As we fast approach Christmas & the various office party distractions from your training plans people are also having to once again think of those killer gifts for your loved ones to ensure that they don’t end up with another pair of comedy socks. Good news is if one of those loved ones is a triathlete gift options should not be a problem and we have a list of suggested gifts for every budget to help you out in this weeks blog.
1. Top tube bag
On a regular Sunday morning chain gang ride or racing in the height of summer a top tube bag is a super useful addition to your triathlon locker. Principally this comes in handy with most triathletes wearing skin tight lycra that includes a limited number of pockets to stash those vital energy gels. Boom! Top tube bag to the rescue. Now you have somewhere for all those home made flap jack energy bars.
Our favourite – XLAB Stealth pocket 400
Best price available from – Chain reaction cycles £24.99
2. Elastic laces
Wasting time in transition is a real energy zapper as the clock burns down all that hard work you have just put in on the bike leg while you faff about with your kit preparing for the run. So really do you have time to be perfecting your double knotted shoe laces before you head off to smash the final leg? Course you don’t. The answer is some snazzy elastic laces to make you look like a pro as you switch from your bike shoes to your runners in effortless fashion.
Our favourite – Zone 3 laces
Best price from – Sigma Sports £3.50 a pair
3. Compression clothing
Vests, calf sleeves, arm sleeves. All useful all season round and not just when the mercury drops in the thermometer as some might have you believe. Better circulation with improved recovery & reduced injury likelihood all make these fab additions to your wish list. Maybe park concerns about looking like a dork as few cyclists and triathletes manage to pull off a stylish fashion statement anyway and embrace these wonders of science. For a previous blog review of the A8 Athletics compression hear click here.
Our favourite – 2XU running calf sleeves
Best price from – Rose bikes £20.41
4. Sports watch
For those lucky enough to be getting a big ticket item under the Christmas tree you could do worse than consider a decent sports watch. Not in the same style leagues as an iwatch maybe but much more useful. Sync your workouts via Bluetooth, connect to peripherals so you have accurate cadence, speed, power and heart rate all lead to hours of wasted effort tracking your every move. Our previous review of the Garmin 920XT can be found here if that was on your short list but our the latest and greatest from Garmin would be our choice right now and the Garmin 735XT.
Our favourite – Garmin 735XT
Best price from – Wiggle £323.99
5. Bike cleaning products
A hose and water still does the job but the market is flooded with products for returning your bike to its pristine and new status. Muc-Off continues to be the market leader and an excellent stocking filler although we recommend with caution as this stuff is so good it can completely strip your bike of useful grease so use sparingly and ensure you apply lubrication after so you don’t leave your pride and joy “naked” from its clean.
Our favourite – Muc-Off 8-in-1 cleaning pack
Best price – Halfords £27.36
6. Running socks
Socks for Christmas. Bah humbug. But this isn’t just a pair of comedy socks that you will be embarrassed to wear after boxing day. This is serious science for looking after your feet and something that will have enduring value well beyond your New Year hangover. Embrace the mundane and rejoice in getting some socks once more without having to pull that face of gratitude through gritted teeth.
Our favourite – x-Socks run speed 2
Best price – Wiggle £14.99
7. New bike computer
Forget miles of cables wrapped intricately around your forks as you strive to get a tiny computer hooked up that gives your speed and distance leaving your bike looking like an ugly mess. Nowadays bike computers offer GPS wizardry with automatic synchronisation to your home even offering you directions information for those long weaving rides where printing out maps would detract from the experience.
Our favourite – Garmin Edge 1000
Best price – Pro bike kit £349.99
8. Turbo trainer
Winter sucks. 85 layers of clothing and 20 spare inner tubes just to ride one mile down the road for a pint of milk. Sod that. Get yourself a turbo trainer set and strap your bike in for some indoor training opportunities avoiding the rain and pitch black where you have as much opportunity of being run over by a bus as you have getting a puncture and being stuck roadside for 20 minutes trying to change a tyre.
Our favourite – Kurt kinetic rock and roll 2.0 smart turbo trainer
Best price – Sigma Sport £386.99
9. Turbo trainer tablet mount
Having embraced the turbo trainer you next need to deal with the boredom of cycling indoors. Your waterproof yellow Sony Walkman is so last season so why not connect in with your iPad and grind away the hours on your turbo trainer with ample distraction of how much your legs are killing you. With one of these simple additions you can clip it onto your handlebars and securely mount your iPad (other tablets are available) in line of sight for you to use while pedalling away.
Our favourite – Tacx Handlebar tablet bracket
Best price – Decathlon £19.99
10. Training DVDs
Our final Christmas present tip is a training DVD for those on their indoor training regime making the most of a turbo trainer or set of rollers. With structured training ensuring you are working in the right heart zones and to the right cadence and power zones you can return next Spring as a transformed cycling demi-God.
Our favourite – Sufferfest Angels (best via the app so cheating a bit and not really a DVD)
Best price – Sufferfest $14.99
About the author – Billy is the founder of Trivelo Bikes and keen to get people into cycling. On his Christmas list this year is some shiny new upgrades for his TT in readiness for another season of triathlon next year.