From Dangler to Haf-Clipper
The Haf-Clip is an ingenious device to help you carry gear like full-face helmets, chin bars, jackets, pads and even beer up the mountain. I wish I had one of these back when I first owned a Specialized Enduro with a SWAT box, which corresponded with the year I stopped riding with a pack. I tried many different ways to carry my gear. At one point Roggey called me the Dangler because I had stuff dangling off my bars, seat, frame and my waist; anything left over was stuffed in my pockets. When I discovered hip packs all the dangling strap-ons were chucked in favour of throwing everything I could into it. The one problem was that anything big like my helmet, pads, and rain jacket had to be strapped onto something. The pads were fine because I had not discovered pants yet so they just slid down to the ankles. The jacket was tied around the bars or my waist, which I never liked, and the full face did not exist outside the bike park for me (yet) so I was covered. When I started riding faster and gnarlier trails I was happy to get the Smith Mainline full face helmet to review.
That helmet is fine for climbing uphill but not optimal, so I did what most riders do and hooked it around the bars or chin strapped it to the stem. I discovered after one ride up a long gravel road that the smallest bumps against my frame and fork led to dents on the fresh helmet. After that day I had my helmet at the far end of my bar or on my melon during climbs. Until I got to try the Haf-Clip.
The Haf-Clip works
The Haf-Clip is an alloy tab with a Velcro strap that allows riders to hang their helmets, chinbars, jackets, pads and other ‘sundries’ from the clip during climbs. The Haf-Clip replaces a 5mm spacer on the stem stack (either above or below the stem) and sticks out enough to keep all these items away from spots where they could bang on the bike. It's an easy two minute install.
Andrew Major introduced the Haf-Clip to Nsmb.com readers back in January. Since then, the Haf-Clip's inventor Hafez has released an alloy version
Does it work? In a word – yes. The only minor drawbacks, and I mean MINOR, were when I had to stop the bike and attach the gear (in my case a jacket twice and the helmet 6 times) and also when I had to tuck the strap tight to the bar to get it out of the line of sight for the downs. On bumpy uphill single track, the Haf-clip works but the helmet still moves all around – not a big deal as it still stays attached and still does not hit the frame. Occasionally when I was climbing and had to lift the front wheel up and over a large object the helmet flipped up high but never came down on the top tube.
As a jacket strap it is perfect. I can stuff either my 7 mesh Copilot jacket or my Race Face conspiracy jacket into my small Hyperlite Versa hip pack, but for some rides it’s nice not to have anything get in the way of those free body feels - the Haf-Clip is perfect for those days.
To clip or not to clip
I have enjoyed having this device on my Enduro for the past month. It has made lugging the Mainline full face helmet an easy experience. Being able to strap my jacket to the Haf-clip has also been a positive for me. I do find I am still getting used to the look of the tab extending off my stem. It would be less obtrusive if it was below the stem but my helmet would hit my tire so that setting is not going to work for me and I would guess most riders would have the same issue (depending on head tube length). In a world where tires are up to 140 CAD this little add-on is good value.
The Haf-Clip retails for 32.99 CAD (currently on sale for 27.99). It comes with a 12-inch and 18-inch strap - the former is perfect for helmets or chin bars, the latter for larger things like pads.