Best. Cheap. Stuff.

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!

Ultimate Hoof Pick

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.

Easiest Spur Straps Yet

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.

Aerborn Heavyweight hairnets

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.

Blue Q socks

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.

Win Sports Detergent

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.

Road ID bracelet

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.

31 thoughts on “Best. Cheap. Stuff.

  1. My current ride does not require spurs unless I want to shoot to the moon, but I’m still dying for a pair of pink spur straps.

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  2. Everyone who rides by themselves should have a RoadID. Put it on and you’ll forget it’s there. Also, I am super happy they did away with the interactive requirement for horse trials. I have NKA and no medical history, which is easily fit on the band itself.

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  3. OHHH i have the hoofpick and LOVE IT. Everyone borrows it at my barn they all act like it costs so much but to get the snow and ice out it was a must. Plus i m going on 2 years with that sucker so they last.

    And have the hairnet too.

    Now i am intrigued about the spur straps. I hate my current ones so will have to look for those. Thanks!

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  4. if only those spur straps came in teal. story of my life.

    also, that puncture from the ultimate hoof pick is STILL ouchy! that thing went deep!

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  5. Ooo… You listed so many of my favorites!

    I LOVE those spur straps, I have a pair of red and a pair of black. Best purchase I ever made. I’m wearing those exact Blue Q socks at work right now. I also have the Road ID, after 5+ years the original one (with the nylon wristband) is still going strong. My brother is a diabetic and we have multiple Road IDs for him (dog tags and the wrist ID Slim) and they’ve held up great. That’s saying something too since he’s a landscaper so they get put through to the test day in and day out. He recently upgraded to the Wrist ID Elite and LOVES that one even more, he says it’s a lot roomier and comfortable on his wrist.

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  6. Great selection! I really want to try that laundry detergent. I was a long-time Aerborn devotee as well, but then I started cutting my hair short and now I’m all about the RWR nets! And my pony doesn’t like rubber spurs/straps because they pull his wittle fluffy hairs. 😦 But otherwise I think they’re a great idea!

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  7. Those socks. I must own all of them. I’ve been meaning to try that Win detergent, but right now pre-soaking all my athletic clothes in vinegar/water is working pretty well. You might have pushed me to try it out, though.

    I’m going to throw in a huge hell yeah for RoadID. Mine’s been going strong for over three years, and I am just now considering having them redo the plate — which they replace for free it it gets hard to read before the band wears out. I wear it 24/7, and love it to death. For an asthmatic like me who is constantly biking, running, riding, walking, or drinking (hey! that’s a dangerous sport, too!), they are a huge boost of confidence.

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  8. LOVE the Ultimate Hoof Pick! I need to get one, I have to borrow my trainer’s when the mud is bad. I don’t know why I haven’t purchased one yet. Also excited to try to find the detergent! I’m really trying to stay away from products tested on animals so this is awesome!

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  9. I’m with everyone else…rubber spur straps sound amazing! I also live and die by sports detergent in the summer – I’ll have to try that one since I’m always hunting for products not tested on animals. And love me some RoadID! I might have to upgrade from the nylon one I have…great post!

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  10. I wonder if the Road ID bracelet information is viewable if the membership expires? I like the idea of the online medical information, but if someone fails to pay their $10 one year, are medical professionals unable to access the online information? That seems rather rough/unfair/unsafe.

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    1. I don’t have that version, just in case I’m in an area with poor cell reception or it’s a real emergency where time is of the essence. That said, I don’t have much medical information to list anyway so it all fits on the bracelet.

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  11. I’d never heard of Road ID before, thank you for mentioning them. As an asthmatic with drug allergies, I think I need one ASAP!

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  12. I’ve been following your blog for a couple of months and have now purchased two products you recommend. Two MangoBay belts and now this ID bracelet. Your recommendations are killing me!

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  13. Fun socks are my JAM. Some people pamper themselves buying really nice lingerie… I buy socks.

    I’ve been thinking about buying a RoadID for a while – glad to see you like yours! The only thing that makes me hesitate is that I don’t know what I’d put on it – I have NKA and no major medical issues, so getting the interactive version seems like an unnecessary expense. However: I have an EXTREME aversion to needles/any foreign objects – the one time in my life I’ve needed an IV, it took five people four hours to put it in because I was having such an incredible panic attack. My family is under orders to never let anyone, for any reason, put a tube down my throat because it could literally give me a heart attack.

    So that feels like a pretty important thing to put on a medical ID, but I have no clue how to word it consicely. xD

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    1. Honestly, I wouldn’t worry about it. If someone is looking at your Road ID, you aren’t going to be in a state to have a panic attack over anything. I would stick with NKA and some sort of a quote that makes you happy (Mine says “The road to success is paved with obstacles”. Maybe not a “happy” quote, but one that keeps me running when mile 4-6 suck ass).

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