In 2010, cycling enthusiast and teenager Nathan Hughes wanted pedal straps for his bike. Rather than buy them, he went to a junkyard and cut some seatbelts out of cars. He then learned to sew by watching YouTube, and made his own pedal straps from the seatbelts.
They were pretty good, and soon Hughes was making them for his friends. Then he started selling them in local bike shops. Then he started looking into what other things he could make for bikes, and started his company, Restrap.
Today Hughes has grown Leeds, UK-based Restrap into a company that does over £1 million (USD $1.3 million) in sales each year, shipping 10,000 units a month to over 35 countries. During the pandemic, demand surged, and Hughes had to more than double his staff from 20 to 42. Over the past decade they've expanded into cages, mounts and accessories, but their bread-and-butter is a staggering variety of on-bike bags, fulfilling demand for what's known as the bikepacking movement.
Bikepackers are long-distance cyclists who need to carry tools, supplies or provisions for their journeys. No matter what size and shape the thing you want to carry is, and no matter where on the bike you'd like to carry it, Restrap seems to make a bag for it.
"We have three principles at Restrap: Design, build and ride. Our cutting edge manufacturing and production means we lead the market when it comes to thoughtful design. Every part of our products are carefully considered, with functionality being at the forefront of everything we make."
"Because we make everything in-house, we have the ability to be a truly sustainable and responsible business. By having full control over all our processes, we keep our waste low and repurpose and recycle everything we can."
"Because we care about the environment we love to ride in, we source all our materials as locally as possible, keeping our air miles low. We can also guarantee that all our products are vegan- friendly and our packaging that protects and ships them are 100% recyclable or biodegradable."
Restrap still makes the pedal straps, by the way.
All of their products carry a lifetime guarantee. Check out their offerings here.
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It's an interesting array of bags that all look significantly less practical than panniers (I see they do make one or two of those, at least). I have used a frame pack, it was like a sail in windy conditions and didn't hold much without bulging out and clipping my knees, I will stick with the rack and panniers.
It is not scalable to much expensive first world hand labor, they will have to outsource produccion to a china or somewhere similar to become sustainable. Either that or mechanize produccion, and I don’t see it viable with the breadth of their current offerings.
42 staff and only $1.3M in sales? Doesn't compute.