28 November, 2007

A Quick Update


Just a quick update. I know a lot of you have been waiting for Ostrich handlebar bags. They just arrived and they are the updated VO model with a rear strap to fit over a rack's upright loop. They also have a strap on the bottom and a clear map cover.

We also received more Japanese brass bells, including a new model.

Finally a big box of Honjo hardware arrived, which we won't have time to unpack until tomorrow.

Also, we did a little house cleaning and are putting some odd bits on the specials page, including a few great deals

8 comments:

Anonymous said...

Why don't you get Ostrich to make one that opens the right way, you know TOWARD the rider? It baffles me that someone would design a bag backwards like that, there's no advantage that I can see, and it's not like it would be hard to do or cost any more. Please try to talk some sense into them!
I just ordered one of your "old style" bags from the specials section and I'm going to try and modify it myself. If it's not a total disaster, I'll send a photo!

Ryan

Chris Kulczycki said...

Ryan, There is no right way. Many classic French bags open the same way as the Ostrich. There are some advantages. The wind holds the bag open, you don't need to thread the closing elastic through the decaleur or hook it over the stem, and the two pockets in back are a little easier to reach. Try riding with the bag for a while and you'll probably find that the way it opens is a non-issue.

As for trying to "talk some sense into them!", good luck. This bag has been made for 50 years and some upstart Yank can't tell them they've been doing it wrong all this time.

After the war Japan decided that bikes were going to be one of their big industries. They sent teams of engineers to France to live and study the best French bikes, which were the best bikes in the world at the time. Those guy know more about French constructeur bags, racks, frames, etc than any of us. That's why Toei and Nitto and Grand Bois and all those other great companies still exist.

Anonymous said...

Chris,
I'm already using three bags that open the "wrong" way, including the Ostrich. I agree it's not a huge deal, but then I ride with my old Lafuma that opens towards me and it's SO much nicer! So easy to open and rummage around in and no big flap dangling over the bars. Plus it's not even necessary to close it most of the time since the wind keeps it down. This is handy in the winter since it's hard to reach around and open the elastic bands while wearing gloves, and even harder to close them up again.
I could get a Berthoud, but I prefer the shape and size (not to mention price) of the Ostrich.
Will the VO bag open the "right" way?

Cheers,
ryan

Chris Kulczycki said...

Ryan, The VO bag will open the "right" way. It's based on the old TA bag.

Anonymous said...

How do tall folks with really long headtubes manage to mount handlebar bags properly? My headtube is much too long for any decaleur to be effective, and so I've never bought a handlebar bag. Do they work okay just strapped to the little front racks, or is a creative solution called for?

Chris Kulczycki said...

Annon, The bags do work when only strapped to the rack. Another solution is to wait a month or so for our racks with built-in decaleurs. Since the decaleur is part of the rack it will work on any bike, no matter how tall or small.

Anonymous said...

I bought a VO decaleur for my NOS TA bag...and had the too long top tube problem as well. I fashioned an extension from a piece of aluminum stock, and now it rests on the TA rack, attached to the Mafac brakes. It might be nice to have a "long" decaleur in the future though.
Perhaps the front opening bags favored the idea of stopping, opening the bag from off the bike, and haveing a proper sit down meal instead of doing things on the bike and on the run...
Doug Wagner

Andrew said...

I have both an Ostrich and a Berthoud and I've used both for a mixture of brevets and touring.

The Ostrich beats the Berthoud for ease of access to the small pockets and in size to weight ratio. I can fit an entire grocery bag of shopping into the Ostrich. It's massive.

The Berthoud beats the Ostrich in not having to worry about securing the lid - it stays shut all by itself because it's heavy and is held down by the wind as mentioned above. Berthoud looks nicer and doesn't have gridlines on the map pocket.

They're both good bags.