About three years ago I was looking through a cycling magazine and I saw an ad for Road ID. A little bracelet, custom made for each individual with what-ever vital information they might want written across the little stainless badge. I liked the idea of it. I even read the whole ad. But the practical person inside me scoffed at paying $30 odd bucks U.S., for a little strap with my name on it. I thought to myself “Humpf. I could get one of those made at the mall for less money”. Why would I order an overpriced ID bracelet from a magazine, when I can get one made for less, or better yet, just carry ID with me?
Well the fact of the matter is this little bracelet does a good job. It looks nice. It’s comfortable. You put it on and never worry about forgetting your ID, ‘cause you have it on your wrist. And what about getting one made for less money? Well if you have the time to do the research, maybe you can do just that. But if you are like me (and most other people), you can sit on your good intentions for a year or so, then break down and buy one of these Road ID bands in a 10 minute internet transaction and call it done! It shows up to your house in a little bag about a week later. You take it out, put it on and go for a ride/run/dive/drive/hike…. Oh, and the getting it done for cheaper bit. Not as easy as I thought. $25 Canadian would pay for the engraving service, but I still had to come up with a band and steel badge plate myself.
Now that I’ve told you that I believe in the Road ID brand, let me tell you about my experience with each of the Road ID products I’ve tried.
Road ID Sport – Easy to use, but not the best for every use.
This is the first Road ID product I purchased. It costs less than the other Road ID bands and is simple to slip on, but after a few months of use, I was not completely happy with this version of the Road ID. The woven nylon wrist band on Road ID Sport became uncomfortable when worn for any length of time. On long rides in the hot summer, the band would soak up my sweat (wicking), and the wet nylon would begin to rub and cause discomfort. This problem was magnified if my ride got into any real dust or dirt. On more than one long ride I took the band off completely, and stuffed it in my back pocket. Now sticking the Road ID in the jersey back pocket on a ride doesn’t render the product completely ineffective. But the beauty of the Road ID is its simplicity. Put it on and forget about it. Or more importantly, put it on and never forget about it. It’s always there, because you always have it on. And having the ID on your wrist makes it more accessible to anyone who might be checking your health when you are unable to speak.
I have found one application where the Road ID Sport is the best choice of the three wearable bands. It fits really well over clothing. During those cold weather rides, snug fitting under layer can make watches and wrist bands quite uncomfortable. With the Road ID Sport, the Velcro fastener gives a significant range size. I was able to put my Road ID Sport over top of my sweater sleeves. Comfortable to wear, and easy to see, just how it should be.
Road ID Elite – Looks so good you can take it out with you
I really enjoy this product. The look and fit are fantastic. I joke with my wife that this is the Road ID I have to wear when we get dressed up. It goes with my fancy watch! Apart from the bling factor, this road ID works well too. I have worn the Elite band on long road rides and some hot and dirty mountain bike rides. No amount of dirt or sweat seems to make it irritating or uncomfortable. In fact, I kept this band on my wrist for about six months after I bought it. I’d take it off occasionally, like when I was cleaning the kitchen floor, doing an oil change, or moving rocks on the GORBA trails. It was a standard fixture on my right wrist, a balance figure to the sport watch on my left wrist.
When it comes to recommending this road ID to others, I can honestly say it’s worth the money. And don’t worry about those little moving parts wearing out. After I had this band about a year, I broke one of the hasp pins. That same day, I got onto the Road ID website and logged on to a real-time chat with a Road ID customer service agent. They asked me a few questions to confirm my identity, my mailing address, and the product I’d purchased. Two days later I received shipping confirmation for my brand new Road ID Elite. The new band landed in my mailbox in less than seven days, and there were no fees or hassles.
I have only one caution to offer perspective buyers of the Road ID Elite band. I’ve found the Road ID Elite hasp rubs on my wrist when I am out for long runs. I’m not much of a runner, so this isn’t a constant problem, but I’d certainly advise any distance runners to consider this point before buying the Elite. Interestingly, I don’t have the wrist rub problem when riding, even in the 8 hour Epic mountain bike races I’ve completed with this band on.
Road ID Slim – Slim, simple, great.
This is my favorite Road ID wrist band. This little band is pretty simple. It’s a thin rubber strap with a half sized ID badge on it. (Half the size of the other road ID badges on the other bands.) Which stands to reason as the Road ID slim is only a half inch wide (1/2”- 1.27cm) compared with just under three quarters of an inch (3/4″- 1.9cm) for the Road ID Elite, and one inch (1.0” – 2.4cm) for the Road ID Sport. And after all it is called “Slim”.
I bought this band after I’d been wearing the Road ID Elite for about a year. I liked the idea of the ultra-low profile. When you slide this little band on your wrist, it slips nicely under any long sleeve shirt or sweater you might put on. It’s so small it rarely snags on counters, cutlery, keyboards or curtains you might pass your hand around. I still wanted to wear the Elite band (and I do), but I had a feeling this little band would be useful when slim and sleek were the most needed features. I was not wrong.
I really think this is the best road ID band for most people. The “put it on and forget about it” aspect I spoke of earlier in the article is really what this band is all about. It is so light, that I rarely think about it when I’m wearing it.
Another nice feature with this model is the cost of alternate bands. If for any particular reason, you would like to have a different colour Road ID, you can add alternate bands to your purchase order of the Road ID slim for a couple of bucks each. This is also a feature of the Road ID Elite band, but for some reason, I could only ever picture the Elite as a black band. Maybe it’s the Elitist in me…. Okay sorry, it’s late while I type this and I couldn’t help but slip one pun in there. As I was saying, multiple colour bands for this Road ID are an inexpensive option.
Notes of caution: I have only one note of caution for the Road ID Slim. Take your time with the sizing. As there is no hasp or Velcro, this band is not adjustable. The size you order is all you get.
I used the handy little printable measuring device from the Road ID website when I ordered my Slim. When I go the band, it was a little looser than I wanted it to be. I promptly logged onto the Road ID website and ordered the next size down. Just fits. But it does fit.
Road ID App –
The Road ID app is free, and it’s great. How great? So great that STRAVA and Garmin have launched similar functions for their platforms. Now I am not an IT person, and the use and functions of an app can fill up several blog posts. So I will simply give the premise of the Road ID App and tell you once again that it is FREE!
This app allows your loved ones to follow you on your ride. Your position is shown on a composite map in real time. If you have an unplanned stop for too long, an alert email is sent you your loved ones, with information on where you are, and when you stopped moving.
Who can see you? Who-ever you want. When you set up the app, you load the email addresses of those who are closest to you….or those who have a vested interest in your continued health and well-being. When you press start on the app, an email link is sent to those people. They can choose to follow along, or just look at the link later to see what you were up to. These same people will receive the above mention alert should things go south during your ride.
There. That’s it. Need more info? Check out the Road ID website or talk to someone who knows about apps.