Continental Ultra Sport 1000s.
These tires ****ing suck; they're flat magnets, and the real reason that I wanted to write this post. NEVER BUY THESE TIRES! (Or, if you insist, I've got a set I'll sell you, cheap). As of yesterday, I had them on both of my bikes, and I was flatting every time I went out . So, in yesterday's gorgeous weather, I got a flat within the first ten minutes, and as I was fixing it, I resolved to screw around no longer, and get to Performance for some decent tires. I went with a set of the Michelin Eriliums. The price was right ($25/each), and I recalled one that came on my first fixed wheel, and didn't recall any problems with flats. Half an hour later, the front Conti flats AGAIN, so I pulled off the Lakeshore path and mounted the Michelin. And I made it home! I know people like the Gatorskins (and my father swears by the Armadillos), but I didn't feel like giving Continental any more money. (700c x 23 Gatorskins are $25/each at Performance right now, if anyone's interested.)
Park HCW-5 Lockring Tool.
Yeah, I knew it was crap when I bought it, but this was the only three-pronged tool that the LBS I was at had. It sucks. It's way too easy to get jammed between a Phil lockring (with the lip) and the cog. Too painful to tighten without wrapping it in something. Don't buy it, pistaboy/irokid.
Giro Pneumo helmet.
I finally decided to stop cheating death and get a helmet that I wouldn't mind wearing. I went with this because it seemed like it fit a bit lower on my head; the goofiness of vertical height was what killed the last one for me. Plus: grr, so AERO!
I've only worn it for about an hour, but it feels very comfortable, and the ventilation is a massive improvement over anything I've worn before. Not cheap, but I can't feel very guilty about buying a helmet.
Crank Bros. Power Pump.
I had a lot of fun with this yesterday, thanks to the two flats. I'm sure the larger Crank Bros. pumps are even better, but this thing is really great. It's tiny, and although it takes a while, I able to get some pretty decent pressure out of it after a few minutes. I'm not sure I felt much difference between the "High Volume/High Pressure" settings, but whatever, it worked.
So, if it's not obvious, the moral of yesterday is that I wish I hadn't tried to save a few bucks buying cheap stuff. I've now got three pumps (four with the floor pump), two of which aren't worth anything, which together would have easily covered even the most expensive Crank Bros. I've got a bunch of Continental Ultra Sports that are garbage. So, if anyone's debating between a cheaper version of something and the luxe one and feel like they need a little encouragement, you are hereby encouraged to scrape together whatever more it takes to skip over mediocrity.