobtrusive under a huge range of garments, and easy to care for. While it may be part of the men’s range, the size Small fits beautifully (Matt has been happily wearing the same style in Medium). A practical gift which will quickly become a favourite garment, we promise.
Well, this really is a thing of beauty. Designed and handmade in England, the Omloop winter cycling cap from This is Cambridge is a classic bit of kit for the colder months. Made from 100% merino wool to keep you snug while wicking moisture away, we think this is a marvellous cap. What’s more, This is Cambridge understand that one size doesn’t fit all (particularly in the Vamper.cc household, with Victoria’s mega cranium and Matt’s pinhead). The caps come in not one, but five sizes. We’re sure you’ll find one to fit.
High Street retailer White Stuff have put together a lovely Winter range this year which features a cracking bike print scarf (and pyjama bottoms). Fine gauge double-layered merino wool for warmth, we think the navy version is a lovely gift for the cyclist in your life. It’s a nice way to demonstrate devotion to two-wheeled life off the bike.
We keep going on about it, but it really has been a mild winter – we still can’t entertain donning heavy winter garb. Rapha’s Merino Gloves have been designed for wear in mild to cool conditions, making them ideal for the weather we’ve been experiencing recently. They’re extremely smart and they would look just as smart behind the wheel of your car or with a sharp winter coat as they do on the bike. And with a grippy leather palm, they’re functional too. At £70 they’re a bit of an extravagance – but that makes them an ideal Christmas wishlist item, we think.
Are you guilty of losing items of your kit on a regular basis? Victoria is. Every time we go away to a sportive, I hear a wail of “Maaaatt… Have you seen my <insert gloves/gels/socks>…?” – well, I’m hoping that once she has a Kitbrix of her own, it might help her to keep her cycling kit in one place. It’s a cracking bit of gear: well designed space, tough, waterproof and mud proof. You can pack everything you need in here: helmet, neck scarf, waterproof jacket, jersey, base layer, bib shorts, gloves, socks, cycle shoes, gels, small pump and any other essential bits you can’t live without. A great item for your wishlist – or a gift for someone you think needs some help keeping it all together… We particularly like the vibrant Red Coat model. Festive!
Vélobici’s thermal oversocks are designed to keep feet cosy both on and off the bike, thanks to the use of the brand’s exclusive VB-Pro VR1 fabric. Breathable and odour resistant, they’ll help you get out on the bike on the chilliest of days thanks to the double layer thermal insulation. Available in black, the socks have a splash of reflective red ankle binding for visibility plus an embroidered VB logo (which has Vamper’s own VB sold). They are are available in two sizes, small/medium and large/x-large.
You know those times when you are pumping away and you feel less than well equipped? – No? – Just Matt, then! Either way, those feelings of inadequacy will melt away should you receive the Birzman Maga Apogee III for Christmas. It is to track pumps what Beyonce would have been to The Spice Girls. Once you’ve experienced true finery you can never look at Geri in the same way again…
Do you find yourself drifting into daydream about perfect summer days riding the Surrey Hills? Do you quietly ponder descending Box Hill as you drift off at night? If cycling hasn’t *quite* taken over your life yet, why not consider hanging a glorious cycling-themed canvas at home? This great set of Box Hill-themed prints from local artist David Tedman will have you hankering for the start of the season all winter long.
When it comes to Christmas gifts for cyclists, practical presents can be every bit as brilliant as luxurious ones. Much as we wish we could just ride everywhere for fun, many of us have to spend the majority of bike rides carting work clothes, Macbooks, lunch boxes and all sorts of other bits and pieces on our backs. Such is the life of a cycle commuter. Our rucksacks aren’t waterproof and they’re rather lacking in pockets, so we’re hankering after the Active Intelligence Urbane Compact 20L Bike Backpack at Neos Cycling. It sounds tough and highly functional with roll top closure and plenty of pockets to keep things tidy – including a padded, removable internal organiser which will fit a tablet. It’s 100% waterproof, and has a reflective logo and LED mount for visibility at night. We’d be happy to find one under the tree!
Don’t forget to check back over the next few weeks to see more cycling Christmas gifts for cyclists – we’ll be sharing all the ideas we find…