Introduction: Big Pull Ties From Bike Inner Tubes

Here is a quick way to convert old bike inner tubes into pull ties that have hundreds (well lots anyway) of uses. I use them for cords, hoses, belts, brake cable housings and all kinds of loose bundles of stuff around the shop.

Just about any bike shop or bike coop will have a bin of discarded inner tubes. Most places will be glad to give these away just to get rid of them. I like the long thin ones (27" racing tubes) for most ties I make. Making one takes about 10 seconds so you can keep some readymade or make them as you need them.

Step 1: Cut Inner Tubes to Length

I find 18" and 24" lengths are pretty handy, but the nice thing is you can make these pull ties any length you need.

Step 2: Tie a Knot in One End

Tie a single overhand knot close to one end of the tube segment and pull the knot tight. This will keep the slit (next step) from tearing out.

Step 3: Fold and Cut

Fold the inner tube over near the knot and make a small cut (a 1/4"cut on the fold makes a 1/2" slit) on the midline of the tube (Photo #1). Make this slit a little bigger or a little smaller depending on the width of the inner tube (Photo #2).

The slit will stretch as you pull the tie tight so don't make the slit too big.

That's it! All done.

Step 4: Tie Things Together

To use the pull tie wrap the long end of the tube around something and slip the loose end through the slit. Pull this tight and it will hold fairly well until you want to pull it free.

Notice in Photo #3 that the right tie has the loose end tucked under the loop to make it more secure.


busidit made it! (author)2010-11-16

these are fabulous!
and it's getting to be flat tire season with the wet roads.

dan made it! (author)2010-10-16

hmm, this seems just like making a lark's head knot, but a lark's head will be stronger since you don't have to cut the innertube.  

bikeframe made it! (author)bikeframe2010-10-17

The cow hitch you refer to would be stronger because there is no cut and you use a double length of inner tube. This would be good for heavier stuff. But I suspect a cow hitch would tend to slip loose when made with bike inner tube.

The pull tie slit would probably be better at staying tight once it is pulled shut because the slit pinches. The overhand knot does a pretty good job of keeping the slit from tearing out. You also use about half as much inner tube with the pull tie (as if we ever need to conserve inner tube).

Thanks for the suggestion.

toekneebullard made it! (author)2010-10-15

This may be the way I finally figure out how to easily put my messenger bag on my bike rack without having to alter either.

bikeframe made it! (author)bikeframe2010-10-15

Once you start using these things you find all kinds of uses.

Peter Fnord made it! (author)2010-10-14

great idea!

bikeframe made it! (author)bikeframe2010-10-15


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