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Xmas Gift Guide

Need some inspiration for gifts perfect for riders? Here's 10 to get you started.

First up, waterproof socks. They are absolutely no gimmick and will keep your feet happier for longer. They're made up of 3 layers so are warmer than standard socks, a bonus for winter. Water will eventually get in on downpour days - most likely from the top of the sock down - but they'll keep your feet drier and warmer for much longer. And we all know that having cold feet can make kids... shall we say a wee bit grumpy?

The most known for kids sizes are DexShell and prices vary from £12 to £18 depending on size - they do make adult sizes too. I managed to get my 4 year old a pair for £6 on eBay and they do a good job of keeping the cold/wet feet anger away.

For adults, there's heaps of choice and they all seem pretty similar to each other. I've got 2 pairs of waterproof socks from Sealskinz that I've had for several years and another from Bridgedale that are very toasty.

They're great for cleaning bikes! I have a big brush (known as a T-Rex's toothbrush ) to clean the frame quickly then a toothbrush for all the fiddly bits on frame, fork, wheels, bars etc. I then use a second toothbrush for cleaning the chain, cassette and chainring. Don't get them mixed up as you don't want chain oil/gunk on other parts of the bike. And definitely don't put either back in the bathroom....

I wouldn't like to tell you how many pairs of gloves I have. But, having at least 2 pairs means you can put clean, dry ones on during a wet ride. Bingo!

Look on eBay for cheap unbranded MTB gloves and in bike shop sales, you'll be able to get some for a fiver easily enough. For colder weather, the 100% Brisker is a popular choice.

Chances are that the bike came with cheap, nasty pedals that are about as grippy as a slippy thing covered in slippy stuff. Fortunately decent pedals aren't expensive. Take the DMR V6 pedal for example. For £15 it's a complete bargain and is made in so many colours, it's sure to match (or clash) any bike. They're made of plastic and have their limitations, but at £15 they're great for most kids.

Nukeproof do a brilliant range of kids specific stuff. Have a nosey at their Urchin pedal for something with a bit more performance.

Gather up all the old undies (or any other bit of clothing) from the drawer and put them to use cleaning the bike!

Just make sure they're clean first... Skid marks are for tyres y'know...

Perhaps the original tyres are worn or are just a bit rubbish; well, tyres aren't necessarily expensive. Yep, there's loads of different sizes but read the sizing on the current tyre and buy that again. If in major doubt, ask a bike shop.

The thought of letting kids loose on their bike with tools may sound like a recipe for rounded bolt heads and doing more damage than good, but with a bit of guidance they can start to look after their bike themselves.

Pictured here is the LifeLine Essential 10 in 1 multitool, but it's just a rebadged off the shelf offering you'll see branded as loads of things. I've got 8 of them and they're great for the £7 I paid for them a few years ago. They feature all the bits you'd need for a huge list of jobs, but is also pretty dinky so you won't be able to get too much leverage on it, reducing the risk of over-tightening bolts. That is definitely a good thing!

With the Blue Doon at Nevis Range, Fort William, there's a bit more scope for kids to ride uplift trails. Getting the gondola up is super exciting and knowing that there's only the tiniest of uphill to do is sure to be a hit with any rider! And with magic carpet assisted uplift at Cairngorm, there's now even more choice.

Sure to be at the very top of everyone's Christmas wish list this one! But seriously though, it keeps the wind, mud and flies out your eyes and costs around £2 from hardware shops. Buy a few as they'll inevitably get lost, scratched, sat on or ridden over - yep, I've done all of those things...

I've used Slik Graphics twice and they are brilliant. You may have seen the tie-dye decals I have on my Lyrik fork. Most of it is semi-custom where you can choose the colours but not much more.

I've seen good things from Indibike who will print seemingly anything and can help with designing fully custom stuff too. They also do name tag stickers for a fiver which must make you feel like a sponsored racer!


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