back to news and reviews

Posted by

‘Race’, from a marketing perspective it’s often pure magic sprinkled with gold dust – many people don’t want to go racing but they like the imagery and enjoy the association. Obviously, then there’s the rest of us, the ones for whom racing holds less than limited appeal and appears to be a pastime that gets in the way of eating biscuits and bimbling. If that’s you, please read on … this may be a review of the Backcountry Research Race Strap but it could just as easily be called the, ‘Quick ride after work’ or the ‘just nipping to the shop’ strap. Buying or using one will not automatically lead to a UCI licence dropping through your letterbox. 

Some time ago, I armed Karl with a Race Strap and sent him off to see how it faired. In the pursuit of fairness and truth, he both bimbled and raced and here’s what he thought.

The Backcountry Research Race Strap is basically a holder for a tube, CO2 canister, multi-tool or whatever which then attaches to your saddle. It’s aimed squarely at the XC racer types (you know who you are) and might be the way forward for a quick blast on the bike with limited faff but could it withstand riding the rough stuff on a rigid MTB? To test it, I entered a couple of mid-week races, well it does have race in its name, and I also went for a ‘standard rough stuff’ ride in the peaks.

Leaves you jersey pockets free for important stuff like biscuits.

First impressions are good, the strap is nicely made and very robust, think heavy duty dog collar for the material. I’ll admit I did have to follow the online video to fit it first time but it was very easy enough to follow. For the peak ride, it carried a standard 29er tube (normal as in not fat, not semi fat, just standard 2.1” tube), a Topeak Hexus multi tool, scabs repair patches and a Leatherman PS4 Squirt multi tool. When I squeezed into my lycra and went racing, I substituted the scabs and the leatherman for a CO2 canister. Once mounted – which only takes a minute, it was very clear it was not going to let any of the items go, it was reassuring secure. I gave it my best shot though by riding my carbon rigid bike on a nice cobbly and rocky route but I couldn’t get it to shift.

Karl trying hard to lose his stuff

I am now fully confident in it and use it regularly for evening rides so I don’t need to mess about with a rucksack. Everything is easy to remove and put back on. There is the potential downside that it might be wet and muddy so if you want to keep your belongings clean, maybe put them in a bag first. My only concern when riding with the strap is that because I ride tubeless, I ideally need to carry 2 tubes but I can only fit one. Backcountry do produce a fat bike specific strap (for big fat tubes) called the Gristle strap and I think this might be the solution to carrying more than 1 normal sized tube … Right then, I’m off the buy the Gristle strap (it’s justified as I have a fat bike, right?) then I’ll let you know if my plan works.

but to no avail … everything just where he put it.

Overall the product is … Great Quality, great value and lightweight. What more do you want?… to win a race? Then ride faster!

Big thank you to Karl for testing.

Backcountry Research.


  1. Duncan says:

    mmmm looks worrying to me. Think it might be time to get a trade account with Topeak. Alternatively use one of these never had an issue in 10+ years & they come in three sizes.

  2. Surprisingly secure Duncan. I used a larger version on last years Torino-Nice and nothing budged in over 600km.

  3. redefining says:

    What bike is this that the strap is hung on please…

  4. I believe it's an unbranded Chinese carbon frame / fork. Something Karl's ridden for the last couple of years.

  5. redefining says:

    Aha. Thanks dude…. Looks nice

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

You may also be interested in

Passchier Gump bars.

Aluminium, steel, carbon and titanium. There are a number of materials used to make handlebars and now you can add grass to that list. The ‘Gump’ bars from Passchier are made from bamboo and we all know that bamboo is a member of the grass family and not wood as some people believe – don’t […]

Read Full Article

Book Club … Gravel Rides Scotland.

Whether you think ‘Gravel’ is (a) the new cycling religion, (b) an exercise in good marketing or (c) simply a way of making roadies feel better about themselves, matters not because no one can deny that gravel is now at the forefront of cycling and appears more popular today than it was last week … […]

Read Full Article

BB200 – when the mud settles.

Despite my best efforts, I’m sat here writing this surrounded by the intoxicating aroma of bacon butties. Why do I smell of grilled pork products? Because yesterday was the second edition of the 2021 BB200 / 300 and it’s my job to feed all those returning. Each October since 2011, a group of riders have […]

Read Full Article

Shopping cart
There are no products in the cart!
Continue shopping