Swift Industries has been a leader in promoting and supporting bike exploration since they came onto the scene. Their upcoming Equinox Campout is a great opportunity to get outside and explore your local parks, trails, and camping destinations.
I plan on doing an overnight now that I’ll have the luxury of a weekend day off and not having to be at work until noon most days! Quite exciting stuff coming from someone who hasn’t been able to get a consistent weekend day off for almost a year. Retail management is usually not super conducive to having weekends off like…ever.
If you want to explore rides in your area or connect with other campout leaders, head over to swiftcampout.com. There’s still time to create a profile and even post your own ride if you’d like to encourage others to join.
I plan on ditching the old fork and existing wheel set as the next upgrade I want to make is some Stan’s tubeless wheels so I can drop some weight off the bike and run lower pressure. I’ll likely keep the Rabbit Hole wheels so I can easily swap my studded tires onto the bike for winter commuting.
I really want to do a write up on both the Blackburn seatbag and the handlebar bag soon, so I’m excited to get out and see how it holds up. I’ve used it for commuting a couple of times, but would like to see how it holds up to 50+ miles of gravel riding and being packed with camping gear.
Stay tuned for that and thanks as always for reading.
We had done a post suggesting local Wisconsin made products, but also wanted to give a few general gift ideas for the cyclist in your life.
First we’ll start off with Planet Bike’s Grasshopper Fenders. They retail for $134.99 online or at your local bike shop. The price tag is a little bit of a shocker for just a set of fenders, but believe us when I say they are some of the nicest around. They are made of sustainable bamboo, fit bikes with up to 35mm wide tires, and add a touch of class to any ride.
For the cyclist living in cold weather we highly suggest Bar Mitts. The makers of Bar Mitts have come up with a super easy way to keep fingers/hands warm while out riding. The mitts are made of neoprene and are wind proof. Most users claim they don’t even need to wear gloves with the mitts installed because they are so warm! A set of mitts retail for $64.99 and are worth every dime as they can be used for many years. Neoprene is also easily repairable should the rider ever crash and rip a hole in them. Shoe goo is what one our favorite blogger’s, the Lazy Randonneur, uses for his repairs.
USB re-chargeable lights are one of the hottest cycling accessories this year. More and more companies are getting into the market. Some of our favorites include Knog, Nite Rider, Light & Motion, and CygoLite. For the rider who needs to be able to see and not just be seen, go for a headlight that’s at least 200 lumens. Prices vary by manufacturer, but usually run anywhere from $50-$300. Keep in mind that the USB feature negates the purchase of batteries which can add up over time.
Lots of road riders, mountain bike riders, and commuters alike don’t have a kickstand on their bike. You’ll find that most bikes aren’t sold with kickstands anymore and that they are an add on that bikes shops will up charge you for. The Click-Stand solves that problem while being lightweight and sturdy. They have size options available and retail from $31-39 a piece.
Reflective bands are a great stocking stuffer. They are inexpensive and can be used as a leg band, around the tubing of a bike, attached to a pannier, attached to a backpack, used as an armband, attached to the underside of a saddle, or pretty much anywhere a cyclist needs a little more attention drawn to them. Reflective bands or straps are also great for runners. The most basic of bands start around $2 or so, but you can get ones with built in lights for $10-15. Tools. Any cycling enthusiast appreciates a nice set of bike tools to keep them rolling on the road. The best part about tools is that multiples are almost never a bad thing. In some cases having two of something actually makes it more handy for certain adjustments. Pair them with an instruction book like the Park Tool Big Blue Bicycle Repair Book or Zinn and the Art of Road/Mountain Bike Maintenance. To add to that, no one will ever turn down a nice bike pump or repair stand!A classy bag or panniers. Roadies and commuters alike love the timeless look of a tweed, canvass, or a Cordura bike bag. It can be a little under the seat bag, panniers, a handle bar bag, or a rack bag. There are tons of options, but I highly recommend Rivendell’s Sackville bags. Ironweed and Swift Industries also make some amazingly beautiful bag options. These tend to be items that most cyclists wouldn’t normally splurge on themselves, but would make a great gift.
Portland Design Works makes beautiful bike accessories. You can pretty much do no wrong by purchasing your friend, loved one, co-worker, or the general bike junkie in your life something from PDW. Our item of choice is their Takeout basket. It fits on a wide range of bikes, is super easy to install, comes with a bag already (sized to fit a 6 pack perfectly), and even holds a U lock. You really can’t go wrong. Add a Paul or other branded threaded light attachment in the mix and you have on hell of a great gift! The basket retails for $120 online or at your local bike shop.
Last, we come to one of the most important items for any rider to have. A Road ID or similar active ID bracelet. We like to support Road ID because they donate to a lot of events and charities. They donated a handful gift certificates to the Saris Gala and even sent along a TON of free shipping and $2 off coupons. You can usually find these in any race packet or even codes online to get either discount. I (Cassandra) have the Road ID slim which is the same size at any charity silicon bracelet, but has a small stainless steel plate with my important info laser engraved on it. You are able to fit up to 5 lines of info on the ID so I chose my full name, emergency contacts, and a popular medicinal allergy. *Full disclosure: None of the companies listed paid us to recommend these products. We support products we have used/owned or are familiar with. Spoke Haven strives to be transparent, fair, and honest about all products and companies featured on the site.