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Singlespeed & Fixed Gear "I still feel that variable gears are only for people over forty-five. Isn't it better to triumph by the strength of your muscles than by the artifice of a derailer? We are getting soft...As for me, give me a fixed gear!"-- Henri Desgrange (31 January 1865 - 16 August 1940)

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Old 11-15-07, 06:38 PM   #1
c0urt
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what do you guys look for in a messenger bag

I am buying a husky- viking sewing machine on friday and I am going to be whipping up a new batch of bags in the here soon using a mostly new design. I liked my old design but I figured out a much better way to do the flap, the front pockets, and the strap. I am really excited, plus mu mom has taught my several really cool embroidery and appliqué techniques that I am excited to try out.
I doubt I make a whole lot of bags or sell them for all that much, more than anything it is just something I enjoy doing and is a fun hobby.

anyway, i know the next bag will have a better strap and vinyl liner and a different flap. what other things do you guys look for when you try out bags?


progress
one of my first bags and first designs




one of my more recent bags and fix or six designs later





and to anybody thinking of making there own bags just stick with it, it is easier than it looks and lots of the people on the board will be more than willing to help you, they helped me out

Last edited by c0urt; 11-16-07 at 12:44 AM.
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Old 11-15-07, 06:50 PM   #2
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the second bag looks pretty awesome but the strap looks like it wouldn't hold to say it's life
look into using the kind of straps seat belts are made of. you could actually go to a junk yard and probably just cut a bunch off.

how much do you bags run?
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Old 11-15-07, 06:52 PM   #3
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i look for size, comfort, strap quality/comfort, and ease of use. if it's a cool bag and fits great and will last forever, but is a pain in the ass to get into any one pocket, it's out. sure, not all pockets are meant to be accessed quickly, and i take that into account. but if i'm contorted to get to the easy stuff while wearing the bag, no dice.
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Old 11-15-07, 07:04 PM   #4
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the second bag looks pretty awesome but the strap looks like it wouldn't hold to say it's life
look into using the kind of straps seat belts are made of. you could actually go to a junk yard and probably just cut a bunch off.

how much do you bags run?
that is a seat belt, it is also padded with 1/2 inch foam wrapped in cordura the thin straps and just compression straps to keep the bag close to your body

different bag similar strap.
these are not what my new bags will look like this is an old design but the straps will be similar i am changing the location of several straps for eas of use and to move them out of the way while riding.

(this is actually my everyday bag, i keep my camera in is and the back is padded)


as for price when i get a new batch made up i will decide price. they take difference amounts of fabric to make then this set did. but will get more pockets in different places. so I am not sure, I am still experimenting and looking for input. I wish I knew more people around here who rode so i could give a few out for test rides.
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Old 11-15-07, 11:16 PM   #5
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nice
i didn't realize
these look pretty quality
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Old 11-15-07, 11:19 PM   #6
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now after having a custom bag for a while the only things I would change about mine are to have a light colored interior (black insides sometimes makes it hard to find stuff) and i don't like the floating liner other than those two minor concerns i love my bag(custom from arena baggage).
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Old 11-15-07, 11:20 PM   #7
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ps i'll take one for a test ride for a while just send it on over
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Old 11-15-07, 11:20 PM   #8
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now after having a custom bag for a while the only things I would change about mine are to have a light colored interior (black insides sometimes makes it hard to find stuff) and i don't like the floating liner other than those two minor concerns i love my bag(custom from arena baggage).
i agree about floating liners
i think they're kind of a pain
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Old 11-15-07, 11:26 PM   #9
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it's all in the strap
and the way it sits on your back
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Old 11-15-07, 11:41 PM   #10
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Yeah, definitely ergonomics. The bag has to sit right and the straps have to be wide enough to support. Aside from that, make sure it can be worn when loaded down, rubberize the interior, and make it so if it gets soaked on the outside, the inside stays dry. If you want to include extras, make it a U-lock pocket. That's the one thing I wish mine had.
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Old 11-16-07, 12:43 AM   #11
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where would be the best place to put a u-lock?
and does padding against the back of the bag and your back (can make an empty bag really heavy) make a difference to you guys?
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Old 11-16-07, 02:26 AM   #12
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- a very substantial strap, something that tapers from the shape of the bag, into a well padded strap, (timbuktu does this)

-a place for a lock (outside loops perhaps?

-padding for the back, or at least a piece of hard plastic / foam thing so that the pointy things in the bag don't stab me
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Old 11-16-07, 05:07 AM   #13
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Lock goes either in the back pocket or tucked at your chest under the main strap on most bags (read: seagull).

Best test: high RPM's with full or nearly-full load: is it bouncing all over the place? (Understood that some riders don't have as smooth a cadence as others..) if no, then you're doing something right.

For big bags: is it like wearing a cape when empty? (my biggest complaint about the courier deluxe/kremlin (reload and chrome)). If so, I'm not going to want it -- for your larger bags (2600 cubic inches+) throw an extra compression strap in.

pocket placement, number of pockets, dimensions, cordura lining, kewl kolorz, etc.

Actually, for a better source of what people look for than what this forum will give you, FGG did a pretty superb job of reviewing several messenger bags side-by-side. Should give you a little more insight to read through some of those and see complaints/wishes/comments.

http://www.fixedgeargallery.com/reviews/messengerbags/
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Old 11-16-07, 07:37 AM   #14
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Blinky attachment point on towards the bottom of the bag so it can actually be seen when riding. Not on or near the clips for the top flap. Those are usually too high and if they don't lay properly, you may be only flashing the sky and not the drivers behind you.
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Old 11-16-07, 04:16 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cr0w_ View Post
Lock goes either in the back pocket or tucked at your chest under the main strap on most bags (read: seagull).

Best test: high RPM's with full or nearly-full load: is it bouncing all over the place? (Understood that some riders don't have as smooth a cadence as others..) if no, then you're doing something right.

For big bags: is it like wearing a cape when empty? (my biggest complaint about the courier deluxe/kremlin (reload and chrome)). If so, I'm not going to want it -- for your larger bags (2600 cubic inches+) throw an extra compression strap in.

pocket placement, number of pockets, dimensions, cordura lining, kewl kolorz, etc.

Actually, for a better source of what people look for than what this forum will give you, FGG did a pretty superb job of reviewing several messenger bags side-by-side. Should give you a little more insight to read through some of those and see complaints/wishes/comments.

http://www.fixedgeargallery.com/reviews/messengerbags/
thanks for the insight

I will start on my next set of bags, next friday I think I am going to hold some sort of contest and give one away under the stipulation they tell me how living with it is
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Old 11-16-07, 06:37 PM   #16
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I like the side pocket on my baileyworks bag. Its the superpro series, the pocket is on the side flap of the bag.
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Old 11-16-07, 06:43 PM   #17
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when I bought my reload backpack, the main reason was carrying alot of crap for work, and being comfortable while doing it. its perfect.
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Old 11-16-07, 07:28 PM   #18
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what do i look for in messenger bag?

i look for that hipsters stash.
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Old 11-16-07, 08:03 PM   #19
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Old 11-17-07, 03:37 AM   #20
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I usually look for a pen in mine. They fall all the way to the bottom and then hide in between two notebooks.
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Old 11-17-07, 04:28 AM   #21
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thanks for the insight

I will start on my next set of bags, next friday I think I am going to hold some sort of contest and give one away under the stipulation they tell me how living with it is
good idea. i'd love to win. i need to do some grocery shopping, and some proof hauling, so i'd put your bag to a good test. i'll enter as soon as i can!
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Old 11-18-07, 11:40 PM   #22
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so i was thinking, i like cordura liners because i hate the way vinyl feels under my fingers. more likely being lined in white cordura because i can get that for cheaper than any other color.
but that means the bags ending up having three layers, plus a fourth layer for the bottom. and being a bit heavier

an outer shell. a vinyl liner, and an inner shell.

I am thinking four outer pockets (two large with flaps and two smaller ones flanking each side)

I like for my bag to have an inner divider and a small velcro pocket for my tools and stuff

a shoulder strap that would be adjustable and covers the buckle (takes more velco and fabric to make but it loads more comfortable)

and a piece of foam in the back for padding
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Old 11-18-07, 11:48 PM   #23
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i would like an angled shoulder strap that pads the buckle in front, and the attachment points where it connects to the bag. an extra flap that comes out with the stabilizer strap is nice so the whole bag doesn't pull around your ribcage. a tool pocket that's accessible without undoing the flap for the main part of the bag (like the chrome stash pocket) and provision for a holster or pouch on the shoulder strap for your phone, or keys, or pens.

i don't mind vinyl liners, but then again i have a bag that's entirely vinyl.

what about a inner pouch/organizer (like a laptop sleeve with extra pockets) that velcros in so as to be removable if you need maximum capacity? i'd use it for day to day school trips and rip it out to take on grocery runs.
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Old 11-19-07, 07:42 AM   #24
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Make the back padding out of an ultra-light therm-a-rest pad with the inflation valve under the flap. Sure, it'd add some weight, but it would be so easy to keep a comfortable bag.
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Old 11-19-07, 03:04 PM   #25
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how much of an issue is nbag weight to you guys.

because cordura by itself is heavy, and when you start adding padding and stuff. it only gets heavier.
i got my first set of sample buckles in today, i am trying to decide which types to go with
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