Best gifts for cyclists, round two.
As we stated in our first holiday gifts posting, you’ve been damn good this year. So you deserve round two and a multiplicity of goods to celebrate your exemplary compartment.
Mavic Ksyrium Elite Wheelset ($799)
Two things: nobody knows the correct pronunciation of Ksyrium. By most accounts, the K is silent but we can’t confirm. It’s one of those kooky names foisted on people because all the obvious ones were taken ten years ago.
However, number two, the Ksyriums Elites are bar none, incontestably, without question the best bombproof wheel-set you can buy for all year, all terrain riding. We tip the scale at over 200 pounds which is bad news for most lightweight aluminum wheels-sets. Yet these hoops fly up mountains and take every pounding we’ve dished out. If you’re going to spend money, this is the only choice for high performance and long-term durably.
Scratch Labs Everyday Hydration Mix ($19.50)
Allen Lim was the team physiologist for Garmin and RadioShack. He is one of those insanely smart guys and Scratch Labs is his latest venture — besides the delicious Feed Zone Cookbook. We sampled the drink mixes at the Tour of California and US Pro Cycling Challenge and the nice thing is, they’re not too sweet. It’s also a better mix: less calories and more electrolytes. Plus the packaging is cool and well-designed so it’s a good looking gift. The Everyday Hydration Mix is a simple, thoughtful gift that says drink up, ride faster.
Castelli Meccanico Sweater ($80-$150)
This is the kind of sweater you want to live in off the bike. Stylish, athletic and oh-so-Italiano. You need this like you need Prosciutto de Parma, a high-end Barolo and a weekend in Portofino with Monica Bellucci. The Meccanico is a 70/30 blend of wool and acrylic, full zip, total fashion. Given that we spend far more time off the bike then on, this is nearly a mandatory gift. It may also get you marginally closer to that date with Monica.
Stomachofanger t-shirts ($25.00)
Now it is almost impossible to pass up the Floyd Landis Santa t-shirt but for year round bike style without the doping references, why not the L’Enfer du Nord t-shirt? Slip that on and you are in some cosmic way, Mr. Paris Roubaix. And Hell is always a nice climate contrast on these cold Winter days with snow and rain. The fellas at Stomachofanger have a wide range of fun, hipstery cycling t-shirt so you can’t really go wrong.
Babes on Bikes Paper Wallet (1$14.95)
You were sold the second you read the words above, right? Precision — naked girls, several dozen, on bikes, on a wallet in your back pocket available for viewing several times a day. What more could we possibly say? Visit Walart and get this done now.
Giro d’Italia Women’s Pajamas ($44.50)
Is that a fair sum in return for spending many evenings staring at the wife or girlfriend’s luscious Italian flag on her pajama top with the erotically charged words Giro d’Italia? As the teens like to shout, Hells Yeah! This Giro d’Italia nightwear is 100% cotton with contours that match her contours. You know Ivan Basso’s wife Micaela is padding aground their house in these sassy pajamas. Basso is a happy man.
Ibex Balance Base-layer T ($75.00)
We lead a secret double life on the bike. On the outside we’re obsessed with the petrochemical-based cool technical gear. But on the inside, we’re all wool. So we’re huge fans of companies like Ibex and Ice Breaker and their high quality merino wool. Case in point: the Ibex Balance T. It’s super comfortable against the skin and wool has always been nature’s top choice for wicking and moisture transfer. The bonus on wool is when it gets wet, it still insulates and keeps you warm — unlike a synthetic base layer that quickly gets cold and clammy. A wool t-shirt also does double duty as casual off-the-bike wear. Your body has millions of pores – do you want them getting intimate with the chemicals leaching out of that synthetic base layer? Me thinks not.
Roads To Glory indoor trainer DVDs ($32/$21 download)
We absolutely despise riding the trainer. Boring, painful, monotonous, dispiriting, the list goes on. Nor are we big fans of the gizmo “virtual” training and race simulations. Basically, the only reason we get on a trainer — for never more than an hour — is that it’s been dumping rain for a week solid. So okay, we now have a a solution we almost like. The Roads to Glory series from Cyclefilm presents two DVDs, one tackling the famous climbs in the Pyrenees and the other taking you over the famed ascents in the Alps. They’re shot in HD and build actual 5-15 minute intervals as you push your indoor trainer over the Tourmalet or Col du Glandon or Madeleine. It’s not some insane sufferfest vid, just great footage of the famed Tour de France climbs, music with enough tempo to keep you jamming the pedals and a good solid hour long workout. You almost feel you’re going somewhere.