This holiday season, if you’re searching for a cycling related gift, how about shop small, support independents or buy local? We’ve compiled a collection of some of our – and your – favourite small businesses to give you a few ideas.
In 2020, we need to support small businesses all over the world more than ever. We saw an Instagram quip the other day that really hit home;
A reminder that when you buy from a small business an actual person does a little happy dance
So from bespoke bike bags to art, new kit to ride snacks, here are a selection of great small businesses to support this year.
We’re almost spoilt for choice with awesome bikepacking and utility bike bag makers to choose from, but here are a few of our favourites, as well as some that you have nominated too. Whether you’re choosing a small accessory like a tool roll or planning a bigger custom job, there’s plenty on offer from these brilliant makers.
Ross O’Reilly’s hand made bikepacking bags from his studio in Edinburgh are some of the best that money can buy, made by a seasoned bikepacker too. Don’t just take our word for it, Ross’ frame bags have been shortlisted for the Scottish MTB Product Innovation Award in 2018 and the Best Scottish MTB Product in 2019.
Bike touring duo Harry and Veronica are the jolly faces behind Wizard Works; London’s most cute and cheeky bike touring and bikepacking bag maker. From bright splatter print fabrics to brilliant basket bags and hilarious product names, these are some seriously delicious bags.
Handmade in Ingolstadt, Germany, in the heart of Bavaria, Black Heron Fabrix is run by engineer turned bike shop owner and machinist Harald. Highly functional off-road gravel riding gear like handlebar bags, snack pouches and fork bags are on offer through Dropbar bikes, Harald’s bike shop specialising in cyclocross, gravel and road cycling.
Dutch maker Jean Michel Timmermans is a randonneuring, bike packing & porteuring bag specialist from the town of s-Hertogenbosch. Unusally, he makes both steel racks and bike bags, with some gorgeous and clever combinations of hard and soft goods for the touring cyclist.
Bas Overbeek is based in Arnhem, the Netherlands, producing functional bikepacking and touring bags for curious riders. Check out his custom Porteur bags, they’re gorgeous.
Many corking cycling and landscape photographers also offer their images through online shops, so you can take home some of their incredible action shots or dramatic landscapes. Check these out for some mega shots;
Crashing waves, expansive landscapes or action shots; photographer Chris McClean has a fair few prints to choose from. ADVNTR contributor Mark Downie has the Ben Hope landscape shot on his Christmas list, apparently.
She may be best known for her mountain bike photography, spending her summers following the World Cup circuit around Europe, but don’t miss Sam’s stunning landscapes, which you can find on her print shop online.
We can only imagine that this year must have been like for a cycle tour provider like Pannier.cc. Thankfully, founder Stefan is very resourceful and creative, and has been putting some of his free time into a series of gorgeous artworks which you can now buy on Etsy in different formats. Featured here are his Stelvio sketches, based on a photograph taken by Jordan Gibbons on their Looping the Ortler trip.
Illustrator and cartographer Alex Hotchin’s attention to detail will blow your mind, from her maps for sale to commissioned works. You might have to wait for art this good though, as there’s severe delays in the Australian postal system.
We’ve been enjoying Pip’s vibrant and cheeky designs for years, with bold and lively prints on caps, bottles, stem caps, socks and more. For the ultimate custom gift, Pip offers custom illustrations from £40.
Cycling kit designers
Former pro cyclist Iris Slappendel is just as talented in design as she was on the road. With gorgeous colour palettes, functional designs and luxury materials, I-ris.cc is a brilliant women-first cycling clothing brand.
Beautifully designed multisport kit from Carlo Bonetti and Maurizio Tranquillini in Northern Italy, Cascada is ‘a call to seek out and discover hidden lands, an invitation to live active experiences outside your comfort zone’. From fleccy shirts to baselayers, great socks and accessories, there’s options for all budgets.
Love cycling caps? Do you have any friends that collect them? You’ll love taking a look at Céline’s French cap brand, VERA. Made in France since 2016, choose from bright, classic and retro designs, as well as neck warmers, musettes and other fun accessories.
Africap is very new to the market, starting out with cycle caps made out of Ankara with gorgeous batik produced fabric containing vibrant colours and patterns. Founded by Mohammad (Hammar) Sesay who started cycling 4 years ago, who had the idea to combine Ankara with cycling caps when working abroad in Nigeria. As AFRICAP grows, they hope to also raise the profile of cycling in Sierra Leone, and are already in talks some great amateur cycling teams there.
We loved reading Back in the Frame by London-based blogger turned force-in-the-industry Jools Walker this year. The story of Jools’ childhood on her hand-me-down Raleigh Burner BMX will send you back to your own early memories, before she returned to cycling in her late twenties, and the rest is history! New for December 2020, Jools’ new paperback copy will available, which you can find on Bookshop and Hive.
A beautiful biannual print magazine produced by the good folks at Bikepacking.com, the Bikepacking Journal features stories from travellers all over the world, as well as breathtaking photography and illustrations. By becoming a member of the Bikepacking Collective for $68 a year, you’ll receive two mags a year, plus loads of other benefits including industry discounts, giveaways and supporting non-profit bikepacking projects.
Other great small businesses
Established by the same brilliant duo that created the Second City Divide bikepacking route, Luke Douglas and Christian Smith, Outdoor Provisions is a small, Manchester based brand. Great tasting ride snacks are their key offering, with natural energy bars wrapped in plastic-free, compostable packaging, inspired by the National Parks of the UK. Hear from the duo on episode two of the Unpaved Podcast, and remember that you can get 30% off your first order.
Matt Feeney’s hand made bike racks are world renowned. Craftsmanship meets technical design for the most beautiful addition to a rackpacking set up, complete with internal dynamo cable routing, cage mounts and custom paint jobs. One for the wish list if nothing else…
Brothers Chris and Dom set up business in 2017 after struggling to find a celebratory patch after climbing their first Alpine 4000er, Gran Paradiso. Technically the patches are aimed at hikers, but featuring some of the UK’s highest peaks, national parks and mountain challenges, they’re certainly great for bikepackers too!
A good bike shop is worth its weight in gold. Great service, a friendly welcome, fun weekend shop rides and a drool-worthy collection of gravel and bikepacking bikes, The Woods Cyclery in the New Forest, UK is among the very best.
We hope that these have given you some gifting inspiration (or whetted your own appetite, which is what usually happens when gift shopping, eh?) for the season.
Know some independent or small bike-related businesses that would love support? Drop us a line in the comments below.
Last modified: 17th November 2020