Wednesday, 21 August 2019
Brompton bike Carradice saddlebag
I've been musing about getting a saddlebag for the folding bike, instead of reliance on a backpack. It's a Brompton and therefore care has to be taken to select something that doesn't interfere with the fold. Brompton provides a front mounting hook as well as a rack, but I've talked to the people in the bike shop and they reckon that hardly anyone orders the rack fitting. (ie M6L etc).
I decided to look at a couple of options - the terminally hip Frost and Seker Otis (and priced so!) and the cyclists' friend Carradice Nelson long flap. They are both lovely bags, with pros and cons, but in the end I settled for the well-specified Nelson.
So why the Carradice? It could hold my laptop, whether the flap was extended or not. I quite liked the material too. A dark green duck material, which fluffs up in the rain to provide waterproofing. There's a couple of side pockets too, and a drawstring to pull the content tight.
The Carradice quick-release called a Bagman Expedition keeps it nice and steady on the back and the under-rail stops the bag from swaying. The instructions for fitting were way more detailed than I needed and the bag was fitted in about 5 minutes, complete with quick release. There's also a carry strap for the bag, so it can go across the shoulder when out and about.
Here's the rack fitted, and then another with the bag attached. I did have to make a few fine tuning adjustments once it was all assembled.
The click-in for the bag is very quick, although I'm wondering whether the amount that the rack sticks out at the back might interfere with the folded bike manouvreability?
It is good that the entire mechanism stays out of the way of the fold (which was something I was looking for), but the Frost and Sekers has dispensed with the 'rails' part of the design and added a strap around the seatpost. My folded view of the bike illustrates the way that the rack is mounted.
However, the profile of the bike with the bag is still quite elegant, so I'll see how I get along with this combination.