MPW TUBE STRAP

£9.99 pack of 3

The MPW Tube Straps are a pack of multi-purpose ties for tethering stuff to your bike, helmet, or indeed clothing. Describing them as indispensable is going a bit far but they’ve proven surprisingly useful these past few weeks.

Materials

Essentially, a tenner buys a pack of three straps, measuring approximately 30x2.5cm. One side is Velcro, the other sports a rubberised, silicone logo. These can be cut down to size, say if you were replacing a battery or midi pump strap and wanted a razor sharp aesthetic. I left ours stock, keeping my options open and catering for the widest range of scenarios. 

 

Uses

Banish the bag is their tag-line but I’d prefer to keep my ride essentials shielded from prying eyes, not to mention basted with dodgy water, roadkill, dung and similarly dubious stuff.

Lost/broken fasteners

I wouldn’t advocate it as a substitute carrier mount, say mid tour with 20 kilos of kit en tow but it’ll step in for a broken mudguard bridge, or escapee bottle cage bolt, assuming you didn’t have a zip tie handy. 

 

Bigger midi pumps such as Lezyne's Micro Floor Pump tend to place quite a loading on their resin brackets, so need webbed straps to prevent them tapping frame tubes, wood-pecker fashion.

I’m guilty of going through phases of parking pumps on the bottler bosses, then stashing them in a big wedge pack, losing the bracket in between. The tube strap proved a perfect substitute for the Teenage Dream’s subtly mismatched pump and bracket.

 

Annoying chatter, risk of unsightly cosmetic paint, or even, dent damage to thin-wall tubing, banished. At the other extreme, I’ve even used one as a makeshift finishing strip for some high end polymer bar wrap, when the OEM set’s adhesive failed mid-ride.

  

Lights, Action Cameras/Similar Accessories

Provided you’ve selected the correct length and snugged it really tight, I’ve had no problems tethering compact Lithium ion batteries. The sort fuelling 600 lumen helmet lamps, or this 900 lumen Sigma EVO to most road/trail lids and, in the latter case, top tubes.

That said; skate and some aero types can prove non-starters due to lack of ventilation. Depending on the weight, I’ve even managed to mount lighter, Go-Pro pattern action camera brackets securely and without overly shaky footage.

Mind you, I’m talking relatively well maintained roads and smooth singletrack to around 20mph. The key in these contexts is to pull them really taught-tight as you can. I also checked every few miles, just to be sure my camera wasn’t about to leap, lemming-style under a 30 tonne truck, or to the bottom of a canal.  

MPW also say it could be used as an emergency pub/cafe lock.

Really? It might catch a clueless, snatch n’ grab opportunist off guard but a proper lock, friend/riding companion is what’s needed here. Parking brake? Well, maybe but an old toe-strap wrapped around the brake lever is a much better option, especially where tagalongs/trailers or bulging panniers are involved.

Conclusion

As I’ve outlined, the tube straps are more than a one trick pony and come in very handy for little jobs and minor emergencies. Unlike the humble zip tie, I wouldn’t go quite so far as to suggest they’re wedge pack essentials.

Chances are, seasoned riders will have several redundant Velcro straps, of varying length. A friendly local bike shop might also let you have a quick rummage in their bodge box and high-end, old-school leather toe-straps are better choices for some jobs. Improvised third hand tools for adjusting brakes, parking a heavily laden bike on an incline etc.

Several of the team were a bit sniffy about parting with a tenner, on precisely these grounds. However, three quid a pop is a lot cheaper than loss, or damage to a £30 pump, let alone a £200 camera. 

Verdict: 3/5 Useful ties for attaching accessories and some roadside contingencies.

Michael Stenning

www.tubestrap.co.uk 

PUBLISHED JULY 2017

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