Beginner Triathlete Gift Wish List

by Nicholas “Tri-Clyde” Sikes

Beginner Triathlete Gift Wish ListWith Christmas coming, I felt it time to post some of my “must haves” for newcomers to triathlon and cycling. The intent is offer ideas and suggestions with a max price of $100 that are great Christmas gifts for you or your loved ones (or that strange dude down the street that shaves his legs to go “faster”).

Safety

XLAB Tri Bike Training StrobesI have searched to find a bike light that will mount to the aero seatpost on my tri bike. XLAB makes a great option that includes both a taillight and a headlight. With the number of bikers getting hit by cars this year, you should consider this as the first item on your wishlist. At a price of only $46, this should be in your shopping cart within the next 39 seconds.

When did you last replace your helmet? I realized this summer that mine was over 10 years old. Not too smart for someone that likes to use their head on a daily basis. I ride with the Limar Ultralight helmet and it is like there is nothing there. This one breaks the bank at $110, but spending a few extra bucks definitely increases the comfort level of helmets and offers much better ventilation.

Bike Repair

Park Tool IB-12 Low Profile I-Beam Multi-ToolIt is easy for guys to go overboard buying tools (How many wives are nodding their heads right now?), but for riding I am a minimalistic kinda guy. Park makes some really great tools and their IB-12 Multi-Tool is no exception. With the common allen wrenches and a screwdriver, there isn’t much more needed for most basic repairs and adjustments. At $26 this is a great option to carry with you and have all the tools needed to prevent a sag wagon call.

One of the cool items I recently found is CDI Preset Torque Limiting Wrench. They are a preset torque spec and are great for many areas of your carbon bike. If you spent that much on your bike, shouldn’t you protect yourself from cracking your frame or seatpost from over torqueing? At only $35 each they would make a smart addition to your workbench. Park Tool CG-2.2 Chain Gang Cleaning System

Another important part of bike ownership is chain maintenance. A properly cleaned and lubed chain will ride faster and quieter and last much longer than one with no care. Park makes a great cleaning kit which eliminates most of the mess of cleaning your chain. For $33 you can likely eliminate at least one argument a year over the mess you make out in the garage, which to me is worth it.

If you need to take your chain off or replace it, the Park Tool Master Link Pliers make short work of getting the master link removed. If you are like me you can try using a pair of needle nose pliers, but after you cut open your hand the second time I guarantee you will pick one of these up for about $15.

The last two tools every rider should have are a decent set of tire levers and a good pump. If you ride a road bike, you need a good floor pump, not one of those little hand pumps. If you are not checking your tire pressures before every ride, then I fully suggest revisiting the Safety section above and getting a REALLY good helmet. My pump resides in my truck for most of the season. There are many price points and most will serve you well.

Guilty Pleasures

Honey Stinger Vanilla Organic Stinger Energy WaffleIf shopping for the biker in your life has made your tummy growl then you should reach for my favorite snack of all time. The Honey Stinger Waffles may not be a “must have” item, but I promise that you will order them over and over. Their protein bars are better than anything I have ever tried, and I have been known to accidentally skip breakfast so I can eat one on my way to the office.

Make sure to check out the other Holiday Buying Guides on our blog and visit the 2013 Triathlete Gift Buying Guide section of the website for more gift ideas. And as always, if you have questions or comments I would love to hear them. Post them below, or feel free to email me directly and I can help you build the perfect wish list for any level of rider.

2013-11-22 16:01:00
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Jennifer
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Thanks for the tips! Since I'm not a tri-racer, I never know what to buy for my husband who is just getting in to the sport. Great article.
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