With the rise of Enduro riding and racing in recent years, we've seen wee bits of new tech coming to the market... like enduro helmets with goggle specific features and bum-bag hydration packs. Now, we have the Backcountry Research strap which has taken then MTB by storm.
Backcountry Research prides themselves on innovation, quality and well, research. They take every step in the development process very seriously to produce carry straps ideal for all riders.
When it comes to mountain biking, there are some basic essentials you should really take with you. Some are more important than others and depending on how long you plan to ride for, you may take just about everything except the kitchen sink... and a spare bike. Hydration packs are often the go-to as you can carry all your bits and some water on your back and off you go. However, some riders (myself included) prefer to add the extra weight to the bike in order to keep the body freer and cooler, which is where frame bags and straps really come in handy.
Backcountry Research Strap
So, these straps come in a variety of sizes for mountain points on the bike. There are the big Mutherload frame Strap, the Race Strap and the smaller Camrat Strap for saddles, however, it's a strap, you can stick it wherever it fits which is exactly what I did.
The construction is fairly simple; a super thick fabric velcro strap which loops through a buckle and back on itself to really tighten your essentials to the bike. Two elasticated loops sit either side which holds your items in place and rubber covers protect them and your bike from rubbing.
Now, when it arrived in clear simple packaging there weren't any instructions as to how to load and mount the strap to my bike. I knew it could be used under the saddle but I've already got a pretty neat bag under there so I decided to mount the strap to my frame... and it was fiddly.
Although there are tutorials on the website, my stubbornness got the better of me and I persevered with trying to figure this out for myself and came up with two options, as you can see above and below.
I believe the recommended way is the latter photo, but I rode both ways and neither budged an inch. My frame remained clean and unscathed, but if you're strapping to carbon frames, be wearing of how much force you're putting through when wrenching it tight, you may not know your own strength!
I found the Backcountry Research strap pretty great actually. It's machine washable, it's grippy to keep your bits in place, no damage to the bike or your items and it's easy (once figured out) to whip it on and off if you're fortunate enough to have more than one bike to swap it over to.
I will say this, they get dirty, naturally. So if you fancy yourself a clean white or pale colour strap from the many options they have available, the likelihood is that they won't remain that pale and pretty for very long.
For more information on the Backcountry Research straps, head over to the Silverfish website here.