Holidays during a pandemic are different. You might not have a big gift exchange with extended family or your group ride buddies, and stay-at-home orders might make shopping challenging, even when local small businesses are desperate for your dollar and support.
Gift-giving this year is different. Timing matters less, gifting experiences is fraught with uncertainty while material goods are making a comeback. Thankfully, we've got a few great last-minute gift ideas and stocking stuffers for the cyclist in your life that may be available from your local bike shop or online retailer. They're also great cycling essentials that can keep you riding into 2021 in comfort and style.
Here are four items that have brought joy to our cycling lives and kept us prepared, warm and safe. See Part I of our gift guide here.
Note: None of these items are sponsored or paid, and we've tried them all. We might earn a small commission via related product affiliate links.
2020 Last-Minute Gift Ideas for the Cyclist
Thousand Chapter MIPS Helmet
Just because your loved ones might be bike racers, they don’t always have to look like one. For more leisurely rides, errands or commutes, especially during the colder months, they can leave the lightweight, heavily-vented race lid behind and grab a more practical helmet.
If you’re looking for a stylish, urban-oriented helmet for the cyclist in your life (or yourself), Thousand has a sweet, MIPS-equipped Chapter model that’s definitely worth a look.
Thousand packed this helmet with features you won’t see on many race-oriented models. There’s a slick, removable magnetic rear light that keeps you visible with its 50 lumens. It turns on as soon as you snap it on, and comes with an extra mount should you want to mount it to your bike.
The visor is removable. The buckle is also magnetic.
At the store or coffee shop, owners can safely leave the helmet behind thanks to Thousand’s PopLock that offers a port for your cable or U-lock.
MIPS promises to reduce rotational stress on your brain with minimal weight gain. Coming from a publication with two contributors who have been struggling with recent concussions this year, MIPS seems like a worthwhile insurance policy to keep riding or writing, for a pretty small premium.
Thousand offers three unisex sizes, with S, M and L. One of our testers was between sizes, and opted for the larger size because he often finds helmets a bit too narrow. However, Thousand helmets have a rounder fit, similar to other brands’ “Asian Fit” models, making upsizing unnecessary. Rounder heads can rejoice, perhaps because the company was founded by Asian American designer Gloria Hwang.
The Chapter comes in three colors: Racer Black (tested), Club Navy with a stylin’ tortoise visor, and Supermoon White.
At $135, the MIPS-equipped Chapter is a good value for a feature-packed MIPS-equipped lid.
With all its features, the Thousand Chapter MIPS helmet is not a featherweight. Our size Large is 409 grams, but the thicker shell should help resist the typical nicks and dents from being locked up.
The Chapter is Thousand’s top-of-the-line model, and it also is the company’s most vented. The vents aren’t the only thing that will keep you cool, though, as the company pledges to offset 110% of the carbon emissions produced during its manufacturing. Very cool!
More info: explorethousand.com