Is it really that time of the year already? Yes, yes it is… We put together the ultimate BMX holiday gift guide for 2009, including ten items under $25, ten items under $50, and five items you definitely want to stay away from when shopping for a BMXer. This article is perfect for the semi-clueless parent, relative, or friend, but also a good read for any BMX rider this time of year.
2009 Holiday Gift Guide For BMXers – 10 Items Under $25
Subscription To Ride BMX Magazine – $18.97
We will start of our list quite modestly—one of the best things you can give a rider is the gift that keeps on giving. Order a one-year subscription to Ride BMX and receive nine issues plus a free gift. We know you saw this one coming, but you probably thought we’d save it till the end. Oh how wrong you were… (Click here to subscribe.)
Videos – $9.99 – $24.99
Every rider loves watching videos, and while clicking through ridebmx.com every day is great, there is still something to be said for popping a disk in the DVD player and relaxing on the couch with some friends while watching BMX on a big screen. It’s a great way to see some amazing riding, and the perfect pre-session motivator. And what’s our number one pick this year for a video? You guessed it…our own! Range Of Motion is Ride’s latest film, and is hot off the press just in time to stuff some stockings. You can also ask your local shop for their best sellers or latest releases so you are sure to get something top-notch.
T-Shirts – $12.99 – $22.99
If modern-day BMX had a “uniform,” it would probably consist of jeans and a T-shirt. There is a very good chance that most riders wear one every day of the year, and after ripping shirts, staining them, or just wearing them out, everyone can use more T-shirts. Everyone. Get one that looks cool, or buy from a company the rider is psyched on. Just make sure to get the right size… If the rider is into tighter fit clothes, don't get the XL just because it is on sale.
Plastic Pedals – $11.99 – $18.99
Plastic pedals are here to stay as just about every rider is making the switch from expensive and heavy alloys to affordable and lightweight PCs. Nearly every major company is making plastic pedals these days, and they come in a huge range of colors to match ever riders’ personal setup.
Hats – $9.99 – $24.99
Whether it’s a mesh trucker hat, a beanie or fashion hat, or a fitted cap, there are plenty of options out there for cranium accessories. However, if you’ve never seen the rider wear a hat, this may not be the best gift—some people just aren’t the hat type. Take note what their personal style is and use your best judgment.
Flick Trix “Finger Bikes” – $7.99 – $14.99
These pocket-sized bikes were popular several years ago before disappearing from store shelves for a while. Now they are back and the company that makes them has gone to great lengths to make sure the bikes are as legit as possible. The bikes are actually modeled after some of the most hardcore name brands out there, and they even have exact replicas of a handful of top pros’ bikes. Some of the younger kids play with them, and some of the older kids collect them, but of course not every person who rides BMX is going to want a plastic toy, so shop wisely.
Memberships Or Gift Certificates To Skateparks – Prices Vary
A lot of privately-owned skateparks offer memberships or gift certificates that make amazing gifts. That way when he wants to go ride, he doesn’t have to worry about paying for it himself, which means he can have more pocket change to buy Hot Pockets and Gatorade during the long-winded session.
Pegs – $8.99 – $21.99
Not every rider runs pegs, but those who do will eventually wear them down, so replacement pegs are a perfect gift idea. Just pay attention to how many pegs are on his bike when you buy new ones. You don’t want to buy just two pegs if he runs four… And if you aren’t sure whether to get 14mm or 3/8″ pegs, talk to the person you are buying them from and do your best at explaining the bike and what kind of riding the person does. The shop will probably be able to make an educated guess after asking you a few simple questions.
Grips – $6.99 – $14.99
Grips are one of the most frequently worn-out parts on a bike, and luckily one of the cheapest and easiest to replace. Even if the grips aren’t worn out yet, a lot of riders keep a spare set of grips on hand so they are there when they need them. If you want to really be on top of things, get the same kind of grips they already have because a lot of riders don’t like to switch brands or styles once they are used to a certain kind.
Gloves – $15.99 – $24.99
This is another thing that not all riders use, so this gift idea isn’t for everyone. However, the people who do ride with gloves tend to rip them, or worse, stink them out. Sometimes gloves get so soaked with sweat that the pungent odor makes them literally unbearable to wear, so a new pair is in order. A fresh pair of gloves can actually make your bike feel new again.
*Click page two below to see our ten gift items under $50. Or click page three to see our five items not to buy.
2009 Holiday Gift Guide For BMXers – 10 Items Under $50
Headphones – $25.99 – $49.99
BMX and music go hand in hand and a lot of riders listen to headphones while they ride. There are two basic types of headphones—ear buds that go in your ear, and headsets that cover the whole ear. Earbuds are the most common since they are smaller and don’t interfere with riding as much, so do a little research on the rider before you make this purchase to make sure you are on the right track. A bonus would be if he has an iPhone and you buy headphones with a built in speaker so he can talk on the phone with them too.
Kneepads/Shin Guards – $14.99 – $49.99
This is one of the items every parent was hoping would be on our list… But don’t fall in love with us too much just yet. Sure it’ll protect “your baby” from a few gnarly scars, but it’ll also help him overcome fears so he will try wilder stuff. Yeah, a bit of a catch 22, I know. There are lots of options out there for kneepads and shin guards, and not every rider is into wearing them, but just like with gloves, pads can wear out or simply become too damn rank for their own good.
Helmet – $22.99 – $44.99
And this is the other item every parent was waiting to see in this article… While most riders won’t wear a helmet every time they go out, many skateparks require people to wear helmets, so every rider should own one. Be on the lookout for a brain bucket that is made specifically for bikes, as skateboard helmets have much lower safety standards.
Sprocket – $19.99 – $49.99
Sprockets are tricky because you need to know what size to buy. (Sizes are listed by the number of teeth on the cog.) If you check out the current sprocket and either count the teeth or read the number on the side of it, you’ll be set. A new sprocket can change the entire look of a bike, and may shave off a few ounces if you get a super light one.
Seat – $20.99 – $39.99
There are three kinds of seats—railed, Pivotal, and combo. The railed seat has rails under it that attach to a traditional seat post. The Pivotal has little teeth under it that lock into the teeth of a matching seat post, and the combo is a seat and post that are permanently connected. The combo seats are getting more popular and are super lightweight, but offer less variety. The Pivotal seats are extremely popular and have a ton of variety. If he has a railed seat, then make sure to get another railed seat so he doesn’t have to get a new post. And if he is running a rather slim seat, don't buy a big fat one.
Flannel Shirt – $30.99 – $49.99
Almost as popular as a T-shirt, the flannel shirt is a staple in most BMXers’ wardrobe. The color doesn’t matter much as they are all a blend of colors, but the fit diffidently matters as most skinny kids these days don't want a huge, baggy shirt. The brand doesn’t matter that much, but it is always rad to buy from companies that support BMX as opposed to skate-only brands or a chain retail store.
Hoody – $29.99 – $45.99
A good hoody is like your best friend—always there when you need it and really great to snuggle up to. Okay, that’s a far stretch, but give me a break. I still have nine products to write about and my head is about to explode. Hoodies are comfortable, keep you warm, make a fashion statement, and double as an excellent pillow on road trips—both in the car and on friends’ floors.
Backpack – $29.99 – $49.99
If the rider is still in school, then a backpack from a BMX company is a no-brainer. But even if he’s not in school, backpacks are essential on road trips, or even just for brining pads, tools, water, and snacks to the session. Lots of pockets are always great, and a water bottle holder on the outside is usually an added bonus.
Jeans – $29.99 – $49.99
A pair of comfortable jeans is what most people ride in these days, so getting a fresh pair is always exciting. And luckily for everyone, more companies are making slim fit jeans that flex enough to ride in, but look good enough on your bum to attract even the most shallow of women.
Bike Floor Pump – $9.99 – $49.99
While you can buy a pump for ten bucks, tire pressure is super important to a lot of riders, so having a durable pump is a really great luxury. Spend the extra dough on a pump that will last a long time, one with a pressure gauge, and one that will squeeze out 120psi or more.
Here is a list of other items that may make good gift ideas:
– Bar ends
– Bike stand
*Click page one below to see our ten gift items under $25. Or click page three to see our five items not to buy.
2009 Holiday Gift Guide For BMXers – 5 Items You Don’t Want To Buy
Even if a watchband looks like a bike chain, the chances of a BMXer wearing a watch while riding are slim to none. Riding while wearing a watch is extremely uncomfortable, so you’d be better off spending your money on something that will actually get some use.
Tires wear out, T-shirts get ripped, gloves get too smelly, but no matter how bad a wallet gets, it rarely needs to be replaced. It’s just something most riders don’t care about, and they would rather a pocket full of cash than a wallet full of nothing.
This is something extremely practical and something every rider should own, but it just makes for a lousy gift. It’s not fun to change out or play with, it doesn’t look cool, and it’s just boring.
Axles, Bearings, & Hardware
When looking around at a bike shop or a mail order Web site, you may come across some of these little metal nuggets and think they are a good idea just because they are in your price range. But just because you can afford something doesn’t mean it is needed or will make a rider stoked to open a gift box.
Most riders don’t even put valve caps back on their bike after pumping up their tires, but no one, and I mean no one, uses novelty valve caps. Sorry, they don’t look cool…they are just cheesy and lame.