We first happened upon the Backcountry Research Mutherload frame strap a few months back after getting frustrated by blowing out random generic velcro straps that weren’t really made specifically with the intention of strapping a tube and some bits onto a mountain bike. Backcountry Research set out to do exactly that, and here’s how it’s worked out.
- Can be mounted in multiple locations on your frame
- Adjusts from 4″ to 9″ circumference
- 1″ width strap
- Rubberized to prevent contents from moving and slippage on frame
- Dual shockcord preload-strap keep contents snugly in place
- Heavy duty construction
- Easy on/off
- Picker free and won’t snag shorts
- Sewn with #92 industrial UV and rot resistant bonded polyester thread
- Hose or machine wash
- Built in Bozeman, MT USA
- $20.00 US
Setup/On the Trail
If you couldn’t tell from the bullet points above, a great deal of thought went into this little strap. You can fit easily fit a tube, tire lever, CO2 w/head, patch kit, and tire boot onto the strap itself. Once you’ve packed the items together, the nice thing is that everything stays in place due to the preload straps.
We used the strap on a Trek Fuel EX, a Cannondale Jekyll and it is currently mounted on a Devinci Spartan. When you first look at the strap by itself, you might scratch your head, but the setup is quite straightforward, particularly once you take a quick look at this video. The only major limiting factor with regard to placement and cargo load is your frame’s design. We found that depending on which type of spare tube you carry, and how you fold it up, storage capacity can vary quite a bit. Depending on how limited the space is in your frame, you can fine tune things. Carrying an ultralight spare tube isn’t a bad idea if you’re looking to save weight and space, provided you aren’t the type to flat frequently.
One of the best parts about the Mutherload is that it’s got a layer of grippy material on the inner part of the strap. That rubber bit grips the frame nicely and prevents it from slipping and shifting around. The construction and stitching is quite burly and nothing seems even remotely close to frail. We were able to quickly install and remove the Mutherload dozens of times and it was refreshing that when doing so, everything being stowed remained intact. It was also nice to be able swap it from bike to bike quickly without having to repack it. In terms of durability, the velcro has held up well and has not lost its edge. The super long strap fits a very wide array of frame tube sizes, but it wasn’t excessive and didn’t have excess length hanging off.
If you’re the type who hates wearing hydration packs and wants to keep a few necessities in your pockets and strapped to your frame, this is the best solution that we’ve come across to date. It’s brilliantly executed, crafted to last, lightweight and cheap. The fact that it’s made by a small business in the US is a bit of a bonus as well. Oh…we almost forgot to mention that it comes in more colors than you can count. Two thumbs way up!