“a popular adage that states that “things will go wrong in any given situation, if you give them a chance,” or more commonly, “whatever can go wrong, will go wrong.”
I’ve been stung my Murphy’s Law on many an occasion. I’ve gone for a night ride without clear riding glasses and copped a painful gob of mud to the left eyeball. I’ve neglected to take an extra set of tyres to a mountain bike race based on the forecast, and turned up to the start line with semi-slick treads on the bike in the pouring rain. I’ve smashed my knee on a tree root after deciding that a particular ride ‘probably wouldn’t warrant knee pads’. I’ve had to resort to the sag wagon after double flatting both tyres that were sliced open via their sidewalls, having simply not considered carrying anything other than a single spare tube and a pump.
Having previously subscribed to the minimalist packing ethos with a little bit of the Aussie “she’ll be right mate!” attitude thrown in for good measure, it’s taken a number of key errors over the years to eventually convince me to reconsider my approach. Of course there’s still a difference between being pragmatic about the necessary spares and tools you need to carry with you whilst mountain biking, and carrying everything and the kitchen sink. I’m not one for being too overly cautious and weighing myself down with tonnes of gear, but there are a bunch of spares that every rider should have on their person – a spare hanger, chain link, CO2 canister, tyre boots and a repair kit are good items to start with.
Now, this isn’t a feature about what you should or shouldn’t be carrying with you on your ride. Sanny already put together a brilliant article called “10 Things Every Rider Should Have In Their Pack“, which you must check out if you haven’t already read it.
Instead, this review is of the Sticky Pods pouch from Miles Wide Industries – a pouch that’s designed to carry all of those small necessary spare parts and tools.
The Sticky Pod is a small neoprene pouch that is opened by a small zipper. You can get Sticky Pods in two different sizes; Small and Large. I’ve been using the Small version over the past couple of months, and it’s proven to be an excellent storage solution for keeping track of things like chain links, multi-tools and CO2 canisters.
Compared to the previous iteration of the Small Sticky Pod, the new Mk3 model is slightly taller in its dimensions. To be exact, it’s 3/4in taller than the old model, coming in at 7.25in tall x 4.5in wide. The reason behind this was for the ‘Pod to accommodate larger mobile phones, like an Apple iPhone 6 Plus. I use an iPhone 5, so I can’t comment about being able to fit phablets into the ‘Pod, but we’re told that if you do have an iPhone 6 Plus, you’ll need to remove any cases you use with it in order for it to fit.
The Sticky Pod was primarily designed to slot into a back jersey pocket, but it turns out it’s also the ideal size to fit into the mesh tool-roll pockets that Camelbak builds into its newer backpacks.
What’s neat about this is that you can pack the ‘Pod with all your tools, spares and particulars, and transfer it from your backpack to your jersey pocket depending on what sort of ride you’re going on. I prefer to ride without a backpack on shorter rides, so being able to quickly transport all of my tools and spares out of the pack and into my pocket is ace. If anything, it simply reduces the pre-ride anxiety about whether you’ve remembered all the essentials, because they’re all in the one place. Brilliant!
For the purpose of this review, I grabbed a couple of photos of my phone inside the Sticky Pod. The left hand pocket is shielded by a clear plastic window that means you can leave your phone secured inside, but still have access to the touch screen. It’s not quite thin enough for the thumb pad recognition to work, but you can otherwise use all the normal touch-screen functions.
One thing to note is that the Sticky Pod isn’t advertised as being waterproof. It’s constructed of a neoprene material that’s not unlike a wetsuit, and that meant I had no moisture ingress despite the ‘Pod being wedged against my hot and sweaty back underneath a raincoat while ascending a half-hour climb. However, the zipper isn’t seam-sealed, so if the ‘Pod goes underwater, non-waterproof phones will meet an untimely death. That aside, I’m not a big fan of wedging my phone up against harsh metallic objects like CO2 applicators and multi-tools, so I didn’t make a habit of carrying my phone inside the Sticky Pod. Instead, I put my phone in a separate waterproof zip-lock pouch to keep it away from any pointy dangers. Still, some riders might like the ability to wang their phone inside the ‘Pod.
The zipper itself is easy enough to use, with a large tab that’s easy to wind up or down even with gloves on. That said, if you really pack out the ‘Pod, the zip does get quite tight, and I could see the seams visibly bulging. This is typically the case if you’re trying to fit any sort of tube that isn’t a superlight one. You can get the Sticky Pod in a Large size, which is quite a bit taller at 10.25in. That extra length allows you to unfold the tube to decrease thickness. If you want to carry more spares and a tube as well, then consider the bigger ‘Pod.
For my needs, the small sized Sticky Pod is ideal however. I like knowing that all of my smaller spare parts and essential tools are all in the one place, and it’s held inside a soft pouch that can be easily transported from backpack to back pocket. The soft neoprene fabric does an excellent job of shielding the contents from light rain and a sweaty back, and it’s a nice way to carry those spares rather than having them dig in or bounce around in your jersey pockets.
And best of yet, since using the Sticky Pod, it seems I’ve managed to somehow avoid any sneaky trailside mishaps courtesy of Murphy’s Law. It’s probably luck, but I’m putting it down to my newfound pragmatic approach.
|Brand:||Miles Wide Industries|
|From:||Gone Biking Mad, gonebikingmad.co.uk|
|Tested:||by Wil Barrett for 3 months|