Picture of TubeFob: Handy Bicycle Inner Tube Luggage Tie
TubeFob: Handy Bicycle Inner Tube Luggage Tie

This is how I carry a strip of inner tube that can be used to tie down groceries etc. to the luggage rack of my bike. As fellow makers will appreciate, this stuff has many other uses.
Why not add inner tube to your Every Day Carry alongside paracord and duct tape!

Over the winter, on my rides home, I made a habit of buying more groceries than my rucksack would hold. Standing in the cold, digging through my bag, I could never find any cord or bungee. One time, I used my belt, but I have not yet resorted to my bootlaces! This stopped being fun . . .

Introducing TubeFob

Never again will you be without a strong, stretchy and grippy solution to secure your bicycle luggage!
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Step 1: Tools and Materials

Picture of Tools and Materials

  • Old bicycle inner tube
  • Paracord (or similar)
  • Keychain attachments: split rings; carabiner
  • Keychain gadgets (optional)
  • Bike bits: e.g. chain links (optional)
  • Scissors
  • Lighter (optional)

Step 2: Scavenge/Hunt for Inner Tubes

Picture of Scavenge/Hunt for Inner Tubes
I have a big bag full of old inner tubes (they seem to breed).

Or you can go for a bike ride and pick them up off the road.
I have found many on my bike rides.
This is both picking up litter and recycling!

Or you could ask at a local bike shop.

Step 3: Slice and Wash the Tubes

Picture of Slice and Wash the Tubes
1. Unscrew the valve cap and valve and add them to your spares box (waste not want not).

2. Cut off the valve section and discard.

3. Cut a few ranger bands (rings) and save.
4. Slit down the length of the tube along one of the seams.

5. Throw the tubes into the washing machine with your bike cleaning cloths (not your clothes).
This will remove all the powder and restore the rubber to shiny and grippy, like new.

Step 4: Cut the Tubes into Strips

Picture of Cut the Tubes into Strips
When dry, cut the tubes into strips about 1 - 1.5 inches wide.
Use the seams as a guide.
Long decorating scissors work great for this.
I usually get 2 normal width and 1 more a bit thinner (YMMV, depends on the tube).
Great idea. Thanks.
Orngrimm2 years ago
I once made a VERY long and VERY sturdy rubberband (closed loop) from a bike-tire.
Simply cut the tube ONLY along the seam and not 90° to it as you did to remove the valve. To start just poke a pointed scissor into it and go from there. Just discard/save for another project the band with the valve in it. :)
This way you end up with a 28" long closed rubber-loop you dont need to knot since you never cut the tube in half (only the long way).

But if you washed them (as you explained perfectly) they stick quite well and you can also "close" the cut rubber and re-form a closed loop this way.
JohanJShaw (author)  Orngrimm2 years ago
Thanks for the comment. I was going for compact and handy (there-when-you-need-it factor) with this. I can't believe I have never made one like you describe. That would be great for daily use and strong. Ha, will be making this soon. Cheers!
kz11 year ago
Kayakers will love this. Great idea.
londobali2 years ago
Hi JohanJShaw,
Thanks for sharing and for the inspiration.
I've used inner tubes for luggage tie for some time now. But it's for my small scooter, so i never thought of fancying it like you do. just chuck it in the under-seat compartment. I always thought it doesnt look too tidy down there, but never got the need to pursue it creatively like you did..

Cheeseduck2 years ago
This is great except this little excerpt: "2. Cut off the valve section and discard."
Why would you throw away a perfectly good valve section? Save it for another project.
JohanJShaw (author)  Cheeseduck2 years ago
You are so right. Apologies for using the d-word on Instructables! Thanks!