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  1. #1
    Senior Member Road Fan's Avatar
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    Saddlebags - alternatives to Carradice?

    I like the English style of saddlebags. Has anyone tried the various alternatives to Carradice? The Minnehaha, Nigel Smythe, Origin8, and Zugster, just to name a few? Minnehaha and Origin8 are a lot cheaper than a Carradice.

    I'm interested in views based on user experience. I've already been told, "Why bother with experimenting with new brands when Carradice is the standby and is adequate?"

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    I've been using a large Acorn bag for a couple of years now, and have been pretty happy with it. I like the idea of supporting a cottage industry type business, and while I have not used a Carradice or other, similar bags, the quality of the Acorn seem to be right up there, and the price is comptetive as well.

    The Acorn does not claim to be waterproof, but I've never had a problem with my stuff getting wet in moderate rains. The leather straps and buckles and not the most conviniet access, but the are secure, and are part of "the look"

    I'm happy enough with it I plan to buy a front rando bag from them soon.
    Thom

  3. #3
    nun
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    Quote Originally Posted by Road Fan View Post
    I like the English style of saddlebags. Has anyone tried the various alternatives to Carradice? The Minnehaha, Nigel Smythe, Origin8, and Zugster, just to name a few? Minnehaha and Origin8 are a lot cheaper than a Carradice.

    I'm interested in views based on user experience. I've already been told, "Why bother with experimenting with new brands when Carradice is the standby and is adequate?"
    I think it really depends on the size and functionality you want. Here are my thoughts.
    If you want something 18L or larger you'll have to go with Carradice, Zimbale Sackville or maybe Origin8

    Nigel Smythe - to expensive and too posh
    Sackville - also from Rivendell, cheaper than Smythe, but still not cheap and I just don't like the design
    Zugster - nice bags and colourful, expensive, but I didn't know they made a saddlebag.
    Zimbale - Look to be nicely made, they have more features than the Carradice and are more expensive.
    Minnehaha - small and look to be lacking in features, like side pockets.
    Acorn - again looks ok as small/medium capacity, quality is good, but the leather straps are a bit thick for easy use.
    Origin8 Classique - looks interesting, cheap, made from 600D nylon...I wonder what it weighs, dimensions are the same as a Nelson, but I don't think it has a longflap

    For me the Carradice and the Zimbale are the sand outs and you can get a carradice nelson Longflap from www.wiggle.co.uk for $77.

  4. #4
    Bicycle Lifestyle AsanaCycles's Avatar
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    how about stuff like this:

    custom bags from Jeff Boatman at www.CarouselDesignWorks.com
    Attached Images Attached Images

  5. #5
    nun
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    Quote Originally Posted by AsanaCycles View Post
    how about stuff like this:

    custom bags from Jeff Boatman at www.CarouselDesignWorks.com
    Carousel and Epic Designs do compression saddlebags and frame bags that are coming at touring from the MTB and bikepacking perspective. They aren't "English style" saddlebags that are transverse mounted and often rely on a wooden dowel for structure.

  6. #6
    Bicycle Lifestyle AsanaCycles's Avatar
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    when i think english
    i think MG's
    tweed
    3spd hubs
    etc...

    is a sideways leather box a good thing?
    i wonder if its a glove box on a bike?
    or is it a bonnet
    or a boot?

  7. #7
    Senior Member Road Fan's Avatar
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    As the OP, I'm talking about Carradice saddlebags and other bags of similar style. That's what I mean by "English style." It's my own term, I didn't find it on Sheldon Brown's site or anywhere else. The style is English in my mind and not just Carradice, because years ago Brooks and Karrimor (at least) made and sold very similar bags - canvas, compartmented, leather appointments, rugged, water resistant, long lasting. I'm not talking about leather bags or any sort of rack trunk.

  8. #8
    Senior Member Road Fan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by nun View Post
    I think it really depends on the size and functionality you want. Here are my thoughts.
    If you want something 18L or larger you'll have to go with Carradice, Zimbale Sackville or maybe Origin8

    Nigel Smythe - to expensive and too posh
    Sackville - also from Rivendell, cheaper than Smythe, but still not cheap and I just don't like the design
    Zugster - nice bags and colourful, expensive, but I didn't know they made a saddlebag.
    Zimbale - Look to be nicely made, they have more features than the Carradice and are more expensive.
    Minnehaha - small and look to be lacking in features, like side pockets.
    Acorn - again looks ok as small/medium capacity, quality is good, but the leather straps are a bit thick for easy use.
    Origin8 Classique - looks interesting, cheap, made from 600D nylon...I wonder what it weighs, dimensions are the same as a Nelson, but I don't think it has a longflap

    For me the Carradice and the Zimbale are the sand outs and you can get a carradice nelson Longflap from www.wiggle.co.uk for $77.
    Ok, yes, Zugster doesn't belong in that list. I am intrigued by their front bag, the Rando.

    Emily O'Brien makes a rear bag, the Dill Pickle, but it's a bit more expensive: http://sheldonbrown.com/harris/bags/...ml#variousbags

  9. #9
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    The usual term I've seen is "transverse" saddle bag, to distinguish them from the typical American wedgie bag.

    I'd be curious to see some feedback on the Origin 8 bag as well. Maybe a lighter, cheaper alternative?

    I have the Acorn "large" saddlebag. It's nice, but is quite small.

  10. #10
    Senior Member zeppinger's Avatar
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    I use the Rivendell Sackville Lare and it is huge which I like. I can load it up with tones of stuff and it does not seem to effect the handling like a pannier would because the weight is being carried closer to the bikes center of gravity, me. My Sackville Large and a small front basket is all I need for three season touring. When I go touring in the winter I usually trade the front basket for two panniers and am good to go. I like it a lot incase you cant tell. Yes, its expensive. Yes, its rugged. Yes, I think it looks good doing what it does, and yes, I would buy it again.

    -Nun the OP lives in the States and I dont think that he can get a Carradice as cheap as a Zimbale. I have been to the Zimbale store here in South Korea and it is also a pretty small operation. Very nice people too if you ask me. The quality of the bags is also very good. You can get the 18 Liter Bag from Sheldon Brown for $130.

    http://sheldonbrown.com/harris/bags/zimbale.html

    Here is mine Sackville, also in Korea with some burial mounds behind it:

  11. #11
    Senior Member Road Fan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by zeppinger View Post
    I use the Rivendell Sackville Lare and it is huge which I like. I can load it up with tones of stuff and it does not seem to effect the handling like a pannier would because the weight is being carried closer to the bikes center of gravity, me. My Sackville Large and a small front basket is all I need for three season touring. When I go touring in the winter I usually trade the front basket for two panniers and am good to go. I like it a lot incase you cant tell. Yes, its expensive. Yes, its rugged. Yes, I think it looks good doing what it does, and yes, I would buy it again.

    -Nun the OP lives in the States and I dont think that he can get a Carradice as cheap as a Zimbale. I have been to the Zimbale store here in South Korea and it is also a pretty small operation. Very nice people too if you ask me. The quality of the bags is also very good. You can get the 18 Liter Bag from Sheldon Brown for $130.
    Thanks, and great pic! That is a massive bag, to be sure.

    In the states I can get Zimbale from Harris as you pointed out, and Carradice from Wallingford among others. The prices are very similar.

    Have you seen the Zimbale saddles, at their store? We have several here that look very similar, from VeloOrange and a rowboat full of Ebay sellers. Reviews are mixed. I'm a big Brooks fan, but I have a V-O saddle that I don't like very much.

    Bag-wise, so far I'm leaning toward Zimbale or Carradice, base on availability and quality. I haven't decided what size I want.

    I'm curious about the Sackville, as a transverse ba g rather than a trunk bag. I'll have to ask about it on Bob and on RBW, where a lot of Rivendellers hang out.

  12. #12
    Senior Member zeppinger's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Road Fan View Post
    Thanks, and great pic! That is a massive bag, to be sure.

    In the states I can get Zimbale from Harris as you pointed out, and Carradice from Wallingford among others. The prices are very similar.

    Have you seen the Zimbale saddles, at their store? We have several here that look very similar, from VeloOrange and a rowboat full of Ebay sellers. Reviews are mixed. I'm a big Brooks fan, but I have a V-O saddle that I don't like very much.

    Bag-wise, so far I'm leaning toward Zimbale or Carradice, base on availability and quality. I haven't decided what size I want.

    I'm curious about the Sackville, as a transverse ba g rather than a trunk bag. I'll have to ask about it on Bob and on RBW, where a lot of Rivendellers hang out.
    Yes, I have seen the Zimbale bags in a few places in Korea and they look nice. The prices are actually higher here than in the states so I had assumed that they would be cheaper than the British bags but I guess I am wrong.

    If the prices are the same you may as well just get the tried to and true Carradice if you like them Howev,er I do really my Sackville and Riv also makes them in a medium and small with essentially the same design. You also do not have to buy any kind of bag support for them because of the internal stiffeners which I like.
    I think that the Sackville small can actually be used on the front or the back of the bike and is still big enought o hold a laptop, pretty neat I thought. check out their website for more info. Its also kinda nice haivng a bag that peopel have to ask about because they have never hear of it.

  13. #13
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    get a carradice super C saddlebag. Its far and away the best saddlebag I have owned. it is better than my camper longflap in terms of durability and design... buy it from SJS cycles- they ship to the states...

    http://www.sjscycles.co.uk/product.a...gecurrency=USD

  14. #14
    Senior Member Road Fan's Avatar
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    Positron, can you elaborate, please? What makes it better? What does it do better?

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Road Fan View Post
    Positron, can you elaborate, please? What makes it better? What does it do better?
    The cloth is thicker and with a tighter weave, making it noticeably stiffer and tougher, which in a large rackless bag is a good thing. This is the biggest difference- it sounds trivial, but the comparison between the two is like worn-in jeans versus carhartt workwear (if you know what i mean).

    It has an interior pocket-divider/hanger, with two small pockets and one larger zipped pocket for keys, wallet, phone etc. not a huge deal, but very convenient for organizing little bits and bobs. IE- I often leave a cheap windbreaker, cable, gloves and other $hite in the saddlebag... this pocket allows me to quickly find my valuables and move them to my trousers pocket when i run into a store...

    On the outside, along the bottom, there is a large leather patch- where the bag would hit the wheel if it were going to...

    But, the entire bag is a bit less deep (top-bottom), and is wider side to side and front to back- meaning it is less likely to hit the tire than the similar volume camper. It seems to fill the underseat space better...

    The leather straps (for attaching to saddle rails, seatpost) are better quality, and thicker- meaning they will last much longer than the (recently poor quality) honey leather on the newer carradice bags... (the older green/honey bags had good thick leather- and this is something i have written to carradice about sorting out...).

    additionally, the plastic fastex buckles are (whether you want to admit it or not) easier to use than the metal buckles- especially with gloves. The scotchlight reflective strips are bigger, more durable and better quality sewn-on vinyl scotchlite than the coating on the other bags which tends to wear out over time...

    The bag is slightly smaller than the camper longflap( by one liter, if youre carrying beans or rice) and with the flap extended, the camper would likely hold a bit more. but they are similar in size. I tendedd to mount my camper on my rack (rather than to the seatpost)- but the super C works equally well mounted to the top of the rack, or on a rackless bike.

    Honestly, they are both good bags, but I think this is a better product for the price. The only thing you lose is the foppish look of the green and honey- which i like, but I feel is a bit too dandy (until Im 65, with hounds, a manor, a spiked cane and a jaunty moustache)

  16. #16
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    I bought the Minnehah bag. It is well made and looks great.
    Very good price on it here.

    http://www.restorationhardware.com/r...navAction=jump
    Robert
    "You know how they make aluminum bike frames? They take steel and suck out all the soul..." from mtbr site

  17. #17
    Senior Member Road Fan's Avatar
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    Positron, thanks a lot for that perspective! The Super C really does sound like a great bag. And I agree about the Fastex.

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