Nite Ize S-Biners: An indispensible accessory

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An indispensible riding accessory

The concept of carabineers has been around for decades. The little gadgets have sent climbers to the tops of peaks and back, across great rock walls and assisted in numerous rescue missions. Over the years smaller versions have appeared on the market for utility purposes.

Clipping an S-Biner to your riding jacket means you'll never leave your keys in your pocket again and can access them even while wearing gloves.

Several years ago the Colorado-based Nite Ize developed the S-Biners. As the name implies the units provide the same function as a carabineer, but utilize an S shape allowing two openings, rather than a less-than-desirable single opening. If you've ever had an argument with your carabineer about where the opening needs to go you know what we're talking about.

Several years back, we began testing these little helpers in the Sound RIDER! lab and out in the field as they pertain to motorcycle gear. It's not all that obvious what to do with them until you get your hands on one and start applying it to thngs you never would have dreamed of.

For starters, they come in six sizes. Numbered one through ten, the number actually defines the length of the S-Biner. A #1 is one inch, a #2 is two inches and so on. The original units came in sizes #1 - #5. As a joke the fabricator built a mold for a #10 and presented the goofy ten inch long S-Biner to the staff at Nite Ize. Turns out it wasn't such a joke after all as we begin to review the applications.

And now the applications. See how many apply to you.

Front Jacket Access Key Ring – Well, that makes sense. The obvious application would be to hook an S-Biner to your belt loop and hang your keys off it. But in motorcycling it terminates the age old problem of "I put my gloves on, got on my bike and now I realize my keys are in my pocket." With an S-Biner you never put your bikes keys in your pocket again. You simply affix it to a zipper pull, ring and adjusting belt on the outside of your jacket. With a #2 or #3, even if you have your gloves on, you'll easily be able to unhook your keys and ride away hassle free.
Recommended sizes: #2 & #3

Secure Zipper Points – If any of your soft luggage such as saddle bags, tank bags or top bags incorporate a double zipper system (common on airline luggage) you can affix an S-Biner two the two zipper pulls to insure they won't sneak open on the road.
Recommended size: #1

Securing Digital Devices – Cell phone holsters, hand-held GPS units, camera bags and otherwise don't always have a tight fit when attached to motorcycle gear. You can add a little peace of mind by securing them with an S-Biner.

Water Bottle Sash – We learned a long time ago that bottled water found at the fuel mart will end up costing you more per gallon than the price of gas. Do the math. To get around this we routinely bring a nice 1 liter bottle on the ride and fill it for free at the soda fountain during fuel stops. Most water bottles have a loop built into the cap. A one liter bottle can be a bit bulky to store inside a saddle bag so it's often easier to slip it into an outer pocket and secure it to a nearby loop on the luggage.
Recommended sizes: #2 - #4

helmet Hook – With some of the new strapping systems utilized in helmets today, like Nolan's quick release chin strap, it's not always easy to hang your helmet on the hook the manufacturer of your bike provided. But placing an S-Biner between the chin strap and the bike often gets the job done and provides the added security that your helmet isn't going to fall to the ground, from say a rear view mirror, – 'cause that hurts – right?!

Gear Bag Sashes – Many dry sacks and gear bags have loops on them to sash to other gear. In the backpacking world, this might mean sashing a bag of rain gear to the outside of a backpack. For motorcyclists it can be used in a similar manner since a lot of luggage on the market has loops and rings to allow for a similar application.
Recommended sizes: #1, #2

Sash Mesh Bags – While we're on the subject of bags, sashing a mesh bag to the outside of your gear is a perfect way to finish drying gear that may be wet from washing it the night before or having gotten wet by mistake. Simply stuff it loosely in a mesh bag and affix to the outside of your bike or luggage with an S-Biner. As you ride the wind will wick the moisture out of the gear.
Recommended sizes: #1, #2

Hang Gear Up At Home – So the #10 looks kind of big and goofy. But it's not. It can be used in the closet to hang luggage, your helmet and riding gear. Simply place one end over your hanger bar and start hooking on what you want to hang. Now and then we need to hang wet gear outside to dry. Being on the third floor of our building, the S-Biner provides peace of mind that jackets and pants won't blow away off the railing.
Recommended sizes: #5, #10

Beyond Bike Stuff – The #10 is also handy for hanging extension cords, jumper cables, ropes, tie downs and more in the garage or the storage shed.

The beauty of the S-Biners is that they aren't that expensive and provide a great service every time you use them. If you're thinking of checking these out, consider getting two of each size to start with and add more later as needed.

Choose from metal or plastic. We find the plastic ones to be a bit friendlier around paint, chrome and plastic on motorcycles. Both are available in a number of colors.

To order up what you need visit the Sound RIDER! Store

Securing a GPS utilizing the hand held strap and an S-Biner to the mount.

PT/Spring 09

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