Tour de France gift guide

What do cycling fans like better than riding in a traffic-free zone? Spending money on cycling related stuff. I’ve decided to have a little trawl through the Tour de France goods on offer and pick out some of my favourites. I like design, I like cycling – I like well designed cycling stuff. So that’s what you’re going to get! Continue reading

Kitty’s Christmas 2012 gift guide to stocking stuffers

Following on from my collection of cycling tees, here is a list of cool cycling-related stuff for you to buy your loved one – or yourself! – for Christmas. This list is all about the beautiful marriage of cycling and design, most of which are done by small businesses. So let us begin … Note: Nov 2013 – some of these products are no longer available – but some of them are!

Ring in the New Year

Anyone who reads any of the main cycling magazines or websites has seen the epic images of Jered and Ashley Gruber. They’ve been in Europe for most of this year and have added to their portfolio of passionate and subtle sports photography. They’ve just brought out their first Gruber Images 2012 calendar, which is good news! Available from Wiggle – at the time of writing, the calendar is on special promotion for £13.50 (RRP£15) with free UK delivery. Now all we need is for them to bring out a coffee-table book …

Gruber Images 2013 calendar; Wiggle; £15

Gruber Images 2013 calendar, Wiggle, £15

Caffeine accoutrements

Cycling and coffee go together like chestnuts and open fires …

Bernie Eisel mug, Rouleur, £19.99

Rouleur has a fine line in bone china mugs with selected Team Sky riders on them – including Cav (oops, well, we’re assuming they’ll keep those …), Wiggo, Bernie, G and Froomey. You can buy these individually for £19.99 or there’s a Brit Pack set, which includes Wiggo, Cav, Froomey and, um, that famous Brit, Bernie Eisel. That four-pack is £67.

Brit Pack Mugs, Rouleur, set of 4, £67

If you’re looking for something a little more timeless, try these espresso cups from Look Mum No Hands! (LMNH). Get these thick-walled cups with saucer for £15 each or a pair for £25. They also have mugs in this design for £10.

World Champion espresso cup and saucer, LMNH, £15

Zeitgeist Images is the brainchild of Mark Fairhurst, a graphic designer/illustrator who does an extensive line in cycling posters (more on those later in this post). You can also get any of the poster designs transferred onto a china coffee mug (£12.95 each). Get four of a kind or mix and match and you’ll be drinking your brew out of a work of art.

Peloton china coffee mug, Zeitgeist Images, £12.95

And last but not least in the china department, Cycling Souvenirs has Iconic Climbs espresso cups. From Alpe d’Huez to Zoncolan, there are nine different climbs and each cup and saucer set costs £9.50. They also do a set of 6 ‘Classics’ mugs: Milan-San Remo, Liege, Roubaix, Lombardia, Paris-Tours and Flanders for £41.

Tourmalet espresso cup and saucer, Cycling Souvenirs, £9.50

Classics mugs, Cycling Souvenirs, £41 for set of 6

Musettes and such

One must have a place to put one’s gels, bananas, iPhones, while riding OR an iPad, pens and pads, gum and wallet if you want to swan about town looking cool. That is where the high-end musette comes in handy.

(iL) Soigneur is producing limited edition National Champions musettes – so far, they’ve put Belgium and Switzerland into production. Made of heavy-duty canvas, these are hard-working, long-wearing accessories for your ride. £30 each. If you want to do a Karl Lagerfeld on your musette, you can build your own bag for £30 on the site.

Suisse National Champions musette, (iL)Soigneur, £30

If you can’t wait for your musette, you can pick one off the shelf at (iL) Soigneur in fun prints – these are, you guessed it, £30 each.

Off-the-shelf musette, (iL)Soigneur, £30

If you’re looking for a musette that’s a bit more subdued, Rapha cc has a city musette in sophisticated black heavy-duty nylon with a white leather stripe for £40. Just fabulous for speeding around town …

City musette, Rapha cc, £40

Everyone needs a cycling cap and LMNH has come to the rescue with a number of cycling caps with Union Jack designs. But for the Sky fan in your life, this Wiggins cycling cap has Wiggo on one side, a mod target on the other and a black and white herringbone design on the inside flap. £10.

Wiggins cycling cap, LMNH, £10

Build your own peloton

I love these little cyclists: their bikes are made of metal and they’re made of rubberised plastic. LMNH produces them in small quantities and in two colours – a World Champion jersey and a blue jersey – and they measure 6x6cm. £16 each.

Miniature cyclists, LMNH, £16

LMNH are also offering up hand-painted peloton figures in a variety of jersey colours. These are proper old school figures, made of solid die-cast metal zamak, measure about 5x5cm, and each comes in his own gift box. £9.95 each.

Hand-painted peloton figures, LMNH, £9.95 each

What do you need for tiny cyclists? Tiny climb markers! These KM markers for some of cycling’s most iconic climbs are from Cycling Souvenirs and cost £11.49 each. There are markers from the Alps, the Dolomites, Provence and the Pyrenees. You could set up your own little Tour de France with these.

Mountain markers; Cycling Souvenirs; £11.49 ea

Posters and paper

Last but not least, we have our original cycling posters. You may remember I did an interview with Bruce from Cycling Posters in July. Well, his stuff is still as beautiful. Bruce does posters of each stage of the Tour de France from 2010-2012. These hand-signed prints on archival paper are $40 each plus shipping from New Zealand.

Champs, Cycling Posters, $40

Neil Stevens of Crayonfire is another illustrator who takes his inspiration from cycling and the Tour de France in particular. He has a wide range of cycling posters, including the stages of the Tour done typographically. He also does portraits of cycling legends, including Eddy Merckx and Mark Cavendish.

Stage 15, TdF 2012, Crayonfire, from £30

Eddy Merckx, Crayonfire, from £30

Back to Zeitgeist Images, Mark Fairhurst has a range of cycling posters, as well as 2012 Olympic posters, to choose from. Printed on matt paper, they come in sizes from A2 (£30) to A0 (£60). (Copyright qualifier does not appear on the printed poster.)

Flamme Rouge poster, Zeitgeist Images, from £30

Zeitgeist also offers a set of cycling Christmas cards – a pack of six cards (two each of three designs) is £13.50.

Christmas cards, Zeitgeist Images, £13.50 for 6

And for that final touch of wrapping paper, we once again look to LMNH to fill our need for cycling design. Sheets of this lovely design will set you back just £3. Not too much to spend on the one you love, is it?

Bicycle wrapping paper, LMNH, £3