In the Bag

18 Aug

I have been pleased with my Velo Orange Baguette, a handle-bar-bag that I think will provide sufficient space for food and personal effects on anything up to an unsupported double-century…but when you start talking about unsupported rural 600K+ events in variable weather, an increased carrying capacity becomes necessary. So a couple weeks ago, I purchased this:

(click to enlarge)

Considering you can pick up THREE Carradice Barley saddle-bags for the price of a single Acorn Large saddle-bag, I felt a bit foolish pulling the trigger on the latter. It basically started off as a high-end knock off – much like offerings from Origin8 or Zimbale – but it seems to have evolved into the superior product:

  • I suspect it will hold its shape better than the Barley (which might deform if loaded heavily) thanks to the addition of wooden dowels and a polyethelene liner.
  • The leather “stand-off” is a cheap and elegant solution to the problem of the bag crashing into your thighs as you pedal, especially compared to the $45 Bagman rack offered by Carradice.
  • The side pockets are easier to get in and out of (not having to un-do buckles every time you open them) – a boon for fingers rendered cold and clumsy by fatigue.
  • It is at least as versatile – with an expanding collar, options to attach lashing or the Acorn roll bag (which I already own and use), and loops for an optional shoulder strap.
  • For what it’s worth, it is crafted locally by a husband-and-wife duo.

In the “con” column, the Acorn bag has slightly less capacity and slightly more weight. The “cotton-duck” canvas they utilize is not waxed, so it may not offer the same water protection as the Carradice; however, if I find this to be a problem I can always waterproof the bag myself. Paperwork, food, and (if rain threatens) electronics always reside in sealed plastic bags anyway while aboard my bike or in my jersey pockets.

If it works well on my longest rides, I’ll put these picayune feelings of buyer’s remorse to rest for good. September will put it (and me) to the test, as I’ve scheduled both a 400K and (*gulp*) a 1000K ride before the month is out!

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3 Responses to “In the Bag”

  1. Bill Meadows November 10, 2010 at 6:26 PM #

    ive had this bag for a couple years now, it rocks….. have used it on doubles as well as last summer when i rode from LA to Mammoth…. i do use the bagman rack though, seems to make life easier….. also, make sure and rig it for quick release with the little chap snaps you can get at a leather store…

    • cyclingasmetaphor November 10, 2010 at 8:34 PM #

      Thanks Bill – it’s funny, I haven’t even used it outside of commuting yet, as I’ve managed to go without it on a 600K thanks to a drop bag. We’ll see once I up the mileage further. When you refer to the quick release, do you mean using those chap-snaps instead of the buckles? That makes a lot of sense; that’s the one thing that I find annoying about the Acorn roll bag – takes me an extra few minutes to change a tire when I need to get in and out of there…

  2. Bill meadows November 10, 2010 at 11:15 PM #

    Yup! Thems the ones. Using the leather straps, a washer, and the snaps, it works great!!!! At least it has for me. My use of it in many ways has been overkill, but it makes me happy. When I rode to mammoth I had everything I needed pretty much jammed in there, worked perfectly! I got it when they still offered it in green and it’s fading nicely now.

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