The only tool you will ever need?

We've all been there, right in the middle of an epic day out on the bike, 4 hours into a ride, as far from the van as you could be, in the middle of a remote wind swept landscape that is the very reason you trail ride, and then disaster...

You fall, nothing serious, the guys catch up with grins poking out of their lids. They can tell you're not hurt and are laughing at the site of you sprawled out in a hedge. You take a bow, get up and drag the bike back onto it's feet. You get on, ready to get moving, and it's at that point that your smile evaporates...

...your brake lever has snapped... or your gear lever is missing... or your seat has parted company with the bike. A crucial, deal breaker of a mechanical failure has taken place and you are totally, utterly stuffed. Your mates dismount and gather round, scratching heads and stroking chins. One of them is a plumber and offers a sharp deep intake of breath accompanied by a slow shaking of the head. Your heart sinks at the idea of a dodgy tow off the steep hillside to the nearest road just to wait an hour for the breakdown recovery to find you... if they can find you.

But wait. Hang on. You have an idea... You rummage in your heavy toolkit, past the allen keys and 10mm wrench, right at the bottom you scratch around and then pull out the fail safe, universal, can fix just about anything saviour of trail riders around the globe, tall, black, beautiful cable ties.

This simple bit of plastic, invented by Thomas & Betts electrical company in 1958 must have helped thousands of trail riders get safely home over the years. Here's just a few of them...

Zip Claus 01
Zip Ronnie 01

And whilst we're at it, a few more examples of trail riders ingenuity (or desperation depending what kind of mood you're in)