October 29, 2016

What ever happened to those fancy bags?

Something about the crunch of fall leaves and the need to pack an extra layer or two for brisk fall mornings brings me back to cycling baggage.  Those fast summertime brevets with the tiny repair-kit seat bag and empty jersey pockets are slipping away... time to drag out the bags again.  

What, you've got bags, right?  

Where do I get these things? 
Aren't those a "retro" thing?

Oh, they're still around... and if the basic nylon stuff just isn't quite for you, and you value waterproofing and heavy canvas construction, there are still a lot of choices.  Yeah, remember to carefully engage your knuckle-dragger filter when reading this blog... you all know that, right?


Yes, Carradice and Gilles Berthoud are nice... very nice; but, they're made overseas and sometimes can be difficult to get a-hold of.  And price... yeah.  But, let's be honest - stuff of this calibre isn't cheap, and you should think twice if you see something that IS a little TOO good of a bargain.  This is the stuff of real leather, heavy fabric, solid, tough hardware, and usually hand-made construction... one at a time, often by a small group of people, if not one, single craftsperson at the sewing machine.  Keep that in mind when you see the prices.  Also keep in mind; with things like "lifetime guarantee" and "heirloom construction" on mention, these are bags that you purchase once.  After that, you just ride with them.  That's value.  

There are a LOT of choices out there, but the few I'm sharing here are made right here in the U.S.A., and one in particular I was lucky enough to actually meet the "Maker" on our local trails, when he spotted one of his own bags on my bike.  That was a neat experience; and after many months of hard use, the bag is still going strong, so I gotta pimp that.

Here' a few links to get you shopping.  Enjoy!


. . . and, the European stuff, still awesome when you can get it:

Gotta give Peter White some love here.
I've been a customer of his since 2002, and he's been around for a long while - one of the original importers of, and still one of the only places in the U.S. where you can get, Schmidt dynohubs and bags like these, among other things.  The site is old-school, and so is Peter.  Respect it.

Yeah, you don't have to have one of these bags.
But, I've been a baggage guy for a long time... almost the entire time I've been riding brevets.  They haven't slowed me down, and I haven't been appreciably faster without them compared to with them mounted.  Sometimes, you just need a way to carry your stuff, and the usual cycling bag fodder won't do.  That's me.  I'm "that guy".  If you're not, that's cool, too.  Do you.

commuterDude:  "That guy" since 2004.


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