Cycling is a lot of different things for a lot of different people. For some, it's a way to commute to work. For others, it's a high-octane sport where skin-tight spandex is mandatory. Getting a great gift for a cyclist largely depends on what kind of cyclist they are, and the pressure of gifting the “wrong” thing is real — my friends avoid getting me cycling gifts, despite the fact that I am a more casual rider.
This list attempts to bridge the gap between the many different types of cyclists out there. From practical bike clothes to advanced bike computers, we’ve included cyclists gifts every rider should find useful and fun.
The best gifts for cyclists
To help you find a great gift for the cyclist in your life, we relied on a mix of hands-on testing, professional reviews and expert guidance. We focused on accessibility and compatibility, largely avoiding products that only fit specific kinds of bikes or riders.
No matter what kind of cyclist you are, good eye protection is crucial. Whipping wind and scorching sun are no match for Goodr’s Wrap G sunglasses. Wrapping around the eyes, these sunnies give riders full protection against sun, wind and debris. Goodr is known for fun, affordable, no-slip sunglasses, and the Wrap G’s are just that, with seven bold colorways to choose from. I wear them every time I ride, and I haven’t been disappointed yet.
Most cyclists already own a helmet. However, it’s probably not as lightweight or as comfortable as Smith’s Trace helmet. Going from an old hand-me-down helmet to the Trace showed me just how great a premium helmet can be — most of the time, I forget I’m even wearing it. It’s lightweight at less than 1 pound and has plenty of ventilation with 18 air vents. It’s also highly adjustable thanks to the rear dial with 270-degree fit adjustment. Most of all, the Trace is safe — it features MIPS and Koroyd, two industry-leading impact-protection systems.
Being visible is essential to safe biking, especially at night. High-visibility clothes and bike reflectors are a good start, but nothing shines brighter than a dedicated bike light. Cygolite’s Metro Plus 800 front bike light is one of the brand’s most popular products. The light has day and night modes, with a wide variety of intensities and flashing rhythms to choose from. The hard plastic mount keeps the light secure, and it fits on nearly any type of handlebar, according to the brand. It's also USB rechargeable and has an IP67 waterproof rating.
Even veteran riders often neglect to attach a bell to their handlebars, and it can be useful when you’re trying to warn pedestrians that you’re passing by. Crane’s E-Ne bike bell is compact, loud and compatible with all kinds of handlebars. It produces a long, resonant sound that’s easy to hear over typical city noise. The brass models are especially loud — my neo black E-Ne bell has saved me from countless close calls.
No matter how coordinated a cyclist you are, pulling your phone out of your pocket mid-ride is annoying and often unsafe. The Nite Ize Wraptor allows you to mount nearly any phone onto any bike, according to the brand. It's made of adjustable rubber and plastic that the brand says is easy to use. The stretchy rubber grips grab onto all four corners of your phone — the end result is a secure, visible screen you can glance at for maps or incoming, hands-free calls.
Kryptonite’s Evolution Mini 7 with Flex Cable is an easy-to-use lock that works on most bikes in most places, according to the brand. I particularly like the inclusion of the cable, which is helpful in locking removable components like a saddle or bike light. Just remember: Bike locks are deterrents, not solutions. This bike lock and nearly every other on the market will fail against determined thieves with serious tools like angle grinders.
The last thing you want on a long-distance bike ride is to get lost. The ELEMNT Bolt is a compact computer stuffed with useful features like full color maps, turn-by-turn navigation, automating route rerouting, fitness data and more. The ELEMNT Bolt connects to your smartphone via Bluetooth and syncs with dozens of popular cycling apps. I use the ELEMNT Bolt when I ride and it has made biking around my state less stressful.
Off-road riding can be rough, especially if your bike isn’t geared up for the task. An often overlooked comfort component is handlebar grips. Ergon’s GA3 Handlebar Grips are designed with a slight wing-shaped end, which helps enable a more ergonomic position to reduce hand and wrist pain, according to the brand.
Polar Bottle’s Breakaway Insulated Bottle is a great gift for cyclists and athletes alike. It’s a simple, lightweight and colorful bottle that keeps your beverages cool, according to the brand. It’s also dishwasher-safe, and the cap and nozzle are removable for easy cleaning. If you lose your cap, Polar sells replacements, too. All Polar Bottles come with a lifetime warranty.
Casual commuters and grizzled mountain bikers alike should appreciate the convenient storage of Green Guru’s Top Tube Tanker bag — it’s a small bag with velcro straps that attaches to any bike’s top tube. I use the bag to store my phone, keys, wallet, sunglasses and multitool when I bike, with room to spare. It’s made in the U.S. with upcycled and recycled fabrics, according to the brand.
Even with a low-maintenance bike, minor adjustments to your saddle, handlebars, brakes and accessories are inevitable. That’s why any cyclist should appreciate the gift of a Crankbrothers M19 Multi-Tool. The M19 comprises 19 different tools to replace any unorganized bag of wrenches, screwdrivers and hex keys. It’s smaller than a cell phone, so it's easy to bring on any ride.
Wild Rye is a women-led outdoor brand that “serves women-identifying outdoor-lovers.” Featuring deep pockets, UPF 50 sun protection, adjustable belt loops and fun patterns, the brand’s Freel bike shorts make a great gift for women seeking comfort and style while they ride.
Fox Racing is a veteran mountain biking and BMX brand that makes clothes and safety accessories. Its Ranger mountain biking shorts, available in both men’s and women’s styles, are casual and comfortable, according to the brand. Made of nylon and spandex, these shorts feature biking essentials like zip pockets and an adjustable cinch, but they’re casual enough to look normal when off the bike. They also come in a lined version.
Changing weather can be a cyclist's worst nightmare, but a lightweight, packable jacket like this one from Pearl Izumi can save you from sudden rain or surprise headwinds. It comes in a high-visibility yellow that’s great for visibility and it’s available in both men’s and women’s styles. The zip-off sleeves convert this jacket into a vest, and two-directional zippers allow for a personalized, adjustable fit.
A good pair of socks is one of the most practical pieces of clothing in a cyclist’s wardrobe. Swiftwick makes great cycling socks that are both lightweight and compressive. I like the Aspire Seven as a multi-season, multi-purpose sock you can wear while cycling, running or training.
Cyclists who tackle epic mountains or vast cross-country routes should be able to share their accomplishments with more than just words. Enter the GoPro Hero10, the latest in a long line of excellent action cameras. GoPro cameras feature incredible image stabilization, meaning videos of a mountain bike descent look smooth and stable instead of bumpy and nauseating.
The GoPro Hero 10, while not cheap, is a great gift for cyclists who love to document their adventures. It can shoot high-frame rate video all the way up to 5K resolution. It features improved menus and processing, making it much easier to use than past models. The Hero 10 has allowed me to share cycling adventures with friends and family who would never be able to join me otherwise.