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The Best Gifts for Bike Commuters

Best gifts for bike commuters
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If your favorite cyclist rides to and from work or school, or just uses their bike to get around town, the market, or the store, these are some of the best gifts for bike commuters to make their lives easier (and safer) no matter how they’re using their bike.

And if you’re treating yourself this holiday season, be sure to also check out our Commuter Cycling Buyer’s Guide for more great selections for the hardcore commuter. No matter which list you pull from, every item we recommend has been approved by one of our editors…

Best Gifts for Bike Commuters Under $25

Best gifts for bike commuters under $25

Consider this price point to be our suggestion for those who just started commuting and need the essentials. Every cyclist needs a few basic repair items, and these make great stocking stuffers: Park Tool Tire Lever & Patch Kit ($8, at REI), for fixing flats, and the Crank Brothers M10 Mini Tool ($18, at REI) for fixing everything else. We especially like this tool’s longer bits, making it much easier to use, yet still compact.

SockGuy’s Wool Socks ($15.95, at REI) come in a ton of fun colors and designs. These are affordable while also adding variety and most importantly, comfort. Their Turbowool line is stronger than Merino wool and has superior moisture-wicking capabilities that help keep your feet warm in winter and cool in summer. If you get the Turbowool socks with some padding and arch support, your feet will be extra happy!

How about a bandana? No need to rush with the Party Pace Bandana ($15, at Path Less Pedaled). It’s the perfect companion for all of your commutes and errand running. On hot days, wrap it around your neck to keep the sun and sweat at bay. Or, you can just keep it with you to aid in all sorts of on and off-the-bike activities. Lay it down to place your croissant on it for a nice #coffeeoutside experience, or simply use it to wipe your face after a big sip of your latte. With this versatile bandana, the possibilities are endless. The bandana uses US-sourced materials and is printed in Chico, California. It is 21″ x 21″. Colors available are, “Cool Breeze” (sage/navy) and “Spicy Mustard” (deep orange/brown).

The VeloToze Roam Shoe Covers ($9, at Amazon) are a rubber slip-on shoe cover that protects your dress shoes or sneakers from water, mud – whatever. They’re reusable and fairly durable, and even a great way to just keep your feet a bit warmer on a winter commute. They’re grippy, so you can walk in them easily, and they come in stealthy black and hi-vis yellow. These won’t last forever, so it’s always a good gift idea so that they have a few pairs!

Best Commuter Gifts Under $50

The Delta hexAir Saddle Cover ($35 at Amazon) was one of the most surprisingly awesome things we’ve tested in the category. Not only does it provide a waterproof cover for your bike seat, but it’s also super comfortable! Got a road or gravel bike you’re commuting on that has a “performance” saddle? The hexAir makes it comfortable without padded bike shorts, turning almost any bike into a commuter bike.

Safety is a concern for cyclists who navigate to work when (what seems like) the rest of the world is doing the same thing but in cars. You gotta keep your head on a swivel. The EVT Helmet Safe Zone ($40, from Rivendell Bicycle Works)is the way to do that. This mirror installs in seconds to the outside of your helmet. It is made in the good ol’ USA, and only weighs 1.5oz. It’s a well-thought-out product that could easily save your life… it’s a (concrete) jungle out there! One size fits all.

Another “cover-up” that’ll make it super easy to commute on a road, gravel, or mountain bike with clipless pedals is the Pocket Pedals Adapter ($30, available direct). It slips over SPD and SPD-SL pedals, making it easy to ride with regular shoes without having to change your performance pedals for those around-town rides.

With a metal base and body, easy-to-read 2″ gauge, and long 42″ hose, the Specialized Air Tool Sport Floor Pump ($50, at Specialized) is a bargain. We’ve been using one of their pumps for a while and it’s become a go-to for quick top-offs and pressure checks thanks to the simplicity of the SwitchHitter head that works on Presta and Schrader automatically. Bonus points that it works great for road, gravel, and kids’ bikes, too!

Best Gifts for Bike Commuters Under $150

No matter what you (or your favorite commuter) think they need, the more they ride, the more they’ll get to know all the little things that make their rides better. Or just get them back on the bike, like a replacement tube, a new tire, or fresh grips. Maybe even just a tune-up to get an older bike back in top shape. For that, nothing beats your Local Bike Shop! A gift card is one of the best gifts for bike commuters and it supports a local business!

When it comes to being seen while riding your bicycle, the Arclight City Pedals ($140, at Amazon) are a game-changer. They amplify your biological motion (pedaling) making you up to 57% more visible than standard bike lights alone. You won’t just be more visible, you’ll be recognizable as a cyclist. The pedals use powerful LEDs and long-lasting rechargeable batteries. The Arclights use “smart-tech” to sense movement and provide auto-on and off, as well as auto light configuration (red = rear, white = front). No matter how the pedal rotates, it knows which way is front and which is rear. They are available in an SPD-compatible version if you’d rather clip in.

Every commuter bike, whether it’s a dedicated city bike or a converted road/gravel bike, needs fenders. And while we like smaller stick-on options in a pinch, the SKS Veloflexx 55 ($69, on REI) set provides full coverage in a universal design that will work on almost any standard bike with round tubes…and even on suspension forks.

The PDW Everyday Rear Rack ($104, at Amazon) extends backward to ensure any panniers will clear your heels as you pedal, and an integrated wood rack adds a touch of class and makes it easier to strap things to the top, too. Both this and the basket below do require your bike to have rack mounts built into the frame, so double-check before ordering.

The Wald 1392 Front Basket ($55, at Amazon) pulls double duty, letting you mount it to the front OR rear of your bike…or put one on both ends! With an 18×13″ footprint and, despite its skinny appearance, a 15lb payload capacity, it’s more than enough for most grocery bags and beer runs and works with popular bags like these…

Best Commuter Gifts Under $250

best bags for a bicycle basket

For carrying groceries and gear, we’ve got three bags to recommend, depending on what you’re carrying. The smallest is the Swift Industries Sugarloaf ($183, at Swift, top right). They’re perfect mini-duffels for a change of clothes, a tool kit, or a picnic. At 14x7x7″, you can nest two of them into the Blackburn rack listed above, too.

For an all-purpose bag that has external pockets for small stuff and a cavernous interior that’s perfect for groceries and farmer’s market hauls, the Surly PorteurHouse ($120, 16×11 base, 15.7″ tall, at Surly Bikes, bottom left) is just the right size.

If you want something insulated for real grocery runs, or to keep drinks chilly on the way to the party, the Hydro Flask Day Escape 18L Tote ($150, 20x8x12″, at Backcountry) will easily hold a gallon of milk, a six-pack, eggs, and more, and the soft sides will mash into that rack, too.

The Ortlieb Back-Roller Free Panniers ($195/pair, at Backcountry) are some of the best pannier bags on the market. Ortlieb’s known for making incredibly durable, totally waterproof bags, and these oversized versions give provide tons of capacity when you need it, and cinch down when you don’t. They clip onto standard rear bike racks, so you’ll need a rack on the bike to use them.

best folding bike lock for commuters and weatherproof Duer commuter cycling jeans

The Kryptonite KryptoLock 685 Folding Lock ($100 at Backcountry) comes with a handy frame mount for easy transport, and gives you a quick (and conveniently compact) way to secure your bike and front wheel to a rack. It’s covered by their lifetime warranty, and even covers your bike against theft!

Also from Kryptonite, the Incite X8 & XBR Light Set ($170/set, at Competitive Cyclist) puts out an intelligently-shaped headlight beam that illuminates the area you need to see for safely navigating dark streets. Side illumination helps cars see you as they approach from side streets, and the rear blinky light has multiple modes that use an accelerometer to automatically turn it bright and solid (like a brake light!) when you slow down. Read our full review here.

If you’re going to commute year ’round, there are gonna be “those days” when the weather turns on you. The Duer All Weather Jeans ($200, from Duer, in Men’s and Women’s cuts) look and wear like regular denim, but have a weatherproof membrane to keep you dry. Available in Heritage Rinse (dark blue) and Black in tons of sizes and lengths, their Coolmax, Lycra, and cotton blend with reflective accents under the cuff makes them a perfect 4-season pant.

Best Gifts for Bike Commuters Over $250

If you live somewhere rainy, then good wet-weather cycling kit is worth spending a bit more on. Shower’s Pass is among the best, and their Syncline CC Jacket ($145 at REI, in men’s and women’s versions) is one of their more affordable models that keeps all the key features like taped seams and zippered vents. Pair it with the Transit Pants ($135 at REI, in men’s and women’s versions) for head-to-ankle waterproofness that’ll have you seeking out the puddles!

When safety doesn’t have a price restriction, upgrading to a dynamo wheelset, and dynamo front and rear lights is the best upgrade you can make to your commuter rig. The Dynamo Upgrade Lighting System ($570, from Handsome Cycles) front wheel uses the best hub (Son 28) and dynamo light (Busch & Mueller Lumotec IQ-XS) on the market. The rim on the wheel is for bikes that use rim brakes. The rea light feeds from the energy going to the front dynamo light. You’ll never need to worry about battery life or riding in the dark when you forget your light or forget to charge it. The lights will stay on the bike in a more permanent manner and will be there lighting the way day or night. Be seen, stay safe!

If you’ve got the space and budget for it, we’ve found that having a purpose-built commuter bike makes it far easier and enjoyable to run errands, get to work, go on dates, and just scoot around town without the car.

The Aventon Level.2 ($1,499, at Aventon) is all you need to get started. It comes with fenders, front suspension, a rear rack, lights, and your choice of standard or step-thru frames. It’s a highly affordable pedal-assisted alternative to driving and even has a throttle for those times when you just don’t feel like pedaling – though we find that the throttle is more useful than most walk assist modes when walking the bike (especially loaded).

For hauling the kids or bigger shopping trips, the Specialized Globe Haul LT ($3,500 at Specialized) is a great pick. We’ve carried two small kids to school with it, hit the farmer’s market, and even managed Costco runs on this. It’s big, but if you need capacity and quality, it’s the one to beat. Bonus points for its adjustability, meaning almost everyone in your household can ride it!

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5 months ago

How do you make this stupid video that can’t be closed in my lower right browser go away. I swear I am never going to come to this site again if you don’t fix it.

Zach Overholt
5 months ago
Reply to  tireburp

Sorry for the trouble. What video are you referring to? We’ve had issues with one of the players before, but I’m not seeing any videos on the site at the moment.

5 months ago
Reply to  Zach Overholt

There’s an ad across the bottom of the page that’s 250 pixels tall and spans the width of the page. Then above that ad, on the right side of the page there’s a video player cycling through ad content that takes up another 240 pixels of height and 430 width. If you are on a small laptop it means the page’s content is obscured by ads that can’t easily be cleared and that’s a bad experience that makes people not want to come back.

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