“What can I get you for Christmas?” says your caring and understanding wife slash girlfriend. “Do you want something for your bike?” What? What did she say? Fantastic! I can get those new pedals, a new hydration pack, maybe those tyres ready for the summer, or even finally change to that 2×10 chain set up I’ve been eyeing up. Stop! Think about it for a moment.
This innocent question of “What can I get you for Christmas?” could get you into all sorts of trouble.
Up until now she hasn’t a clue those shoes cost you £100, the tyres £40 and that bar and headset put you back around £90. Ask yourself a few questions:
Does she need to know?
Do I really need those things?
Is she trying to catch me out?
Can she get me something without finding out too much?
It’s time to think smart boys. Your first response could be that you would rather go look yourself and its complicated buying bike parts cos they are very specific and don’t all fit all bikes. “What fun would it be for you my darling if I just gave you a part number asked you to order it?”
If she insists here is my advice for Christmas that won’t expose the true cost of your hobby.
A magazine subscription. A great read and magazines subs generally cost the same weather it’s caravanning monthly, horse and hound or computer games. A magazine subscription will often come with a free gift that could be a multi tool or something similarly useful. Singletrack will show you as a mature person and won’t simply look like a glossy list of things to buy landing on your doormat every month. The MBUKs and MBRs of the world are great for ideas of what to buy and price checking new kit and mostly have a free gift of some description every month. This is the gift that keeps on giving.
Stocking fillers or those necessary but sometimes boring items that constantly suck up our cash. Tube patches, lube, cleaning products etc. These items can often be bought in a supermarket – Tesco etc have a cycling section that stock things like Muc-off, this way she can buy you something bike specific without having to go to a bike shop. Phew!
You can always ask for something that has a bike use but is not bike specific. Ask her for that OS map of the Cotswolds you have been meaning to get. Perhaps a non bike specific multi tool like a Leatherman – a great trail tool. Or a new toothbrush, you can use the old one for bike detailing…
Clothes aren’t too bad a shout. Send her to Momuntain Warehouse or Go OutDoors or somewhere similar to get you some socks, a beanie, a base layer etc. you don’t need another Endura BaaBaa Merino wool one do you?
If she insists, be precise with what you want (you don’t need telling that), write a list, my local bike shop Bertie Maffoons has a wish list service.
If would rather not risk it, just tell her you don’t need anything new for your bike, tell her to buy something nice for herself instead and keep buying stuff as you usually do and hope she doesn’t notice…