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Tri Blog - bike race number holders

The Problem With “zip” Ties

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While we were the first to come out with a triathlon race number holder for your bike, we certainly aren’t the only ones who make them. And while there are many reasons to use them, there is one component to all of them that is the same. We all make the race number attachment clips or brackets to be held onto the bike with a cable or “zip” tie. This differs from the bike race number clips used in the biking world. Once upon a time, those race numbers were generally small plastic numbers held onto the bike via a small clip that screwed onto the back brake mount. Those mounts, once upon a time again were all of the same basic design. Now days, virtually nothing is uniform.

So what’s wrong with a zip tie? They are cheap, and easy to put on after all.

Well… They do have more than one down side. First, if you have a very narrow seat post as many triathlon bikes do these days; the tie doesn’t particularly “like” the sharp bends on either end of the seat post. They can be a bit hard to pull very tight. One is inclined to line up the zip lock mechanism at the point of the edge of the seat post. I have seen many “give” as the sharp e edge opens up the little teeth that hold the tie tight.

If this happens, you had better have several extras in your transition bag. Which you will need as well, for the second issue. And this happens quite often.

Now that you have the race number on, it ends up not being in a good place. It may not fit, particularly if you have a gear bag or behind-the-seat bottle cage. Of if you have it too low, it will interfere with the back brake or wheel. Again, you can’t simply loosen it, adjust it and re-tighten it.

Now I love a good cable tie as much as I love a roll of duct tape. I even keep both in my car. However, if you would rather not use either on your bicycle, then we have the answer.

Some will surely call it overkill. But then again I remember well being ridiculed for making such a frivolous piece of equipment as a race number holder in the first place. And not that many years ago. It’s called the Smartmount Max Attachment clip. It’s the “deluxe” model, if you will.

And here it is.

There are two models. One for round seat posts 22-28mm. And one for ANY size or shape aero seat post or seat post tube. The front strap is made from carbon fiber encased in flexible polyurethane. That’s right. It form fits. And it is strong enough to easily hold a bowling ball if you were so inclined (we obviously don’t recommend this!). Tighten it, loosen it, and re position it, or remove it. Put it back on wherever, and whenever. You’ll never need another zip tie. It's interchangeable with our regular Attachment clip and fits any Smartmount race number holder.

AND when you’re not using it to hold your race number, use it to hold a light during training. We find that a lot of the good lights out there don’t have a very good way to attach to aero seat posts. This is perfect for that.



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