What to Buy a Cyclist for Christmas: Last-Minute Stocking Stuffer Edition

12.22.2009 | 8:38 am

200912220617.jpgA Plea For Votation from Fatty: As you know, I am an extremely vain man. I have purchased a special high-optic mirror, constructed for its perfect reflection, so that I can see exactly how handsome I am as I stare in that (very expensive) mirror for hours. I go to only the finest salons to have my hair styled. I wear the fanciest clothing REI has to offer.

I shave my legs twice per day.

This kind of vanity doesn’t feed itself. Well, actually it kinda does to an extent, but work with me here, because I’m leading up to a point:

My vanity must be fueled.

By awards. Lots and lots of awards. Acknowledgement that I am not merely awesome, but somehow more awesome than other bloggers. And I cannot do this without you.

So. I have been nominated by EverymanTri as one of the top Endurance Sports Blogs for 2009. And I’d like you to go vote for me.

It’s absurdly easy to do. Click here to go to the voting page on the site, scroll down to the voting widget, select my blog, and then click the “Cast Your Vote” button.

No registration, captcha nonsense, or anything like that. Easy as pie. And you’ll be able to sleep easy tonight, knowing you’ve done your part to sate the ravenous beast that is my vanity.

For the moment.

What It’s Not Too Late to Put in a Cyclist’s Stocking

Each year, I put together a list of stuff cyclists might like to get as Christmas presents. Ordinarily, I publish this list in plenty of time for you to order online, browse your local bike shops, and otherwise comparison shop.

This time it didn’t work out that way. I’ve been kinda sorta preoccupied with that little “Win a Whole Truckload of Awesomeness and Send Me to Team RadioShack” saga.

But you know what? I think that’s a good thing. Because I’m guessing there are a few of you who haven’t bought gifts for the cyclist in your life. And by “cyclist in your life,” I am of course including yourself.

This year, we’re going to focus on small things — stuff that fits in a stocking. And since it’s a little late to do mail order, we’re also going to keep it down to things that can be bought at your Local Bike Shop.

And they deserve and need your business anyways.

So let’s get started.

  • Tubes: This is one gift you absolutely positively will get used. I love having a stack of five or six tubes in the garage, so I don’t have to go shopping for tubes anytime I get a flat. Make sure you get the right size of tube. If you know the kind of bike the stocking recipient has and what kind of riding s/he does, a bike shop guy will be able to help you get the right kind of tube.
  • A good bottle: Every cyclist has a near-infinite number of bottles, but that’s not the same as having good bottles. Buy your cyclist some Camelbak Podium bottles. If they don’t mind getting an IOU in their stocking, maybe you should order some with the Fat Cyclist logo on them. Just a thought.
  • A replacement Camelbak bladder: If your cyclist rides with a Camelbak, does so frequently, and puts a sports drink in it, chances are s/he’s got some gunk in the bladder. Keeping the bladder clean helps, but that tube’s just going to get nasty eventually, no matter what. So buy a replacement bladder. There are lots of sizes and kinds, so sneak the current bladder to the store with you so you can get a replacement that matches.
  • Socks: Here’s an interesting fact: most cyclists like cycling socks so much — they really are comfortable — that they wear them even when off the bike. Smartwool socks are especially awesome. And once again, I’d like to throw the IOU idea out there and suggest getting them some Fat Cyclist socks.
  • Shoe covers: Cycling shoe covers turn a miserable cold ride into a very nice ride. The thing is, they wear out. So even if your cyclist has some, if s/he’s had them for a few years, chances are they’re falling apart. Get some new ones.
  • Gloves: Here’s another thing that every cyclist already has, but which every cyclist can always use more of. I’m a big fan of Specialized gloves. The Body Geometry thing is no mere marketing ploy.
  • Energy bars / gels / chews: Instead of chocolate, fill the stocking with food your cyclist can use on the bike. I’m currently really digging ProBars. I also love Clif Shot Bloks.
  • Lube: Every cyclist goes through it and will always need more. If your cyclist is already committed to a particular lube, make sure you get that kind — most cyclists don’t like to hop around from lube to lube. It’s a superstition, I think. For myself, I’m currently using and loving Rock N Roll Extreme Lube. Because I’m extreme, that’s why.
  • A multitool: If your cyclist doesn’t have a multitool, s/he needs one. Be sure to ask the guy at the bike shop for one with a chain tool.
  • A box full of sandwich bags: This may be a weird-sounding one, but I love having a box of sandwich bags in my garage. Before I go out on a ride, I put my phone in the bag, so it doesn’t get sweat, grime, and other miscellaneous crud on it during the ride.
  • A gift certificate to your LBS: You’re supporting your local guys, and you can have perfect confidence that your present will be used.
  • Rags: Cut up a few old cotton t-shirts, and make a present out of them to your cyclist, for bike cleaning and chain lubing. It’s a free gift, and incredibly useful. I guarantee this gift will be appreciated.

And when your cyclist compliments you on your awesome stocking-stuffer prowess, please take all the credit for yourself. That’s my gift to you.


  1. Comment by Turt99 | 12.22.2009 | 8:46 am

    I have it on very good authority that I will find a fatcyclist jersey and t-shirt under the tree this year. That authority is my own, my wife told me to order what I wanted and ship it to her name. Then she hid the package when it arrived, and is “selling” the items as gift ideas :)

  2. Comment by tom | 12.22.2009 | 8:48 am

    good tips Fatty. I didn’t realize the fat cyclist bottles were podium bottles, might have to snag some now that I know.

  3. Comment by MattC | 12.22.2009 | 8:53 am

    Vote is cast…FAtty, as of 6: 50am PST you are leading the pack by a HUGE margin…(56.4%).

    I know that it’s a bit large, but a new can of cytomax is HIGHLY appreciated by THIS cyclist…(and coincidentally, I DO have a special stocking that a large can will fit into!) Thats the ticket if you ask me…a LARGE stocking! I know that Santa likes it when you are thoughtful and have a stocking big enough for all the goodies you feel you deserve.

  4. Comment by martinsillo | 12.22.2009 | 8:58 am

    hehehe I guess I’m not that into the blogs, the only website I recognized from the link was yours! so you have my vote!…and as Matt said..I think your vanity will be sated (a little) easily.

  5. Comment by Boomer | 12.22.2009 | 9:06 am

    to emulate my role model, i too am shaving my legs twice a day and have it down to science, except i’m using grampa’s old straight-edge from his barbershop quartet days (he was a manly man). it’s rusty but really really sharp. i barely feel it when i slice myself now.
    here’s some gift ideas: how about some moisturizer for frequently shaved legs? and something to stop this gushing blood? was that an artery…

  6. Comment by dpcowboy | 12.22.2009 | 9:10 am

    I voted for you anyway…well, despite it being a
    tri-eatalot magazine…oh god…proof that the apocalpyse is truly upon us….

  7. Comment by Dan O | 12.22.2009 | 9:12 am

    My vote is in. Who were those other blogs anyway?

    I also know that my daughter got me some of those really cool Garmin/Slipstream water bottles for my stocking this year. She bought them during the time they were donating the proceeds to the Huntsman Cancer Center, so more than one person got gifts out of it this year, not bad from a 15 month old!

  8. Comment by Yukon19 | 12.22.2009 | 9:24 am

    Great Tips Fatty.

    May I also recomend Chamois Butter for the fat cyclist who is putting to much weight on the saddle.

    Have a Merry Christmas!

  9. Comment by Bicycle Bill | 12.22.2009 | 9:25 am

    I just voted. Percentage-wise, you’re kicking some serious ass over there too, man! Too bad they don’t tell us how many actual votes have been cast.

    As for music for your cycle-cam video, you need the Overture from ‘Barber of Seville’ by Rossini; it’s the music used in the racing scenes with Team Cinzano in “Breaking Away”.


  10. Comment by justrun | 12.22.2009 | 9:28 am

    I am glad you told me (strongly suggested?) to vote for you. Anything that saves me from thinking on my own this time of year is much appreciated.

    Great gift suggestions, as well! Not to be all sacrilege on the FC logo’d stuff, but I bring my bottle to yoga and it never fails, someone always asks me what it is and where I got it. Which I think only means one thing: you must now start doing yoga. The End.

  11. Comment by Annie | 12.22.2009 | 9:33 am

    Great ideas!! I have already written most of them down so that I can make a run to my LBS.

    My Vote is in as well. Good luck!

  12. Comment by NYCCarlos | 12.22.2009 | 9:39 am

    If I get cut up t-shirts as a present, I’m gonna be mad :-P. I have enough of my own crappy t-shirts! and seriously… who cleans their bike anyways? I guess when you don’t live in a highrise and you have your own driveway/garage/backyard to do it in, it’s easier…

  13. Comment by Weiland | 12.22.2009 | 9:40 am

    My 8 year old says he’s getting me a Time Travel bike, I dare you to top that.

  14. Comment by Cyclin' Missy | 12.22.2009 | 9:43 am

    I would LOVE to get a stocking full of that stuff! Nice list.

  15. Comment by Lars | 12.22.2009 | 9:43 am

    Your margin is now 64%. Nobody else is within an order of magnitude. Rightfully so.

  16. Comment by berry | 12.22.2009 | 9:47 am

    I bought some Jersey Bins to give to some friends after I saw a link on rbr – they’re much more durable than sandwich bags. To avoid posting a URL – just type ‘jersey bin’ in google and you’ll find them easily.

  17. Comment by Scott R | 12.22.2009 | 9:56 am

    Great list – Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to you and your family.

  18. Comment by Bee | 12.22.2009 | 9:57 am

    Er, but no gloves listed? The thing I go through is gloves. I prefer men’s gloves since women’s gloves tend to be made for Smurfs. I should mention to my husband that I need new gloves after my Dramatic Crash that shredded my last pair. The fact that I have three other pairs does not enter into the discussion. I do second the socks, though. I could be very happy with lots of socks for Christmas.

    As far as rags, yes please. I cleaned my bike after a messy ride before going into the highrise when I was lucky enough to live in one. (ahhhhh. Less than 2 miles from a great trail. Good times.) I’d stash a rag in my seat pack. Otherwise, management gets cranky, has words with you, and bans you from the lobby. You’ll end up going in by the parking garage and freight elevator. True story.

  19. Comment by Scott R | 12.22.2009 | 10:00 am

    Gloves are listed.

    Fatty, one thought for next year – should the bottles be Podium insulated (CamelBak Podium Chill Bottle)?

    The thin walls make them so nice to use – much as I love my 2009 Fatty bottle, I don’t think it will see enough use now that I have two of the insulated :-)

  20. Comment by birdog | 12.22.2009 | 10:10 am

    One of the best presents I ever received were a couple of hand shopping baskets from a store that was closing down. I guess milk crate sized boxes wouldl do almost as well. One holds my cycling clothes and the other holds things like tubes, extra gloves, arm warmers, and a few water bottles. They stack well are ventilated and lightweight.

    I could use another one or two for my cycling tools.

  21. Comment by jenjen | 12.22.2009 | 10:16 am

    Merry Christmas Elden! Thanks for the suggestions – I love the cut up t-shirt one. I think I can handle that!


  22. Comment by bikemike | 12.22.2009 | 10:20 am

    I wonder if really vain cyclist shave their legs more than their faces.

    Maybe there should be some kind of cycling vanity contest after the first of the year.

  23. Comment by Dan D | 12.22.2009 | 10:36 am

    Missed helmets. I don’t know about anyone else, but I am riding with a 3-4 year old helmet. The foam is in fine shape, but the plastic is cracked, the pads are halfway shredded, etc. etc. Its one of those things that needs replacing, but you rarely do it on your own.

    Helmets don’t fit in stockings, Dan. If I don’t stick to the premise — cycling gifts that fit in a stocking — then you know what we’ve got? Chaos. Pure chaos. – FC

  24. Comment by Erik | 12.22.2009 | 10:47 am

    How could you leave off DZ Nuts? Seriously, the taint needs protecting, otherwise we might end up with a case of purple snipe.

  25. Comment by Frank | 12.22.2009 | 11:00 am

    I think you should reuse old bread and other bags instead of getting new sandwich bags. It is not ecologically sound. You could also leave your cell phone at home.

    Leaving the phone at home is a bad idea for me, but your other ideas are excellent. I’m going to start doing that. Thanks. – FC

  26. Comment by goSonja | 12.22.2009 | 11:06 am

    Oh Holy FatCyclist. None of us are even in the same ball park as you when it comes to blogging. It’s just a fight for 2nd and third at this point.

    AKA honored to be included on the same list at oh holy FatCyclist.

    Um, sorry my blog’s popular, I guess? – FC

  27. Comment by Philly Jen | 12.22.2009 | 11:13 am

    And in the race for second, may I humbly suggest that everyone check out the DC Rainmaker blog. Besides the fact that it’s funny, well-written and a gadget geek’s dream, it regularly features cupcakes.

    Mmmmmm, cupcakes! Allez, Fatties…

  28. Comment by Doug | 12.22.2009 | 11:14 am

    66% of the vote right now. You ego should be big enough to move the inversion out of the valley. That is if you would be willing to visit the SLC.

  29. Comment by Philly Jen | 12.22.2009 | 11:17 am

    P.S. Hey, Fatty, since the contest is hosted by a triathlon site, just what were you planning to do for the swimsuit competition?

    (Uh, wait — before you answer that, let me finish my cupcake…)

  30. Comment by Jon | 12.22.2009 | 11:22 am

    Throw a RoadID on the list as a great gift for any cyclist!

    Brilliant idea. – FC

  31. Comment by MattC | 12.22.2009 | 11:32 am

    Ahh Jon…good thinking! I always forget about the RoadID. I actually have 2 now (one for road, one for mtb), and have cut the bracelets apart and glued the part holding the info using shoegoo (works GREAT!) to my shoes velcro-straps. Did this for both sets of shoes…so now I NEVER have to remember to bring it with me or put it on. I figure if I ever wreck so very badly that my shoes are gone, then having my ID info with me for the Dr’s is a moot point. I figure the red and yellow wristband is visible enough on my shoe straps to garner attention from medical personnel. I hope anyway. Thought I also hope to NEVER test that theory.

  32. Comment by dc | 12.22.2009 | 11:38 am

    Every cyclist goes through it and will always need more.

    Who has 2 thumbs and doesn’t use that stuff? This guy. No nether-region slathering – powder!!

  33. Comment by DJW | 12.22.2009 | 11:56 am


    My vote has been cast. You are way out in front, 68%.

    BTW, very cool, you riding with the shack guys.

    I hope you and your kids have a very merry Christmas and a wonderful New Year.

    From a fat cyclist to The FatCyclist. (My march to lose continues…45lbs and counting.)

  34. Comment by NYCCarlos | 12.22.2009 | 12:28 pm

    umm… Dan D… You should DEFINITELY replace your helmet without waiting for someone else to do it. It’s easy enough to do on your own. Your Brainbucket is the most important piece of equipment you own.

  35. Comment by AngieG | 12.22.2009 | 12:39 pm

    I agree with Erik, gotta have the DZ on the list. I would be stoked to get that in my stocking.

    Philly Jen, you are killing me. “What are you going to do for the swimsuit competition” I got a total visual that I will keep to myself. :-0

  36. Comment by Dr. Lammler | 12.22.2009 | 1:17 pm

    Right now, the Fat Cyclist is at 71%.

    I voted for you even though I didn’t win the Madone. No hard feelings.

    C’mere and give me a hug, you big crazy doctor. – FC

  37. Comment by Randoboy | 12.22.2009 | 2:01 pm

    Something to add to your list: Toe warmers. You know, those little chemical things that you put on top of your toes, over your socks (but under the shoes … duh). I live in relatively warm Tennessee, but go through at least two pairs of those every week riding in winter. They also last six hours — almost enough for the whole ride.

  38. Comment by Eric Olson | 12.22.2009 | 2:04 pm


    what would it take to get Fat Cyclist jerseys and gear year round? I mean you are a top blogger, fund raiser with close associations with Lance Armstrong, Trek, Gary Fisher, . .even rode with Team Radioshack!! Seems like a supply of FC kits, bottles and such, available for more than a weeks worth of orderin’ wouldn’t be hard to sell. Then you wouldn’t have to suggest an IOU, you could say straight up “available now!!”

  39. Comment by Accident Prone | 12.22.2009 | 2:19 pm

    Hmmm. Voted for you Fatty, however not sure if they would accept you as winner if they knew your version of a triath-a-lon includes bratwurst. Just saying…

  40. Comment by geraldatwork | 12.22.2009 | 2:22 pm

    Happy Holidays and good health to you and your family. I just found the blog sometime in the Spring (from a link found on BikeSnob). It has been some journey for you.

  41. Comment by Clydesteve | 12.22.2009 | 2:23 pm

    Merry Christmas Fatty!

    brake pads – I always need brake pads, but I am always too cheap to reshoe if there is just aslittle more mileage available on the existing ones.

  42. Comment by Eric Benjamin | 12.22.2009 | 2:45 pm

    73% of the votes at 2:44 central time. I voted even though I didn’t even make the list, since I spend most of my time at work reading the Fat Cyclist.


  43. Comment by Joel P. | 12.22.2009 | 2:53 pm

    My vote has been cast. I didn’t know that there were other bloggers out there besides you. Great gift suggestions. I shall go out and buy them all for myself right now. That was the idea right?
    Joel P.

  44. Comment by Haven (KT) | 12.22.2009 | 3:28 pm

    Hey, Fatty, you’re at 73.5% as of 1:25 PDT. Good going.

    Socks are always a good gift item, you can never have too many socks. And the good thing about socks, when you get new ones you can dig through your sock drawer and turn the holey ones into bike-chain-cleaning rags. That’s what we do. I’m hoping for socks for Christmas.

    What’s also a good gift is the gift of time– as in, “go ahead and take today to go do that ride you’ve been wanting to go do, I’ll hold down the fort”. Or, “Let’s go for a (fill in mileage here) ride on (fill in date here), we’ll go to (fill in recipient’s favorite place or place they’ve been wanting to get to).” That’s always good, too.

  45. Comment by Dan O | 12.22.2009 | 3:53 pm

    In for Austin!

    Hope to see all of Team Fatty again in October of 2010.

    Awesome! – FC

  46. Comment by Alex M Lewis | 12.22.2009 | 4:55 pm

    You Da MAN.
    If I could vote more, you’d still be Da Man.
    Great work Eldon, Love your site.
    Keep up the great work

    Merry Christmas & Happy New Year to You and Your Family.


  47. Comment by Marrock | 12.22.2009 | 6:46 pm

    What hair?

  48. Comment by kelcog | 12.22.2009 | 7:39 pm

    just voted.
    fatty at 74.6%

  49. Comment by Jeremy | 12.22.2009 | 7:46 pm

    May I suggest bar tape for your favorite roadie? Pink is an excellent color if your roadie will be flying the Team Fatty colors, regardless of your roadie’s gender. And bar tape gets changed a bit like underwear in many a roadie’s world.

  50. Comment by Marlys | 12.22.2009 | 8:17 pm

    Hey! My vote is cast for best blog. Who else would we vote for but you fatty! You will win it hands down. Thanks for all the great news and insights you provide. I know you will make the next decade a great one. Marlys

  51. Comment by Bee | 12.22.2009 | 8:25 pm

    And, oh, duh, now I did see gloves. Whoops. I’ll still take a nice big bag of rags, though. I shall go sit in my corner now and polish my frame…

  52. Comment by MikeL | 12.22.2009 | 8:31 pm


  53. Comment by Betsy | 12.22.2009 | 9:09 pm

    Hey Fatty, just voted and you are up to 75%. Go Fatty. Go Fatty.
    My cats won’t buy anything for me for Christmas, so will have to stock up myself. Saving up for some Fatty gear.
    Happy Christmas and Merry New Year to you and everyone.

  54. Comment by stu | 12.23.2009 | 3:10 am

    Hi Fatty – just voted. 75% of the vote cast has got to be a serious ego massage. Great blog, always funny and my first port of call on a workday when I’m in early. Merry Christmas to you and your family from the UK.

  55. Comment by KathyE | 12.23.2009 | 7:03 am

    I hope you & your whole family have a wonderful, safe & fun Christmas.

    I’m so glad you are finding “balance” in your life again. You deserve great happiness and joy.

    We love you FC!

  56. Comment by Mike H | 12.23.2009 | 9:34 am

    Dang my post didn’t go through!!! oh well!!!

  57. Comment by Earl Sorensen | 12.23.2009 | 10:53 am

    Hey Fatty, just wanted to wish you and your family a very merry Xmas and a happy and safe New Years. You have brought many a laugh and no shortage of tears this year, as i have followed your path.
    I hope that you’ll keep on blogging for us, and I look forward to the warmer weather so I may show off my FatCyclist jersey in 2010.
    Also please look back through your emails about my request to jjoin me at the 24hr Le Mans(France) cycling event, I would love to have you on my team!

    Have a fantastic one from an Aussie in Froggyland!
    Cheers and seasons greatings,

  58. Comment by Powerful Pete | 12.23.2009 | 11:43 am

    You are right on all the proposed stocking stuffers.

    Although none are carbon fiber.

    Socks are nice. Tubes too. A Cliff bar makes me happy.

    But how about a Campagnolo Super Record derailleur? Wouldn’t that brighten your Christmas morning?

    Oh, and by the way, Fatty and all Fatty readers, best wishes for a very merry Christmas from Rome! Buon natale!

  59. Comment by Miles Archer | 12.23.2009 | 1:23 pm

    I would be happy to get some new socks. My wool socks get borrowed by my wife and my daughter all the time. My wife even wears my FC socks to work. She is neither fat nor a cyclist.

    Sandwich baggies are a great thing to have around too. But they make a lousy gift.

  60. Comment by Stuart | 12.23.2009 | 4:12 pm

    Well it looks like your pandering is well and truly on…could this be a new moniker, The Fat Panda!


    The Fat Ultra-runner!

    PS congrats!

  61. Comment by chefjt | 12.23.2009 | 5:32 pm

    Just cast my vote. You’re going to be a landslide winner. As of 6:30pm eastern time you had over 70% of the vote.

    Way to rock it.

  62. Comment by Houstin | 12.27.2009 | 12:36 pm

    Your loyal minions have spoken, but your % has been cut into by gross speedo man! 71.5% vs. gross speedo man @ 15.4% as of 10:30am

    However should the credibility of said award be diminished should said award’s website have it listed as last years best blog? Yours was still the best then too… but still:

    “Gold, Silver and Bronze winners will be awarded the raceAthlete “2008 Best Blog” ribbon to display on their Blog for next year. The Gold, Silver, and Bronze winners will receive a new Timex Ironman watch.”

    Nice watch though…

  63. Comment by el rodro | 01.10.2010 | 8:10 pm

    Done Sir; best of lucks desde (from) Guadalajara.


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