Ever wonder why despite your best efforts, it seems as if your tie-down straps have come loose a little after a long transport trip? The reason, according to Utah-based Shock Strap, is because nylon and polypropylene (the two most common materials used in tie-down straps) can actually stretch under heavy loads; polypropylene stretches up to 50 percent, while nylon can stretch up to 20 to 30 percent. This stretch can also allow the tie-down hooks to move around and possibly slip under load when encountering bumps in the road. Not what you want to hear when your pride and joy is strapped down inside your trailer, van, or truck bed.
Shock Strap solves this problem by making a tie-down strap from more expensive polyester webbing, which stretches only 5 to 15 percent and is more UV-resistant. The Shock Strap also incorporates a unique shock-absorption system to prevent stretch and slip: a 5-inch urethane block between the hook and the cam buckle absorbs shock loads by stretching and returning to its original shape while keeping the load under tension at all times. The cam buckle has more aggressive teeth to grip the strap, and the extra large hooks and cam buckle have a yellow-zinc chromate finish that is more durable and weather-resistant.
We loaded a Yamaha FZ-09 into the bed of a pickup truck and proceeded to drive down some washboard roads to see if we could detect any hook slippage caused by strap stretch. The results were impressive, with no observable hook movement on the bike at all. The urethane block expanded and contracted as claimed and kept a constant tension at both ends. Long trips over all sorts of roads have showed no slippage or loosening whatsoever—and if you've ever experienced the frustration of a tie-down coming loose over a bump or creeping (slowly coming loose) over time, resulting in your bike tipping over and getting damaged, you know how important this is.
At $21.99 for the 6-foot version of the Shock Strap Cam Strap (Shock Strap also has other lengths and ratcheting-type straps as well), you're paying about the same as you would for a pair of garden-variety tie-down straps. But rest assured that you won't have to worry about the Shock Strap creeping, slipping, or breaking on your longest trips. And the Shock Straps' stout build means that it should last for a good many years to come.
Shock Strap 6-Foot Cam Strap
shockstrap.com, (888) 334-3456