Gear for Dad: Cycling

Gear for Dad: Cycling

Military cyclists in pace line

Father’s Day is now just a few days away, and time has just about run out for those still holding out hope of finding dad the perfect gift this year. If you’re one of those who continues to struggle with what to get your dad, than perhaps our Gear Institute gift guides can be of some help. Earlier in the week we shared our suggestions for great pocketknives and multitools, and we followed that up by taking a look at the best camping and hiking gear available too. Yesterday, we even shared our picks for the very best running gear, and today we have some suggestions for the dad who prefers to ride his bike instead. So, if your father would rather explore the outdoors on two wheels, here are some gift ideas that are sure to make him happy. 


BMC SLR03 Road Bike
Road bikes continue to evolve at a rapid pace, with technology making them faster, stronger, and lighter with each passing year. One of the best bikes available on the market today is the new BMC SLR03, which shares many of the same components and technology with some of BMC’s much higher priced models from last year. The SLR03 features a carbon fiber frame and spokes, a slew of Shimano components, and an aerodynamic design that was made for racing. It tips the scales at a svelte 18.5 pounds, which makes this bike is agile and quick on the descents, and nimble and light on climbs. Best of all, it is relatively inexpensive for the world of cycling, delivering a lot of bang for your buck. ($2300) 


Giant Stance 0 Mountain Bike
If your dad prefers to take his rides off-road, he’ll love the new Giant Stance 0, a full-suspension mountain bike with all of the features he could want for riding his favorite trails. With Fox Float suspensions in both the rear and front, not to mention Shimano SLX hydraulic disc brakes, this is bike that will let dad ride all over the mountain in comfort and style. Over the past few years, there has been a lot of debate in mountain biking circles about whether or not you should ride a 26″ or 29″ tire. The Stance 0 splits the difference with a 27.5″ model that is both agile and fast, but also rolls across obstacles with ease. This bike is also relatively inexpensive for the level of performance it delivers to both beginning and experienced mountain bikers alike. ($2650)


Garmin Forerunner 920XT Watch
Garmin is well known for making some of the best GPS watches on the market for runners, but many of their timepieces work well for cyclists too. Take for example the Forerunner 920XT, an excellent device made specifically with triathletes in mind. With its ANT+ compatibility, this watch can connect to sensors that allow it to track cadence, heart rate, and power output. The onboard GPS capabilities can measure distance, speed, and altitude gained or lost. It can also test a rider’s VO2 max performance to help determine improvements over time. Workouts can be synced to a smartphone or Garmin’s own online platform for charting progress and sharing results via social media too. Whether your dad is a cyclists, runner, or both, he’ll find this watch to be an invaluable asset. ($450) 

The Forerunner is so good that it was named the “Best in Class” in the Gear Institute 2015 cycling watch round up. For other options in this category, be sure to visit our cycling watch review page


Garmin Edge 810 Cycling Computer
Garmin doesn’t just make great watches for outdoor athletes, the company also make excellent cycling computers too. Their Edge 810 model provides riders with integrated GPS, a built-in base map, live tracking via a connected smartphone, and the ability to share routes, speeds, and records on social media. The device also tracks speed, distance, and routes taken, and can be paired with a heart rate monitor, and sensors to measure cadence and power as well. ($400)

For a more affordable option the Edge 810, take a look at the Garmin Edge 200 instead. While it has a diminished feature set, it still offers solid functionality at a price of just $130. 


Troy Lee Designs A1 Drone Helmet
Safety is of the utmost importance when riding a bike, and that starts with having a good helmet. Mountain bikers of all skill levels will love the A1 Drone Helmet from Troy Lee Designs because it not only protects them from potentially dangerous crashes, but it looks good too. Its reinforced polycorbonate shell is made to protect riders, and the highly-adjustable retention system makes it easy to dial in just the right fit. The helmet offers good ventilation, lightweight design, and an adjustable moto-inspired visor too.

This A1 Drone was highly rated by our reviewers, earning it a “Best in Class” honor as well. But you can check out which other helmets scored well with Gear Institute staff by clicking here


Specialized S-Works Road Shoe
As with many sports, shoes can make all the difference in cycling too. One of the best cycling shoes available today is the Specialized S-Works, which features a dual Boa lacing system, an ultralight design, and a unique sole designed to help generate power and precision form. Made with road racers in mind, these shoes offer outstanding performance for more casual riders as well. ($360)

For other options in cycling shoes, visit our review page.  


Sugoi Zap Cycling Jacket
All riders get caught out in fowl weather from time to time, and occasionally training rides can run long with the final miles sometimes completed in darkness. The Sugoi Zap Cycling Jacket can help with both situations by providing protection from the wind and rain, while also reflecting an impressive amount of light as well. This makes the rider far more visible to approaching traffic, increasing safety dramatically at night. This helps to ensure dad gets home safely from his ride no matter what conditions he faces. ($150)