There is no doubt that Rob Metz’s original Q Spear bike rack changed how Kiwis carried bikes. Until the Q-Spear hit the shelves, only an elite group of mountain bikers that knew how to weld and were happy running a ratchet tie-down through their back windows rocked two-pronged bike racks. The Q Spear changed all that.
At the time of the rack and the accompanying bungee’s release there were other options for attaching your bike to the rack, but back then it was like fitting a square peg in a round hole. As revolutionary as Rob’s commercialisation of the bike rack was, the real genius as far as I’m concerned are his bungee tie-downs. Never has the design adage “Keep It Simple Stupid” been so perfectly applied to a product.
Sure, an inner tube worked fine, but if you went for the one-on-either-side approach then road rash was a given, and if you went for the tube per bike approach then you would have to tie each bike on as it went on. The Q Spear bungee changed all that; light, small and probably one of the most resolved pieces of bike kit I use, and on an almost daily basis. I use them to hold my bikes on the rack, I use them to hold flashes in trees, I use them to hold a reflective umbrella in the roof of the Spoke studio and I’ve even used a few strung together to tow my kids up hills when they were too tired to pedal.
There’s only one downside to the bungee and that is the fact that people pinch them. They don’t mean to, but it just happens. There’s nothing worse than discovering you’re one, two or even three short when you’re tying them all together to put on the shelf or in the box in the back of your car. I mean they are hard things to come by.
Mine seem to have depleted a little of late and with that I had to track down a few replacements. They now come in orange, to suit the re-branding of Rob’s racks with his Roam Industries business but they still work the same. Just don’t ask to borrow any of mine. To make it easy for you to replace yours we’ve just added them to the webshop. They are $14.95 for four and you can buy them here right now!
Now I know the history I’m stoked! – found one on the ground around the southern star shuttle when I was in NZ in 2010 and have been using it (with new bungee) since back home in margaret river. Always thought it was a pretty cool design. Rob is a legend! (Someone give him some money to get the zerode trail bike up and running)