We’ve all got those few little staples in our collection that we can’t live without… that exact brush or saddle pad or pair of gloves or hairnet. They might not seem like much but they’re so awesome in their own little way. Since it would be a little silly to do a review on each of these small things I decided to throw my favorite “Must Have items for under $20” together in one post. Because cheap essentials are always important!
If you’ve ever tried to pick dried Black Gumbo mud out of a foot, you’ll understand that a jackhammer is more helpful for the task than a regular hoofpick. This thing is rugged and this thing means business. The pick is shaped more like a flathead screwdriver, which makes it extremely efficient at picking out the toughest of mud and rocks. Things that you have to slowly chip away at with a regular hoofpick fall right out with this one. Just don’t stab yourself with it – you will bleed. It won’t bend or break and the grip is very comfortable in your hand. The regular version is larger, but I have the “junior” version, which I think fits my hand a little better and is a bit cheaper at $13.95.
Yup, rubber spur straps. Don’t worry – they also come in black. I know these seem weird, I was scared of them at first too. But then I borrowed a pair of spurs that had them and the clouds parted and the angels sang and these are all I’ve used ever since. For only $11.95 they stretch, they move with you, they hold up great to abuse, they’re easy to wipe off to get clean, and they stay put. Boom.
This is a bit of a weird one, I know. But being “raised” in an A level h/j barn with a trainer who had very particular criteria for turnout, you got to be good at hunter hair. To this day I still put my hair up, hunter hair style, in a net, every ride. Over the years I’ve tried several different types of hairnets but I hate – yes hate – every single one except the Aerborn Heavyweight hairnets. I have them stashed all over the place so that I never run out, because that would be a Big Problem. Forget the One Knot, forget the No Knot, all you need are these and a hair tie and anyone can do perfect hair, for only $2.99.
Awesome socks with rude sayings – I don’t really need to elaborate on that do I? Everyone needs “Carpe the fuck out of this diem” socks. And “I hate everyone too” socks. And “My favorite salad is wine” socks. And “I love bread” socks. And “Kick this day in it’s sunshiney ass” socks. They’re also super comfortable and hold up really well to abuse, and the smiles they give me are worth every penny of $9.99 a pair.
The SO originally brought this home from the bike shop to use on our cycling clothes, and I liked it so much that I used it on my riding clothes too. They tend to get pretty funky and stinky, especially in the summer, and sometimes our regular detergent didn’t get all the stank and grime out. This detergent is intended for synthetic sports type fabrics and all of my expensive gear launders up really well with it. I will say that I think I prefer the regular Win over the Win Green as far as efficacy, but the Green is fragrance free and dye free, if you need that. None of their products are tested on animals. It retails around $10 per bottle, which does 21 loads.
Considering I’ve had my Road ID for 2 years, worn it 24/7, and just upgraded to a custom band in my XC colors (woot, limited edition sales) I’d say this was a good buy. I love not having to worry about an armband for XC and stadium, plus I feel a bit better about going for a road hack or riding my bike out on the road. At least they know who to call when they scrape me up off the pavement. The Road ID Slim (the model I have) is usually $19.99 and on sale through today for $15. Plus they’ve got cool horsey badges.