Ghostrider Bear Spray Mount: A Backcountry Essential
I always carry bear spray when exploring anywhere outside of civilization in British Columbia. Opinions are divided on whether or not to carry bear spray at all, but my opinion is a firm “yes”. Although bears generally keep to themselves, they are very much wild animals. My run-in with a grizzly bear in the Chilcotins is an experience forever ingrained in my memory. The sheer size of the bear coming over the ridge less than 100 meters from where we were standing; was terrifying. Calmly reaching for my bear spray and knife I crouched down beside my bike. Frozen and staring at the bear, waiting for him to make his next move. Despite my crippling fear, knowing I had the bear spray nearby and handy; brought a hint of comfort and relief that I had something to protect myself.
However, carrying a bear spray canister is a total pain in the ass. It’s a constant battle trying to find a place that won’t compromise space in your cockpit or having to awkwardly strap it to your frame. In the past, I have cumbersomely strapped the canister to my handlebars with a Voile strap which was neither convenient nor effective. I’ve stored the canister in my snack bags, which also isn’t ideal—those bags are typically reserved for actual snacks—not bear spray. Both options don’t make for easy access or effective deployment when face-to-face with a bear.
Enter Ghostrider Equipment
Ghostrider Equipment is the brainchild of Pat Simpson, the creator behind the Bear Spray Universal Mount. Pat has always had a passion for creating outdoor adventure products, a passion that ignited during his childhood spent building with LEGO. The satisfaction of crafting something with his own hands has been a lifelong love. Over the past 25 years, he has leveraged his creativity and become a Mechanical Engineer based in Fernie, B.C.
Pat's deep connection to the outdoors and his creative drive inspired him to design, prototype, and manufacture locally sourced outdoor gear. Ghostrider's focus is on addressing overlooked problems with practical solutions, a mission often sidelined by larger brands. Pat's approach involves rigorously testing existing products to identify their flaws. Drawing from his experience as an engineer, he dedicates considerable time to observing and listening to product users, seeking gaps in the outdoor gear market. To validate his concepts, Pat collaborates with others to gauge their potential marketability. In Pat's own words, "Even with a fantastic product, if you can't market it, you don't have a business; you have a hobby."
His latest endeavor, the bear spray holder, came to fruition through a fortuitous partnership with KORE Outdoors, a non-profit organization in the Kootenays that supports makers. A similar initiative is anticipated in Squamish soon. With KORE's backing and the support of his team, Pat brought the bear spray mount to life, driven by his passion for innovation and hands-on tinkering.
Design & Construction
The Ghostrider Bear Spray Mount provides two options: a direct mount that securely bolts into frame bosses, offering adjustment through two sliding adapters, and a universal mount that can be easily strapped to any available space on a frame.
Choosing between the direct and universal mount was a straightforward decision for me. I selected the Universal Mount for its versatility across all three of my bikes. After ordering two of the Bear Spray Universal Mounts, they arrived at my doorstep promptly within a few days. What immediately stood out was the personalized note included with the shipment. Pat includes a handwritten note on a Hilroy-lined piece of paper, adding a delightful personal touch.
Both the universal and direct mounts are crafted from carbon-filled thermoplastic, making them both durable and lightweight at just 45g. Their innovative design is gentle on your bike, with curved sides and smoothed edges ensuring easy deployment and a rattle-free ride.
When I was preparing for a bikepacking trip to Haida Gwaii, I faced the task of finding the best spot for the bear spray mount on my bike. With the primary real estate on my Surly's frame occupied by my Manything and Iris Stainless Steel cages, I found the center of the top tube to be the most accessible and convenient location. On my Brodie Romax gravel bike, I experimented with various positions, eventually choosing the fork, top tube, and down tube. My full-suspension LIV Intrigue Advanced 1, which boasts a slightly larger frame circumference, had the mount placed in the same three locations as the Romax.
The fixed slots for the Voile straps, complemented by adjustable rubber feet, ensured a secure fit across all bikes. Aligning the feet with the straps is crucial for optimal traction and frame protection. I was particularly impressed by Ghostrider's choice of the 9” Voile Strap. Its length permitted threading the straps through the frame bags of both the Surly and Romax for extra stability and accommodated the Intrigue's broader frame.
Usage & Accessibility
Haida Gwaii is located 223 km off the West Coast of British Columbia. I traveled solo for 9 days, covering over 500 km of this wildlife-rich archipelago, so it's hardly surprising that I encountered more than a few bears. I almost collided with one at a blind corner. While riding on bumpy gravel roads near Tlell, Masset, and Old Queen Charlotte Rd, I was able to put the mount to the test. The bear spray did slide upwards in the mount, likely because I was frequently shifting on and off the saddle, causing my right knee to knock against the bear spray bottle. Despite this, the mount kept the bear spray secure. I suspect that mounting it on the left side of my fork or further down the top tube near my seat post would prevent such sliding.
Once back in Squamish, I tested different placements on my Brodie Romax. For rides on rougher gravel roads, the down tube proved most effective. After trying both the right and left sides of the frame, I realized that due to the swooping design and the positioning of the Voile straps on the right, placing it on the left side was more logical. This facilitated easier access when attaching or detaching the spray, and it aligned better with the design, ensuring the spray bottle stayed secure on rugged terrains.
Finally, on a recent guided ride with Les Chevres I rode my LIV Intrigue and when navigating the technical features and terrains of the Crouching Squirrel Hidden Monkey trail, no surprise the bear spray remained firmly in place. My one suggestion would be to include an optional quick-to-remove strap, something akin to the OneUp EDC Pump Bottle Cage Mount strap.
Having my bear spray secured by the Ghostrider Bear Spray Universal Mount makes me feel badass and competent. I felt well-prepared for any unexpected encounters with a bear. Thankfully, my meetings were non-threatening, as the bears seemed completely unphased by my presence. This gadget is simple, sleek, and light - the perfect item to complete your bikepacking cockpit. Paired with the 9” Voile strap, the mount is adaptable to a variety of bikes and frame circumferences. For me, biking is all about practicality in the gadgets I choose. This mount is not only practical but truly embodies its slogan: “Less worrying, more riding – A better way to protect against wildlife while riding.”
I would also like to emphasize the importance of supporting local small businesses and fellow creators. The Ghostrider Bear Spray Mount has been on the bike gear market for 12 months, and Pat continues to innovate with products that fill gaps in the bike industry. Get the Universal Mount for $60 CAD here and the Direct Mount for $45 CAD here.
|Adaptive Functionality: Versatile across various bike frames and terrains.|
|Streamlined Design: Blends seamlessly with your bike's aesthetic.|
|Featherlight: Adds minimal weight to your biking gear.|
|Universal Fit: Compatible with all bear spray canister brands.|
|Cost-effective: Reasonably priced. Buy two for free shipping and gift one to a fellow outdoor enthusiast.|
|Pedal Proximity Issue: Bear spray bottle can dislodge if installed too close to the pedal stroke.|
|Limited Mounting Areas: Not all parts of the bike frame are optimal for secure mounting|