08 June, 2006

The Ostriches Have Arrived w/ Review

They're just samples, but I had a chance to use the three Ostrich bags we plan to stock. Here are my impressions:

In general the bags are very well made and super sturdy. Yet they are not heavy. I think this is due to limited use of leather and metal. There are numerous well thought out features, but also a couple of surprising lapses. The color looks better in person than in the photos; it looks great on my orange bike. Overall the bags are not as elegant as Berthouds, but just as rugged and usable. By the way, you can click on the photos to enlarge them.

The handlebar bag is very large at 12 liters capacity, but it is not tall, rather it is deep front to back. This makes getting things out very easy. The elastic closures are simply the best system I've ever used. There are plastic stiffiners in the sides and bottom, so the bag is quite rigid. I had no problem opening the forward facing flap while riding. I was worried about that, but it's a non-issue. The flaws include a silly grid printed on the map case and lack of a rack strap in back. But there is a strap on the bottom.

The saddle bag is smaller than I expected, but perfect as a second bag on an inn-to-inn trip. The side pockets are the right size for a camera and there is an arrangment to strap a wet jacket on top. My Ebisu has a Brooks Pro saddle with no bag loops, so I used the little Carradice Bagman rack . This bag has a pocket in the bottom to fit over the rack's wire loop! Is that brilliant or what? There are plastic stiffiners in the saddle bag. I can find no real flaws with this bag.

The panniers are a great size for light camping, commuting, or a very long inn-to-inn trip. The big flaw in the panniers is the lack of a modern mounting system; they uses straps and buckles. We'll have to design an upgrade kit for this right from the start. The other flaw is the bright white compression cord, how declasse.

I have not repeated all the dimensions and capacities for the bags since you can scroll down to my previous post about them. Overall the bags are nice enough that I'm keeping a set for myself. If you think you might like to buy one of these let me know which one. I'm trying to figure out how many of each to order and a show of interest would be a big help.

There are a few more photos here.

Prices may change a little, but...
Bar bag: $110
Saddle bag: $120
Panniers: $105 (each)

3 comments:

david_nj said...

Hmmm, I personally don't care for those handlebar bags, and the reverse flap just seems wrong, but that's just my opinion and we all know about opinions. The rear panniers in the post below look simply *killer* though -- those laces on the sides are vaaaaguely reminiscent of a honked-down-on corset -- obviously what the designer was channeling at the time of inspiration.

Andrew Karre said...

Lovely. The Ostrich "motto" is worth the price alone. I want that on a T-shirt.

AK

david_nj said...

Agreed. That is simply sublime. It is not possible to be in a bad mood after reading that.