While new stash tools from the likes of OneUp, Granite and Specialized continue to hit the shelves, enduro or frame straps still play a huge part in allowing us to ride packless or at least without tubes and basic tools in our pockets.
We have been testing five of the most popular frame straps through the winter on any bike and any trail we could throw them at. We have attached all the straps to multiple frame points and saddle rails and have carried either tube and levers or tube, levers and CO2 canister.
For me, a frame strap should be a ‘fit and forget’ item; something that doesn’t fall off on rough terrain and can survive a wet muddy winter and still be there when you need it. While we didn’t have hundreds of punctures, we did have all the straps off and back on multiple times and remove all the tools and reinstall to simulate use.
So, how did the competitors stand up to a Scottish winter?
Backcountry Research Mutherload
Actual Weight: 42g
Web: www.backcountryresearch.com (Ordered through Silverfish)
Launched in 2008, the Mutherload is the original enduro strap. With 50+ colours including collabs with the likes of Maxxis, Yeti, Rocky Mountain and SRAM and 2 different sizes there should be something that takes your fancy.
Construction-wise, the Mutherload is bomb proof, the stitching is all tight and the duel shock cord retention system is well attached and gives a firm hold of your tube/tools. We had no issues with the quality over the multiple puncture simulations.
Fitting was hassle free and the Mutherload tightens up to fit a 4” tube so steel frames shouldn’t be an issue. Having said that, it is the longest strap on test and we did find that on smaller tubes we got a ‘tail’ on the wrap that passed the hook and loop meaning it wasn’t completely stuck down.
Backcountry research claim “this strap will flat out stick like ‘poo to shoe’ over the most demanding XC/Enduro race courses and trails anywhere.” Certainly, this held true on the roughest trails we could find in the Scottish Borders.
Huck Enduro Strap
Actual Weight: 40g
In the middle of a rebranding, Huck, formally known as Louri, boasts a wide selection of colours including this rather fetching tartan number. Their straps are hand cut and stitched in the UK with current collabs including the Enduro World Series, Tweed Valley Bikes and MBUK’s Mint Sauce.
The Huck strap and the Mutherload are near identical products, as such the manufacturing looks faultless and the elastic stash straps don’t look to be going anywhere anytime soon.
On the Huck the plastic loop closure has a slight inward curve which when installing the strap allows a little more pressure and friction when pulling the strap through. This allows the strap to be pulled tighter ensuring it stays where you put it. It’s also slightly shorter that the Mutherload meaning there is no tail left over when using the Huck strap on smaller tubes.
Finally, The Huck now comes with a snap buckle, branded dry bag. Great for keeping your gear clean/dry when strapped to the frame. This obviously adds a little more bulk and we found it awkward when fitting to tighter frames. However, on more open setups or hardtails this was excellent.
Nukeproof Horizon Enduro Strap
Actual Weight: 31g
Web: www.nukeproof.com (Ordered through Chain Reaction Cycles)
The Nukeproof shares a similar looking construction to both the Back Country Research and Huck strap and comes in the same colour range as the brands horizon components. If matching is your thing then you are covered.
Unfortunately, this is where the positives end for Nukeproof. The rubber grip strips on the strap feel like a firmer compound to the other straps and for this reason we never really manged to get the Horizon strap to grip properly and stay put on rough trails. We also had a failure on the second puncture simulation where one of the elastic wings came clean off at the stitching, rendering it fit for the bin.
Banana Industries Banana Strap
Actual Weight: 18g
Banana Industries do a plethora of straps and set out to “keep it real and make a versatile high-quality strap at a fair price not to break the wallet.” The banana strap is the lightest strap on test with an additional hook and loop strap stitched inside the main wrap to hold your tube/tools.
The Banana Strap does its job and does it well, you get a strong webbing strap with a silicone lining to grip and protect your frame – Once on and tightened its not moving!
The Banana Strap has quite a large, stitched area inside to hold the hook and loop inner strap which did limit its use on smaller tubes due to restricting how much strap we could pull through the plastic loop. However, possibly due to the more flexible material that the Banana Strap was the standout strap for wrapping under your our saddles.
If colour is your thing, you can have the Banana Strap in any colour as long as it’s black!
Actual Weight: 28g
Web: www.granite-design.com (Ordered on Amazon Prime)
Granite really are pushing the packless quest hard. Their frame straps have been around for a while, but they have now added bar/stem stash tools and other goodies such as Velcro mounted water bottles and mini ratchet sets. Having recently announced some sponsored riders and a collab with Orange Bikes I expect to see their product range and profile continuing to grow.
The Rockband is available in plenty colour choices and comprises a tough outer wrap with an inner hook and loop strap to hold your bits and bobs. The stitched area is smaller than that on the Banana strap, so we found it worked better across a full range of tube sizes.
The Granite strap is a good chunk shorter than something like the Huck so you don’t get the security of it wrapping round itself but thanks to the textured ‘grip patch’ once the Rockband was on the frame we had no issues.
We found that the Rockband was bit chunky for our saddle rails and we couldn’t pull it tight enough meaning things fell out. Having said that the strap is strong, well made and did its job like a pro. The extra width actually held our tube a bit snugger as well which was nice.
When discussing our final thoughts, it became clear that there are actually 2 distinct categories on offer here:
- The elastic loop option: These are easier to load, have extra rubber protection for your frame and all tested have non snag hook and loop fastening. However, you certainly pay a premium for these features.In this category our testers voted for the Huck strap. It’s the most expensive on offer here but the curve in the buckle helped us get it tight, the slightly shorter length helped on thinner tubes and the added dry bag is a great addition.
- The hook and loop strap in a strap: The options tested are both shorter meaning a little less security as you don’t get that double wrap. They are a little fiddlier to strap your gear in and you just get standard hook and loop fastening. Having said that they are cheaper and slightly lighter than the others. In this category everyone voted for the Granite Rockband. The Banana Strap is excellent but we though the additional £1.99 was worth it for the slightly wider strap and the smaller stitched area. The colour choice is a nice bonus as well.
In the final vote, the Granite Rockband edged out the Huck Enduro Strap. While the Huck offers more features and is more refined at £7.99, the Rockband is a true ‘fit and forget’ product at a truly affordable price.