You really want to buy them a little surprise, something to wear when cycling this Christmas, but it can be so difficult. They maybe fussy about style or you may not have the faintest idea where to even start. There is the added problem of size as well as style, so what to buy is the possibly best place to start.
All cyclists should have their basic kit these are likely to include a helmet, padded cycling shorts, a short sleeve jersey, socks, shoes and cycling gloves, possibly fingerless for summer months and a helmet, padded cycling tights, long sleeve jersey, full finger gloves and a jacket for the winter months. Many cyclists fail abysmally when it comes to accessorising for a bike ride, so this is one area where you look buy a little Christmas surprise.
Normally cyclists will be quite talkative about their rides, how far they have travelled, who they went with and where they stopped for refreshments. It should be fairly easy without raising suspicion to casually slip into the conversation questions about keeping warm on and off the bike. From the answers you can build a basic picture of where they are feeling cold or even pain. With a few simple answers there is a host of stocking fillers to suit the rider.
Let us first look at feeling the cold starting at the head and neck, the head can get very cold because and the trusty cycling helmet is ventilated to allow heat to escape. Most riders will feel wind chill on their face, nose and neck. While obvious solution to this may seem like a scarf there are better options. A balaclava or ski mask produced in a lightweight stretchy nylon or polyester will probably give the best protection against the elements, the down side is you can look like you are a member of a terrorist organisation. Or there is a Buff, a Buff, a Buff sells for under £15 and is a tube of stretchy nylon and polyester and it is usually worn as a neck scarf but can easily be manipulated into anything from a bandana to a balaclava. Another option that is proving quite popular is a beanie hat that has a draw string on top, by simply loosening the string this can be pulled over the head converting to a neck scarf.
Moving to the arms, these can get cold simply because when cycling usually more than seventy five percent of the energy is down to the legs and lower body. Therefore, the handiest piece of kit a cyclist can have has to be arm warmers, these are polyester or nylon tubes in a stretchy warm spandex type material. They are very easy to store in pockets and easy to put on and take off. They are also very handy in the summer months when the sun starts to set and a chill creeps into the air.
And now we come to legs, the legs are the power house when it come to cycling and when they get cold they can cramp. Many cyclists will wear cycling shorts even through the winter months and even normal spandex type cycling tights won’t always stop the wind biting. The simple answer is to leg warmers made from a heavier fleecy lycra type material such as D-Robax. These work exactly same way as arm warmers but on the legs there is the added advantage of preventing cramps by keeping the working muscles warm and compressed.
The hands are another area where a cyclist can particularly feel the cold and the obvious answer is gloves. There are many glove options, but the big factor to consider in the winter is wind chill, therefore it is wise to look for a glove which is protecting the back of the hand with a windproof fabric while still allowing breathability between fingers. When it comes to the feet a warmer pair of socks is often the answer, however if there is also the option of overshoes for roadies or for mountain bikers Sealskinz socks can really keep the feet dry and warm.