Wednesday, August 20, 2008

The perfect seat bag?

I'm in search of the "perfect" seat bag.

I have one-- it's an old Pedro's Blow-Out bag made from (supposedly) used innertubes. I got it in 2001. It holds a Crank Bros. Power Pump (the smallest one), a tube, three Park tire levers, Crank Bros. multi-tool, and a Park glue-less patch kit. It's stuffed. All straps are embroidered with the Pedro's logo. Strap uses an adjustable side-squeeze buckle. It tucks up behind the seat perfectly and doesn't rub the inside of my thighs. One seam blew out but I sewed back myself a few years ago and it's still going strong.

I got another one in 2006. It was a shadow of the 2001 bag. A cheap shadow. The reflective tag on the back that's supposed to hold a blinky light? Ripped. Cheap, flimsy straps and lame-ass buckle.

Lame, Pedro's. Lame.

Anyway. I got a Crank Bros. Power Pump Pro (small alloy with gauge) for my road bike and needed a bag that would hold everything nicely. Picked up what looked like a decent bag at Performance Bike. The Trans It "speed wedge". Pffft. The cursed thing rubs on the inside of my thighs. After quite a few miles of "bzzzup-bzzzup" and fiddling with the bag I just had to remove the damn thing.

I went to REI and looked at what they had. Holy crap-- most of their stock is sized to hold the kitchen sink! Timbuk2 had some nicely done (almost overdone) bags but they had no provision for holding a blinky light-- a serious, deal-killing oversight. The bags were lined. Good grief-- I'm only jamming tools and tubes and stuff in it, not a BlackBerry.

Back to Performance Bike. I thought I had found a pretty good bag-- it was the right dimensions and had a little loop for a blinky light (it appeared to be a bit unorthodox...). And it was on sale!


The bag passed the thigh rub test and held everything nicely. However, the straps were positioned in sugh a way that the bag wanted to hang more vertically than up under the saddle. The strap that was supposed to go around the seatpost instead had to go under the seatpost collar. Bleah. The "unorthodox" blinky light holder? Yeah-- rendered useless. Actually, in experiments with the bag off the bike I could not successfully use the blinky light loop. No matter how I oriented the bag. So apparently Performance designs stuff like this without even thinking about it.

Why am I obsessing about a seat bag? Why does something so seemingly simple and necessary have to be such a bewildering hassle?

I finally settled on a Pearl Izumi bag (the only one they make) and it seems to do everything I need and has a nice big tab on the back that's reflective and holds a blinky light in a useful fashion. It seems a little lightweight though, so I'm concerned about long-term durability. But it's on the road bike, so...

No comments: