Cycle: Five Gifts for the Bike Geek

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Ignore what the spouse, partner or family member of any cyclist says; cyclists are incredibly easy to shop for. Just drop by a bike shop and look for something that looks cool and it's guaranteed to be a hit (even if the recipient already has it 'cause the only thing better than owning some bike item is owning multiples).

For those of you still struggling to find that "just right" gift for the bike fanatic you're burdened with, here are five items from shops around the valley that run the gamut from fun and affordable to outright extravagant.

The ultimate for any fixie hipster looking for that last touch to set their rig apart. Cinelli has been leading the game in terms of bar wrap tape forever, and now they've partnered with tattoo and pop artist Mike Giant for this edition strewn with Giant tattoo icons. It's hard to find, but Landis Cyclery is always happy to place a quick special order in time to get the bars wrapped for a NYE bike crawl. But get it now before all of the hipsters are sporting it. Awkward!

2. Assos Zegho Sunglasses - $400-475

Assos's current tagline is "

Sponsor Yourself

," and for good reason - the stuff's so luxury priced that the only ones who can afford the stuff 


sponsor themselves. But 

Assos gear is phenomenal

. No other cycling gear line gets raved about as highly as Assos, with typical review comments along the lines of "second skin" and "melts to perfection." They have now moved to eye wear with the new introduction of the Zegho sunglasses. These are single lens, 180-degree visibility shields engineered in partnership with 

Carl Zeiss Optics

 in Germany. If your list has a cyclist who has everything, they won't have this. But they don't come cheap. 


, exclusively at 

Bicycle Haüs

 in Scottsdale. 

3. DZ Nuts Chamois Cream -- $18-24
Protect your junk. That's what the tube says and that's really all that needs to be known. Have no doubt, nothing makes a long ride more comfortable that a nice layer quality chamois cream, and DZ Nuts, developed by champion cyclist and absolute weirdo Dave Zabriskie, is the preferred embrocation here at Cycle. It's cool when applied and lasts a good long time to make sure no friction burns come about. And now there is a ladies' version available called Bliss. Pick it up at any self respecting bike shop around town including Landis Cyclery

4. Garmin Edge 500 -- $250-350
It is impossible to properly train without a quality computer on board. Heck, it's sometimes near impossible to enjoy any ride without tracking how far you've gone, how fast you're going, and how long you've been out. Sure, smart phones have all sorts of GPS apps, but they are never truly accurate and burn a ton of battery (not good when those mid-ride emergencies pop up). Garmin has become the market leader for cycling computers with the Edge 500 leading the way. It tracks and records every type of data a cyclist can imagine and allows it to be analyzed and compared to other rides either on the Garmin Connect website or Strava. Best of all, the computer can move seamlessly from road to mountain bike to comfort bike without worrying about sensors. Garmin recently released a stripped down, version and offers a high-end model as well, but the Edge 500 is everything any cyclist would need and the favorite at the Cycle office. $250 for the head unit, $350 with heart rate and cadence sensors, and can be picked up at any local bike shop, including DNA Cycles in North Scottsdale or Mesa.

5. Rage Cycles Sugar Skull Jersey -- $79
Brand spanking new for the 2012 season, local mountain bike go-to shop and home to one of the best pump tracks in town, Rage Cycles is releasing their new shop jersey adorned with a resplendent sugar skull illustration from Mesa tattoo artist Honest Bob GibsonThe jersey cries Phoenix in the best of ways and would make a perfect top whether cutting singletrack, rolling tarmac, or cruising through CenPho to check out local art. Available in tight road and baggie downhill versions.

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