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Trying to decide. Tether. Zip tie. Trust.
Those black bands that are used for mounting stuff on our bikes.

I think they can be trusted initially.
How long do they last?
Do the bands randomly break?-like in the middle of a ride.

Do we need to zip tie? Make a Tether?

Any tips on increasing their longevity?
 

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Mounting bands. For devices or other.
Can't say I've ever used one.

Looks like a big rubber band/O-ring type thing though. And you're right, those could fail potentially. But, I'd assume you'd be able to see any problems before they catestrophically break. I'd wager that you would see cracking, crumbling, or some other signs of deterioration if you remember to check it periodically.

Personally, if the thing is going to stay there for some time, I'd use something else to attach it though. Like a Zip tie. Or personally, I'd probably use Bank Line (cheap/easy to find tarred rope). Bank line looks to be about the same thickness as those channels are, and its easy to tie, and somewhat tacky/sticky. I've mounted/lashed other things to handlebars with it temporarily, and worked fine. So I'd guess it would work fine longer term.
 

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The two times are likely to fail... When you're mounting or unmounting your device, and crashing.

I've actually been looking for a source for these. I want to get a couple spares but I haven't found anything adequate.
 

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They are typically made from EPDM rubber, which is less stretchy than typical nitrile o-rings, and significantly less stretchy than "regular" rubber o-rings. The trade off is that they are tougher, stronger, and hold faster than the other types above, right up to their breaking point. Those who have used Thule hanging racks in years past are familiar with the failure mode described by @ctxcrossx above: you pull too hard, and it snaps (either installing/removing), or it breaks on crashing.

I have no qualms personally using them within their intended limits, but will use alternative mounting methods that are cleaner (thinking about computer mounts) where possible, or using appropriately sized o-rings--for good pre-load--where it isn't possible, or for a quick fix. I dislike using the "rubber band" type mounting on stuff like frame-mounted speed/cadence sensors, since the tubing often tapers. Usually those have provisions for zip-ties, though. Those criss-cross Garmin mounts, like those linked above, have no problem staying on with only one band intact...though I personally wouldn't tempt fate like that.

You can simply find an EPDM o-ring of the appropriate thickness/diameter, and substitute that. Industrial suppliers are a good source, but expect to buy 10 or more in a go.

A computer should always have a tether on it, especially considering the cost. Anything else? Well, consider the condition of the mount before-hand, and decide whether or not that is acceptable for use. Did your light always use the 3rd hole in the band for mounting, but now it uses the 4th, and it's getting closer to 5? That's a red flag. For what it's worth: you shouldn't assume a 'hard mount' will survive a crash either; I've had 3 or 4 Garmin mounts break during crashes.
 

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Those look like o-rings dude.

I don't know what to say, except I've bought some cycle-computers that held themselves on with those. But the better ones seem to come with a plastic cinch-band type of thing. Anyway, never had one break. But I wouldn't try holding an entire saddle-bag with one... just get some Vel-Cro straps for anything heavy.
 

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I don't think you'll ever break Garmin mount O-rings if you're using your fingers to install them. Maybe with pliers.

But they will stretch a bit over time and hold objects less securely.
 

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I don't think you'll ever break Garmin mount O-rings if you're using your fingers to install them. Maybe with pliers.

But they will stretch a bit over time and hold objects less securely.
This is my recent experience with the Garmin o-ring mounts. Plus the taper of the handlebar made for a wonky fit. I ended up getting a stem cap mount and that is working out really well.
 

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I’ve always used the garmin o-ring mounts, never broken a ring, never worried about it moving. I had a big crash once where the garmin took a hit, had a big gouge on the screen but was still attached, think the band helped it absorb some of the impact. A few friends had direct mounts, but they had no give and the garmin would lose its mounting ears in a crash.
 
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