RCUK’s Christmas Gift Guide 2015: gadgets

Far from throwaway gifts to amuse you for an afternoon, these cycling-related gadgets will be keepers for the new year

Everybody loves a gadget. One time, for Christmas, I was given a small machine that pitched tiny baseballs for me to hit with a plastic bat. It took about 20 minutes for everyone in the house to deeply regret giving that to me. 

The best part about cycling-related gadgets is that they’re cycling-related, obviously. But another good thing is that they’ll get you out of the house which is a great way to tempt people into buying them for you.

And just in case you need a little inspiration when it come to what you want, here’s a shortlist of toys that’ll not only be fun, but also pretty useful. And that’s a formidable combination.

Garmin Edge 25 computer

As a throwback to simpler times, Garmin’s Edge 25 combines GPS tracking with speed, distance, time and all the classic metrics on a bike computer. It might even be a present that makes your life a little simpler seeing as it does away with so many of the distractions on the modern unit. It also has ANT+ so can read data from compatible gadgets like heart rate monitors and power meters.

– Garmin launch Edge 20 and Edge 25 GPS computers –

Just don’t say ‘it’s nice, but I really wanted the Edge 520’ when someone gives it to you. Do that and you deserve all the Christmas afternoon arguments you get.

Price: £139.99

3T torque wrench

Torque wrenches are great for three reasons. One, they make sure none of your bike components slip while you’re riding and cause a crash. Two, you won’t damage carbon components by over tightening and three, you feel like a workshop hero when you’re using one.

This one from 3T comes with a selection of hex bits and has a range between 3-15Nm which should pretty much cover all the frequently changed/tightening components on a bike. It also weighs 169g, which is apparently really light for a torque wrench. Presumably that means it’s better at tightening things uphill…

Price: £94.99

PowerTap P1 pedals

In order to save disappointment on the big day, I’m going to tell you now: you probably won’t be getting PowerTap’s P1 pedals for Christmas. Sorry. Unless you’ve been super, extra good this year. But if you fancy buying yourself a present, you won’t go wrong with a set of these.

– Nine of the top tech innovations of 2015 –

They’re probably the most versatile way to measure power on the market at the moment, and you can use them on all your bikes with minimal fuss. There’s nothing not to like.

Price: £999

Fabric Chamber multi-tool

There are plenty of extremely cool bike-related things on the market at the moment, but Fabric’s multi-tool is an exceptional design by any standards.

It has 13 functions, a two-way ratchet and looks simply stunning. You need one of these in your life.

Price: £34.99

Bontrager Flare R

What’s better than a light that works at night? Is it two lights? No. It’s light that’s equally effective in the day time. Bontrager’s Flare R isn’t just a great light for dusk/night time riding, it’s actually designed to be used during the day as well.

– Bontrager Flare R review –

That makes it all the better for dank winter days, and the multiple functions and 65 lumen output mean that visibility won’t be an issue.

Price: £44.99

Silca HX-One Home and Travel Essential Kit

The saying goes that a bad workman blames his tools, but you’ll have no-one to blame but yourself if you mess up using these beautiful Allen keys from Silca.

As well as the standard Allen keys, the set also includes a magnetic adapter, screwdriver heads and hex bits as well, all coming in the wonderful wooden case. Sure, they’re really expensive for what they are, but sometimes it’s okay to have nice things.

Price: £110


Locks use keys. They have done for hundreds of years, and for those hundreds of years the key entry system has worked really well. Being the grumpy sort, I don’t see the need to make drastic changes to that system, but some smart types have come up with a lock that works with your smartphone. Imagine that!

The Skylock is Bluetooth enabled and solar powered, and locks automatically when you snap it shut. To unlock, well, it unlocks automatically when you approach the bike. And if your phone dies,  you can enter a numeric key to unlock it. Just don’t make a habit of walking past your bike too often.

Price: $179

GoPro Hero 4 Session

Just like a normal GoPro but smaller and simpler, the Hero 4 Session is the smallest, most easily mountable camera GoPro have ever made.

If you’re a fan of stats, it’s 50 per cent smaller and 40 per cent lighter than the standard version, making it very easy to take with you. Plus it can still take 1080p video at 60fps, meaning your riding will be in higher definition than ever before.

Price: £159.99

Wahoo Fitness Tickr X heart rate monitor

If you want to add metrics to your training but don’t fancy forking out on a power meter, a heart rate monitor can do a great job.

Wahoo’s Tickr X is smarter than your average heart rate strap and can link with your phone and a range of smartphone apps via Bluetooth, while it also has ANT+ to talk to compatible bike computers. The strap has built-in memory meaning you can leave your phone at home and still upload the data when you get back. It can can also deliver some pretty smart run analytics. Not that we’d ever recommend running, of course.

Price: £79.99

Tacx Neo Smart turbo trainer

If you’re after that indoor trainer that can do everything you possibly want and more, Tacx have just answered your dreams with the Neo Smart.

It’s extremely quiet, direct drive, looks incredibly futuristic and works with apps and allows you to train online. On the other hand, you’re paying £1,200 to ride your bike indoors, which some people might describe as the definition of madness. But if you’re really into your indoor training, then this is definitely the tool for you.

Oh, and it can deliver resistance of up to 2,200 watts. That’s pretty much all the watts. Max that out and you’d better prep yourself for a World Tour contract.

Price: £1,199.99

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