What's Cool In Road Cycling

Cheap-Oh Gift Ideas For The Post-Christmas Slump

While excess has its highs and lows, frugality is always in style. Since taste-making is one of our missions at PezCyclingNews, Mr. Cheap-Oh serves up some deliciously inexpensive gift ideas that are good all year ’round.

Before we get started on Mr. Cheap-Oh’s latest installment in penny pinching prowess, check out last year’s offerings for a little inspiration: Part I and Part II.

Vittoria Pit Stop
Pit Stop is a foam sealant that repairs and inflates a flat tire. Though I’m not sure how it works with big gashes, for everyday pinches or small cuts, this stuff really works. It is especially useful on winter days where hands are a bit too numb to change tires. Also, it’s a must for riders with tubulars. Over here in Italy it costs about 10 euros, which isn’t terribly cheap, but it’s worth it.

Vittoria Pit Stop: keeps you rolling on your tubulars.

Roll Kit
Take a piece of heavy cloth like canvas or better yet, a piece of leather, then fill it with a spare tube, tire levers, tools, etc. Roll it up and attach it to the saddle rails with a toe strap. Pretty snappy!

Ooooh, nice!

Plastic Bag
PezReader, Nick H., sent this in a while ago and I’ve tested it and confirmed that A Plastic Bag is Cheap-Oh Chic. Here are his words:

For the best part of twenty years, I have ridden with a good quality plastic bag in my rear pocket. The sides of the bag have been opened and an oval has been cut in the bottom big enough to put your head through. Voila!

When it is cold you can use the bag doubled as a chest protector under a non windproof jersey. It is as good as any gillet, breathes perfectly (there are no sides), folds up very small, and is incredibly easy to take off during a race (place your hand up your jersey, grab the bag and pull).

But wait there is more. If it is raining, remove your short sleeve jersey, place the bag over your head (through the cleverly designed hole), and replace the short sleeve jersey. Encore voila!

Simple, yet effective.

A rain mac, 100% waterproof (on the front and back) and breathes through the open sides. What is more, because the bag goes under your jersey, you do not reduce your aerodynamics and your team mates assume that you are Belgian because you are riding in the rain wearing only short sleeve jersey. Plus, it folds up incredibly small, so you will always take it with you, so it is more practical than an expensive, fully waterproof jacket.

Price? Cost free (assuming you own a pair of scissors to cut the hole).

Airline Kits
Though a good Cheap-Oh never flies First or Business class, they do steal the kit bags while filing out of the plane. These are ideal for tools or perhaps that snazzy, new Plastic Bag you just got for Christmas!

Don’t forget your airline’s parting gift as you exit the plane.

Candle Holders
What to do with those old headset cups, you ask? They make great candle holders. Impress the ladies with your canny blending of sport and home decorating actvities!

Campy Candleholders!

Nail Polish
Don’t let your feminine side stop at the home decorating section, continue on to cosmetics and pick up some nail polish. It works great for touch ups, there are tons of colors and it’s really cheap (if you avoid the fancy brand names).

Nail polish: not just for your significant other.

Electric Tape
Cyclists tend to be suckers for colors. Matching colors are even better. The hardware store across the street sells a rainbow selection of electric tape for 80 cents a roll. In addition to finishing off handlebars, electric tape makes a pretty good chain guard. Great stocking stuffers.

Tape is good.

Instant Speed Coupons
All cyclists dream of being faster. It explains why we so desperately (and somewhat irrationally) crave aero wheels. Here’s how to do it the Cheap-Oh way, write up some coupons for your buddies with the following text:

Guaranteed Instant Speed
The beholder of this Coupon is permitted ONE ride in the handlebar drops on their current bicycle. This amazing position offers unheard of aerodynamic advantages and will miraculously enable one to Be Faster – free of charge!

Zelten Or Panforte
These sweets are offered around this time of year in Italy (and in specialty markets around the world). Zelten or Panforte are cake-like bricks made from dried fruit, honey, nuts and spices, with recipes dating back hundreds of years. They have about a zillion calories and make for great cycling food. Though not very cheap, they last almost forever and the good Cheap-Oh stockpiles them after New Years when everyone is sick of them and are deeply discounted.

Get your panforte now!

As always, take everything mentioned here with a grain of salt and at your own risk! Mr. Cheap-Oh is always on the look-out for brisk shots of cycling financial sanity, so feel free to offer suggestions.

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