Ride Velo's definitive guide to buying the perfect present for the cyclist in your life Part Two...
I'm going to start with the most awesome cycling products I've ever seen although some of you Generation X musos will already know about these. Kraftwerk are, of course, a German electronic pop group who are also keen cyclists. They released "Tour de France" back in 1983 and actually performed at the Grand Depart in Utrecht this summer, having done lots of cycling in between. What better credentials to release their own brand of cycling gear (from €30 for a T-shirt)? I should warn you that their online shop is paused until December 14th as the band are on tour. How rock and roll is that?? Just look at these and feel the love:
Although Kraftwerk's range is pretty hard to beat, let's move on now to something a little more classy and understated, perhaps. Cafe du Cycliste are the go-to manufacturers of high quality cycling gear, in my opinion, and I've currently got a crush on these Claudette jerseys for men (blue) and women (white) at £134. They're made from a delicious mix of merino and silk for natural warmth without itchiness. Show solidarity with the French and sport your Breton stripes with pride!
At the Rouleur Classic show there were loads of gorgeous cycling items on display. I can't stop thinking about Giro's new range of women's road kit for 2016 - if I tell you it looks like petrol floating on a puddle in a tarmac pothole that description really doesn't do it justice - but it does! Its proper name is Galaxy, however, and apparently the jersey comes in three different price levels depending if you want Pro, Expert or Sport, from £50. It has matching shorts, jacket, hat, gloves etc but the most exciting are these shoes - I never thought I'd see black patent cycling shoes on offer. Sexy!
Talking of shoes, Mr Ride Velo is rather partial to a pair and they're always at the top of his Christmas list. He particularly likes retro cycling shoes with laces and spotted these reflective numbers, also by Giro, at Rouleur. They cost £230 (he always has expensive taste) but are coated with the same 3M fabric that ProViz use for their amazingly reflective cycling jacket which we ran a feature on recently. Safe and Stylish - that's what we like!
More shoes to slip under the Christmas tree - this time for men: - gorgeous leather City boots by Velorution at £140 and this elegant offering from classic English cycling shoe designer Reynolds: Pinned Leather City Cycling Shoes in black and brown for £195. We wouldn't say no to a present from Quoc Pham either, by the way.
From shoes, onto bags, where else? Brooks of England make so many desirable cycle accessories that it's hard not to stick the whole lot onto the wish list, but in the interests of brevity, we've selected this tool bag, in 6 coordinating colours, for £65 from Evans. You might want to go for the larger bag at £80 if you've got a big phone as the smaller version doesn't fit an iPhone 6 apparently. Personally, I always keep mine switched onto Strava in my back pocket though it does get a bit sweaty...
We were already big fans of London-based bag and pannier manufacturers Hill and Ellis, when we spotted their rather exclusive products on display at the Design Museum shop, running alongside its Cycle Revolution exhibition. You can buy the bags there too though they have a slightly limited range - but it did give us a good opportunity to have a good poke around in them, inspecting all the features and pockets etc. These bags have very traditional styling but clever modern details too, particularly the hidden pannier clips that zip away so that they don't look like cycle bags when you're wearing them. As they're made from top quality leather, they also come with natty rain covers to protect them from our British climate. These bags are the best panniers we've seen by miles.
Obsessed as we are with vintage cycling, we complete the outfit here with urban cycling wear for gentlemen and ladies. Pashley don't only make ever-lasting bicycles, they've also brought out a great clothing and accessories range for men and women. Again combining traditional styling with contemporary detailing, such as reflective fabric under the jacket collar, and cut specifically for cycling (longer sleeves and a vented back) their range is gorgeous and practical. American company Ligne 8 have some splendid cycle-specific clothing for guys and girls and I absolutely love these jeans. Although they don't have any retailers in the UK yet, they do offer completely free shipping so its definitely worth taking them out for a spin.
Our pals at Velorution have discovered this jaw-droppingly stylish helmet from French designers Etienne-Marie and Benoît. Egide is a magical shield in Greek mythology which protects the gods, and the pair hope their helmet will do the same for your barnet. The duo are selling their Italian-made casques at through Velorution at Selfridges and through their on-line shop. Made from Kevlar or coated linen, they come in six different designs and three sizes for £205 each.
Oh my goodness we've spent a lot of imaginary money now - but we've still got one big ticket item left - the dream bike. This was quite a tricky decision - was it to be the De Rosa SK Ultegra 11 we saw at the NEC Cycle Show in September? or the Pinarello Lungavita urban beauty? But no, in the end we chose this Colnago Mexico original from 1978 from Steel-Vintage.com at €2,399. The company is based in Germany and this model is unique so order schnell schnell! But remember, a bike's not just for Christmas, it's for life, and what a life this Colnago must have had!