in praise of zip ties

Just when you thought the blog was as dead as your legs at the end of the season, a new post from a guest contributor, Spitfire Dave.

You may have noticed that the proprietor of this blog has been scarce of late. To fill the gap, he has graciously allowed me to step in with a post or two.   So, yeah, zip ties. These little things are life savers for quick fixes and long-term solutions to many bike quandaries.  Here are a couple ways I’m using them on my bike.

I have been messing around with a ‘74 Schwinn Le Tour for a couple of months. It is my first multi-speed bike in about 15 years and I’m having a blast with it. Being a mid-level Schwinn model, it lacks some of the fancier amenities like water bottle braze-ons, rack mounts built into the frame, and a frame pump peg.

Pegs like the one pictured above allow you to attach a spring loaded pump so it will not rattle off the bike. But if you are rolling on a proletarian bike, I have discovered that a zip tie is a great, cheap way to mount a frame pump. You just strap one around the head tube somewhere above the head badge, and tighten it up as tight as you can get it. Then trim off the excess. The zip tie fastener becomes the little nub that the pump fits onto. If the zip tie slides down, it will stop when it rests on top of the head badge.  On my bike anyway, this works out nicely. I’ve used it for a couple of months with no problems.

The other fix is a simple way to carry a spare tube without taking up valuable space in whatever bag you may have. Depending on your seat, you may be able to stuff an extra tube up between the seat rails and over the seat post. On mine it is pretty much out of sight. I just slapped a zip tie around one of the rails and a bunch of tube to secure it so it won’t shake its way loose and fall out. It’s not so tight that I couldn’t fish the tube out if I needed it.

There are countless other ways a zip tie could be used on a bike. I’m interested in hearing what you have come up with, so use the comments to regal me with tales of how you temporarily secured your cracked carbon fork with zip ties until you made it back to civilization.

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8 responses to “in praise of zip ties

  1. That’s a good one with the pump peg I hadn’t seen before I’m going to have to try!

  2. hands down favorite quote: “use the comments to regal me with tales of how you temporarily secured your cracked carbon fork with zip ties until you made it back to civilization.”

    nice post.

    • In your case it should read “use the comments to regale me with tales of how you secured a one gallon Coleman water jug to your rear rack and also make a road repair to one of your flip flops with zip ties.”

  3. I was thinking about that- I tend to be more in love with bungee cords than zip ties for my bikes. (more reusable). About the water jug- plentiful cold water is always a must on summer rides! 🙂

  4. Very creative use of simple stuff. Zip ties are to bicycles as “duck” tape is to the handyman, eh?

  5. Stumbled across this today via facebook, a great use for zip ties. http://www.likecool.com/LowCost_Solution_to_Keep_On_Biking–Bike–Gear.html