Field Tested Cycling Gifts-Part 1

When it comes to cycling gear and accessories I'm always looking for something new that is functional and improves my ride.  I have field tested a lot of products over the years and found items that worked great and others that didn't.  In this two part post I will highlight some products that met or exceeded my expectations and would make great gifts for the cyclist (or yourself) on your holiday shopping list.


The Upstand is not your normal kickstand.  It's made from carbon fiber, is lightweight, compact and fully detachable.  It has a strong neodymium axial magnet that keeps it attached to the metal tab that installs on a quick release skewer or thru axle.  I recommend purchasing it with the Upclip so it can be attached to the water bottle boss bolts on the bike's frame for storage when not in use.  With the Upstand you no longer have to lean your expensive bike up against something or lay it down risking scuffs and scratches.

The Upstand is available for bikes with standard 26"/700, 29" and 20" wheels with either thru axles or standard quick release skewers.  Available from The Upstanding Bicycle Company for $34.95.

Hot Sockee

The Hot Sockee is a product I came across at Interbike '17 where I bought a pair to try out because the first thing to get cold on close to or below freezing rides is my toes.  These 1.5mm thermal neoprene toe warmers slide on directly over socks to give that little bit of extra insulation to keep phalanges from getting cold.  I primarily use them in the Winter with a cold weather cycling boot but have also opted for them in the Fall and Spring with my cyclocross boots or mtb shoes.

The Hot Sockee buys me some extra time out on the road or trail to enjoy the ride and because I roll with clipless pedals year round, they provide one more layer of warmth from the cold conducted through the sole from metal cleats. Pair them with wool socks to wick away any moisture if feet get a little too warm.  Available from TraxFactory in sizes S/M, L and XL in a two pack for $27 or a four pack for $50.

G.H. Meiser Accu-Guage

For accurate tire pressure readings in any temperature, you can't beat the G.H. Meiser Presta Valve Dial Gauges.  These gauges have bronze bourdon tube precision movement that is not affected by temperature, altitude or humidity giving the most accurate reading possible.  These easy to read dial gauges come in a variety of psi readings for everyone from the low pressure winter fatbike rider to the high pressure roadie.

I have two of these gauges, one for my fatbike tires (0-30psi) and one for my gravel bike tires (0-60 psi).  Meiser gauges really let you dial in that perfect ride feel/traction and they are all I ever use when checking my tire pressures.  These gauges make a perfect gift for any cyclist whether they are an avid rider or just get out for a ride occasionally on the weekends.  Available from local bike shops and Amazon for around $15.

Bontrager Ion Pro RT/Flare RT

The picture above is a very common sight on my desk. I use these two lights on every ride whether it is to be seen by motorists on the road during the day or lighting up the trail while mountain biking at night.  The Bontrager Ion Pro RT and Flare RT definitely are my favorite, and I have a bunch of different lights.  Both units have nice battery life and are extremely bright.

Pair them with your Garmin GPS device using the Bontrager Connect IQ app to control them and see the remaining battery life.  The Ion Pro RT has five modes (1300LM-1.5hrs, 800LM-3hrs, 400LM-6hrs, night flash-26hrs, day flash 22hrs) for daytime and night riding.  The Flare RT has five modes (Flash: 90LM-6hrs, 45LM-12hrs, 5LM-15hrs Steady: 25LM-4.5hrs, 5LM-13.5hrs) and is daytime visible from up to 2km away.

Available from Trek and Trek Authorized Dealer bike shops as a pair for $154.99 or individually, $99.99 for the front light and $59.99 for the rear light.

Look for part two of this post soon with four more of my field tested gifts for the cyclist on your list (or yourself).

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