There are a number of tricks and products to get tools out of your bag and onto your bike, ranging from duct tape hacks to refined "SWAT" products. SWAT stands for Storage, Water, Air and Tools, and it's trademarked, of course, by mountain biking's most prolific acronym factory, located in Morgan Hills, California. Specialized, however, are only one of a number a number of accessory makers and do-it-yourselfers inventing alternative storage methods to the ubiquitous hydration pack.
Why would you want to add weight to your bike rather than your back? Things tend to get lost at the bottom of your bag and often mince themselves into a paste with that rotten banana that's also lost under your muddy waterproof jacket. Attaching things to your bike can make life more organized and, if you decide to dump the pack for a quick ride, you will still have all the necessary things to get you out of mechanical troubles. Here's a selection of my favorite products and tips:
DMR Stage 1 Saddle
If duct-taping a tube to your carbon superbike isn't your thing, then this DMR Stage1 saddle
is a good solution - with a Velcro strap that is fixed between the seat rails. It's a quality made and comfortable seat, and it costs £49.99. For extra handiness, wrap the tube around a tire lever or two before attaching it to the saddle, so you always have levers ready exactly when you need them.
The Sahmurai Super Wicked Original Repair Device
is a great way to solve all but the worst of tubeless tire issues out on the trail. This tire plug kit doubles as a set of bar end-plugs, so you avoid the risk of self-mutilation in the event of a crash. At only 40 grams and $35 USD, this covert kit won't break the bank or your bike's weight balance.
Tape and Ties
Keep your wallet in your cargo shorts. Here's our first free tip: Wrap a meter or so of duct tape around some zip ties on your pump, seat tube or wherever else may be suitable on your steed - for your time of need. It's a fact that 98-percent of trail mechanicals can be fixed with tape or zip ties.
Birzman Infinite Pump and CO2 Combo
This Infinite pump and CO2 combo from Birzman
use a sturdy bottle cage mount that can be fitted under a Specialized SWAT bottle cage and tool system (see below
). The stainless-steel, braided hose and simple Apogee dual-valve head can be used either with the pump or with threaded CO2 cartridges.
Here's your second freebie, and I'm going to be honest here, I stole this idea from Jerome Clementz. It is an incredibly simple way to securely store a spare quick-link for that inevitable time, when you are miles from anywhere and the clock is ticking…
Specialized SWAT Bottle Cage
This simple bottle cage from Specialized
is side loading for frames that are tight on space and can be purchased in right or left-handed options. The seven-function tool can also be used in conjunction with their SWAT chain breaker tool that doubles as a stem cap and fits inside a steerer tube.
This tip is an old cross-country racer's favorite. Tape the top of the sachet above the perforated tear line to your bike's top tube. When you get peckish, tear the sachet off and it will open itself – just don't be one of those people who discards the empty plastic on the trail.
Those are my favorites. Are there any products or tips that you have for moving storage off the back and onto the bike? Let us know in the comment section.