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commuting bags....waxed canvaa?

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commuting bags....waxed canvaa?

Old 10-20-12, 10:43 AM
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Solis91
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commuting bags....waxed canvaa?

Hello fellow commuters. I have stumbled upon a few questions that I would like answered by those of you that come from experience. I am actually looking at a mess bag from reload or seagull, and I really like how waxed canvas looks(one of those guys). I have heard that they age and develop more "characteristics" as time goes on....im just wondering, what does this exactly mean? For those of you with waxed canvas products, do you feel that this is true? I have an idea of what that means, just wanted to hear it from actual users.

Are they just a step below corudura in durability?
Another concern that I am having is that do they require any type of aditional care? Apply wax every year? I dont know. Whats their expected life? I know it varies on the abuse and how used it gets daily, im just asking for in general...if theres anything additional you have to say then youre welcomed
Thanks.
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Old 10-20-12, 11:24 AM
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I have one of these , it has 14 yrs of heavy pounding on it and I wouldn't think cordura would have half of its lifespan. Filson now has an oiled one w/ nylon straps instead of leather. It doesn't have specific messenger bag features but I am fine for commuting w/ it 20 miles (vs the messenger thing of stopping to deliver something every block or 2)
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Old 10-20-12, 12:32 PM
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When I was a youngerster, I did a lot of canoe tripping in the Canadian wilderness. We traveled in wood and canvas canoes and slept in canvas tents. Canvas is certainly a durable product and can provide excellent waterproof qualities when properly treated.

It sounds like you'd enjoy owning a canvas bag. Why don't you go for it? It's not going to require a significant investment in money or energy to maintain them in top condition.

Another good wax-canvas product, http://www.drizabone.com.au/
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Old 10-20-12, 05:26 PM
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Originally Posted by HardyWeinberg View Post
I have one of these, it has 14 yrs of heavy pounding on it and I wouldn't think cordura would have half of its lifespan...
I'm using cordura panniers that are more than 25 years old and still look new.

Last edited by Rhodabike; 10-28-12 at 07:41 AM.
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Old 10-21-12, 06:32 AM
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I have used Carradice canvas Super C panniers since 1995. I have repaired a few worn patches but that adds to the character.
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Old 10-21-12, 11:14 AM
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Cotton canvas feel is what Cordura was trying to emulate,
but as a synthetic has a sun damage to the polymer chains of the Nylon
Issue, that cotton is less subjected to ..
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Old 10-21-12, 12:21 PM
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Originally Posted by fietsbob View Post
Cotton canvas feel is what Cordura was trying to emulate,
but as a synthetic has a sun damage to the polymer chains of the Nylon
Issue, that cotton is less subjected to ..
Unfortunately, sun damage isn't the only problem with life on a bike, I'd worry a lot more about the abrasions; I've destroyed (or at least seriously messed up) both a waxed canvas and a Cordura panier. Neither of them is all that durable compared to the asphalt.

Waxed canvas looks great, unfortunately that's just about the only thing it has going for it compared to modern materials. It's less waterproof than synthetics, usually weighs more (if two things do the same job, and one weighs twice as much as the other, why bother with the extra weight?) and costs an arm and a leg. It does look gorgeous though.

The faults canvas have are relatively small, but real enough that I've had to accept, I like waxed canvas bags because they look nice, and no other reason. Do it, and accept it's a bit of an affectation.
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Old 10-21-12, 01:09 PM
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i have a filson 257 briefcase (waxed canvas) that is amazing. it's not waterproof... but it's close. i've never worried about anything getting wet and nothing ever has. if you dropped it in a puddle and left it there for an extended period of time, yeah, something would get in.

a beer exploded in it while riding last summer and the beer was almost entirely contained inside, with the exception of a little dripping through a corner.

waxed canvas looks great and requires little care (rewaxing it every year or two to maintain the waterproofing... this is really easy and cheap) and is certainly going to be more durable than a lot of synthetics. if i knew i was going to be wiping out and had the choice of carrying my filson or ortlieb backroller, i would take the filson in a heartbeat.

yeah, it's heavier, but it's going to be more durable and look way cooler too. here's my bag after 2.5 years or ownership:
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Old 10-21-12, 01:10 PM
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here is what it looked like new
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Old 10-21-12, 01:11 PM
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I love my Duluth stuff for canoe-camping and day-hiking, but I like lighter stuff for cycling, so I haven't tried their bike gear. Not much maintenance required. Mine aren't old enough to show any wear at all -- they still look brand-new. People claim they pretty much last forever -- I'd agree with fuzz2050 that if you destroy them, it'll be through abrasion. They take abrasion much better than ultralight hiking fabrics, and I'm not sure anything aside from rubber or solid leather would take abrasion any better, but it is the easiest way to damage canvas or Cordura.

Duluth claims their waxed canvas gear doesn't need annual re-waxing, so I haven't done anything to it except let it dry when it's gotten wet before putting it away.
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Old 10-21-12, 01:11 PM
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Well, color me impressed. I'm glad to learn about this.
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Old 10-21-12, 03:34 PM
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Originally Posted by fuzz2050 View Post
Unfortunately, sun damage isn't the only problem with life on a bike, I'd worry a lot more about the abrasions; I've destroyed (or at least seriously messed up) both a waxed canvas and a Cordura panier. Neither of them is all that durable compared to the asphalt.

Waxed canvas looks great, unfortunately that's just about the only thing it has going for it compared to modern materials. It's less waterproof than synthetics, usually weighs more (if two things do the same job, and one weighs twice as much as the other, why bother with the extra weight?) and costs an arm and a leg. It does look gorgeous though.

The faults canvas have are relatively small, but real enough that I've had to accept, I like waxed canvas bags because they look nice, and no other reason. Do it, and accept it's a bit of an affectation.
SuperC 54l bags weight 1150g per pair.
Arkel gt54 weight 3000kg per pair
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Old 10-21-12, 08:08 PM
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FWIW, Banjo Brothers will be adding a waxed canvas bag to their backpack line in 2013.
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Old 10-22-12, 02:32 AM
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linus bikes makes some great looking waxed canvas stuff
http://shop.linusbike.com/collections/linus-bags
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Old 10-22-12, 12:30 PM
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Originally Posted by MichaelW View Post
SuperC 54l bags weight 1150g per pair.
Arkel gt54 weight 3000kg per pair
Now that's not fair, the Arkel gt54 have every possible bell and whistle possible for panniers to have. Look at straight fabric weights.

Carradice uses an 18 oz/square yard (untreated) cotton duck. Treated, it comes closes to 25 ounces per square yard of fabric.

1000 Denier Cordura is 11 ounces per square yard.

Of course, if you want to go to extremes, 2.9 ounce Cuben fiber (per square yard)is probably about as strong as either of the above, not to mention more waterproof.
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Old 10-22-12, 01:21 PM
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[QUOTE=kcherney;14864392

waxed canvas looks great and requires little care (rewaxing it every year or two to maintain the waterproofing... this is really easy and cheap)[/QUOTE]
How do you rewax canvas?
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Old 10-22-12, 02:48 PM
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I have a Barbour waxed-cotton jacket for days of serious retro-grouching in the rain. When it has been freshly waxed it's about as water resistant as Gore-tex and much warmer (but heavy as heck!). It still breathes to some extent as well. But, after 3-4 hours in a good rain, it gets soaked through and takes forever to dry. Plus it smells strongly of the wax- nothing like it- you won't want to hang it with other clothes.

Re-waxing cotton canvas is done by melting the special wax mixture in a double-boiler and wiping it on the thin areas with a rag, heating with a blow-drier to even it out.
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Old 10-22-12, 03:27 PM
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Originally Posted by cycle_maven View Post
I have a Barbour waxed-cotton jacket for days of serious retro-grouching in the rain. When it has been freshly waxed it's about as water resistant as Gore-tex and much warmer (but heavy as heck!). It still breathes to some extent as well. But, after 3-4 hours in a good rain, it gets soaked through and takes forever to dry. Plus it smells strongly of the wax- nothing like it- you won't want to hang it with other clothes.

Re-waxing cotton canvas is done by melting the special wax mixture in a double-boiler and wiping it on the thin areas with a rag, heating with a blow-drier to even it out.
Oh. some of my biker friends have Belstaff jackets, but I've never thought to ask them about applying more wax.
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Old 10-23-12, 01:03 PM
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i've got a barbour beaufort as well.

to rewax a my filson canvas, i've just used this type of technique. i don't know what took this guy so long that he spent an hour though. i guess if you want to get wax in every single little nook and get it 100% waterproof... but you really don't need to spend as much time as he does. the key is having a hot hair dryer / heat gun though
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QDmDeFWg4Zc

the wax used is called otter wax... comes in a bar about the same size as a bar of soap for about $6
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Old 10-23-12, 11:19 PM
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Have you waxed canvas users ever wished you had padding on the back? Its a feature ive always had, and a majority of bags ive been looking at do not have this feature.

My question is that those who do not have back padding, does it ever even bother you? Or do you feel its not very necessary .
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Old 10-23-12, 11:37 PM
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doesn't bother me. biggest issue when carrying a lot of stuff using a messenger/briefcase style bag is the lack of weight distribution. i've bruised my shoulder riding with way too much stuff in a single strap bag
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Old 10-25-12, 12:26 PM
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waxed canvas durability = 5+ year bags?

I have a set of Frost River panniers that have held up well and are still waterproof (or at least mostly waterproof) after about 5 years. One side is starting to get holes in the bottom at this point. They are dirty. The leather has faded to lighter than original color and I'm sure the fabric has faded too. Never washed or rewaxed. Never actually off the bike. All of the stitching has held together despite some serious overload situations. Maybe 18,000+ miles on these panniers? Would a synthetic last as long? probably. They need some kind of stiffener to keep them out of the spokes. I use a sheet of corroplast simply shoved in between the cargo and the inside spoke side of the bags.
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Old 10-25-12, 06:52 PM
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Originally Posted by Leiniesred View Post
I have a set of Frost River panniers that have held up well and are still waterproof (or at least mostly waterproof) after about 5 years. One side is starting to get holes in the bottom at this point. They are dirty. The leather has faded to lighter than original color and I'm sure the fabric has faded too. Never washed or rewaxed. Never actually off the bike. All of the stitching has held together despite some serious overload situations. Maybe 18,000+ miles on these panniers? Would a synthetic last as long? probably. They need some kind of stiffener to keep them out of the spokes. I use a sheet of corroplast simply shoved in between the cargo and the inside spoke side of the bags.
18,000 miles and you never take them off? Sounds like a pretty good product.
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