Now that it's officially the gift-giving season (I say "officially" because people are welcome to give me stuff all year 'round), I thought I'd take a moment to highlight some of the gift possibilities for that heavy-drinking cyclist in your life - or even for yourself if you're so inclined.
Bicycle-themed bottle openers are always a popular choice, and one of the more common items:
|The newest bottle-opening accessory (and the one that sparked this topic in the first place) is a joint effort between the folks at Silca and Wisecracker. What could possibly make your $450 Silca Ultimate Inflation Tool (it's too expensive to call a "pump") even more "ultimate"? Why, adding a bottle opener to the top cap, of course. Wisecracker has already made a name for themselves with stem-mounted and seatpost-mounted bottle openers (see below), so having one for the home-based workshop was a natural extension -- that way, nobody ever need be more than a few steps away from being able to pop open a cold one. (photo from Silca.cc)|
|While we're on the subject of the well-equipped home workshop, for the beer-drinking bike mechanic (is there any other kind?), both Pedro's and Park make "shop quality" bottle opening "wrenches." Big, rubber-coated handles give lots of leverage for stubborn bottle caps.|
|For an on-the-go wrench/opener option, those makers of overpriced titanium urban cruisers, Budnitz, also have a titanium wrench and bottle opener combination. With its knurled 5mm bolts, it is designed to be carried on standard water bottle braze-ons. (photo from Budnitz)|
|There seems to be a veritable cottage industry in so-called "upcycled" chains turned into jewelry, picture frames, and of course, BOTTLE OPENERS. This particular one comes from Uncommon Goods. I've never tried to use one, but I imagine that the flexibility of the chain "handle" would make it a little more awkward to use. What do I know?|
Then there are those who can't wait until they get home before cracking open a beer, so there are a number of choices out there that attach right to the bike:
|Surly has long offered a few choices for the drinking cyclist. The Tuggnut chain tensioner turns a track/fixie bike's rear fork end into a bottle opener. Two-sided, so it works whether mounted on the left or right side. Also aimed at the fixed-gear cyclist is their Jethro Tule, which has an offset 15mm box end wrench for axle nuts (it's angled slightly from the handle to help minimize knuckle scrapes), with a bottle opener on the other end.|
|The aforementioned Wisecracker makes seatpost-mounted and stem-mounted bottle openers that seem to have gotten pretty popular -- at least if the bicycle blogosphere is any indication. I mean, even BikeSnobNYC has one. Still, I have to wonder if this double-headed version - dubbed the "Twinduro" - is meant as a joke. What the hell? For two-fisted drinkers? Or people with really impatient riding buddies?|
|The Pub Nub, from Nub Nub mounts onto the end of a handlebar, like a bar-end plug. It's only shown on a MTB type of bar, so I don't know if it would work on drop bars or not (they're usually different diameter). Also available from Firebox.com where I found the following ad copy: "Here at Firebox we live by one rule and one rule only. . . Never, ever EVER leave the house without beer. It may seem like an easy rule to follow, but things get a little tricky once bicycles sneak their way into the equation. Where do I keep my bottle opener. What happens if I get all the way to the park and realize I've left it at home?" |
Remember: Admitting you have a problem is the first step to recovery.
|Then there's this one from Chromoly, called the Road Popper that mounts to a bike's saddle rails. By the way, I approve of the saddle, but not so much the seat post. The Road Popper has the following tongue-in-cheek warnings (or at least I assume they're tongue-in-cheek -- maybe they really are teetotalers): "The Road Popper is not intended for alcoholic beverages. Chromoly does not condone cycling while under the influence of alcohol."|
|All manner of leather-crafting artisans offer some variation on the 6-pack caddy. I don't know if there's much difference between them, but this example comes from the folks at Fyxation. For what it's worth, my own experience with beer is that lots of vibration has a pretty negative effect on it. Rest assured though, "Being from Milwaukee (Brew City), we've had more than a few opportunities to test out this product. When properly fastened to your top tube and seat tube and filled with a six pack of suds, there's plenty of clearance between the caddy and your legs while pedaling." |
I do think the operative word here might be "suds."
|Live near a trendy brew-pub, and like to take home a growler of microbrew regularly? There are a number of artisans making versions of the growler carrier out there. This hand-crafted leather version comes from Pedal Happy Design, which makes several variations for different types of growlers.|
Have you noticed that most of these things are focused on beer drinkers? Yeah, me too. But what about the wine drinkers out there? What are we supposed to do when we're out for a ride and the DTs start setting in?
|If you search for 'bicycle wine carrier" you'll find there are plenty of leather crafters out there offering a way to carry a wine bottle. I didn't see a lot of differences between them, as most seem to consist of a couple leather straps that hang from the top tube. This one comes from Oopsmark.|
I just hope that's a screw-top wine bottle in there, because nobody seems to make a bike-mounted corkscrew. Of course, the ultimate bike-themed corkscrew is the Campagnolo Big Cavatappi - but good luck lugging that massive tool along for the ride. What's the use of all this misplaced booze-toting ingenuity if they're going to leave bicycling wine drinkers high and dry?
Is it too much to ask that somebody offer a clever, functional corkscrew that can be toted on a bike?
|I'm starting to wonder if THIS thing was such a dumb idea after all.|