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  1. #1
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    Straight Razor kit for touring

    I know I'm probably in the minority here...seeing all the photos of bearded tourists. But for those that are "wet shavers" and can wield a straight razor without fear, I put up a review of what I'm bringing for our long extended tour - ( www.pathlesspedaled.com ).

    Here's a link to a review of the shaving gear:

    http://epicureancyclist.com/?p=754




    Russ
    www.pathlesspedaled.com
    www.epicureancyclist.com

  2. #2
    xtrajack xtrajack's Avatar
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    I would like to use a straight razor, but with my luck I probably would wind up cutting my throat.

  3. #3
    VWVagabonds.com Losligato's Avatar
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    Shaving tools have been a constant source of frustration for me while on the road. You must buy a package of at least three plastic disposables. One goes into the protective holder and the other two get smashed in the pannier. It seems I always ended up shaving with a razor head and no handle... not an easy thing to do.

    A few months ago I found a Gillette Fat Boy and thought I had found my solution.



    I bought blades at the drug store, chopped my face to shreds and gave up after the package of blades ran out (too cheap for my own good). I'm glad you posted the bit about the difference between quality blades as I did not know there was a range of quality. I mistakenly thought a blade was a blade.

    By the way, your website is exceptional. That paella looks wonderful.
    www.VWVagabonds.com
    Mexico, Central America, South America & Africa in a Volkswagen

    By bicycle West Coast of the U.S., Thailand, Laos, Vietnam, Cambodia, and Malaysia

    India by Royal Enfield

  4. #4
    Training Wheel Graduate twodeadpoets's Avatar
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    I'm a bit of a hybrid shaver. Even though I have a beard I use a modern (Gillette Mach 3) razor for shaving my neck and around the edges so I don't risk slicing myself up but I also use a brush and Burt's Bees Wax shaving soap to soften things up. I like that is washes clean and the natural scent.
    "Ride Like an Orca!" ~tdp
    "People who enjoy waving flags, don't deserve to have one" ~Banksy


  5. #5
    Gordon P
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    For me, one of the best self indulgences is getting shaved by a barber. The feeling of a straight razor shaving my neck can’t be described. I can’t afford to doit in my own country so I always get it done when I am in the developing world.

    When I was working in Kandahar, Afghanastan during the Taliban era I would go to the market with my entourage to get shaven and it would always draw a large crowd. When asked why I do it my response was because I can!

  6. #6
    nun
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    This is an example of the Riv/old school approach to stuff getting ridiculous. My shaving kit is a few Bic disposable razors. I use shampoo as lather (in fact I use it to wash everything). One razor can last a couple of weeks and if I need more I just buy a few.

  7. #7
    Professional Fuss-Budget Bacciagalupe's Avatar
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    I concur, it really is not that difficult to get and transport a good-quality cartridge razor. Just leave the cartridges in the protective case and voila, you're done....

  8. #8
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    Aside from the fun of being able to skillfully navigate a sharp blade around my face, I also enjoy shaving with a straight razor for a few more practical reasons.

    My hair grows fast and thick and I can blunt a Bic in one shave. Lucky for you if that's all you need for weeks on end! However, what really got me going on it was when I went to buy cartridges for my Mach razor and it cost me almost $30 just for a pack of blades that would last a month at most.

    I think it's a kings ransom for what it is.

    For $15 I bought 2 boxes of high quality blades that will last me two years that pack up less room than the equivalent number of cartridges.

    Again, it's not for everyone. I enjoy the process of doing things like straight razor shaving and printing in the darkroom. Plus there really is a difference in how it feels. It's hard to explain and some will just roll their eyes. But the Cliff Notes version is this: most modern cartridge blades are designed to pull the hair and cut which irritates the skin which can case rashes or ingrown hairs. Also, all those gels and pressurized shaving creams don't really lubricate and they dry the skin. "Wet shaving", using hot lather and water lubricates and softens the hair folicles making it easier to cut with a blade.

    Even if you don't want to use a straight or a safety blade but try wet shaving with your bic or cartridge it would make a noticeable difference.

    (I can feel the eye rolls now).

    Again, it's not for everyone.

  9. #9
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    Well, I don't really consider a shavette with disposable blades a real straight razor but if you can't hone and strop, they I guess it's a reasonable substitute. And if you're carrying a styptic pencil, you really need some more practice. To the dude using a disposable and shampoo, Man, that's about the most uncomfortable, worst shaving combo ever, but if you like it, more power to you. Mug, badger hair brush and German steel are really the way to go. I have a few Henckels, a pre WWII Puma, a TI and a few collectible American blades such as Shumate from Austin, TX. Shumate packed up and moved from Austin to Minneapolis in 1906. Here's one of the Henckels.


  10. #10
    Senior Member staehpj1's Avatar
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    I don't usually shave on tour, but a disposable and plain water are all I use when i do.

  11. #11
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    Well, I only shave in the rain during fast, twisty descents so a straight razor is a no-no for me

  12. #12
    Ceci n'est pas un vélo. mtclifford's Avatar
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    I can see the news coming soon: Touring Cyclist jailed after police find straight razor in bags. Film at 11.

  13. #13
    Senior Member Nigeyy's Avatar
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    Got to comment on this..... now first, it has to be said a Fat Boy might not suit you. But one of the big differences can be found in the type of blades you use (I have to agree; not all de blades are the same most definitely! A bit like trying a Huffy and saying that bikes just don't do it for you ). Generally speaking, blades from a convenience store or pharmacy aren't usually that good (actually a good analogy is buying a bike from a Walmart, usually not that good!).

    Keep in mind razor blades dull faster than disposables or cartridge razors, but even so I get about 5-7 days out of a razor blade. I'm very partial to the Israeli Personna Red Packs -found them to be excellent. About $10 for a 100 -enough certainly for 1 1/2 years. What's nice is they are a little green too -my razors are reusable, the blades recyclable and the packaging for the blades is simple and involves no plastic and are recyclable as well. No more disposing of plastic handles or cartridges.

    And of course, don't forget you need a shaving lubricant that suits you. I've found Kiss My Face shave cream is excellent.

    Back to the OP: just can't bring myself around to a straight edge! I use a Polish Army Lux DE razor or Boots (UK pharmacy chain) brand cheapy DE razor. I get excellent shaves from both.


    Quote Originally Posted by Losligato View Post
    A few months ago I found a Gillette Fat Boy and thought I had found my solution.

    I bought blades at the drug store, chopped my face to shreds and gave up after the package of blades ran out (too cheap for my own good). I'm glad you posted the bit about the difference between quality blades as I did not know there was a range of quality. I mistakenly thought a blade was a blade.
    Last edited by Nigeyy; 07-22-09 at 11:32 AM.

  14. #14
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    Wow, that Henckels is a work of art. I, too have a heavy beard and lots of odd corners around my face, and I fear that with a straight razor, I'd eventually be found dead in a pool of blood on the bathroom floor. For the best compromise between safety and comfort, I prefer wet shaving and a decent cartridge razor. Last time I tried Bics was after landing in Costa Rica. Baggage weight restrictions for CR domestic flights are tight, so we only packed carryons, making my oh-so-deadly cartridge razor a no-no. The Bic, purchased at a small general store, was a miserable POS, leaving razor burn and cuts in its wake.

    I think Grant at Riv makes a lot of sense, but there does seem to be an increasingly rapid move into Rivendell as a lifestyle. And I can take what I want from his philosophy. For example, I still think he's right about wool, though. I believe he's wrong on cleated pedals. I think he's right so say that it's a nice feeling to ride gloveless from time to time. I, too, like overnight excursions. I don't particularly like enormous seat-bar mounted bags that need rack supports.

  15. #15
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    merkur of Solingen make excellent razors

  16. #16
    imi
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    uhoh! all this talk about shaving might be making ONE of us all excited again

  17. #17
    nun
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    Quote Originally Posted by paxtonm View Post

    I think Grant at Riv makes a lot of sense, but there does seem to be an increasingly rapid move into Rivendell as a lifestyle. And I can take what I want from his philosophy. For example, I still think he's right about wool, though. I believe he's wrong on cleated pedals. I think he's right so say that it's a nice feeling to ride gloveless from time to time. I, too, like overnight excursions. I don't particularly like enormous seat-bar mounted bags that need rack supports.
    I agree. There are some zealots who lap up everything from Riv. I have nothing against straight razors or twine or stuff made in the USA by artisans, but sometimes it does get a bit silly. For me simplicity is the rule, so disposable razors win over straight razor, brush etc.

  18. #18
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    You have to distinguish straight razors from the straight razor fetish. An SR is just a sharp blade you can shave with it any way you like using any materials you like, anywhere on the body you need to. I have several SRs, but I use an SR with German replaceable blades on the road, partly because jokers like Homeland Security have SRs in their book of various dasterdly knife types to be on the lookout for (seriously). But also because they work great. You get one great shave per blade and about 60-90 others of declining quality to the point where it hurts a little, suck it up. So all I carry is the razor and just make do. Surprised there are tourists packing the shaving stand while they are at it.

    SRs are superior in most ways, they cut into a bear precisely, you can shave one side of the face without rinsing the blade which is fast, no scratching from hairs stuffed in a mechanism, they remove beards better than anything else (why hospitals have them around). Lots of good reasons while on the road. The SR Fetish guys are always posting video on YT of them taking 10 minutes to shave, but people used SRs when there was nothing else available, and they didn't fanny about with them.

    I have probably cut myself less with SRs than anything else, for one thing, the blade is reliable. Get a safety razor with a knick on it, and it will mess you up good. I once had a chairman who shaved with such a safety blade just prior to a morning media conference. He showed up for the caneras with toilet paper all over his face. Still, back when SRs were popular people did a lot more stuff for themselves with their hands, so if you can't change a lightbulb there will be a learning curve. It isn't so much a mater of cutting yourself up (be careful with the angle to the face and never allow the edge to track sideways), as it is the time it will take to get any results at all. Leaning to sharpen etc... takes time if you haven't any experience.

  19. #19
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    I use the Dovo Shavette with the red insert that takes standard safety razor blades so I can source blades locally, and leave them out of my kit if crossing any borders with crazy rules.

  20. #20
    nun
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    Here's what I use, BIC twin blade, 40 cents each. They are light and shave well enough. I travel with two which will last me for a month.

    http://www.walgreens.com/store/produ..._sku=sku374710

  21. #21
    Senior Member Nigeyy's Avatar
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    What amuses me about this thread are the similarities between cycling and shaving. Both can be done with the cheapest options, and achieve similar end results:

    You can cycle a Pacific department store bike 50 miles, or you can cycle a tricked out Surly LHT -but both will usually get you there. You can shave with a disposable plastic razor, or a top of the line German razor -both will probably give you a good shave.

    And if you are not an enthusiast, most people would say "Why the heck should I spend $X more on a [bike]/[razor]! It's only a [bike]/[razor] -what's the difference? A [bike is a bike]/[razor is a razor] for crying out loud...."

    Anyone who is an enthusiast of either discipline will probably promote a more costly option ("no, don't use a [department store bike to tour on]/[disposable plastic razor], use a.....[Surly LHT]/[Gillette Fatboy]".

    It's not always about the result, sometimes it's about how you get the result and the journey there that gives the enjoyment!

  22. #22
    nun
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nigeyy View Post
    What amuses me about this thread are the similarities between cycling and shaving. Both can be done with the cheapest options, and achieve similar end results:

    You can cycle a Pacific department store bike 50 miles, or you can cycle a tricked out Surly LHT -but both will usually get you there. You can shave with a disposable plastic razor, or a top of the line German razor -both will probably give you a good shave.

    And if you are not an enthusiast, most people would say "Why the heck should I spend $X more on a [bike]/[razor]! It's only a [bike]/[razor] -what's the difference? A [bike is a bike]/[razor is a razor] for crying out loud...."

    Anyone who is an enthusiast of either discipline will probably promote a more costly option ("no, don't use a [department store bike to tour on]/[disposable plastic razor], use a.....[Surly LHT]/[Gillette Fatboy]".

    It's not always about the result, sometimes it's about how you get the result and the journey there that gives the enjoyment!

    Whatever you use it has to be "fit for purpose". I'd say that a department store bike wouldn't be suitable for an extended tour where a LHT would. I don't use single blade disposable razors because I don't get a good shave with them, but the dual blade works well.

    If the zen of a cut throat razor shave is your thing, go for it. For me the zen comes from the ride so I do the Riv thing there and enjoy the way my Rambouillet feels set up for lightweight loaded touring, but I know that a more conventional touring bike would work as well, but it wouldn't feel as good to me

  23. #23
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    Does anyone else use shaving oil instead of foam? Some people use both.

    One 5cc bottle will get you across the average continent.

  24. #24
    imi
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    I use shampoo for the first shave, then sun-cream for the second shave... carry those with me anyway

  25. #25
    Slowpoach
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    I use Gillette mach-type disposables - the blades for the "real" mach series are just too expensive. They shave pretty well for me for maybe a month; although I definitely notice a difference when changing to the new blade.

    Surgical prep razors are a good-quality option if you want a straight razor with disposable blades. I haven't gotten up the courage yet to try it over the middle of my neck or around my lips and chin...

    I like a shaving brush and glycerine soap at home but on tour I just lather up with soap on my hands, works OK esp if the blade is new. I don't like oil, it makes a disposable razor really hard to clean. I imagine it would be fine with a straight edge.

    Is the styptic to stop nicks bleeding? I saw some in a shop and was wondering what it is for.

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