Cycling Weekly's alternatives to Gwyneth Paltrow's Goop Christmas gift guide
With Christmas just around the corner, you might want to ignore the wellness site
With Christmas just round the corner, people are scrabbling for ideas, taking a punt on which military history book to buy their grandad, wondering out loud how many candles is too many.
We already have you covered here at Cycling Weekly, with our very own Christmas gift guide, which ranges from last minute training aids to things for bikepacking. It is not as bad as those traditional gift guides where men are assumed to want wallets and ties, while women need potions and creams.
As one tweet put it this week: "There's no funnier caricature of masculinity than the Him from “holiday gifts for him.” he doesn’t drink any liquid but whiskey. he’s got 20 watches on each wrist. If he saw a single texture other than leather he would throw one of his pocket knives at it."
The ultimate gift guide is probably the one from Goop, Gwyneth Paltrow's often bizarre wellness venture: "We operate from a place of curiosity and non-judgment, and we start hard conversations, crack open taboos, and look for connection and resonance everywhere we can find it."
If that sounds exciting enough, alongside the $3,400 meditation chair and the $76 bottle opener, there are actually three bikes on the extensive list. Now, I'm not sure I completely trust Goop's judgement on all things two-wheeled, but they might be the only bike-related things that are seen by the kind of person who shops on that part of the website.
Our friends at Canadian Cycling Magazine already noted that the relative affordability of the bikes in the gift guide actually shows up cycling for the ridiculously expensive - and only getting more so - hobby it is.
However, if you are looking at the options in the Goop guide and thinking "I like this, but I want something different", then you've come to the right place.
First up is the Linus Roadster 7i, "the wheel deal", which is described as “the perfect city bike". It will set you back $998, which is not outrageous for a slightly fancy but not too fancy town bike, although I'm not sure I'd want to lock it up outside the pub.
It's seven speed and retro, so don't expect too much performance, but it looks nippy and cool enough.
For a cheaper version that is pretty much identical, why not go for the Ortler Bricktown, currently £419.99 on Wiggle? It's half the price of the Linus, still has the seven-speed gearing, and has a parcel shelf on the front, so you can fulfil your dream of looking like a postman. It comes with front and rear lights as standard too, which sounds pretty handy to me.
If you wanted an urban run around but are the kind of millionaire who looks at Goop for Christmas presents, why spend so little? The Creme La Ruta Rando is a handy machine in between a city bike and a road bike, with drop handlebars, and still has that parcel shelf. It also has Shimano 105, which seems excessive for pootling around, but if you wanted to tour on it, you could. With lights, mudguards, and a "stylish" bell too, I actually quite like this bike. Only £1,299.99 on Wiggle.
Next up from Goop is its tip for a kid's bike. We can't snark about this, the more children on bikes the better. The guide says "this is the perfect bike for beginners who’ll soon become pros". If you want an actual guide to the best kid's bikes, why not take a look at our own?
Again, Goop's offering is not out of the realms of possibility, with the Linus Lil' Dutchi 16" priced at a semi-reasonable $369.
If you wanted to go cheaper, you could easily with the Specialized Riprock Coaster 16, on Leisure Lakes Bikes for £269, which is apparently durable enough to take "years of abuse", which is heartening.
Yet again, it is very easy to find a more expensive children's bike for the little Goop-er in your life. Also from Specialized is the Hotwalk Carbon, which is, for some reason, a carbon fibre bike for a toddler; a steal at £999. The Californian company says it "took the same tech behind our world championship-winning bikes and combined it with proportional design to build the ultimate balance bike". Fine, that seems like the right kind of present for someone shopping like Gwyneth Paltrow.
Finally, Goop is on hand to offer us an e-bike in the men's gift guide - not sure why this isn't for women too, just like the urban bike - which is a bit outrageous. If you're going to get the e-bike on Goop, of course it's going to be the n+ Mercedes Championship Edition, yours for just £4,790.
According to the blurb, it's a "750W, dual motor rocket-ship", which has batteries powering both the front and back wheels. It comes with slick tyres too, for some reason.
If you want a more sensible electric bike, why not look at Cycling Weekly's e-bike guide, which is going to satisfy whoever you're buying for, unless they are a Mercedes obsessive.
E-bikes don't have to be so stupid; the Ridley RES U400 Deore is available on Wiggle for just £1,699.99. It comes with a reliable alloy frame equipped with a Shimano Deore groupset and hydraulic disc brakes for daily commuting and inner-city errands.
Again, if you wanted to spend more, you obviously could. Why stop at the silly Mercedes bike when you could get a road super e-bike? The Cannondale SuperSix EVO Neo 1 is for sale at Tredz for £9,000, and is much more the bike of your dreams. Cannondale say it's "built for speed" and that is has a "lightweight motor in the rear hub and small battery in the frame provide the perfect amount of boost to enhance your ride, not overwhelm it".
By all means stick to Goop, but we reckon we have just easily done better, with a little bit of research. Just don't ask us to recommend any crystals.
Of course, the ultimate gift is a Cycling Weekly subscription, but there is a gift guide in the latest issue, out now, too.
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Adam is Cycling Weekly’s senior news and feature writer – his greatest love is road racing but as long as he is cycling on tarmac, he's happy. Before joining Cycling Weekly he spent two years writing for Procycling, where he interviewed riders and wrote about racing, speaking to people as varied as Demi Vollering to Philippe Gilbert. Before cycling took over his professional life, he covered ecclesiastical matters at the world’s largest Anglican newspaper and politics at Business Insider. Don't ask how that is related to cycling.
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