Author Topic: About this bag

About this bag
« on: April 20, 2021 »
Thank god for backpacks: they allow men to carry purses (or handbags or whatever) in a way which doesn't raise eyebrows.

These gender norms can be tiresome, but I’m not going to die on this hill.

The equivalent for the cyclist is the saddlebag. Panniers also work, but the problem with those, aside from being cumbersome off the bike, is they quickly fill because they can be filled. It's best to set limits, else you may find yourself carrying the kitchen sink.

A lot of road cyclists get by with the equivalent of a clutch.

This is an admirable limit, but no thanks. It leads to things like multimultimultitools

and fierce internal debates on clutter rivaling those of NASA trying to keep the weight down to only the most urgently necessary of grams.

There are lots of ways you can go with a saddlebag.

This is my way:

Yes, technically that's a postbag, saddlebags having a direct connection with saddles, funnily enough. But let's not get hung up on semantics. It's v.1 of their Arran. (I can't recommend their current offering. Despite that it looks quite similar in pictures, it doesn't hold a rigid shape on its own, and is an altogether flimsier affair.)

It's not too wide unless aerodynamics for maximal gains are an issue, and doesn't swing about maddeningly as it's cradled in a light metal frame. There's a purported limit of 2kg including bag & contents, meaning it could just about hold Chompsky.

Road trip?

Having just weighed mine, I see it's hovering around 2.5kg. Doubtless I've carried more with no ill effect.

I have an extra if this one gives out. It's kept in a safety deposit box along with a selection of passports, gold ingots, a kidney on dry ice, and other valuables. So far this is hanging on, though one of the side pockets is having trouble keeping it zipped.

A small amount of fabric at the base, exposed to a whirlwind of microdebris and moisture over the years, has worn through to the plastic above. Well, it is a kind of mudguard.

There's a loop on the back for a tail light which could've been sturdier and has maybe one more repair in it. Altura probably thought hey, lights are light, why go crazy with the reinforcement.

Loop, you had one job

I've completely lost track of how old it is. It's pretty old. Probably not as old as your grandpa's Carradice.

The handle comes in handy, and optional webbing on top if you must have that baguette in the window. You may also have spied the second zip to unfurl a very useful expansion of capacity, not shown here for security reasons.

I won't bore you with what's usually inside.

oh go on then
phone, voice recorder, camera, pump (scroll down for part of my bag collection), inner tubes of sufficient quantity to allay fears I'll have to resort to patching on the road (two or three, depending how far I'm going and if there's company), patch kit, inflatable roadside mechanic, spanner, multitool, tyre levers, C02 cartridge2, spare earphones, notepad and pen, another tail light if the first one falls off which it will one day, inhaler, Radar Key for unsociable toilet hours and because those places are big enough for the both of us, and lovely room to spare

Verdict: Really really really nice. I held back one really because of the loop. Can't fault them for the zipper, as these things happen with zippers.


« Reply #1 on: July 17, 2023 »
A guy in a Caterham 7 admired my Arran as we were waiting together at a level crossing. If you know anything about that car, which I didn't until just now, you'll know I had to look quite a bit down on him. Nothing personal.

I think what happened was he and what looked like his son saw me pulling out a handkerchief to mop my brow, which started a conversation about what else I had in there. Currently:

Spot the inhaler and the Epipen: almost but not quite the belt-and-braces approach.

Yes, I carry my water bottle in the bag, complete w/cage in case I need space in the bag to rescue a rabbit on the road.