29 June, 2006

Bags and Stuff

The always busy Alex Wetmore has posted a comprehensive review of the Ostrich handlebar bag and the Velo Orange decaleur on his blog, "In Touch with Popular Culture". In case you didn't know, Alex is responsible for a lot of great bike related lists.

Speaking of Ostrich bags, our import agent says that they'll sail in around mid-August. Given all the delays with the bells (which are finally in the US and on the way to us), we're looking into having some sent by air freight.

I also got some new Ostrich samples that might be worth stocking. The first is a very nicely made small pannier that can be used on a front rack or on our constructeur rear rack. It is heavy nylon and exhibits super details and workmanship. It even comes with a rain cover. The Capacity is 9.0 lt and the price is around $68 each. Anyone think these would fill a need?

The second is a smaller nylon version of the large Ostrich saddle bag. At only 6.8 lt. capacity it fits neatly between the small Velo Orange seat bag (which shipped today) and the canvas Ostrich bag. The price is around $65. The photo makes it look much much bigger than it is. Opinions?

12 comments:

C said...

Not sure about either. Carradice already makes reasonably priced, smaller sized saddlebags and they're pretty hard to beat.

Also a lot of panniers out there.

What makes the Ostrich front bag and saddlebag appealing to me (beyond being a bag matcher) is that both are different from what is already available. They're less expensive than the Berthoud bags but nicer and larger than any nylon bag. They fit a niche that is going unfulfilled. The smaller saddlebag and panniers do not, IMO.

patrick said...

I was hoping you were announcing a smaller Ostrich handlebar bag... say, 5 or 7L capacity. I like the existing one but it's a bit large for my needs.

SC said...

I really like the nylon saddle bag, mainly for the plastic buckles, which are less pretty but, to me, more convenient than leather straps/brass buckles. Also it looks like it comes with a shoulder strap (Chris -- does it?), which would be perfect for urban cycling where it's better to take your luggage with you when you park. And the elastic-closed side pockets seem a lot more appropriately convenient to me than the buckled-down side pockets on similar bags.

The Carradice Barley/Junior/Pendle are similar, but lack those little tweaks, which are real differentiators in my book.

Assuming a price of ~$100 or less, I would seriously consider one. I hope you decide to get a few of these, Chris!

Chris Kulczycki said...

SC,

The bad news is that the side pockets now close with velcro (old photo) and there is no shoulder strap included. But there is a place you could attach one.

The good news is that the price is around $65.

By the way, I'll sell the sample in the specials section after I ride with it for a week or so. I have way too many bags now ;<)

Kris Green said...

For my part I don't find these to be very appealling; there are a lot of other options if one wants something functional and will tolerate an ugly design. I really like the more traditional handlebar bag that Alex tested, however.

I noted Alex' concern about the mount (which, unlike him, I've never used); would not a little shock cord keep the bag securely in place?

SC said...

Bummer about the velcro, but if it's only on the side pockets, I won't whine too loud, especially at $65. Does it attach to via traditional saddle bag loops?

Anyway, since it sounds like I'm the only one who's excited about this bag, maybe I'll just have to keep an eye on your specials section. :)

Jim G said...

That small nylon saddlebag looks attractive. I notice that in the sample photo it's shown on an MTB, the saddle of which I'd assume does NOT have bag loops. If this small saddlebag somehow mounts to saddle RAILS instead of bag loops (ala Brooks saddles), then that is VERY appealing indeed!

Anonymous said...

Count me as someone interested in the smaller saddlebag. I understand the visual/tactile appeal of brass buckles, but I also like to get inside my bag's pockets while still riding, so I'll take fastex, velcro, or hooks anyday. I'd prefer the hooks, but velcro is acceptable.

Jack

Anonymous said...

Chris, if you were going to stock the nylon saddle bag, why not order a few nylon front bag for those "bag matcher", perhaps just special orders only?

Chris Kulczycki said...

I think we'll order some of the small seat bags. It does attach to non-bag-loop saddles, which is a big plus.

The problem with the matching front bag is that they use a klick-fix type mount. I can't special order just a few bags from Ostrich, they have a minimum order for each item (samples excepted).

I've talked to a US manufacturer about making a small pannier similar to the one shown, but in waxed canvas with a bit of leather trim. It will take forever, but at least the ball is rolling. I'll talk with him about a small canvas saddlebag eventually, but not yet. I don't want overheat the glacial pace at which these things happen ;<) Can you tell I'm frustrated at not being able to get all the stuff I want to have made?

Chris Kulczycki said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Andy said...

How about a bag (pannier or saddle or handlebar) that is waxed canvas or similar, but without the leather trim? Just super tough (triple-stitched) seams and selvedges? Maybe look into the seam "welding" that Patagonia does. But maybe the leather appears as the bag's bottom, like a Klein Tools tote bag. Maybe with a fat rope handle too? I'm thinking something minimal, but bulletproof, and a little less L.L. Bean meets the Science Teacher's briefcase (leather trim).