If you are lucky enough to have a special bike commuter in your life, then you might want to get them a special gift to help them along the way to keep up their healthy and fun way of getting to work on two wheels.
So, here are 24 bike commuter gift ideas to share with your special rider in order of price from lowest to highest:
- Reflective slap bands
- Colorful spoke reflectors
- Neck gaiter and face mask
- ‘Ass Savers’ fenders
- Rear-view bike mirrors
- Extra loud bike bell
- Stainless steel, insulated water bottle
- Cycling multi-tool
- Lockable bike cover
- Waterproof cycling shoe gaiters
- Waterproof socks
- Garment pouch with folder
- Commuter lunch bag
- Pollution scarf/neck gaiter
- Cycling turn signals
- USB bike lights with strap attachment
- Floor bike pump with pressure gauge
- Convertible pannier backpack
- Technical bike commuter shirts for men and women
- Technical bike commuter pants
- Reflective waterproof jacket
- Folding helmet
- Smart helmet with brake lights, turn signals and road lights
- Electric bike conversion kit
Now, that’s a lot to take in in one go, so to help you along the way to deciding what will be the best gift option for your favorite bike commuter, below is a little detail on each of these points to help you get the perfect gift.
Reflective slap bands: $2
These simple bands are a great budget option that add practicality, visibility and safety to a bike commuter’s journey.
The reflective element shows up when the lights of any other vehicles (or even cyclists) shine on them and back, helping bike commuters stand out, especially at night or in low-light conditions.
They are also practical in that they can be used to stop pants from getting caught in the chain or mechanism of a bike, especially at the end of the leg. This also stops pants’ legs getting dirty.
Being small and able to put on in seconds, these go a long way to helping out just about any bike commuter.
Colorful Spoke reflectors: $10+
Going beyond just the basic spoke reflectors that come with many bikes, you can get bright and beautiful spoke reflectors in a range of colors that give off a ‘circle of light’ effect when riding.
This bright display makes a bike commuter instantly stand out from all other road users and again adds crucial visibility for safety.
The nice thing about these gifts is that they work on all bikes, are incredibly subtle in the day and have an awe-inspiring effect at dusk and in the night.
They can be fixed in a few seconds each and add no weight to the bike while making the rider far more visible.
A massive value-add to any bike commuter as well as making for an aesthetically pleasing addition to their ride.
Neck gaiter and face mask: $10
Riding on a bike to work in winter can be hard going, especially on the face and cheeks which have no protection from the wind.
Added to this is that traveling at the speed of a cyclist means that the cold air has more of a chilling effect than if just walking in the same weather.
This is where a multi-use ‘snood’ and balaclava comes in. OK, so the name doesn’t sound great but these are cheap, comfortable, warm and extremely versatile and should be in every bike commuter’s essential list.
The thing I love about this is that it’s easy to put on in a few seconds and can work as a scarf, face mask or balaclava, all in a few seconds.
‘Ass Savers’ Fenders: $12-15
Before you start, the name is indeed the brand name and yes, they are a serious product that works well!
These fenders are the product of a bike commuter who was tired of getting the usual line of mud up his back but didn’t want to spend $50 on a finicky and frustrating pair of fenders, so he just fixed on some cardboard to the rear of his saddle and, lo and behold, he found that this worked just fine.
Fast forward a few years and Ass Savers are now the go-to budget fender option for cyclists everywhere, with extremely simple installation (see 45-second video below!) and low price, they are fantastic for staying clean on a bike commute.
As such, they make a great present for anyone who doesn’t currently have fenders and wants to ‘save their ass’ (!) from the daily mud and crud of the commute!
Rear-view Bike Mirrors: $10-20
Just like a car, you can get rear-view mirrors for a bike to increase visibility and thereby safety when riding.
There are four main types of rear-view bike mirrors that attach to:
- Bar ends
- Drop bars (road bikes and touring bikes)
The handlebar rear-view bike mirrors will fit nearly all bikes and offer good visibility, while the bar-end mirrors would need a little more precision
Rear-view cycling mirrors that attach to a helmet a versatile option although they look like they would be quite easy to knock off inadvertently!
The drop-bar rear-view cycling mirrors are good but only work with touring or road bikes, so you would need to know the exact type of bike that the person you’re buying for has.
Extra Loud Bike Bell: $10-15
This isn’t recommended as a joke or for annoyance, but simply out of practicality! For bike commuters in densely packed urban environments riding through rush-hour traffic, a humble bike bell isn’t going to be heard above the din.
This is why your favorite bike commuting friend or loved one can really benefit from an extra loud bike bell on their commute as it means that the other road users in traffic will sit up and take notice when they sound their bell.
With some of these loud bike bells offering 100 decibels of volume, this makes them as loud as a car horn, which is not to be messed with!
Stainless steel, insulated water bottle:$10-20
This one is purely on the practical side but having a stainless steel water bottle is ideal for all bike commuters.
I say this because plastic water bottles, the kind that are usually associated with cycling, are lighter and fit snugly in the bottle cage on a bike frame, yet the water from these tastes terrible.
You might have thought about a glass bottle as another option but this just has too high a risk of breaking if it falls from the bike or the rider’s bag comes off.
Stainless steel wins out given its durability, better taste and also because it can hold hot or cold water which won’t be affected by the sun’s rays as insulated bottles are easy to find.
Cycling Multi-tool: $15-20
A great addition to any bike commuter’s essential items list is a cycling-specific multi-tool. These are similar to a pocket knife, but without the knife!
They have all manner of folding tools for fixing bike problems quickly and easily and come in a small size meaning that they can sit at the bottom of a bag every day without being noticed or taking up much room.
They also weigh very little so should even work as a gift for the most minimalist cyclists out there.
A tip here is to get one with a case since it will stop the mechanism getting filled with dust or dirt if sitting at the bottom of a bag for a while (take it from me!).
You could go for a more budget option below the $15 price point but it looks like the tools on offer are not as likely to be a complete set, so read up on any cycling multi-tools you buy.
Lockable Bike Cover: $20+
Any bike commuter who leaves their bike outside will get a huge boost from a lockable bike cover. This is because it not only helps to keep the rain off their bike but it also adds an extra level of deterrent for any would-be bike thieves.
Even if the person you are buying for already has a bike cover, they might also want to use an extra one at work (which they can leave there overnight) to again further add to the security of their bike. Remember that most bike commuters are forced to leave their bikes outside of their work all day every day, so any extra protection is usually very welcome.
These bike covers are lockable in that they have an eyelet built into the cover, which can handle either a standard U-lock or cable – both of which most discerning bike commuters will have.
Waterproof Cycling Shoe Gaiters: $20+
These simple shoe covers work wonderfully well in keeping shoes and socks completely dry, even in the heaviest of downpours.
I recommend shoe gaiters, rather than cycling shoe covers since the latter are designed only for extremely slim and small cycling shoes.
If your bike commuter uses their regular shoes to ride to work, then waterproof shoe gaiters are an easy win.
If you can get these with reflective detail, all the better!
I’d recommend going a size up as the ones I have bought in the past have always been quite a snug fit, making them a little harder to put on than I’d expected. I’d also recommend the Vaude cycling shoe gaiters as they are the ones I currently use and have been the best that I’ve found so far.
However, if the person you’re buying for does use cycling shoes, look at getting them a pair of cycling shoe covers instead!
Waterproof Socks: $20+
Just in case the ride to work gets wet, a rider’s socks needn’t get drenched if they are wearing waterproof ones!
Make sure to get breathable, moisture-wicking socks since these will be the most comfortable when using the socks for riding in.
You could also opt for hi-vis colors like fluorescent yellow, or decorated ones with floral patterns or similar. Having the added bonus of a useful aesthetic will make them that much more appealing for the everyday bike commuter and more likely to be used on a regular basis.
The added value here is that these socks can also be worn for walking, hiking or running, giving them extra versatility if the recipient does any of these activities, too.
Garment Pouch with Folder: $20+
Again, this gift is of use if you know that the bike commuter you’re buying for is actually carrying their work clothes with them on their ride to work, as opposed to actually cycling in work clothes!
This simple gift works in that it helps bike commuters fold their formal work clothes quickly, allowing them to pack their clothes into a bag in a few seconds.
The pouch protects clothes from getting dirty while the integrated garment folder maintains the shape of the clothes, keeping them wrinkle-free on any bike commute.
If you are not sure whether the bike commuter you know rides in work clothes or cycling-specific clothes (and changes), then chances are that riders going more than about 4 miles, or indeed anyone with a hilly bike commute, is likely to be taking their clothes to work in a bag.
The size of these garment pouches means that they should fit most cycling bags as they are not much bigger than the size of a standard shirt or blouse when folded in a shop/packaging. The garment folder that comes with fits neatly into the pouch of most of these items, making it a seamless yet handy addition to the pouch when carrying clothes to work.
Commuter Lunch Bag: $20
This is a great addition to any bike commuter’s list of accessories in that these kinds of lunch bags (or lunch boxes) are quite hard to come by.
Since nearly all bike commuters will be carrying a bag that is pretty much upright, be it a backpack, pannier or other, you need a lunch bag with a few specific aspects.
For instance, it should be leak-proof so that liquids can be carried without them spilling all over the inside of the bag, especially for quickly getting on and off a bike or going over bumps en route.
Another point is that having some kind of cool bag or insulating layer is particularly useful in that it helps to keep food cool on longer bike rides to work, especially in summer months when things can get really warm.
With this in mind, the Tatay lunch bag and food containers set is highly recommended. This is the set I’ve been using daily since the summer and it’s by far the best lunch bag set I’ve found. I should add that I’ve only got the standard version, which is prone to leaks from time to time but if you go for the premium version, it has both a bag with a hard shell and containers that are leakproof, which takes it to another level of productivity.
Pollution Scarf/Neck Gaiter: $20+
As the issue around air pollution in our cities becomes more and more of a concern, options for those concerned but who are also style-conscious are becoming a reality.
One fantastic example of this is in the form of the pollution filtering scarf/neck gaiter from Lekko (currently only available in Europe), or the ‘scough’ and similar pollution-filtering scarves, as available in more regions.
This makes for a great addition to an urban bike commuter’s accessories.
Cycling Turn Signals: $20-70
Staying safe, particularly when bike commuting on busy roads, is clearly a key priority for every rider, which is why the addition of turn signals or indicators is a fantastic bike commuter gift option.
The best bike commuter turn signals come in the following options:
- ‘Winglights’ for handlebars
- LED Backpacks
- Taillight sets
These ‘winglights‘ help bike commuters to signal for a turn at the press of a button, saving them from using one of their arms to indicate in the traditional sense. These can be fitted quickly and easily into most bicycle handlebars although they are not recommended for any road bike commuters.
As for LED backpacks, these combine with a control mounted on the front of the bike and display a bright turn sign to other road users behind, making movements more predictable and noticeable for other road users.
The most traditional option of the lot comes in the form of simple tail lights for any bike but that also have the turn signals built in. These can suit the more minimalist rider and should work well given that the turn signals are next to the standard tail lights, being in the place where other road users will be used to looking.
USB bike lights with strap attachment: $20-100 (depending on journey)
USB lights are the height of practicality for bike commuters when it comes to riding in the dark or low light.
This is because they can be easily charged at the office while doing other tasks, meaning that there is never a chance of being left without any lights on the way home or the next morning.
The reason for suggesting getting bike lights with a strap attachment is because such lights can then be attached to a helmet if preferred. They can also be removed from a bike quickly when arriving at work or home, making it easier for the rider to transition from riding to work mode that bit quicker.
If the bike commuter that you are buying a gift for has a journey only in urban street-lit areas, then a front light with up to 200 lumens should be fine. However, if they have any patches of their route that has total darkness, then a front light with 500 lumens or more is recommended for safety and ease of riding.
Note that the more lumens the lights have, the more costly they become.
If looking to buy rear lights, these don’t need to be nearly as powerful and can be much cheaper than the front lights while still being effective.
The main tip would be to go for lights that have several functions. Lezyne is a reputable brand that makes a wide range of these kinds of lights, just be sure to get enough lumens without going overboard.
Floor Bike Pump with Pressure Gauge: $25-45
These types of pumps are fantastic for bike commuters for a couple of reasons.
First, since bike commuters ride often, they need to pump their bike tires quickly and easily on a regular basis for the best riding experience. A bike floor pump means they can do this with much less effort and much more quickly than with a standard hand pump.
Second, to pump their tires to an optimum level, they need to know the exact pressure of the tire. Having a pressure gauge on the pump means that the tires can be inflated to the perfect pressure without leaving it to guesswork. This means a better riding experience and also longer lifespan for the tire.
Convertible Pannier Backpack: $70-170
This might sound like an extravagance when looking at the price, but I’d go so far as to say that my pannier backpack has been my favorite cycle commuting kit that I’ve ever bought, after my bike that is!
A pannier backpack is incredibly useful for bike commuting since it means easily transitioning from a bag that fits effortlessly on your rear bike rack, into one that carries everything that you will need for your day.
This hyper-practical piece of kit is far superior to just standard pannier bags given the support in the shoulder straps, meaning that it can carry much more weight.
It’s also much better than having just a backpack as commuting with a bag on your back means a sweaty back, regardless of what you do!
The pannier backpack really is the ultimate bag solution for bike commuters, period!
Technical Bike Commuter Shirts for Men and Women: $140
This is called a bike commuter shirt for a reason – because it is a premium garment made specifically for bike commuting, which is noteworthy in itself.
Katusha, the Swiss brand behind this, say that it has been designed for maximum comfort and is the kind of shirt to be worn on or off the bike.
They’ve added in reflective webbing at the bottom of the back of the shirt to give it some genuine cycling safety credentials, while the 97% cotton material makes it light and breathable, with a further 3% elastane to give it a flexible, comfortable feeling.
They have shirts available in both white or grey, so check out which one you think suits. A point to note about fit and sizing is that it has a slim fit and that the women’s is simply called “blouse shirt”, although it has the same design credentials as the men’s but with a stated “box fit” instead.
Technical Bike Commuter Pants: $100-110
To follow on from the commuter bike shirt above, you can also look into these wonderfully designed bike commuter pants (or shorts) designed again by Katusha.
The stretch and flex will make these incredibly functional yet stylish so a great option for the style-conscious bike commuter while still being the height of practicality.
Note that these too have reflective detail, this time around the bottom of the leg with also the addition on the belt loops, a great touch for added safety.
Reflective Waterproof Jacket: $80-120
For any year-round cycle commuting, a waterproof jacket is a must-have item. Added to this, getting a reflective jacket for cycling is the recommended option since this provides by far the most visibility at night, with hi-vis items being almost invisible at night.
The ProViz Reflect 360 men’s waterproof cycling jacket is the standout among the bike commuter jackets since it is the only high-quality jacket currently available that offers full reflective cover.
This might not be a great option for riders in warmer climes, however, since some users have noted that it is quite warm when riding in this jacket.
Folding Helmet: $80-130
A folding helmet makes for a handy addition to a bike commuter’s daily list of items since it packs away discreetly into just about any bag.
This can be handy for those in more formal environments who want to cycle to work discreetly, or just those who want to be able to stow their cycle helmet away without having to worry about it later on.
There are several of these designs available at present, with the crowdfunded Park + Diamond helmet also joining the folding helmet fray.
Just remember to check for safety certification and think about which collapsible or folding design might suit your favorite bike commuter best.
Smart Helmet with Brake Lights, Turn Signals and Road Lights: $150
Going further into the bike commuter safety light options, smart helmets also are starting to offer turn signals, but with some also offering brake lights and front lights as well; the Lumos Smart Helmet with MIPS technology is the pick of the bunch.
This smart helmet has a control similar to that of the bike bags but the turn signals light up on the rear of the helmet and are again eye-catching and effective.
The brake lights detect deceleration in the bike using similar technology to smart watches and then light up as needed.
Look to the newer versions of this helmet for the braking lights and front lights as some of the older options do not have these features.
These new smart helmets are a pretty amazing all-round bike commuter accessory for the safety conscious.
Electric Bike Conversion Kit: $120-500
So, this one is a biggie but a great idea for any bike commuter that you know who might be struggling to ride regularly on their standard bike because of fitness, mobility or time issues.
An electric bike conversion kit can transform most standard bikes into an ‘e-bike’ with a few fairly straightforward adjustments, including changing a wheel and mounting a pack onto the handlebars.
The beauty of an electric bike for commuting is that riders can further with less effort in less time, which is a huge bonus for many riders.
An e-bike conversion kit suits those who already like their existing bike. It’s also a great option for anyone who fears having a more expensive bike stolen since the lack of a fixed battery, as with standard e-bikes, makes these bikes stand out less and are therefore less appealing to thieves.
Swytch offer several e-bike conversion kits (as well as a specific Brompton kit), while there are plentiful options for these on Amazon; I’d advise you proceed only with the highest reviews on Amazon since something of this technical kind at this price point would only be worth it if you can be absolutely sure it will work well for a long time.
If, however, the person you’re buying for might prefer an e-bike instead, then check out this guide to getting the right e-bike for commuting.