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As the array of Christmas lights seen from the bike on the commute home steadily increases, and as you wait for the inevitable knock at the door from carol singers (or Carol Singer, your unfortunately named neighbour), thoughts turn to what gifts to choose for your loved ones at this festive time of year. Christmas is a great opportunity to gift something they will really appreciate and when it comes to cycling kit for female riders, there is no end of nice stuff out there, whether she’s a roadie, MTBer, or city cyclista! In this blog you’ll find some of the top picks from our women-specific ranges.

Helmets

A bike helmet can make a great, timely present for a female rider at Christmas. Helmets need replacing every few years, so if your loved one’s helmet is starting to look a little worse for wear (no tittering at the back) a replacement is likely to be an especially welcome gift. Helmet tech has also come on a lot in the last few years, making for comfier, lighter, better fitting lids than in the past, and, with developments in safety technology such as MIPS (which stands for Multi-Directional Impact Protection System, meaning the helmet offers protection from radial as well as lateral forces in the event of an impact), chances are a replacement helmet could offer a higher level of protection too. If your loved one likes more than one type of riding (as a lot of the riders we know do), it can also be nice to have more than one helmet so you can match your head wear to suit the type of riding you’re doing at any one particular time (for example having a dedicated urban lid for the daily commute and a lighter, more performance-oriented lid for the weekend).

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The Giro Ash Helmet (shown above left) is ideal for female riders who combine urban with road riding, or just want a lid which is really light and comfy, whether for city or road use. The Ash combines the high-end design of a performance level helmet with some neat street-ready styling, making for a very lightweight, versatile lid. Alternatively, a female specific helmet which is aimed a bit more squarely at the urban rider is the Bern Melrose Helmet (shown above right). Bern helmets are the archetype of understated urban rider style, and the Melrose combines the good coverage of a skater style lid with some generous air vents for a comfortable, confidence-inspiring fit.

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Ideal for female trail riders, the Bell Rush MIPS Helmet (shown above left) combines excellent ventilation, extended rear coverage and a great fitting system to keep cool and comfortable no matter what she encounters out on the trails. With a MIPS liner for additional protection in the event of an impact, the Rush is a great option for trail loving female riders. The Giro Sonnet MIPS Helmet (shown above right) combines a sleek, low profile shape with a lightweight construction, tons of ventilation and a sophisticated fit system - a winning helmet design for the female road rider. The Sonnet also has a MIPS liner for additional protection from rotational as well as lateral impacts.

Gloves

Gloves are a great present option because of their tendency to wear out over time. Also available in unisex sizes, we’ve picked out some of our favourite female-specific options for different types of riding.

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A stylish option both on and off the bike, the Giro Rulla City Glove (as shown in the top image above) is made from a soft Merino blend fabric and features a low profile zip closure for a secure, comfortable fit. A midweight construction makes the Rulla suitable to be worn most of the year round.

The Giro LA DND MTB Glove (shown in the bottom left image above) is a women-specific, MTB-specific glove from Giro with some great features which makes it an ideal option for trail riding - four way stretch fabric and flex zones on the knuckles make for a comfortable, malleable fit, whilst reinforced fingertips enhance durability and EVA crash pads provide protection in the event of a spill. Silicon fingertips make mid-ride phone checking a breeze and a variety of colour options are available.

The Showers Pass Crosspoint Wind Glove (shown above, bottom right) is a versatile option suited to various female rider types. With well-placed palm padding, a slim, form-fit and reflective detailing and a windproof, water resistant construction, the Crosspoint Wind Gloves are ideal for keeping out wind chill whether you’re speeding down country lanes, tackling rocky descents or braving the winter commute.

Jackets

You’re really spoilt for choice when it comes to jackets for female cyclists, with stylish, technical options available for all seasons and in styles which will suit various types of riding. As jackets can be one of the more expensive pieces of cycle clothing (which you might not necessarily buy outright for yourself without having an excuse to buy one), a really nice cycling jacket is a great option for a special present. In this gift guide we've focused on jackets which are suitable for use in temperatures you would experience for much of the year round - if you're looking for something more tailored (e.g. a very insulated jacket specifically for winter riding) you might want to check out our complete women's cycling jacket range.

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For urban riders, the Lumo Herne Hill Harrington is the pinnacle of style and functionality - taking the classic style of the Harrington jacket and reinventing it for cycling, the Herne Hill Harrington also ventures where no other cycling jacket has ever gone before… with integrated LED lighting which is not visible on the jacket until it is switched on, the Herne Hill Harrington provides an additional source of nighttime visibility - ideal for the stylish rider who does not want to compromise on safety to stay visible. A truly top drawer option for the style-conscious female city rider.

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Going head to head as the ultimate jacket for female roadies are the Castelli Perfetto Jacket (the latest version of the legendary long sleeved Gabba, shown above left) and the Cafe du Cycliste Charlotte Jacket (shown above right). Both jackets combine weather protection with a fit that feels more like a jersey than a jacket; the Charlotte uses a three-layer softshell construction incorporating a waterproof, breathable membrane and taped seams to keep you protected from the wet, whereas the Perfetto uses Gore® Windstopper® X-Lite Plus fabric combined with a water repellent finish to stop bad weather getting the better of you.

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For trail riders, the gift of a 7Mesh women's bike jacket is sure to go down a treat. The Revelation Jacket (main image above) is their top of the range offering - with excellent reviews across the board, this is a ‘do-it-all’ jacket which will not disappoint. The Revelation is the first cycle-specific jacket to use Gore’s top-end GORE-TEX Pro® fabric, which offers the widest functioning range of use of any Gore-Tex material (and passes Gore’s ‘Guaranteed to keep you dry’ standard). Other jackets from the 7Mesh women’s range include the Strategy (a softshell jacket for cold weather riding which is windproof and highly water resistant and breathable), the Re:Gen (a waterproof, windproof, breathable jacket which offers a very streamlined fit, shown in the bottom right image above), and the Resistance (an ultra-lightweight and highly packable windproof and water resistant jacket, as seen in the bottom left image above). To check out some of the reviews to date of 7Mesh's jackets have a read of our blog - you're sure to be impressed!

Jerseys

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A jersey is one piece of cycle apparel you feel you can never have too much of. With so many nice designs available you’re sure to find something she’ll love, whether she likes bold, eye catching designs (a jersey from Twin Six or the Pedla Full Gas Watercolor Jersey (as shown in the bottom left image above) could fit the bill here), classy styling (try Cafe du Cycliste), something which is subtly trendy (Ornot, as shown in the main image above) or just something very technical and with traditional roadie styling (Castelli, as shown in the bottom right image above). Cafe and Castelli in particular make some really nice long sleeved jerseys if you’re looking for something specifically tailored towards cool weather riding. In terms of sizing, Ornot and Twin Six are generally a bit more generous than Pedla and Castelli, with Cafe du Cycliste somewhere in between (their Merino wool, cotton and natural fibre jerseys tend to be a little less racy than their 'poly' jerseys). Check out our women's jersey range to browse the full range.

Shoes

Shoes can make a great gift for female riders. Like a jacket, cycling shoes are likely to be well used and, also like a jacket, they can be quite pricey, with some riders likely to wait until they can get some as a present rather than trying to justify purchasing them for themselves. Shoes are in some ways quite a tricky gift option because fit is so specific, but if you pick a pair you think will be right for her but then come Christmas morning find that the fit is more akin to the fit of the glass slipper on Cinderella's stepsisters' feet than on Cinderella herself, we can help out with alternatives post-Christmas. And we are on hand pre-Christmas to advise on sizing if that will be useful - feel free to contact us with any size or fit-related queries you might have before buying from us.

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The go-to brand for shoes for female urban riders has got to be DZR. With casual, skate-trainer-like styling, DZR shoes look as good off as on the bike. The Jetlag Nero is a popular option with female riders in search of a cycle-specific shoe with understated, urban styling. This pump style shoe has a simple velcro strap closure and a recessed cleat fitting for riders who like to be clipped in. A great flat sole alternative is the Shift, a casual lace up pump style shoe available in black, grey or brick red. In terms of sizing, most riders tend to find that DZR shoes fit fairly true to size so it's probably safe to order her regular shoe size.

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For female trail riders, the Giro Terradura is a great footwear option - a Vibram sole coupled with a nylon footbed provides the right balance between on the bike stiffness and off the bike grip whilst the velcro and ratchet strap closure combo keeps the shoe securely in place. The Terraduras are renowned for their durability and so this is one gift which will keep on giving reliably even in the face of extensive use. Size-wise Giro mountain bike shoes tend to run daily accurate so her normal shoe size will probably be best, although if she is sometimes between sizes it is probably worth going for the larger of the two sizes.

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For female roadies, the ultra lightweight Giro Empires would make a mighty fine gift - not only do they look spectacular, they also have the performance to back up the looks. Super lightweight and with a great amount of fit customisation, the Empires are made from a high-end breathable upper which is structured to hold its shape over time, and the Easton EC90 Carbon provides efficient power transfer to the pedals. Giro road shoes do tend to come up fairly small so consider sizing up for these beauties.


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About the Rider: Anne
Domestique-in-training, Anne’s unique selling points are her super-strong thumbs (a hangover from her days as a beefy bike mechanic) and her enthusiasm for cake (both baking and eating). When she isn’t sorting out returns or writing for the website she can be found working to make the transport system better for cycling (in her non-Always Riding role as a transport planner), fixing up friends’ bikes or enjoying the ride.
@alwaysriding
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