Friday Group Ride #441

Friday Group Ride #441

The last time I crashed  I bruised my left knee and tweaked my back, a pretty good outcome considering the speed and violence of it, and the involvement of more than one car. My bike came through mainly unscathed too, except for my saddle getting mangled, one of the rails bent aggressively enough that I had to ride standing the rest of the way to work. Quite how this happened I don’t know. Saddle rails are thick pieces of metal. I couldn’t straighten mine in a vice, so…I guess I’m thankful that force was absorbed in a place that wasn’t my face.

I don’t remember now what I did with my saddle bag, whether it went flying in the crash, or whether I took it off at work while I trying to salvage the saddle. Whatever happened, I can’t find it now, and I have been limping along shoving tubes and CO2 cartridges in a pocket or just gambling that I won’t flat. I keep meaning to get a new bag, but it seems like a low priority and anyway I don’t know what to get.

I have used and liked the Ortlieb saddle bags. Specifically, I like the way the bracket attaches to the rails and the bag slides on and off, clips in securely, and is interchangeable with the other brackets on my others bikes. I can move a bag around quickly. I can take the bag off the bike while fixing a problem and then clip it back on. It’s just a good, simple design. I could happily just get a new one.

But what else is out there?

The old, cool guy thing to do was to cinch up a tube and lever in a toe strap and secure that under your saddle. Very minimalist, but also sort ugly and leaves your stuff exposed to sand and wet and mess.

I have liked Silca products generally. They all seem well thought out and well made, and also minimalist in some sort of designer-y variation on the toe strap maneuver. Tool rolls always remind of fancy toe-straps. I don’t 100% understand why I would roll over bag, but I’m not always the most clever.

Maybe the Fi’zik or  Lezyne is more my…um…bag.

Or maybe you have a better idea. This week’s Group Ride asks, where do you store your stuff? Do you even use a saddle bag? If so, which one? What have you liked and disliked.

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  1. Derek B

    Depends on how much you want to carry. I use old sunglasses bags, sew a strap to one side and attach with an old toe strap. I can fit a tube, CO2, tire lever and hex key (for thru axle). The bag has a drawstring that is easy to close and stays closed. I can fit a 29er tube and have never had any problems. It’s minimalist and works.

  2. Kevin Collings

    Along the minimalist lines, I use Back Country Research straps. Nothing ever shifts or falls out, no rattling, and they definitely look better than a toe strap.

  3. Kimball

    No seat bag for me. For the last 5 years or so I’ve been using the original Lezyne Caddie Sack (since updated and not the same size; fortunately I bought two). Mine is about 14.5cm x 9.5cm x 4cm with a zipper. It holds a tube, multi-tool, tire levers, patch kit, and various other small items. It fits perfectly next too my Lezyne Road Drive mini-pump in my right rear jersey pocket leaving my other two pockets free for phone, snacks, jackets, etc. When off the bike it sits next to my helmet and other ride essentials so I just throw it in my pocket no matter which bike I hop on next time out.

    1. John B.

      Another vote for the Arkel, the most secure saddlebag out there. It is switchable between bikes, but not quickly.

      I use mine with the Velocolour seat roll instead of Arkel’s mini dry bag, as it allows some organisation. I tried Velocolour’s seat roll stand-alone, but it kept turning itself inside out. The unplanned combination of it and the Arkel “holster” has brought a feeling of completeness to my life. 😉

  4. scott g

    Acorn Bags, Medium Saddle Bag.
    My goofy armoured phone fits in the side pocket.
    In pre phone days a Rivendell Banana Bag or Gilles Berthoud 786

    If your bike has giant logo on the d/t, I figured a team car is part of the deal,
    so no saddle bag or rely on your domestiques.

  5. Fausto

    Used the Fizik bag for years since I love their saddle and bar tape. Now have a box of broken Fizik saddle bags, the clip can break. Still have one that I switch between various bikes but once that goes will probably go Silca. Use the Arundel Tubi bag for when I ride tubulars, nice since the velcro is out of the way.

  6. Michael

    Hmm, you covered most of my bags. Ortlieb on mountain bike – waterproof and secure and simple, and I hate carrying a pack on my back. Ancient Specialized on my cross/gravel bike – one of the few things of Specialized that have lasted well for me – big enough for a tube if the tubeless fails, plus tubeless patches and a multitool. I have a tiny Scicon I picked up in Italy on my light road bike that carries a tube. I really like the tool roll from Silca on my coupler travel bike – I have tube, multitool, patches, spoke wrench, and tiny pliers in that, so I always know I have those with me in an unfamiliar country, and it is pretty water resistant. And Pedro’s recycled tire tube bag on my commuter, re-stitched as the tube rots, with tube and CO2 inflator. I like having a bag, so I have room in my jersey pockets for other things – more tubes, food, jackets, leg warmers, even an extra bottle. I also have a Jandd bag big enough for a Platypus 1-liter bottle for long rides, since there are no places to get water once I leave town, for at least 40 miles. That fits on any bike, and I don’t have to carry a pack.

  7. David

    I have an ancient Cannondale seat bag – from like 1982 that is still – barely – hanging in there. It’s small and holds only the essentials. But I was given an Arundel Uno to use when the C’dale finally wears out.

  8. David Arnold

    Belgian days old skool…cut the top off an old waterbottle stick 2 inner tubes, Co2 inflators, levers in it. Stick it in my downtube bottle cage. In the winter drill holes in the bottom of the bottle to drain the water.

  9. Gianni

    Zippered pencil pouch. $0.99 from the school supplies aisle of the grocery store. Sure, it looks like there might be a dildo in there, but that’s half the fun.

  10. Paul

    I love the Scicon seat bags. There is a small fastener which attaches to the rails, and the the seat bag twist locks into that. It looks good, is out of the way so shorts don’t brush against it, but its there when you need it.

  11. Aar

    I found the Ortlieb too big for daily use but marvelously weather resistant and used it for long rides on which I felt most comfortable carrying multiple CO2’s and/or tubes. On daily rides, I’ve been using an Arundel Uno. Prior to the Ortlieb, I used an Arundel Dual for long rides. Arundel makes wonderful bags at a reasonable price. Since they use rail straps, they’re universal.

    These days, I’m drinking the Kool Aid and fully bought in to the Specialized SWAT accessories. It started years ago with the chain breaker stem cap which was great at keeping me from over stuffing my saddle bag too much. About a year ago, I added their road EMT tool in a little bracket attached to a water bottle cage – saddle bag no longer stuffed! This winter I experimented with saddles and wound up liking a Specialized best. Since it has an integrated saddle bag system, I switched to their Road Bandit engineered tool roll. I don’t like the idea of road grit on my spare tube and I always carry a spoke wrench, patches and a tiny baggie with Benadryl and Advil. So, I wrapped it all in a piece of canvas folded up inside the Bandit’s strap – like I did with a toe strap ages ago. I also picked up one of their small stormproof seat packs for long rides. It’s basically the same as the Ortlieb but integrated with the saddle.

  12. Marvo

    No bag, broccoli elastic a mini lezine pump, one tube and 2 levers together
    Slides into middle pocket of bike jersey (everything in one package)

  13. Jeff vdD

    No seat bag on any of my bikes. When I’m riding MTB or fat, I use a hydration pack. When I’m riding my adventure bike or CX (when not racing, of course), I carry the Silca Borsa Americano.

    The bag holds a multi-tool, a tire lever, a plug kit, a tube, a pump (extending out of the bag), a speed link tool, a battery, a spoke tool, CX bike derailleur hangers, a car key, and $20. When packed, the bag fits snugly in my middle jersey pocket.

    Pictures here (tablecloth sold separately):

  14. Jason

    I think there’s a better way, even for roadies, than using any saddle mounted bag, or roll, or strapped sock-a-majig. I’ve always gone for the most diminutive or thin bags available by countless name brands and chinabay bags. They have all, at one point or another, without exception ended up ruining a decent set of bibs, despite painstaking efforts to ensure everything is tight prior to every outing.
    Now that I work in a Trek shop, I’ve seen more folks that have gravel bikes with top tube mounted (behind the stem) bags commonly seen on tri bikes adapting that location rather than under the saddle. In my opinion it moves the weight to an area that “hides” the weight. Don’t get me wrong. I’ve ridden saddle bags since the eighties, and get used to it. It’s just nicer, on a hard climb, or spirited sprint.
    Silca and Bontrager and Pro all make fantastic versions.
    Velominati be damned. I forget what rule this is?

  15. TomInAlbany

    Banjo Brothers. And if you go to the leadville100mtb podcast, hosted by Fat Cyclist and Hottie, you can get a 20% (I think) discount code. Don’t buy for that reason though. Banjo Brothers gear is rock-solid!

  16. Rick Tan

    I use the Lezyne Road Caddy. It hugs the seat tightly with no swaying movement even when standing on the pedals. However, it is a bit too small. With a tube, 2 tire levers, tire patch kit, multitool, fiber fix spoke kit, its very tight. Needless to say, this will not work for a MTB kit.

  17. Steve

    Go with the MagnerCo Down Under Seat Roll. A waxed canvas and leather tool roll that holds inflater, cartridges, tube and mini tool neatly rolled up and secured under the seat with a leather strap. Designed to stay on the seat with the tool roll unrolled.

    1. Padraig

      Steve: self-serving advertisements are frowned on here when folks don’t share their involvement in a company. Considering your email address, I have to imagine that you’ve got a financial stake in MagnerCo. I’m letting this one fly, but this is an advisory that people need to be honest about their ties to a product they recommend.

  18. Johan Mokhtar

    I use a Specialized Keg storage vessel in the seat tube bottle cage. That holds a tube, two Silca Premio tire levers, a Silca EOLO III inflator, a CO2 canister, a Fabric Chamber Ratchet Multitool and some Grease Monkey wipes.

    I used to have a Silca seat roll. The Keg wins because it is waterproof and the wide mouth screw-top lid makes the items inside immediately accessible.

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