Forx Switchback Strap Review


Words by Michael Walker  |  Photos by Caitlin Wilkinson

FORX is a brand based out of Queenstown, New Zealand, that began with a range of eBike-specific cranks to offer a high-quality option in shorter lengths. More recently, FORX has launched their new range of frame strap solutions to secure spares on your ride, offering some unique functionality and clean looks. We were lucky enough to receive one for review, so read on to learn how we got on!


• Frame Strap System
• ATOP Fastener
• eBike Compatible
• TPE Thermoplastic


  • Well thought out design

  • Quality materials and construction

  • Large range of clamping diameters

  • Secure


  • Potential to mark your frame.

  • Can be fiddly


The FORX Switchback system is the result of around 18 months of development, and 12 rounds of prototypes which lead FORX to come to a product they felt was perfect and ready to hit the trails.

The FORX frame strap comes in two variants – with or without a metal base plate – both of which feature an injection molded TPE thermoplastic construction. This is UV-resistant, and crucially has fantastic anti-slip properties. At the heart of the strap, a quality ATOP ratchet system is used to secure the strap to your frame or base plate.

The Switchback strap has a long length chord in the ratcheting system, accommodating a large range of down tube sizes. This means it is suitable for most bikes, and especially full-fat eMTBs with their oversized down tubes. Thanks to the ATOP system, this range of adjustment is achieved without any notable penalty to the form factor, avoiding any excess strap length from flapping around when used on a thinner tube.

All of the above equates to what looks and feels like a quality and durable product which, certainly feels more engineered than the usual fabric frame straps that are generally on offer.

The FORX Switchback Strap retails for $57/£45, with the version including the baseplate running for $83, and is available in black only. FORX backs the Switchback strap with a 12-month warranty.

Forx Switchback Strap Review


I have been running the FORX Switchback strap for a few months now, mostly mounted on my Specialized Levo. The fastening system is relatively simple in principle, however takes a bit of thought the first few times it is installed to ensure it’s set up optimally. Depending on what you’re loading to the bike, I found it could be quite fiddly as you may need to hold multiple pieces in place at once. Once installed, the system was very secure, and never left me feeling like I might lose what I was carrying on the trail.

Depending on where it was mounted, I found the strap was able to accommodate a large range of load sizes, ranging from the usual compact tool and CO2, all the way up to our eBike tow rope and even a jacket.

The materials used to construct the strap have all held up against the elements well through the winter muck and grime, and even the ATOP dial system still runs smoothly. I have found in the past, fabric-based frame straps can be susceptible to mold growth if they are left through the winter months. The FORX Switchback strap would appear to be resistant to this, and has shown limited wear. There have been no lost loads or issues otherwise, much to my relief.

Forx Switchback Strap Review

One important thing to note is depending on your frame paint quality, or use of a frame protector, the strap system may wear into your paint or at least leave it marked. FORX provides a protector of sorts with the kit, however I didn’t feel this was quite enough coverage to prevent marking. It’s worth paying attention to ensure you identify and protect the area on your bike that you’ll be running the Switchback strap on. It’s time well worth investing though, as the FORX system has been a delight to use. Of course, the baseplate version will remove this issue since the strap system should no longer contact your frame.

The Wolf’s Last Word

The Switchback frame strap system is a well thought out product with quality construction and materials. In operation it can be a bit fiddly, however it’s worth it to know what you’re carrying on board won’t be lost to the trail!

It is worth keeping in mind the use of this like many other products may mark your frameset paint, and if you’re concerned then you can always opt for the baseplate version.

Price: $57 /£45


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