A few ideas for stocking stuffers

Our tech editor considers a few small items for the Christmas stocking of your favorite bike geek.

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If you subscribe to VeloNews magazine, you may have seen Matt Pacocha’s holiday gift guide in the current issue. (If you don’t subscribe, go buy a copy from your local bike shop, or sign up! You’re missing out on our annual awards issue).

Matt covered a wide range of suggestions for your cycling-obsessed friends and family, but we ran out of space for a few of our “stocking stuffer” ideas. There are all kinds of small goodies that will always be well received, including that most popular gift that keeps on giving: you guessed it, a VeloNews subscription.

Have fun, and happy shopping.

A few clothing items that will never go out of style include:

Curve: Boulder wool sock – $12 – www.curveinc.com

Warm clothing for heads and toes is always a welcome gift. Photo: Brad Kaminski Sure it’s just a sock, but who doesn’t need a few fresh pairs every year? The Boulder sock from Curve is great for cold weather cycling or any winter activity. It’s a single thickness, 85-percent wool sock with Lycra for stretch, and a high cuff for added warmth.

Gore Bike Wear: Retro hat – $40 – www.gorebikewear.com

This hat is probably better worn under a helmet than on its own, but regardless, will keep the wearer warm. It’s got elastic Windstopper soft shell fabric on the forehead with a mesh insert around back for ventilation. The inner headband is soft terry fabric to wick perspiration, and the trim is elastic for a snug fit. It’s good for temperatures in the 40s, but lacks ear flaps for super cold weather.

Descente: ColdOut earwarmer – $20- www.veltecsportsusa.com

Before my hair started thinning out, I didn’t use hats like the Gore Retro, rather I used headbands like the Descente ColdOut. My fiancée still prefers headband/earwarmers, and she loves this one. It’s got fleecy, stretchy Descente Micro-Coldout fabric, cut to contour over the ears with stretchy trim. It’s a unisex one-size-fits-all piece, but for the ladies there’s a ponytail opening at the back.

Shop supplies are always welcome, because as any mechanic can tell you, they tend to run out or get lost just when there’s a big event coming up:

DuMonde: BioGreen chain lube– $11- www.hgnr.com

Chain lube, grease and tire sealant are all perfect for mechanics on your list. Photo: Brad KaminskiI’m a huge fan of DuMonde chain lubes. They last longer, run quieter, and are easier to clean than anything else I’ve ever found.

Stan’s NoTubes: 2 oz bottle sealant- $3- www.notubes.com

The best sealant we’ve found for tubeless mountain or road applications. Convenient, pre-filled for one serving in a bicycle tire, and refillable for reuse. Remove valve core apply through stem of any tubeless tire or tubes with removable valve cores. Or dismount tubeless tire and apply directly into tire.

Finish Line: Fiber Grip carbon fiber assembly paste– $8- www.finishlineusa.com

Fiber Grip is specially designed to create friction and reduce slippage between clamped carbon fiber surfaces. Fiber Grip eliminates the need to over tighten clamps to achieve secure connections. A must for carbon seatposts, stems, and handlebars.

Pedro’s: Ice Wax 2.0 chain lube -$6 – www.pedros.com

The same great Pedro’s Ice Wax performance now made with a biodegradable, natural wax base. The long-lasting barrier coat is the cleanest lube on the market. Formulated to work well in all conditions.

Park Tools: IB-3 mini fold up multitool with chain tool– $24 – www.parktool.com

One of the more comprehensive multitools available this one is compact and functional.Bottles, bars, and brews are always popular with cyclists. Photo: Brad Kaminski

Genuine Innovations: Cartridge Cross CO2 cartridge mount– $15 – www.genuineinnovations.com

Spare CO2 cartridges are always welcome—most riders can never have too many. This new frame mount from Genuine looks perfect for race bikes and town bikes alike, keeping powered tire inflation ready at hand on a mount behind the bottle cage.

Energy foods and water bottles are always in demand from committed riders.

GU: Roctane energy gel and Brew drink mixes- prices vary- www.guenergy.com

GU Roctane energy gel takes the original GU formula and kicks it up a notch with added amino acids, citrates, and BCAAs for ultra endurance performance. GU Brew recovery and electrolyte drinks are formulated to meet the needs of athletes.

Clif: Shot Roks recovery bites– $3 – www.clifbar.com

Portable and easy to eat, a package of Clif Shot Roks has 20 grams of protein to speed recovery.

CamelBak: Podium Ice insulated water bottle- $20 – www.camelbak.com

I didn’t know I needed an insulated water bottle until I started using this one from CamelBak. It’s best for keeping your water cold in the summer, but I’ve found it helps keep my water from freezing in winter. “Aerogel” insulation claims the lowest thermal conductivity of any solid, and keeps your fluid cold up to four times as long as an un-insulated bottle.

If you’re willing to spend a little more, you’ll be popular with the pedaling peeps if you drop some sweet shades into the stockings:

Adidas: adiZero sunglasses– $200- www.adidas.com

Sunglasses aren’t cheap, but will make popular gifts! Photo: Brad KaminskiThe adiZero from Adidas is a super light sunglass styled for performance or street wear.

Rudy Project: Noyz sunglasses– $175- www.rudyproject.com

Rudy Project sunglasses are some of the best you can buy for cycling. The lenses are highly impact and scratch resistant. The ear and nosepieces are adjustable for perfect fit. Color and tint options abound, and Euro styling is distinctive. But maybe the best reason to buy Rudy is the amazing holiday gear deals. Buy sunglasses and get a free helmet, or spend $250 to get lenses, helmet, gear bag, tee shirt, and more with your new shades

Finally, a few more odds and ends, so you’ll not lack for ideas:

Okole Stuff chamois cream- $25- www.okolestuff.com

Okole is Hawaiian for the gluteus maximus region or buttocks, and Okole Stuff is the chamois cream invented by endurance rider Pua Suwicki. Just like maintenance products for your bike chain, the creams and lotions for your butt and body always run out and need resupply.

Vetta: Neptune headlight and Mercury R taillight – $30 and $14 – www.vetta.com

The Vetta Neptune is a no-nonsense, powerful 7-LED headlight that doubles as a flashlight, for use on the bike or around the house.