Monday, November 29, 2010

Commute by bike's holiday gift guide 2010

Are bike commuters generous as a group? Do we take a piece of what we love and try to bestow it on others to enable their bike commute.

As a bike commuting advocate, is it better to give or receive? The answer is Yes.

We recommended giving simple usable bike commuting gifts that inspire your friends and family to try out bike commuting.

It’s been awhile since Commute By Bike has published any product reviews. You can consider any of these gift ideas as recommendations from folks here at our world headquarters. These are products that we use, love, and endorse.

If you are looking to receive a gift, we offer suggestions on how to drop hints at the bottom.

Sometime during the Fall, that wind-in-your-face feeling changes from being a “joy of cycling” into a disincentive. A balaclava not only protects the face, it covers the ears so you can’t hear the car whispering its temptations.

In an urban area, or for a multimodal commute, you can’t beat a folding bike. Once you’ve had one, it’s hard to understand why everyone doesn’t. Dahon makes quality, affordable folders. Use their dealer locator to find a dealer online or near you.

Even for those without a folding fetish: The Burley Travoy and the Carry Freedom City are two great trailers for errands on the way to work, or on the way home. Both fold up small and don’t take up much space at the workplace.

For someone who wouldn’t dream of ever sullying their precious road bike or full-suspension mountain bike with a rack, bag, or trailer hitch. The Extrawheel Voyager attaches to the rear skewers for in-town errands or touring. Compatible with most panniers, or get the Extrawheel Panniers. This lightweight trailer tracks so closely, it’s easy to forget its there.

Showers Pass makes high quality cycling gear that looks right on or off the bike. The company is based in Portland, so they know about bike commuting. Showers Pass is consistently among the best-ranked brands on the market for bike clothing. Check out their commuter section.

This light recharges via USB, making it easy to recharge at work. The charge stays bright as long as the battery is juiced up.

If you or your gift recipient happen to live in The Netherlands, a Bspot will help you find your bike in those pesky overcrowded bike parking areas. (I actually have no idea what that would be like.)

This very-bright light can clip to a seat post, clothing, panniers, or to a stocking hung by the fire.

You can go crazy with multitools. Some try to pack an entire bike shop tool box–more tools than most people would ever realistically ever use. The Lezyne SV5 has the basics needed for most repairs and adjustments.

It’s hard to know what kind of rack a gift recipient might want, so this is probably more in the drop-a-hint category. If you want a rack, you probably want a Tubus Rack. Drop that hint.

This is for someone who needs a little more than just some encouragement to commute by bike. A Bionx kit provides a power assist for experienced as well as tentative commuters.

These can turn trip to the store into a pleasant ride. The Jannd Grocery Bag Panniers come with a shoulder strap, making it easy to carry into a store or around a farmer’s market.

Uvex helmets adjust easily to when the size of the rider’s head changes, such as is caused by a balaclava, ear muffs, or a smug ego of a self-righteous bike commuter. (Come on, you know at least one.) These helmets are well made, with many well-thought-out details.

Bike backpacks make good gifts for students, or anyone who needs to switch between biking and walking throughout the day.

For people who spend a lot of time on their bike, and like to keep their things within reach, handlebar bags make a great gift. Most standard handlebar bags have the opening snaps or zippers facing towards the rider, so they can even been opened and accessed while in motion.

Would you like one of these accessories as a gift for yourself? Here are some ways you can drop hints:

Leave a comment on this page, saying how much you’d love one of these gifts, then post this page to Facebook.Send a product URL by e-mail, with the subject, “I’m saving the earth. It’s the least you can do for me.”Cut out the middleman: Buy what you want for yourself.

If you didn’t see enough here, check out these gift guides:

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