76Projects A.S.S. SLIDER is a simple sliding mount to fix a bag to your top tube without using straps around your frame and stem. It fits directly to your frame if you have mounts but can be fitted using 3M VHB tape. It changes your fixed bag to a removable one and therefore allows you to take your possessions with you when you stop. It works well.
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I am also testing the A.S.S. CLIP with the SLIDER so that heavily stuffed top tube bags are held more securely but not permanently to the spacers under or over your stem—this review to follow.
Before you all get excited and complain about the A.S.S. acronym, it simply means Anti Strap System and works as it says, appealing to people who haven't wrapped their top tube and/or want to keep their frame unmarked. If you don't have mounts, you can use the 3M VHB tape provided in the kit, designed not to damage your frame while still holding the mount. However, I have mounts on my bike so I haven't tested this tape.
It's a simple matter of reading the instructions, marking out the holes in the bottom of your chosen bag, making the holes and then fitting it into place. If you choose a direct mount bag as I have, these holes might even be pre-marked or punched for you, so even more straightforward. If not, measure twice and poke holes carefully! If you are using the VHB tape, simply follow the instructions provided for that.
In terms of mounting the hardware, it's as simple as Lego with clear pictogram instructions provided. Once the male and female parts are fitted to the frame and bag, I could slide the bag on and off at will. I wouldn't say that this is super easy or super smooth; there is definitely a little resistance there, which is good to make sure that the bag doesn't detach itself, although it does click snap into place when fully fitted. I added some graphite powder to both parts of the SLIDER, and it's now a little smoother and easier to use but still clips together nicely. 76Projects recommend a stiff material top bag to help you grasp and detach as the CLIP is designed to be tight, which makes sense.
It's not expensive, at £19.50, weighs a mere 31g, including all hardware, and it works. However, if you have a larger bag or a softer bag, you might want to consider the second part of the system, the A.S.S. CLIP, at £19.50, but this is not needed in many cases. If bought together, it's £35, which is a good deal.
The only downside I can see is that you will have a small black piece of plastic stuck or bolted to your frame when not using the bag. If it's bolted, it's easy to rectify; if it's stuck on, then you have to live with it. It's not ugly, but it does detract from the smooth lines if you care about that type of thing.
The ASS SLIDER is a 3D printed product like a lot of the new breed of bikepacking gear we see and does its job quietly and simply under your chosen bag. It does away with Velcro and allows you to remove the bag rather than taking your camera, phone, and wallet out if you stop for lunch somewhere, very neat.