We've been considering making some larger VO saddlebags. We currently sell five models of saddle bags. The first two are the small Brooks Challenge a D-shaped bags, these are small bags for tools, keys, or other small items. We also sell the VO Croissant and Baguette bags which will soon be available in a new style in black and with more leather trim. These bags are the perfect size to leave on a bike all the time; there is room for tools, wallet, mini-pump, a banana, a rain shell. Finally we have the Ostrich bags which approaches the practical size limit for saddle bags. This size bag is useful for the commuter and for short inn-to-inn tours.
So what do we want in a VO saddle bag? We want a larger bag that matches the look of the upcoming VO handlebar bag and new versions of the Croissant and Baguette bags. That is it will be black waxed cotton with brown leather trim. We also want it to be sturdy and reasonably priced. Finally, Carradice bags are almost impossible to get these days and it's time someone filled that gap.
As for size, Both Tom and I own Carradice Longflap bags. I think that that model is simply too big; Tom uses his every day. We both agree that there is a practical weight limit for saddle bags that is too often exceeded. I think it's 5-6 pounds; Tom says about 10 pounds. In any case, we agree that an overloaded saddle bag severely and negatively effects a bikes handling. If your plan is to go grocery shopping, panniers, not a large saddle bag, are what you need. So something of about 8 to 10-liter capacity is what we're after.
As for shape, I prefer a more square shape like the Berthoud and Ostrich bags. A saddlebag this big really needs to be used with a support such as the ViVa support or the Bagman support (are those still made?) The square shape is better suited to use with a support and better suited to laptops, books, and other loads that are often carried in saddle bags. Tom argues that the round shape with expandable collar offers more capacity, perhaps too much capacity.
So we'll open the floor to discussion. What would you like a larger VO saddle bag to look like?
Speaking of bags, we just listed three interesting panniers on E-bay, still working to get rid of lots of samples and display items.
19 November, 2008
Posted by Velo Orange at 12:27:00 PM