If you’re into the enduro scene or race enduro, then you’re probably aware of the current trend to ditch the hydration pack and strap/tape emergency essentials to wasted space on your bike.
Ok, so duct-taping a spare inner tube and CO2 canisters to your bike does make it look a bit shit, but when you’re racing, every second counts so if you can make emergency kit easy to grab when needed, rather than rifling through your Camelbak, then it’s justifiable. Still looks shit though.
So, enter several companies now looking to maximise those wasted space areas on the bike, producing tools that stow away subtley but are quick to access. The Sahmurai Sword kit is one.
After seeing Doddy review a set on Factory Jackson, I thought these looked like a great idea. Basically, it’s a tubeless puncture repair kit that slots into the end of your handlebars, replacing the bar end caps. One side is a reamer to size any tyre punctures to the tubeless sticky plugs, and the other is a fork to push the sticky plug into the hole to seal it up.
The kit works by pushing it into the open bar end and twisting the cap which opens an expanding bung with rubber o-rings to fix it within the bar. Because the sticky plugs can be kept mounted within the fork, within the handlebar, it keeps it away from dirt and shouldn’t dry out.
It’s a cracking idea and worth it even for non-racers in principal…however…it has a flaw which I quickly found when mounting it for the first time, and one that means I won’t be using it again!
The kit is made of plastic and separates easily into its individual parts. Before installing, I unscrewed the the reamer tool from the expanding bung, just to see how it worked. With no included instructions or product info in the pack, I screwed it back together and pushed it into the end of the handlebar. It was a BLOODY tight fit and needed some effort to push it all the way in and I felt I had to undo it a little more to make sure the bung was at its narrowest.
Unfortunately, this meant that the tool completely separated from the internal screw within the bung, which itself fell out of the bung and became loose inside the handlebar! With nothing to screw the tool into, the bung was now stuck in the handlebar and now I had a nice applecore-like open ended bar. After a short panic and plenty of swear words, I used some bendy bamboo cane from the garden to ram the bung out from the otherside of the bar, which inevitably caused some damage to the loose plastic screw part stuck inside. It still useable, but I don’t trust it in my bars now.
So, now it’s basically useless which I’m quite disappointed about. It’s a great idea but needs to be constructed so that the screw thread in the bung cannot come loose, which is an easy thing to do, particularly if it’s a tight fit like it was on my bars. Yes, I will put my experience in part to user error, and although my bars are within the diameter range stated (17-21mm…mine are 17 or 18mm), at the bottom end of that range, it’s too tight a fit. It gives you the same kind of panic you get when you get your head stuck in railings!
A great idea and a handy product for racers and non-racers alike, if your bar diameter is 19-21mm. It needs a tweak in the design to make it a great product and to stop accidental over-loosening of the bung.