What to get the man who's building a road bike?
October 18, 2013 4:16 PM   Subscribe

A lawyer I was referred to just did a pro bono deal for me and I would love to get him a gift since he told me his work would be free. I would love that gift to have something to do with his building of a road bike, but I'm clueless.

His assistant said he was building a road bike and that an AmEx gift card would be helpful and I am happy to do that, but is there any little thing that I can include in the package that would follow the theme of the gift? I've never met him, so I have no concept of his bicycling career, but is there a small token, a book, or water bottle or something that I could use to spruce up the envelope?
posted by buzzkillington to Human Relations (15 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
For about $30 you can get him a pretty good MultiTool.
posted by Kid Charlemagne at 4:31 PM on October 18, 2013 [3 favorites]

As someone who's married to a bike lover, I'll tell you people are particular about their bikes and all the accoutrements. I mean crazy particular in ways that border on obsession. Crazy enough to say, hey I should build my own bike so it will be perfect. Anything you could buy for under 50 bucks he already owns.

Maybe a book?
posted by 26.2 at 4:44 PM on October 18, 2013 [6 favorites]

This is a classic bike nerd book he might appreciate, especially if he tends more towards the engineer-like "every detail" mindset.
posted by kcm at 4:52 PM on October 18, 2013 [2 favorites]

I am a former shop rat and current bike racer. Anytime I build up a bike (road, mountain or whatever) I am obsessively fanatically detailed about what I specifically want and it would be pretty difficult for random strangers to add anything to the build itself.


someone got me this book a few months back for my birthday and I gotta tell you it has been the absolute best. thing. ever.
posted by lonefrontranger at 4:54 PM on October 18, 2013 [4 favorites]

Maybe the Pedro's Beverage Wrench?

It's a beer bottle opener in the style of bike shop tools. And it's a pretty good bottle opener on its own.

It might not be what you want for a professional relationship, but it is a slightly off beat bike thing that he might not already have.
posted by pknodle at 5:27 PM on October 18, 2013 [2 favorites]

I am one of these hardcore bike nerds who builds my own bikes. What has been said about it being night impossible for you to buy something I would want is absolutely true. Every bike-related gift I've received, however well-intentioned, has been discarded or is gathering dust. Only the items I've meticulously chosen myself are still in use.
posted by wutangclan at 5:36 PM on October 18, 2013

Here's a guy who has so many jerseys that if he lays them all out on his driveway he has to climb onto his roof to photograph them and even then they don't all fit into the frame at once.

In particular, if you say he's a lawyer with time for pro bono work then I assume he has discretionary income, and if you say he's building his own bike then I assume he's willing to spend that income on his bike stuff. There is nothing you'd be willing to buy him that he both wants and doesn't already have at least one of.

Just stick to the gift card.

Although I am bookmarking lonefrontranger's link because wow that's awesome.
posted by d. z. wang at 6:50 PM on October 18, 2013 [1 favorite]

Best answer: There are a lot of small things, consumables or stuff that you need multiples of, that would be a nice touch.

Honey stinger waffles (a bike shop will have individual packages)
Sport beans
Fun socks (Depending on your, or his, sense of humor). Lots more where that came from.
Whatever his geographic location, alma mater, favorite sports team or superhero, there's probably a jersey for him.

This book also looks pretty neat, and will probably set him back a few months.
posted by hydrophonic at 10:27 PM on October 18, 2013

Best answer: Just a quick direction to a response I made to a similar question.
posted by Lucinda at 10:30 PM on October 18, 2013

Best answer: Eh, honey stinger waffles and sport beans are kinda cool. Your lawyer would probably use them, since those are consumables and not a physical item kept around if un-needed. If he or she is as detail-oriented as most cyclists I have met (or me), don't guess around what books/accessories/tools they need or what size socks they wear. A gift card would be appreciated and well-used.

I was going to say what Lucinda said, give a little something something to the overlooked support staff!
posted by Giggilituffin at 11:51 PM on October 18, 2013

A bike bell. It's fun, cheap, and doesn't have any bearing on what he decides to build (ie you can't get him the "wrong" bell).
posted by Ndwright at 9:13 AM on October 19, 2013

you can't get him the "wrong" bell

But you can get him the right bell.
posted by a halcyon day at 9:56 AM on October 19, 2013

As someone who is a bit specific about the tools and gear I use, I was very pleased when a friend bought me thePark Tool Pizza Cutter a few years ago.
posted by IanMorr at 12:17 PM on October 19, 2013

The Park Took pizza cutter is nice. Another possibility is Robert Penn's book It's All about the Bike, which is about the author's journeys to the workshops and factories where the components for his custom bike were made.
posted by brianogilvie at 1:25 PM on October 19, 2013

Campagnolo corkscrew.
posted by box at 1:54 PM on October 19, 2013

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