2012 Bicycle Commuter Gift Recommendations

Finishing up your holiday shopping? Here’s some products we recommend:

Light and Motion Urban 200 Combo

I bought this as two items but both lights are excellent for the cycling commuter on your list. Each light lasts @ 8 hours before recharging. The Urban 200 headlight is a very nice ‘to see’ light. My commute involves some pitch black riding with no street lights and the Urban 200 does a very nice job of lighting the road or trail. [jb]

Light and Motion Vis360

I got this when it was on sale locally this summer. For a small and light set up, it does a great job. It does not weigh much on the helmet — I don’t really notice it at all — and throws a lot of light. Either of these combos would be great for commuting in a decently lit area and the two together are unbelievably great. [jb]

Velo-Orange Grand Cru leather handlebar tape

I use this on my a Nitto Dream drop bars on the Rivendell Atlantis. I love the feel of this tape and I frequently don’t use gloves during the summer and it is very comfortable and never feels slimy. It looks great on the bike too! [jb]

Ibex Arrivee bibs

I am not a huge bib shorts fan. I tend to need to go to the bathroom more frequently than most and bibs suck with that. These fit great and are really quite easy to maneuver for going to the bathroom. I have used these all through the summer and now through December. They are great in the heat and as the weather gets cooler they have been nice and cozy. I have used these on 50+ mile days and they are the most comfortable shorts I own. [jb]

Ibex Momentum Vest

I bought this last spring on a blowout sale. In 2011, Nancy and I had done the Bon Ton Roulet and it rained like four days out of seven. I am not a big fan of the full jacket in the summer time since I end up sweating profusely and still end up drenched. This keeps my core warm and is bright orange with reflective stripe in the rear. It has a small ‘phone’ pocket at chest level and one rear pocket on the right side. It keeps you pretty dry considering that it is a vest and it definitely keeps you warm. It is great when the weather turns cooler since it is warm and blocks the wind too. I use it during my winter commute when I need to be seen and need to block the wind. It is amazingly versatile. [jb]

Big Agnes Bighouse 4 tent

While not biking related directly, I got this for the 2012 Bon Ton Roulet. This tour carries all of your stuff so the the weight and size of this tent was not an issue. Having said that, this tent packs up very small and for its size, it is pretty light. This tent is very spacious for two people. We each had a huge bag and two sleeping bags and there was still a lot of room. If you are under 5’8″ or so, you can stand in the tent. We had two huge storms during the tour with 20–30 mph winds. The tent held up great. It bent but did not break.[jb] And it kept us dry! [nls]

Sealline iPhone case

I bought this after the the 2011 débâcle where I submerged my iPhone during a monsoon. This will keep your phone dry whether from a rain storm or from sweat. You can use this inside the case but I don’t usually. I feel completely comfortable sticking this in a back pocket no matter what the weather and knowing that my iPhone is safe from water. [jb]

Arkel Tail Rider Trunk Sack

After the above-mentioned very rainy Bon Ton Roulet tours, I wanted something that would keep my gear dry. My beautiful waxed canvas trunk sack could not stand up to that much rain.  So far, I’ve used it for commuting and local weekend rides.  I haven’t used it in heavy rain yet so no personsal comments on the its waterproof qualities. However it has water proof zippers and an integrated rain cover. It holds a day’s worth of commuting gear nicely  so long as you’re not carrying a laptop or bulky clothes. Because it attaches with strong velcro straps it works nicely for a multi-modal commute. I keep one pannier on the rack of each the 2 bikes that are part of the commute. The Tail Rider fastens over them with a bit of maneuvering and stays securely attached. [nls]

Ibex Momentum Jacket

This is a comfortable,  nice-looking jacket  well suited for on and off-bike use on cool or drizzly days.I’ve used the hood under my bike helmet. It fit fine, didn’t interfere with vision and added some welcome warmth on colder, rainy days. On those in-between 50ish degree days where you start out chilly but get really warm on uphill stretches I’ve ended up removing it. So far we haven’t had any real winter weather, so I can’t comment on how it is as the temperature dips below the 40s.  I don’t know how it would be in a real downpour; haven’t worn it yet in those conditions. [nls]

Topeak Whitelite DX Headlight

This  bright, rechargeable be-seen light lasts up to 100 hours between charges, which is awesome.  The rubber strap is snug enough for my Brompton handlebars and flexible enough for standard width bars as well. Because it’s so easy to remove and attach, this light is great for city commutes when you don’t want to leave lights on your parked bike. [nls]

And finally…

Timbuk2 Pinch Phone Wallet

What a great idea. A water proof phone holder that lets you use the phone without removing it. It has three slots in the back for carrying money, id or credit cards.  Great for cycling and for off-bike use as well. [nls]

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