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Carradice Saddlebags

snipsnapsnipsnap Posts: 259
edited April 2015 in Road buying advice
Anyone any experience with them?

I'm looking to replace my backpack use (for commuting duties) with one of these (favouring the 15litre Nelson) that I could clip into my Brooks Swift on my Croix De Fer.

I tried a pannier rack/bag combo last week and although it reduced the back pain (suffered due to back-pack) I didn't like how it made the bike feel - very sluggish, and a real struggle on the hills that form part of my route. Whilst i appreciate that it's good training, I commute pretty light and don't need the additional capacity that panniers provide if honest.

So I've started looking at the Carradice Saddlebags; made near where I live in Lancashire, look great and place the centre of gravity a bit higher up than panniers so theoritcally will not affect the feel of the bike as detrimentally.

Any issues I should be aware of before pressing the buy button - leg strike or other problems I may have not considered?



  • mercia_manmercia_man Posts: 1,431
    Carradice saddlebags are great. No bad points. Their classic status is well deserved. They are really tough and practical and you won't feel so much of a "tail wagging the dog" effect as a couple of laden panniers. The weight is carried high up but it's close to the centre of the bike so is perfect for light loads. The cotton duck material keeps out rain pretty well. I've only had dampness inside after riding in a downpour for several hours. I can recommend the long flap versions. They give you the option of squeezing in bulky or tall objects - handy when shopping for milk etc.
  • keef66keef66 Posts: 13,123
    I can only speak of my relatively small Carradice Barley bag; perfect for day long rides and paired with a similarly old school Brooks B17 special. Only downside I can see for commuting is you can't quickly whip the thing off the bike if secured using the straps through the bag loops on the saddle. You could get round that if needed using one of their SQR quick release mount contraptions, if you have sufficient, metal seatpost available.

    The other minor issue is the loop on the back of the bag points down at the road so it's pretty useless for clipping a rear light on to.
  • i use the carradice sqr slim for commuting - can fit inner tube, tools, pump, computer and rain clothes with no issues - and it has the added advantage of being really easy to remove and carry.
  • super_davosuper_davo Posts: 1,098
    I've recently replaced my panniers with a Caradura 7 litre saddlebag for commuting. Its only about £18 so give it a whirl to see how you get on. My thoughts are:
    If you're used to panniers or a rucksack, the capacity is much less. OK for a sandwich and a shirt. Not OK for bringing papers back from the office.
    Much lighter and much less to catch the wind, which shaves a minute or two off the commute.
    Much easier to remove at weekends or transfer to a different bike
    If you've got your saddle as far back as I do, can catch your leg on the pedal stroke. Not by much so I can live with it.

    I haven't been tempted to go back to panniers but there have been days I've needed to take a rucksack too.
  • snipsnapsnipsnap Posts: 259
    Thanks all for your responses.

    Have ordered a Nelson Longflap from Spa Cycles. Hopefully it's just what I'm.After. Will try out through the saddle loops to start but assuming I'll need a bagman mount to keep everything in place.
  • The Bagman quick-release is really good for those of us who commute or need to remove our saddle bags in a hurry. Although it doesn't play too nicely with the short rails on a B17 (I took a Dremel to mine to improve the fit somewhat).

    On a different note, I was gutted today to see that I've managed to wear a hole through the canvas of my Carradice zipped roll; the wooden dowel is obviously a bit too long, creating extra pressure at a point if you're daft enough to lean the bike up against a wall.
    They use their cars as shopping baskets; they use their cars as overcoats.
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