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Bike icon
Life

A two-wheeled
wish list

Bike icon

There is nothing better than having a wide array of friends who adore cycling. Say goodbye to purchases that find their way into the unwanted gifts pile: those who love their bicycle will adore a gift that improves their performance, embellishes it, makes it safer or more high tech. Opportunities abound, but one can often get lost in the online shopping world, so we’ve created a short tailor-made guide for bicycle addicts.

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PZeroVeloSecurity First
Bike safety above all else. While a necessity for riding, do not underestimate the security of finding your bicycle where you left it last. Specialized stores, especially in large cities, often make recommendations that people tend to take too lightly: if you really want to save money on an accessory, remove the padlock and chain from your list. But it is no coincidence that more and more city cyclists pay more for their antitheft system than they spend for their bicycle. Suggestions on the brand? Kryptonite has always been the most highly recommended. The message is clear: not even Superman will be able to steal your bike. You can find good locks starting at 40 euros, but the “Kryptonite Messenger Mini + Plus Wheel Extender Bicycle U-lock” gets the best reviews on Amazon.

A Question of Comfort (and more)
Sometimes traveling via bicycle requires some sacrifice. One of these is the after-ride aches and pains when the saddle or seat is not suited to the cyclist. This is not just a question of comfort: this accessory is essential for performance as well. To be clear, it is not a gift to be taken lightly, because the choice must be made according to the type of bicycle and the ergonomic position assumed. So be careful: a leather seat may certainly seem more comfortable, but it cannot be used on all types of racing bikes, where technically you do not look for comfort or softness, but lightness. It wouldn’t be good on mountain bikes either, as the seat must be covered with rather conforming material, guaranteeing the muffling of vibrations and the absorption of impact on the pelvis. Other important distinctions to be made are the needs of the different sexes: a woman’s saddle could be comfortable for man, but the opposite is rarely the case. And if you see a saddle with a small lengthwise hole in the centre, don’t worry. It is not a manufacturing defect, but a useful device to alleviate pressure and better distribute the weight of the rider. The “Selle Italia Nekkar Plus Flow” saddle in black is a good compromise, at 33 euros.

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Stories of an Ordinary Passion
Give a good book and you’ll never go wrong. That is what they say when the ideas begin to slow down to a trickle and you’re looking for a safe bet to avoid making a bad impression when you exchange gifts. In this case, here is a good book that is positively well told, original and fun: Bike Nation — How Cycling Can Save the World by Peter Walker, published by Sperling, released just before summer. The author ironically describes how the vast use of bicycles could be the key to reducing pollution, traffic, environmental costs, accident injuries and disease due to sedentary lifestyles. And it is not just a humorous guide. In fact, the book is full of true stories about passionate cyclists around the world. The most famous myths about the wonderful world of cycling are also debunked.

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Out of this World Headlights
“Life Paint” is a good alternative to lights or taillights powered by a generator. It is a water-based reflecting safety spray, created by Volvo. Invisible in daylight, it only lights up in the direct glare of headlights, making it the best way to make the invisible visible. The paint washes off easily and does not damage colours or surfaces, from clothes to shoes and from helmets to backpacks. It lasts a week and is inexpensive (it costs about 20 euros). 

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Be Smart
To be a high-tech cyclist, you don’t have to be ultra-up-to-date 24 hours a day on the latest e-bike model. A simple addition for one’s bicycle might be enough: a bag for your smartphone to keep it handy, whether using it as a navigator or playing the soundtrack to your ride. Promend bags provide good value for money and easily tie to the handlebar. It can hold keys, tire repair kits and, complete with a touchscreen in the front pocket, your phone. 

A Classic Gift
For those who are passionate about cycling and never miss a classic race, the perfect gift could be a weekend at Paris-Roubaix. The next edition is scheduled for 8 April 2018. But why this classic and not the others? Very simply, even bike lovers can race it. Obviously, it would not be free and the race would be slightly easier, but it is possible. It is called the Paris Roubaix Challenge and anyone can decide how much of the course to race. But be careful not to underestimate its difficulty. Even though it is almost completely flat, cyclists cross the finish line covered in mud and exhausted. That is because of the ride through the Forest of Arenberg on a narrow paved road. It is the most difficult and evocative part of the race. And even in this situation, the tires need to be up to the challenge: PZero Velo could make a difference. Those looking for gift ideas, take heed.

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