LAURA ZABO KOJACK BICYCLe TYRE BELT
The Laura Zabo Kojak tyre belt is, surprise, surprise made from Schwalbe’s popular mid section slick. There are lots of other patterns/designs to choose from, including Schwalbe’s iconic, heavy duty mile-munching Marathon Plus.
OK, reincarnating bike tyres as belts is hardly a new concept. However, Laura has an extensive collection of accessories, including dog harnesses to suit specific breeds made from recycled rubber. This was inspired by a trip to Tanzania where she witnessed redundant vehicle tyres being redeployed as sandals and other, useful items.
I was surprised to learn these are not simply cast-offs sourced from bike shop bins, but a mixture of part worn and, in this instance, manufacturer rejects.
Bespoke conversions are now available; perfect if you or a friend cannot bear to part with a personal favourite. Foreign bodies removed, casings are thoroughly disinfected, then cut according to waist measurement. Finally, holes are bored and brushed, stainless steel buckles added.
Pre-loved models are often hand painted for funkier effect. I needed a social chameleon, flattering to formal suits and messenger long alike, hence we felt the Kojak my best option.
Fellow riders might pick up on the subtle detailing denoting brand, dimensions and maximum pressures but trimmed to 24mm, it snaked effortlessly through all my belt loops. As we’d expect from a small scale producer, detailing elsewhere is equally flawless. The end's graduated point was free of tell-tale threads and holes were perfectly aligned.
Measurements are similarly exacting, which is both blessing and curse. Coming from the vagaries of production belts and indeed trouser waist measurement, I was surprised to find myself down to the penultimate hole on our 32 inch sample.
Like leather, it has relaxed with use these past three weeks, which was welcomed when riding in street-styled technical trousers. That said; those prone to bloating or fluctuating weight would be advised to add an inch or two when ordering.
Competitive with other brands, some may baulk at £32 a belt. However, this reflects the labour involved in making a high quality hand-made product that in my experience, should last many years.