I've had this strange box at the back of my bedside table drawer since it plopped onto my doormat, unannounced, like that mail I used to get before the boundary issue was resolved, or that time I accidentally mistyped 'Looking for a PDF File' into Twitter.
It's not the first time I'd seen a Clug - I'm a serial early-adopter and am weird-tech savvy enough to have considered buying one and only didn't due to my shameful and crippling lack of spacial organisation. To have bought one would have been to acknowledge that the junk pile overwhelming all of my outdoor storage space needed organising into a collection of bicycles.
Peer pressure from the most divine of sources came in the form of an ultimatum from my wife - "Sort that shed out or you'll be sleeping in there" - so I decided to get my shovel and native guide and tackle the velo-jungle.
Unboxing the delightfully jolly Clug and musing over what I could write about it reminded me of a punishment essay I was once threatened with by my Physics teacher in my third year at Comprehensive School (YES - I'M THAT OLD) entitled 'The Sex Life Of A Ping Pong Ball'. It's just an ingeniously simple product. The frivolous overtones of the packaging disguise a well designed and robust solution for bike storage, one that doesn't involve hooks, winches, plumb lines or theodolites to install.
Step one involves checking that it will fit the tyre of the bike you want to store - not hang (the Clug isn't meant to pick up and hold your sled). Three sizes of Clug are available, designed for road, hybrid or MTBa nd covering tyre widths from 23mm to 62mm. To choose the right one you can either measure your tyre, read the size off of it or use the handy scale on the box. Alas, my road bike tyres, despite being enormous, were too svelte so I had to use it on my wife's MTB.
Step two is to click it onto the front tyre and roll the bike along the floor to offer it up to the wall where you're going to store it, then mark where the Clug lies flat against the brickwork.
Step three is to take the template in the packaging and put it where you've marked, ask an adult to drill some holes then tap in the supplied wall plugs (other plug type fixings are available - I chose Rawl, as I think wall plugs should be brown. I just do, OK?).
Step four is to unclip the holder from the backing, screw through the holes and clip back in to complete your 'hug for your bike' - et voila!
It's a reassuringly firm fit with knobbly MTB tyres, and I can foresee some comedy unclipping moments involving rakes, brooms, falling shelves and bags of flour and eggs at a later date, but two days on and there is no chaos in the shed and I've even packed up the camp bed in anticipation of moving back into the house.
If I had any criticism, it would be the Clug's lack of versatility in accepting bikes with different tyre size and wheelbase length; once it's installed, it will only accept bikes of approximately the same size and tyre dimensions. But that really only affects people like me who store child-sized MTBs next to over-sized Mid-Fat monsters. The grip on the Clug would feasibly be enough to hang the wife's Norco off the floor, but the instructions advise against it.
All told, the Clug is a nifty, good-looking solution for holding your steed up against a wall, or to stand horizontally if vertical space is at a premium. I am now looking at replacing the ugly hooks I have for the rest of my bike collection in the near future.
Hornit Clug, £15 from www.thehornit.com