Tuesday, March 24, 2009

New front bag

I've been looking for a big front bag for a while. I wanted something that I could use for overnighters and that I could use for daily commuting. I didn't want something with a bunch of pockets: it just needed to be big. It also needed to fit my favorite Alex-rack nicely and it needed to be weather proof.

The top is a roll down deal. Kind of like Ortliebs. I'm thinking you could pretty easily fit two half racks in here. The standard version of this bag has a roll down top that is another 6-8 inches higher.

My new Pelican Porteur bag from Swift Industries meets all criteria. Swift Industries is a 2-person shop in Seattle that makes panniers and other bike bags. They were super easy to deal with: I just filled out a form, specifying the color fabric I wanted and the custom dimensions that I wanted, and I have a bag less than a week later. It was pricey: $200. That's a good value compared to other bags of its size/quality. It also has custom-dimensions and is made here in Washington -- these two attributes really increase the value to me.

A couple months ago, I sold off some stuff (mainly my Rivendell Atlantis forks) to fund this purchase, so it felt more like a trade, which is somehow warmer and fuzzier, if only in my own little fantasy land of commerce.

The bag attaches to the rack with two of these straps: one on each side. There's also a strap to secure it to the back of the rack. See the next picture.

Anyway, I don't have much to say yet about this bag, since I've only had it on my bike for a day. But I ran to the store yesterday and loaded it up full and heavy and it worked fine. My S24O load this year will be this bag and a sleeping bag under my saddle.

I may have to rework this part. The buckle falls right on the rack's vertical support, so it doesn't really get super tight. I doubt I'll ever change it, but if I were to have a change -- it would be to put the buckle on the other side, but that's specific to my rack. This bag was originally designed for the CETMA rack which has two big stays that attach to the h'bars.


The Scoopspot said...

Mega sweet. Mega jealous.

KCJeff said...

Nice. Acme Bicycle Company is building me a bike with a front rack that would be perfect for that.

Must restrain Visa card.