Unless you've been locked in the basement on the trainer, Matt Kelly style, you've probably realized it's holiday season. But with cyclocross training and racing still filling your calendar, when is there time to find gifts for your cycling friends and family? We've got you covered with great Christmas, Hanukkah or any holiday gift ideas for the cyclocrosser, gravel rider or cyclist in your life (or perhaps help you provide a subtle hint to your loved ones as to what they can get you).
Instead of dumping one giant, unwieldy gift guide slideshow on you this year, we're spreading out our annual gift ideas over 12 Days of Crossmas, and going a bit more in-depth in each product. Need something fast? A digital subscription to Cyclocross Magazine or a subscription combined with our latest issue are two quick, easy options to get something in the lucky recipient's hands.
(As always, we're never paid to feature such items, and so you can trust someone on the CXM Pit Crew likes these products).
Clean Up Their Act, Save Them Time
Today's gift ideas feature two great stocking stuffer options for any cyclist to clean up their act. Both are innovative, hose-connected brushes that help make the tedious job of bike cleaning a bit faster, easier, and safer for bearings.
Anytime you can reduce water pressure when cleaning your bike, you've got a better chance to protect your bearings in your hubs, bottom bracket, headset, pedals and pulleys. The easiest way to do that is avoiding a high-pressure spray or power washer, and just brush away the dirt and grime with a bit of water (saving water is good for the planet too). The Brush-X and Brush Hero take two different approaches to this task.
Perhaps the Brush-X is too low tech for the bells-and-whistles-loving cyclist in your life? Or maybe you know a cyclocrosser who is doing a lot of bike washing and needs multiple brushes. The Brush Hero ($34.99 on Amazon) may be the answer, and the perfect gift idea.
Originally marketed for cleaning autos, the Brush Hero is perfect for tough, muddy bike cleaning jobs, even if the mud is sadly from last weekend’s race. Got a bike-cleaning procrastinator in the family? Grab the stiffer white bristle option, or better yet, the replacement brush package that features both the white brush and the softer black bristle brush.
It’s an impressive piece of water-powered engineering. See it in action in our demonstration video below. It’s easy enough for a five-year-old cyclist to operate, so you can give a gift that helps kids clean their own bikes:
The Brush Hero connects to your garden hose, and the water pressure powers the rotating brush. We like this brush because if features an on/off switch that allows you to keep the hose water pressure on, even when you’re not washing bikes, and not worsen your state’s record-setting drought in the process.
The rotating speed of the brush is variable, controlled in part by the water pressure, and also by the variable on/off switch on the brush. The rotating brush is great for cleaning tires, between spokes and for stubborn, caked-on dirt and mud on the frame. With the rotating brush and a bit of elbow grease, cleaning with the Brush Hero avoids blasting bearings with a high-pressure spray—which is much better for the long-term health of any bike.
Brush Hero also touts the water-saving benefits of its brush, claiming that at full power the Brush Hero still only utilizes half the water of an open garden hose. Perhaps it will pay for itself in the form of a lower water bill.
With the shorter bristles, it’s not as good as the Brush-X for cleaning cassettes or clipless pedals.
The company says the brush “cleans wheels, tires, grills, engines, motorcycles, lawnmowers, farm equipment, wicker furniture, gutters, sunshades, bikes and more,” and so if you’ve got some home cleaning to do this winter, this stocking stuffer might shine in more ways, and days, than one.
Be sure to share this post to drop a hint if one of these might make your own wish list. See the ever-growing list of all our holiday gift ideas here.