6 Great Gift Ideas for Indoor Cyclists

When put into use, these presents will keep on giving.

Struggling to think of the perfect gift for the indoor-cycling enthusiast in your life? Don't sweat it! To the rescue: This guide to six fabulous gifts that will be much appreciated by your favorite indoor cyclists, ride after ride.

A Heart Rate Monitor: These indispensable gadgets let an indoor cyclist monitor how hard she’s truly working and what training zone she’s in. Some models come with more bells and whistles than others do (and heftier price tags).

Basic models track the person’s heart rate during the workout and the amount of time she’s been exercising, and let her set a target heart rate zone. Others display calorie expenditure and offer a heart-rate zone alarm (to indicate when the rider has gone too high or too low). Most require the person to wear a chest strap to monitor her heart rate and send the info to a display that’s worn on the wrist like a watch; a newer line of heart rate monitors don’t have a chest strap, relying instead on sensors on the back of an armband or wristwatch.

Cycling Shoes and Socks: Wearing cycling-specific shoes can take the indoor cycling experience to a new level. They promote a more efficient movement throughout the entire pedal stroke. They provide stability to the knees and extra support for the feet. And they allow the cyclist to gain extra power when riding in a standing position because she can pull up more when her feet are attached to the pedals.

Keep in mind that cycling shoes have hard, stiff soles and usually Velcro straps across the top of the foot, as well as cleats that hold the feet securely in place on the pedals. Cleats are sold separately so be sure to tell the shop where you buy the shoes that you want a cleat system that’s compatible with indoor-cycling bikes.

Helpful hint: Lightweight socks that offer plenty of cushioning but don’t retain moisture make great stocking stuffers.

Padded Cycling Shorts: They’re not required attire but many people find that wearing padded cycling shorts makes the ride more comfortable. These form-fitting bike shorts can help prevent the saddle soreness participants sometimes experience in their crotch area or butt from sinking into the saddle or bouncing on the saddle excessively. Just make sure the shorts are made of a “moisture wicking” fabric (like Dri-FIT or CoolMax) to keep sweat away from the skin. 

A High-Speed Water Bottle: It’s no secret that indoor cyclists sweat buckets during their workouts. So staying well-hydrated is essential before, during, and after the ride! Your best bet is to look for a BPA-free water bottle, whether it’s made from stainless steel, plastic, or another non-toxic or eco-friendly material. Look for a cool design that won’t slip or drip when it’s placed on the bike.

Feel-Good Tools for Recovery:  Sore muscles are a common memento of a killer indoor cycling class.

Fortunately, there are some great tools—such as foam rollers, The Stick®, stress balls, and foot massage balls—that can help soothe tight, achy muscle through self-massage. Put one of these tools into your friend or loved one’s hands, and the response will be eternal gratitude.

Gift Cards: Consider giving the indoor-cycling aficionado in your life a gift card to a local boutique studio or perhaps an iTunes gift card so he or she can download inspiring songs for solo rides. This will help keep his or her cycling regimen fresh.

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