Here are the products featured in part 1 of the Holiday Gift Guide:
Here are my top triathlete stocking stuffers this year:
I picked up one of these beauties during Silca’s Trisports bankruptcy sale earlier this year, and it is a great and gorgeous multitool that is perfect for the saddle pouch or the jersey pocket. In addition to Philips and flathead screwdrivers, the Italian Army Knife has every size of allen wrench you need to work on a bike on the side of the road. No matter who you’re buying for, you can’t go wrong with this tool.
My wife bought me one of these a couple of years ago and it is far and away my favorite race belt. The super stretchy pocket will hold just about anything up to and including my iPhone, in ad
dition to gels, salt, and pretty much anything else I could need during a race or a long run. And, it comes in a ton of colors
(Velo Hangar, $12)
My good friend Dr. Jones gave me one of these for my birthday this Year. This attractive 24 oz. Camelback bottle i s printed with the recipes for three different classic cocktails.
The fourth side has milliliter graduation marks so you can measure and mix your drinks right in the bottle.
(Roka Sports, prices vary)
Though relatively new, Roka has made a huge splash on the triathlon swim scene. I love their goggles, especially the R1, almost as much as their wetsuits (more on that later). The R1, which has Roka’s patented “retroscopic lens.” I know it sounds like a gimmick, but the retroscopic lens makes it possible to sight buoys during open water swims without lifting your head as much. That keeps your feet and hips from sinking as much when you sight and that translates into much faster swim times. These are great goggles at a great price.
These are the goggles I wore for years before switching to Roka. These are solid goggles with a devoted following. They make the list this year because of TYR’s custom feature, which allows you to create custom goggles by mixing and matching colors for each of the goggle’s parts. It’s an easy way to stand out at the pool. In addition, TYR is running a ton of holiday specials right now.
I was originally going to feature a plain old lacrosse ball here, then I came across this highly-rated set, which includes two lacrosse balls, two spiky trigger point balls, a bag and a workout guide for the cost of three plain old balls.
Odds are your triathlete already has a set of these, but you can never have too many. These elastic laces with quick locks are the industry standard and come in a wide variety of colors.
Tools, Tech, Training, and Décor
Here are some bigger gifts your bestie will love more than a Kona qualification.
If the athlete in your life works on their own bike, nothing says I love you more than quality tools. Like everything else Italian bicycle pump company Silca makes, this set of ten T-handle allen and torx wrenches in this set are as functional as they are beautiful. I bought this set earlier this year and love the wrenches so much that I’ve been going around the house looking for things I can use them to fix.
Wahoo’s electronics are fast gaining a reputation for durability, dependability and ease of use, and the TickrX is no exception. I bought one of these last spring because I was tired of the metal fastener on my Garmin heart rate strap digging a hole in my chest when it rubbed on my ribs. The TickrX’s soft elastic band, which uses the sensor to secure the strap, would have by itself been worth the change, but the heart rate monitor has proven itself superior to Garmin in almost every other use case. There is, however, one big drawback to the TickrX, or at least mine. It can be a little finicky after being worn during a swim. Because of that, I still tend to wear my Garmin HR strap when racing.
(Amazon, prices vary)
It’s fun to decorate your pain cave with the medals you’ve earned. Detroit Metal Works is a family-owned business that makes great medal hangers for just about any sport or theme you can imagine.
Your mileage may vary, but after my wife bought me one last year, there was a whole flurry of new medals that necessitated buying a second rack.
(Brayzn website, $68)
Like intervals, most of us have a love-hate relationship with foam rollers. Foam rolling with the Morph may be just as painful as with a normal foam roller, but at least you won’t have to carry around a ridiculous looking foam cylinder. The Morph, which is collapsible, was conceived by former NFL player Nate Lawrie. It was a hit on Shark Tank and must be really popular because it is currently sold out. In the meantime, Brazyn will send a nice card letting your bestie know you bought them a Morph, which will ship when they are back in stock in February.
(Roka website, prices vary)
If there was anything positive about my old wetsuit, it I that it made me appreciate the comfort and flexibility of my Roka Maverick Elite II sleeveless wetsuit. As with the goggles earlier, Roka has done a tremendous job engineering fabulous equipment for such a young company. These wetsuits are fast, comfortable, and easy to get in and out of.
The Super Nice List
If you have the unenviable task of buying for the triathlete who has everything, here are a few suggestions to up your holiday gift giving game.
I was skeptical of spending a good start on a pair of race wheels on an indoor trainer, but I heard lots of good buzz about Kickrs (and got introduced to Zwift) over the course of 2017. So, I took the plunge and bought myself one for my birthday/Christmas. What do I think? WOW! The Kickr surpassed my wildest expectations for ride feel. It is a lot of coin to drop on one gift, but if your bestie is a devoted indoor rider and has been super nice this year, I guarantee they will love you for it.
(Silca website, sold out)
If you’re looking for the ultimate gift for the cyclist or triathlete with it all, this is your gift. Take the world’s greatest bike pump, give it to one of the world’s best bike painters and you’ll be amazed at what you get. Check out his work here.
The Dario Pegoretti Silca pumps look like they belong in a museum (actually, they really do belong in museums) and each batch sells out in minutes. There is a secondary market if you just have to get one for the cyclist who has everything, and you can be sure they don’t already have one. You might be able to find one on eBay…Or I know a guy who has two and is looking to sell one (full disclosure: that guy is not me).