Razor Blades

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As cyclists, we go through more razor blades than average.  We’re shaving more, thus go through blades quicker.  Razor blades have improved a ton since I was a kid.  But the cost of these excellent blades have become unbelievably expensive.

I thought of this when I saw a Gillette ad and they were using the newly crowned Olympic Decathlete,  Ashton Eaton as their guy.  I was envious of the dude.  I’d have to assume that he gets unlimited Gillette products, which obviously would include razor blades.  If I were him, I’ve endorse them just for free razor blades.

I think Gillette makes the best blades.  I don’t really stray much.  Back when I first started racing, Gillette had just came out with the disposable  razors.  I think you could get something like 10 for $1.  Even in my penniless state, those razors were affordable.  Even once in a while I would try Bic disposables, but inevitably I would end up bleeding everywhere.

When I used to go to South America and race, I used to always stock up on razor blades.  Razor blades are sold in South America much cheaper.  Their cost is proportional to have much the average person earns, thus much cheaper.  A few times I’ve bought razor blades off of eBay and most of the time the blades packaging is in Spanish.  A few entrepreneurs are having their relatives ship boxes of razor blades up to them here in the US, then reselling them at a profit. Pretty great business model.

I think everyone hates buying new razor blades.  They seem so ridiculously expensive, that parting with hard earned money for them is painful.  Last year at Christmas, I actually gave Trudi a year’s worth of razor blades.  It was over $100 worth.  I thought it was a little cheesy for a Christmas present, but it is something you need, but hate buying yourself.

I’ve used the women’s blades a couple times to shave my legs.  The blades with the slimy things protecting your legs from nicks.  Man, do they work great for shaving legs.  It makes shaving legs a breeze. I’ve never bought them, because they don’t double up for shaving your face, but I would like to have some.

Anyway, paying $4 for razor blades irks just about everyone.  I read the guy that started the $1 shave club deal sold it for something like a billion dollars.  He was fed up enough that he actually did something about it.  The rest of us just pay through the nose.

I've been shaving my legs since before I actually grew hair on them.

I’ve been shaving my legs since before I actually grew hair on them.  This was a photo from the Topeka paper when I was a kid.

The gillette Venus women's blades are great.

The gillette Venus women’s blades are great.

Tucker feels better today, but is still a little under the weather.

Tucker feels better today, but is still a little under the weather.



31 thoughts on “Razor Blades

  1. Jim

    I just went back to using the very old single blades like my Dad used to use when I was young.
    They are a TON cheaper and once I figured out the correct setting on the handle, they are very easy to use.
    Prior to finding out the best setting I was carving myself up more than I liked.
    It seems the companies that make blades have convinced us that a single blade is inferior. Obviously it costs more to make multi blades but if they can sell them cheap in other parts of the world there is no reason we should be paying more. Pure greed.
    Anyway, singles work for me so I am not going back.

  2. Evie Racette

    Try dorco blades. As good as Gillette and that’s where they get them for dollar shave club. We love them. Dorco.com

  3. Mr Ed

    I’ve tried all the shave clubs, and Harry’s are by far the best. Sharp blade that last a long time and cost about $2 per blade. They have just inked a deal with target so you don’t have to buy them online. They are having a $5 trial pack of all their blades and gels and aftershave.

  4. Jim Clark

    Blade prices are criminal. I have a heavy beard and heavy leg hair, and I’ve been using Gillette Fusion for several years, which is by far and away the best for me. I tried Dollar Shave Club, but the blades were nowhere near the Gillette blades. I then read that drying the blades after each use significantly increased the life of the blades, and after trying that trick I’m getting 4 weeks plus out of my Fusion blades.

  5. Terri Thater

    No mention of your girlfriend, Gwen? She’s racing today.

    Funny how many comments on Twitter say that her husband (a former pro cyclist) taught her everything she knows about doping.

  6. Steve Tilford Post author

    Terri – That is a pretty awful thing to imply, in print. Especially here. I’ve know “her husband”, Pat, since he was a kid and maybe he did teach her everything he knows about doping, which is to not do it. If that is what you meant, then twitter is right.

  7. Matt

    I did the $ shave club and I felt the blades were of a low quality. I even paid for the best one they offered, but over time, they cost more than going out and buying good blades.

  8. Barb

    Remember this scene from Breaking Away? :o)

    Mom: What’s the matter?
    Dad: He’s shavin’.
    Mom: Well… so what?
    Dad: …his legs.

  9. The Cyclist

    The best thing about cycling is that it gives you an excuse to de-hair your legs. Nothing compares to the first hairless ride of the spring. I don’t get “cyclists” who don’t get that. Lycra shorts and hairy legs just don’t go together. Way worse than black socks…

    No need for razors though anymore. Stopped using them years ago. There’re lot better methods available for de-hairing nowadays.

  10. Brian

    Need to look into DE (double edge) shaving. Like your grandpa used to. Blades are as little as 10 cents. Just google ‘wet shaving’ or ‘DE shaving’

  11. Gary

    Steve has never claimed to have a lot of money. Get off your rear end crum and get an education to learn some job skills that pay a good wage. The life you live is a result of your choices. You are not a victim.

  12. Choppy Warburton

    A fine touch with a blow torch also works but it stinks up the house quite a bit.

  13. Paul Boudreaux

    Bic single blade sensitive skin are dirt cheap (10 for $3) and work great. Not sure why folks feel the need for more than one blade.

  14. Craig

    Safety razors are the way to go. I bought a used 1960’s razor for $7 on eBay and then got something ridiculous like 500 blades for $50 shipped. I haven’t bought blades in 3 years, get a better shave than I used to get with the fancy multi-blade models and am happy. They suck for legs though! And travel.

  15. Mike crum

    Hey Gary, I never said steve claimed to have a lot of money. A guy that travels around a ton and dosent have a job, must have pretty much money. Pretty ez to see that . I made 56k last year. Not a lot, but thats what I’m making while I’m furthering my IT education while holding down 2 jobs. And still trying to break 33 minutes for 15 miles. Got any pointers for me?

  16. RGTR

    I’m not a fan myself. Seems like a someone that was born with the golden spoon. Some of these athletes in other countries that don’t even come close are the stories I admire.

  17. john

    Several years ago I saw a CEO’s of one of the major players in the razor game say – take care of your off the shelf disposable razor and it should last for years – his do.

  18. KrakatoaEastofJava

    Best solution I ever found was having the guts to stop shaving my legs. All of those reasons I used to give to friends and family about why I did it? I was able to finally stop giving them.

    It turned out that I never had a soigneur, and didn’t heal from my road rash any faster. As a matter of fact, I had more discomfort from new hair growth poking its way through my scabs than I did from intermixed “hairy-scabs”.

    And I’ve also discovered the old reliable “safety razor” of my dad’s era. The blades are dirt cheap, and they shave perfectly fine. You just have to be fully awake when you do it. Gillette is making ridiculously high margins on their blades.

  19. KrakatoaEastofJava

    I get it. I did my time on the tradition thing. I just don’t have time to dedicate to shaving my legs anymore. Loved how it felt (so long as I kept up with it), but trust me, now that I’m “over” shaving my legs, I’m 100% OK with it. Sure, current-day road racers with their hairy beards will pass me and mutter the word “Fred” as they pass, but I won’t care. I gots my medals.

    Try it guys. The WW2-era safety razor. It shaves every bit as good as a mach-8 (or whatever number they’re up to). Just pay attention to what you’re doing.

  20. daveeckstrom

    One trick for those who want their blades to last longer. Your blades don’t wear out from cutting your hair. They corrode from contact with oxygen. When you are done shaving, rinse the blade(s) off and knock the razor against the side of the sink or tub to get as much water off as possible. Then store the blade in a jar or cup under an inch or two of mineral oil. The corrosion will be much slower and you’ll find yourself changing blades much less often.

  21. conrad

    I hate razors, for my face or anything else. I use an electric Panasonic shaver. Cheaper in the long run. Ever notice how safety razors get confiscated in airport security, especially in out of the way places? Because the stupid things are expensive.


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