I’ve put this post off because I keep telling my wife that I don’t want or need anything for Christmas. With less than two weeks until Santa comes, she’s getting a little impatient with me and gives me “The Look” when I tell her I don’t want anything. Not the Lance Armstrong to Jan Ullrich ‘I’m about to drop you on Alpe d’huez look’ but the squinty-eyed ‘You’re really getting on my nerves look’. Husbands know ‘The Look’ I’m referring to. I bet that look could intimidate both Lance Armstrong and Jan Ullrich. Maybe not Chuck Norris though.
So, what do cyclists everywhere want for Christmas? I have no idea. I’m not Santa Claus. I’m a cyclist though and I know what I want for Christmas so, by the Associative Laws, you could say I do know what cyclists want for Christmas. Or not. It would depend on how loosely you apply said laws. FWIW, here’s a breakdown of some cool stuff a cyclist (me) would like for Christmas.
Explaining the breakdown. In our house each year we have the kids make a list of things they would like broken down into Needs, Wants, and Wishes. It gets them to really think about the things they ask for and how important they are. You should try it with your kids someday. You’ll be surprised at what they say.
The items here in the Need category are just that. Items we, as cyclists, need all the time. Without these items our riding would become harder to do or make us unprepared to ride. Several of these things would make great stocking stuffers just due to their size.
- CO2 Cartridges. I’m a CO2 user and don’t think I could ever have enough 16 Gram Threaded CO2 Cartridges. I say threaded 16g because that’s what I like and what fits my CO2 inflator. If your significant other is asking you what you want you’ll need to be specific (i.e. threaded, non-threaded, 16g, 12g, etc.). Don’t send them to the LBS without those important pieces of information. Otherwise you’ll get CO2 cartridges you’ll never be able to use or will have to return. But it’s the thought that counts right?
- Tubes. Again, you can never have enough. You’ll need them yourself or you can be the Good Samaritan and give one up to a buddy on a group ride (because you always show up to ride prepared). Be sure to provide all the particulars (brand, size, etc.) just like CO2 cartridges. I prefer 700×23 with a 48mm stem.. Gotta be a presta valve too and make sure you’re clear on the valve stem length.
- Fuel. Not gas but on the bike fuel. Energy bars and gels make great stocking stuffers. I remember as a kid getting nuts and fruit in my stocking so this kinda goes back to that. Personally, I like the PowerBar Strawberry Bananna gels and Clif Bars.
Want items is cycling stuff you could get by without (depending on how much pain or inconvenience we’re capable of putting up with) but would be nice to have.
- Floor pump. This is a little personal for me. My floor pump doesn’t blow; it sucks. I want a new one in a bad way. I’ve looked around, read reviews, and decided that I want the Serfas TCPG Bicycle Floor Pump.
- Cold weather gear. Contrary to popular belief, it does get cold here in Florida (as I type this, it’s 34F outside). I have almost zero cold weather cycling gear and need some in a bad way. Stuff like arm warners, shoe covers, and some new full-fingered gloves. Maybe some smart wool stuff too like a merino wool cycling cap and tall wool socks.
- A trainer. Every serious cyclist should probably have a trainer. They can be boring (i.e. staring at that crack in the wall for an hour is pretty boring) sometimes if you don’t have a way to entertain yourself while riding but they’re key to keeping form during the winter or getting rides in when the weather won’t cooperate. Looking at what’s available, and based on a recommendation from a friend, I think the Kurt Kinetic Road Machine Indoor Trainer would be a good choice.
- Mechanic Repair Stand. I like to work on my bike and it’s hard to do that without a good way to hold your bike. I’ve used makeshift stands in the past but would like a good stand that was built for a purpose. I like the Park Tool PCS-10 Home Mechanic Repair Stand.
- Jerseys. You can never have enough but I’m a hard fit (i.e. I’m fat) and this can be hard for a spouse to get if you don’t get very specific with brand and size. If you’re a large rider, like me, you’re kinda limited on where you can get jerseys in the 3XL (or bigger) sizes. It’s even harder to find jerseys that look cool and come in sumo sizes. And jerseys are really a matter of personal taste. What I find cool others will hate. And vice versa. I found some cool Primal jerseys that I liked and they look to come in my size (3XL). Here’s one example, Fighting Chickens.
Just like the name says, here are a few items that could be on any cyclists wish list this year.
- Garmin Edge 500. First, I need a new cyclocomputer. Mine is old (wired, no cadence, etc.) and the mount doesn’t even fit my bikes oversize bars (it’s being held on with a zip tie). Second, I also wish I had a heart rate monitor so I could start training in the heart rate zones and have a more accurate way to measure my training efforts. The Garmin Edge 500 fills both of those needs.
- Bicycle Tool Set. Like I said, I like to work on my bike myself. You can get by without some cycling specific tools but nothing beats having the right tool for the job (just like working on a car). Since it’s a wish list, I like the Park Tool Advanced Mechanic Tool Kit. Taking the Park Bicycle Maintenance Clinic at the LBS would be cool too.
Need I say more? I hear the wait list is years long. Maybe if I started saving now.
So, what’s on your Christmas list?