The urban cyclist is a rather general denomination that in reality reflects a huge group. Some pull on their Sunday best to race between the lights or dash out at dawn for some extra miles. Others sedately potter, taking any excuse to dive into coffee shop, bar, museum, another coffee shop, you name it, they ride there. So where do you start? Well luckily cycling across a city has a few constants, ones that the gift'er' can exploit to ensure a very happy gift'ee'.
Living and riding in a city, where more people means less space, enforces the need to keep things safe. However, it's not all doom and gloom, as there are some pretty nice bits of kit out there that under the surface provide plenty of safeguarding.
Key clips, from Spurcycle or Chrome, are an excellent way to keep keys firmly attached to belt loops or bag straps and these rather indulgent, made in America offerings just feel classy thanks to quality materials and reassuring clip and clasp mechanisms.
Perhaps not the most glamorous of gifts, but for the courier or rider making frequent city stops, a Pinhead Security Set will add the piece of mind when your bike's locked up - saves carrying about five chain locks as well! Trust us, although this is perhaps an overly practical gift, it will get so much use!
Safety and security aren't just about tieing things down; keeping valuables organised also saves delving into panniers or larger backpacks. The Restrap Wallet is a wonderfully low profile option, perfect for the cash-lite but coffee-shop-loyalty-card-heavy city rider - let's be honest bar staff and baristas look back with bemused puzzlement when you declare your card isn't contactless or you want to pay cash!
So they've got a wallet, they're making their way in the big smoke, what's next? They need a phone pouch, or perhaps a bag that transitions onto the bike for storing close to hand valuables or tools. Ynot's Weston Phone Pouch fastens to backpack straps for that messenger look - hey it's practical too, we get it - and the Fahrer Schlingel straps to top or seat tube, carrying those extra bits the urban rider needs above the everyday pedestrian.
So what about the days where you set off with a wallet and phone and find yourself heading back with a stack of paperwork from the office, a new jumper or a tonne of food for the week? Packable bags are a fab addition to even an existing backpack. The Barfly Daily Courier is ideally suited to the commuter, squeezing out a few extra miles before work, picking up lunch en route. The Cardiel ORP on the other hand is much more substantial. Fully loaded, it's primarily a lightweight Chrome Bag - however, its party trick is that it folds down smaller than a rolled up t-shirt, store in a pannier, bag or jacket pocket and be ready for extra cargo!
The city snapper is increasingly turning to the bike to cover bigger distances, and for rugged city snapping, a robust camera strap is sure ot be well received. Try these tasty options from Restrap or Chrome.
Jackets and jeans will be well loved by the commuter in your life, but as gifts, they can be risky. However, if you know sizing and styles, check out our guides on jackets and jeans! For less size-sensitive options, socks from Richer Poorer, A Vaude Poncho or the rather fetching Bleriot Cap from Fifo will be sure to go down a treat.
On returning home to city digs, flat, or traditional townhouse, that bike's gotta go somewhere. Luckily, for those lovers of interior design, or just those who fear an ugly bike hanger, Cactus Tongue (featured in the London Design Museum) and Trophy Racks (seen in many a trendy city hotel) are sure to keep style at the forefront.
On an urban cycling gift guide, we'd neglect the folding bike pro at our peril - folding and unfolding can happen in seconds, eith many secretly knowing their PB. They are spotted on trains, bike folded between feet, or sneaking into the office, slightly lop-sided as they carry their compacted transport. Zipping away at the lights and as light as a feather these folded bikes have become a thing of beauty. Nisnass Industries make a Brompton Specific Wooden Mudguard, Carradice make an amazingly practical range of front rack bags and Fahrer makes a tactile Carry Handle for those who've tricked out their bikes with a titanium Brooks. Oh and put a Spurcycle Bell on, the noise of the urban sprawl is no match for the clear and crisp "ding" of this mighty fine bell.