Ten ideas you might not have thought about

If there is just one thing to keep in your pack, make it a zip tie. We go through the weird ways this humble piece of plastic could save your ride.

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Here at MBR we often get asked the question, “what is the most important bit of kit to always keep in your pack?” And here it is…. The zip-tie.

Here are ten ways that you can use a zip-tie that you might not have thought about.

1. Sag measurer

To get the most out of your suspension you should be able to measure your sag. Suspension forks and shocks normally come with a little rubber o-ring but this can be easily be lost. You can use a zip-tie as a simple replacement but the important thing to remember is to take it off when you have finished adjusting your suspension to avoid damaging seals at full compression. A little trick is to put the zip-tie on backwards, this allows you to remove it super quick and to keep re-using the same tie. It also helps avoid having to make a cut close to delicate stantions.

2. Wheel truing

If you don’t have a wheel truing jig then you can use a couple of zip ties to help you get a wheel straight. Either fix the tie to your seatstay and align the long end with the wheel rim OR use two zip-ties to attach a pen lid or pointy object to each side to make a more accurate gauge.

3. Seal burping

Sometimes forks can draw a little air into the upper chamber under the seals. This can have a big impact on small bump performance. To release the air simply move the coil spring from the seal, dip the end of a small zip-tie in fork lube (or even some wet chain lube) and stick it in between the seal and stanchion. If there’s any unwanted air you should hear a lovely release of air. That’s the fork sighing its thanks to you.

4. Bolt replacing

Wherever there is the possibility of a bolt breaking a zip-tie can come to the rescue. Missing chainring bolt? No problem! Broken crank bolt? Easy. Smashed your brake lever into a tree? Sorted…

5. Accessory attaching

It seems that everyone wants to stick everything onto the bike these days. Of course zip-ties will do this, it’s what they were born to do!!! Inner tubes, lights, cameras, clothing, sandwiches.

6. Temporary lock

Just popping into the shop or pub at the end of a ride? If you don’t want to carry a heavy lock with you then a zip-tie will work to prevent someone from running off with your pride and joy. Just don’t forget your cutters! Or you could use the super neat Z-Lok from Hiplok; it’s like a zip-tie on steroids and it’s reusable.

7. Derailleur cable fixing

Well, not quite fixing, but a zip-tie could help you out of a bind if your rear derailleur cable breaks out on the trail. Simply thread a small zip-tie through the barrel adjuster of the rear derailleur, push the derailleur to a gear that you’d be happy spinning for the rest of the ride and clamp it in place. Job done.

8. Grip gripping

The dreaded Moto Grip has almost been killed off by lock-ons but if you are still running ‘normal’ grips then the twisty, slidey grip that can happen in the wet can be cured by using a zip-tie or two to clamp that sucker in place.

9. Puncture repair

Of course a zip-tie can fix a puncture, it’s the most useful thing in the world! Simply find the hole in your tube and block off that piece of tube by clamping it shut with a ziptie. If it’s too big then use two, one either side.

10. Shoe fixing

Laces snap, buckles break. Without your shoe it’s pretty difficult to carry on riding. Simply use as a replacement or if things are really desperate then wrap the whole thing in big zip-ties. Just make sure you let the blood get to your toes.

11. Mental mudguards

I know we said ten, but this is too good to not include. Just let your imagination go wild. The good thing with these mudguards are they just spring out of the way.

So there you have it, all hail the mighty zip-tie!