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Old 07-29-10, 02:05 PM   #1
Zaphod Beeblebrox 
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My Project - Handmade Saddle Bags.

I've been working on this idly for the better part of a year now...its been a long process getting the materials and tools and bringing my skills back up to snuff...

Here's my best work to date....I intend to start making these pretty regularly and see if I can sell a few at the next Trexlertown Swap....I owe a couple of Members bags too and rest assured they are coming before the fall.

I'd love to hear some feedback or comments or criticism...I've been using my bags constantly since the spring and I think I'm finally happy enough with the results to put my name on it and give it to someone else.

This is my own design for a Tri-Fold style bag, the pockets have been sized to fit an innertube/folded tire/wallet/phone in any of the 3 pockets. There's a slim pocket along the edge to fit a small flashlight or writing implement.

Construction is of Waterproofed #8 Cotton Duck, Latigo Strip Leather and heavy duty synthetic stitching. It ties on to your saddle's bag loops using the D rings on top.











There's been some hiccups as to be expected along the way...This is the 4th or so revision since I started...I'm pretty satisfied with this result and I'm willing to call it my "Production Model" but there may still be some changes to the binding that goes around the edge of the bag.
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Old 07-29-10, 02:13 PM   #2
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Wow. Nice work!
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Old 07-29-10, 02:17 PM   #3
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Fantastic work!
Do you have an idea of how much you will be pricing these out, once the design is solid?
Also, I'd love to see what one of your bags looks like attached to an actual bicycle.
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Old 07-29-10, 02:20 PM   #4
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Looks great...and it would look a lot better on my Voyageur than anything I've got now.
What have you been using to tie the D-rings to the saddle? Are you attaching it to the seatpost somehow too?
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Old 07-29-10, 02:35 PM   #5
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These are fantastic! I'm curious to know, how do altoids tins or those cheap wallyworld patch kits fit in the pockets. It'd be cool to see a few pics of how they might be loaded up. That lil side sleeve looks pretty good for a tire gauge.
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Old 07-29-10, 02:42 PM   #6
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lets see a picture of it on your bike!
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Old 07-29-10, 02:45 PM   #7
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Ah-hem,

Cough cough

Hint,Hint....





I'll take a matched set.
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Old 07-29-10, 02:52 PM   #8
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Ask and Ye shall receive,

This is the other Color I've been working with. The strap holding it shut is a nylon Toe Strap rather than the attached Leather strap as on the Tan one. I'm actually not sure which way I prefer the strap.









I've been tying them on with pieces of Shoelace. I picked up some small carabiners for that but I didn't like how low they made the bag hang.

No idea how I'll price these but I know about how much I've got in them in terms of materials (its quite reasonable). I'd like the price to be low to make them accessible but then again I'm a one man show and doing this more for the enjoyment than the money but hey if this becomes a serious thing its something I could see myself being plenty satisfied with quitting my day job over it. At this point I don't think I could sell em for less than 45 bux but I know thats fairly reasonable when you think that this is of similar quality to an Acorn bag. Actually I like my fabric quite a bit better than the stuff Acorn uses.


Jimmy, these bags are pretty much designed to fit the kind of stuff you're talking about...its meant to be something you can tie to your saddle and have everything you'd need for a day out...Phone, Wallet, Tube/Patch Kit some tools, a Camera...it will hold all that pretty easily. I'll load one up tonight and snap some more pics.
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Old 07-29-10, 02:57 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by michael k View Post
Ah-hem,

Cough cough

Hint,Hint....





I'll take a matched set.
Sweet ride!! That is seriously classy and would look great with the Tan bag on the saddle....They work well on handlebars too

My other design i'm still in the prototype stages of is a pannier set patterned after the Brooks Brick Lane panniers (which sell for 300 bux!...I want to make a $100 version)

I'd love to hear what you folks think these kinds of things should sell for too...there's so much variation in the market for bags that its hard for me to tell where mine fit into the lineup....its Nicer than the Rivendell MUSA stuff, but not as nice as a Carradice or Berthoud . I'd like to think its a close runner with Acorn's quality...thats around the level I'm aiming for.
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Old 07-29-10, 02:59 PM   #10
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looks awesome! Talk to me when you're ready for a website to start selling them
also, when is trexlertown?
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Old 07-29-10, 02:59 PM   #11
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Let's see....I need a handlebar bag, trunk bag, and two medium sized panniers.
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Old 07-29-10, 03:00 PM   #12
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what size chain rings are you running on that ta crank and how does it shift?
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Old 07-29-10, 03:04 PM   #13
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thats awesome i would buy one of those!
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Old 07-29-10, 03:08 PM   #14
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Looks great!!! Would you make them one at a time per customer request, or are you sticking to your design, color(s) and materials?
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Old 07-29-10, 03:24 PM   #15
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-holiday, thanks I'll keep that in mind. T-Town is Saturday October 2 I believe. The TA Cranks have got 50/28 rings and it shifts very well with the 1st gen Cyclone Derailleur I'm using. I don't ever drop the chain on shifts to the small ring but I do lose it occasionally when shifting up to the big ring.

khatfull & jamesj , i'll add ya to my short list of people to contact when I get some of these all made up. The panniers are still a ways out, but I'm really hoping to have them sorted out by the fall.

bwientjes - Thats something I'm still not sure about and something I'd love some feedback on...My most recent thinking has been that I'll make enough of them the same way so I can have some back stock and then play with the idea of doing some by customer request. For colors Its kind of limited until this starts paying for itself a little...at this point I've spent some money on supplies and tools and a new machine but not sold anything yet. Its enough fun for me that I could care less if I ever make a profit, The downside is that my fabric supplier sells by the full bolt and I had to really beg them to break me off 10 yards as a "sample" to get me started.

I'm not 100% final on all the materials either. The Cotton Duck is the only thing I am 100% sure about. The stuff is great. Tough as nails, keeps everything dry in a downpour, fairly easy to sew...I love it. The Leather trim I really like because It gives an air of quality and sophistication, but I am open to different styles and colors of that. The Trim around the outside of the bag may still change...i'm never 100% satisfied with it but my prototypes all show that it holds up very well.

ideally I'd love to have a more basic fabric trimmed line and a higher end leather trimmed line but thats the little entrepreneur in me getting ahead of myself.
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Old 07-29-10, 03:29 PM   #16
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Really nice work. I think small straps with buckles to attach directly to the saddle would be an improvement over the D-rings. Also +1 on the seatpost attachment.
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Old 07-29-10, 03:34 PM   #17
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You mean like leather straps with buckles?

That would look nice.

The snaps and the buckles are the most expensive part of this thing so I do try and keep from overusing them, but I really like that idea.
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Old 07-29-10, 03:43 PM   #18
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I personally think that two versions of the same design (black & tan) should be sufficient. You can always see what happens later.

FYI - that's a great looking SC, but why did you have to use white shoe ties to attach the bag to the saddle?

Update: disregard my last comment. I did not realize that the leather straps on top of the bag do not include buckles (yet.)
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Old 07-29-10, 03:47 PM   #19
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-holiday, thanks I'll keep that in mind. T-Town is Saturday October 2 I believe. The TA Cranks have got 50/28 rings and it shifts very well with the 1st gen Cyclone Derailleur I'm using. I don't ever drop the chain on shifts to the small ring but I do lose it occasionally when shifting up to the big ring.
that might be the same day as the ms150 in joysey. If I'm not doing that I'm going to try to go.

thanks for the info on the TA. That's very close to the setup I wanted to go with on my ta, although I thought about trying a 48 instead of a 50 just because of such a big jump.
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Old 07-29-10, 03:55 PM   #20
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khatfull & jamesj , i'll add ya to my short list of people to contact when I get some of these all made up. The panniers are still a ways out, but I'm really hoping to have them sorted out by the fall.

ideally I'd love to have a more basic fabric trimmed line and a higher end leather trimmed line but thats the little entrepreneur in me getting ahead of myself.
If you're going to make a go of this, and you certainly have the skill to do so, the one thing you;re going to need is a quality, consistent supplier for your materials. You want someone you can get consistent colors and quality from on a regular basis.

Personally, if I were you, I'd make the bulk of the business custom. Have one or two common colors/styles for stock but really push the fact that the customer can choose material and color. Keep the designs the same, trying to modify your design on a one-off basis would be an exercise in frustration...you need to have the design down so that 1) you get better at it 2) you get faster at it and 3) you deliver a more consistent product. Check out LOTS of different materials, get samples if you can. You can then have the customer order a la carte. "I'll take the tan cotton duck with red fabric trim and silver buckles" Half down at the time of order, other half payable upon completion. Website allows the choices.

Just some thoughts...
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Old 07-29-10, 03:57 PM   #21
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FYI - that's a great looking SC, but why did you have to use white shoe ties to attach the bag to the saddle?
Because I was out of my usual Day-Glo Green Shoelaces that I use for that purpose for real.


Holiday - I was concerned about the big jump too but it worked out. I like the double better than a triple, the chainline is good enough that I can get all 5 cogs in the Big ring and the top 3 while in the small ring.
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Old 07-29-10, 04:03 PM   #22
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The D rings are made to be sewn with a tight loop at the straight stroke region of the D.

You are progressing, but these are not ready for prime time.

Harsh? I guess, but the market is harsher.
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Old 07-29-10, 04:37 PM   #23
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You mean like leather straps with buckles?
Yes. Something like this. To me, the bag/bike interface is a rather critical feature. It should be as attractive as the rest of the bag, be relatively easy to install and remove, and be rock solid in transit. Personally I can't stand something flopping around on the bike.
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Old 07-29-10, 04:47 PM   #24
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Personally I can't stand something flopping around on the bike.
+1, it should be tight and never move.
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Old 07-29-10, 04:55 PM   #25
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khatfull




Originally Posted by due ruote
Personally I can't stand something flopping around on the bike.




+1, it should be tight and never move.
Way to many responses jump to mind....none of them are right!
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