I’ve been a trail runner and cyclist for the better part of my adult life. This means I’ve probably (read: definitely) formed an opinion or two about gear preferences. I wouldn’t say I’m picky, I’d say I know what I want. This also means that I’m a pain to shop for during the holidays.
So if my family or someone shopping for the runner/cyclist in their life is reading this, I’ve put together a handy list to help you buy the perfect gift.
Call me boring, but I love practical gifts. I suppose this means everyone can buy me socks, but in the perfect gift-giving world, it means a new bike rack. This heavy-duty bike rack is anything but heavy. Made of aluminum, this rack is lightweight but is as tough as nails. The Sherpa 2.0 has a foot-actuated lever, which allows you to fold the rack down, hands-free. Meaning, you can have your cake and eat it while lowering your bike rack. That’s innovation, folks.
Garmin Forerunner 645 Music smartwatch - $382.99
GPS watches have come a long way since I purchased my first one in 2013, which literally just told time and tracked your route. The Garmin Forerunner 645 is way more than just a GPS device. This little watch can store 500 songs for offline listening while you’re on the run which means you can run phone-free. You can also install Garmin Pay, a contactless payment system that works wherever you can tap your device to pay. (If you do bonk on a ride or run and need suggestions for what to purchase at a gas station, we have some answers for you here.)
Apparently, Gamin has been crushing it. The Varia is a game-changer for any cyclist that rides on the road. This handy device, which pairs with most cycling computers, gives you visual and audio alerts when it detects an oncoming vehicle up to 153 yards away. The tail light is visible up to one mile away during the daytime, giving you a boost of visibility on the road. However, if you ride in a group, a light that bright wouldn’t gain you many friends, as everyone behind you would be blinded by it. But don’t worry, Gamin thought of this. The Varia has Peloton Mode, which tones down the brightness, saving your friend’s eyes. But don't take my word for it — read Bruce's full review of the Varia.
POC Devour Sunglasses - $249.99
What is the lens size limit for sunglasses? Trick question, the limit doesn’t exist. POC knows this to be true and tested the theory out with its aptly named Devour sunglasses. Ok, yes, they are pretty big, but hear me out. In winter, those of us with very sensitive eyes need glasses like this. No, not just for fashion, but to save our precious peepers from the cold air. If I wear sunglasses with small lenses, my eyes tear up so much that I can hardly see. Big lenses offer a lot of protection from wind and cold. And good news, the lenses are interchangeable, so you can swap out the darker lens for a clear one on those overcast days.
Specialized Turbo Levo SL Expert Carbon E-MTB - $8,699.99
This is my Hail Mary wishlist item, and I’m hoping that Santa and his elves will come through on this big-ticket item. Do I need another bike? No. Do I need an e-mountain bike? Unlikely. But this isn’t about need. I want an e-bike so badly. Why? Well, I had one, sold it, and now I greatly regret that decision. Say what you will about e-bikes, but don’t knock it till you try it. They are incredibly fun. I love using them in place of a car for short trips around town if my destination is too close to drive or it’s just too nice out to be in a car. Sure, you can claim it isn’t a workout, but sheesh, give me a break. Sometimes I don’t want to work out, I just want a smile plastered across my face. This is why I want an e-bike.