08 January, 2010

Bag, Bags, and More Bags

Here are a few photos of the prototypes for two new bag models. The bag above is our new large British style saddlebag with an expandable main compartment.  Capacity is around 20 liters, so this is a large sized bag.

This is our new Eclair bag. It's a small rack top bag sized to fit on our Constructeur rear rack. The production version will be a little lower.

The VO panniers need more work, so no photos yet. It'll be a long slow job to get the panniers exactly right. Please don't ask when any of the new VO bags will be available; it all depends on how many changes we make after testing.

We also have a new large saddle bag from Origin-8. At $60 this is a pretty great deal. It's 13.5" x 7.5" x 8.25" and uses a wooden dowel for support. The fabric is thick polyester canvas.

Finally, a new shipment of our ever popular VO Croissant bags just arrived. They will be back in stock soon. This new production run has nicer leather with a softer finish.


Anonymous said...

It's great that VO is making reasonably priced versions of the old French bags. The Croissant bag looks like a 1950s Manufrance saddlebag. Of course Berthoud also makes copies of those bags, but they are too expensive.

The British style bags, not so exciting. But at least they will be available, unlike Carradice bags which are forever out of stock. Yours also look to be better quality.

Anonymous said...

my only issue with larger saddlebags is the tendency to rub the backs of your legs. Not a big deal, I know, but I guess I have little tolerance for these things. Have you ridden with these bags yet?

michael white

Anonymous said...

Bravo with the new bags! I'm particularly interested in the Eclaire bag.

I currently have a Nitto R14 rear rack on my bike (11x5 inch base). I'm wondering how tightly the Eclaire bag will wrap around the Constructeur rack you sell (10.2x4.3 inch base). Are you using velcro or rivet/buttons to secure the bag to the rack?

Is there a half inch give with the mounting straps? Or will this bag just be too small?

Thanks in advance for looking into this.


Tom Matchak said...

I'm eagerly awaiting your new Eclair bag for small racks. I've been using the Berthoud "small" rack top bag, which I gladly will replace.

It looks like your lid closes with a buckle, and if you have indeed left out the zipper, that's a big improvement. It also looks like you have a soft bottom, as opposed to the Berthoud's board-like bottom which tends to curl.

If the mounting straps connect underneath the bag, I suggest a larger spacing, so that they travel outboard of the rack's vertical struts. IME, it's a real pain to get your hands into the short space between the struts (where the gap between rack and wheel also becomes very small), and fiddle with buckles. Ideally, I'd be thrilled to see four independent straps anchored to the bag's bottom, each of which attaches to its own snap or velcro patch on the _side_ of the bag. Pleeeese?

It Depends said...

I'm convinced that no two saddlebag manufacturers share the same meaning of "liter." Are these new VO saddlebags going to be bigger or smaller than the Nelson (and by about how much)? Many thanks.

scottg said...

Are the VO bags waterproof ?

Tom M. have you looked at the Acorn Rando bag attachment arrangement ?

As for bags rubbing the Bagman takes care of that, too bad they don't make the Ti version anymore.

The Carradice stuff looks crude, but the design is better than the copies,
they lose in style, but make it up in function and life span.

Tom said...

The VO bags are made of dry waxed cotton duck. The fabric is waterproof. BUT it is stitched and that is where some water seepage may occur. It's not a drybag with laser welded seams. Expect the same waterproof performance from our bags as you would from Carradice. If you need a truly waterproof enclosure from any canvas or nylon bag, a plastic bag inside is what I recommend.

I've been using carradice transverse bags for years. I love em. When attached to the post, they do hit the back of my thighs. Any bag support will fix that though- Bagman, Viva, etc.

The Acorn Rando bag attachment is just a couple of elastic straps on each side of the bag. Am I missing anything? They suggest using a Decaleur.

I did see the standoff feature on their large saddlebag though. Looks interesting. A piece of PVC pipe or a bit of cork or something can be fashioned to do the same thing.

Uncle Ankle said...

Nice looking bags, just one pet peeve: a completely black bag makes it a bit more difficult to locate items inside. I prefer some shade of gray, green or brown, which also makes the bag more dirt tolerant.

Anonymous said...

Unkle Ankle, et al -

I hear ya about not finding stuff inside a black bag. I ended up getting one of those battery powered closet lights from my local hardware store. I attached it to the inside of the bag and now no more loose change, or leftover mini-donuts from last month's ride can find their way to the bottom. I sort of developed a taste for the stale mini-donuts (especially the fake-chocolate coatad ones) and I sort of miss them. I guess modern technology always comes with a price . . .

guidon said...

The british style bag looks nice. Any plans for a slightly smaller bag, too, say 12 L or so?

Anonymous said...

whatever bags you make, I suggest that you put a pocket in the top flap. external pockets are nice, but tend to not be as waterproof. The top flap pocket is internal (dry) and easily accessible for things like snack bar and wallet...makes the bag much more useful, in my opinion.

Come to think of it, a cloth devider or small internal pocket would be a neat way to keep tubes and tools seperate from cashmere sweaters and lorica cameras. what do you think?

Allan Pollock

Chris Kulczycki said...

The Eclair bag should fit almost any popular rear rack. The straps are extra long and have two positions.

Karl said...

I don't agree that the Carradice stuff looks crude.

I have some of their modern'ish Super C stuff (an SQR and a racktop bag) and it is very well made if not exactly right for the VO look.

The more traditional black Carradice saddlebags can be made on order with honey straps and a brass plate, as I've had done with both a Pendle and a Nelson Long-Flap. They look elegant enough that I have twice had other riders go past me and turn back to tell me how much they like them.

Karl said...

I noted the comment above that the Carradice bags look crude and presume that the author may referring to the white strap ones.

In fact, you can get any of the black (or green) Carradice saddlebags with honey straps and a brass plate and those look elegant.

I've had this done for both a Pendle and a Nelson Longflap and the upcharge was either $0 or trivial, if I recall correctly. It is simply a matter of calling Carradice directly and telling them what you want.

So, if the VO ones work, great, as they'll be a bit less expensive, but if you want another configuration than VO offers, Carradice can do it for you.

Jon said...

Acorn Bags uses velcro straps on the bottom of their rando bag to secure it to a front rack. As you can see here. Works really well and I like it loads better than the usual single strap that loops around the rack on other bags. I haven't found a decaleur at all necessary for the Acorn Boxy Rando bag as it's quite stable when using the shock cords.

Ragnar said...

Hi, love your bags, and especially the campagne handlebar bag. I see you are at last also making a larger british saddlebag, and I love it. Will you, however make a larger saddlebag, in the same style as the campagne, that is a more rectangular shape, like the Berthoud large saddlebag, featuring a leather trim etc.? Would be a great match for me as I want the more french look on my racer (using a rackaleur and the champagne + a ViVa rack, and hopefully soon one of your larger saddlebags. Rectangular? ;)

Anonymous said...

Is there a update on the British style saddle bag?