Saddle bags... not exactly the most glamorous piece of kit we talk about, but they're pretty essential to any outing on the bike. A utilitarian device with a simple job of lugging around a repair kit. Basic as they may be, it's amazing how hard they can be to get right. Nearly every cyclist has a story of a saddle bag gone wrong. Whether it's a bag that routinely ejects itself, having your expensive shorts worn into by poorly designed straps, or bags that just jangle like a rattle for the length of every ride. Saddle bags that don't suck seem to come few and far between.
Leave it to Spurcycle, a brand with a knack for making the most basic of things delightfully beautiful, to come up with a bag that just works.
In essence, the Spurcycle saddle bag is nothing more than an over built lunch bag with a velcro strap. Incredibly simple, but the clever design is far more practical than its simplicity would lead on.
The roll up design is familiar to dry bags used for backpacking, boating and other outdoor sports. When wrapped up correctly, the bag is waterproof so there's no risk of your gear getting nasty from moisture. It also makes it easy to clean off when you're hosing your bike down after a dirty ride.
The heavy duty velcro strap pulls double duty, both keeping the bag closed as well as securing it to the saddle. The strap is wide, giving it plenty of support and grip while also making it easy to keep it nice and tight.
The design does not use zippers, which is a common fail point for saddle bags. I've had quite a few bags where the zippers got clogged with dirt or simply just falls apart mid ride. It's never a good feeling to hear the sound of a CO2 can hitting the ground. The only thing more frustrating is trying to get your repair kit packed away after fixing a flat and not being able to close it back up because the zipper gets seized... all things many riders are familiar with but simply don't happen with the Spurcycle bag.
Another point of genius to this bag is its modularity. No matter how much kit you stuff in it, it conforms to the load. My day to day repair kit consists of a spare tube, two CO2 canisters with an inflator, a Dynaplug Racer for quick tubeless fixes, a tire lever, and a small multi-tool. It's a little to much for some the the ultra compact bags, but not quite enough to fill up some of the mid to large sized ones.
With the Spurcycle bag I simply pack all of the gear in, roll it up tight and head off on my way. Everything stay nice and secure. There's no way for things to rattle around and there's no need to meticulously plan out the Tetris game getting everything to fit just right.
With any piece of on-the-bike storage, it's a balancing act in minimizing how much you need to jam into your jersey pockets without having some unsightly, massive sack dangling from under your bike. While not massive, my repair kit isn't necessarily small either. The Spurcycle bag seems to manage the amount of kit easily and still rolls up into a pretty compact package, tucking nice and neat under the saddle.
The bag isn't limited to just living on the saddle either. For mountain biking, dropper posts are pretty much standard these days and depending on your bike set up, there isn't always room for a bag when the seat is fully slammed. This bag can take advantage of the many different nooks in a frame to tuck right in and stay secure.
In the last few months of riding with this bag, I've yet to have a single issue. Even with a heavy mileage log of rough and rowdy gravel and mountain bike rides, the bag hasn't once ejected or shown any signs of coming loose. In the rare occasion I've need to grab something out of it, it comes off and on easily and takes no effort to pack back up. It's a small thing, but knowing your gear is safe, quiet and secure goes a long way in keeping your zen while out on the bike.
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