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Saddlebag support for low-clearance bike

Old 02-09-19, 04:31 PM
  #1  
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Saddlebag support for low-clearance bike

Anyone know of any saddlebag supports slightly shorter than the Carradice bagman and the Ocean Air Erlen? (The Swift tailfeather appears to be out of stock with no return ETA as well). I've got around 6.5", possibly more like 6 depending on what angle they actually end up hanging at, and those both want around 7". Normally my fender keeps my (very light but often stuffed fairly full with a raincoat) small saddlebag off the rear wheel but I'd like the option to take it off, without having to go to a full rear rack.

Or a recommendation for a custom shop who could do one up for a reasonable price.
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Old 02-09-19, 08:18 PM
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I do not know if you have canti brake posts on your bike or not.

I recalled years ago seeing someone mention that he put that mini Nashbar front rack that mounts on canti brake posts on the rear to support a large saddle bag. I tried doing a search and could not find that post.

But I found this post which did not use the rack for that purpose, but he did mount that front rack on back.
Recommend me a Trunk Bag Please

For aesthetics he had it mounted horizontal, which I think put it too close to the tire, but that was his call.


Or, another option. A friend of mine was looking for an idea to keep his large saddle bag off of a rear tire. I saw a DIY bracket on a bike that a bikepacker had made for his bikepacking style saddle bag and I took a photo for him, that photo is below. If I wanted to do something like this, I would have done it a little differently, but the idea is good.

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Old 02-10-19, 06:29 AM
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@antimonysarah, can you post a photo of what you're working with? Worth a thousand words and all....

@gugie makes custom racks, and there are others.

There have been several bag supports that mount to the stays, but I'm not aware of any current models to recommend. There's an English one called Midlands that is to be avoided. The one made by Park Tools (I thinkt) i the 70s was good, but hard to find now.
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Old 02-10-19, 08:29 AM
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On the Carradice site, I see this SQR system, and that appears to hold a bag a couple of inches higher than attaching to the saddle would. But, there's no support betlow the bag, either, so you may get some extra droop, and I'm not sure what the net effect would be.


A friend of mine had a Carradice bag that was noticeably shallower, but when I was looking through the website a year or two ago, I couldn't match it up with a current model. See the second photo there, next to a "Junior" model, I believe. I was thinking the rack she used with it was shallower as well, but in looking at it, it is very similar geometry to the others. (I think the "Sport" rack is a little shallower than the "Expedition" rack, for that matter.)


The Carradice racks are just a bent rod inserted into the clamp part, and if you can locate some rod of that size, it wouldn't be too difficult to bend it to shape- the challenge would be getting it symmetrical and making it look pretty.
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Old 02-10-19, 08:56 AM
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Nitto R10, R14 & M1 could all be worth a look. The nice thing about Nitto racks is the availability of different length struts makes them very adjustable.
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Old 02-10-19, 09:05 AM
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Originally Posted by StephenH View Post
On the Carradice site, I see this SQR system, and that appears to hold a bag a couple of inches higher than attaching to the saddle would. But, there's no support betlow the bag, either, so you may get some extra droop, and I'm not sure what the net effect would be.


A friend of mine had a Carradice bag that was noticeably shallower, but when I was looking through the website a year or two ago, I couldn't match it up with a current model. See the second photo there, next to a "Junior" model, I believe. I was thinking the rack she used with it was shallower as well, but in looking at it, it is very similar geometry to the others. (I think the "Sport" rack is a little shallower than the "Expedition" rack, for that matter.)


The Carradice racks are just a bent rod inserted into the clamp part, and if you can locate some rod of that size, it wouldn't be too difficult to bend it to shape- the challenge would be getting it symmetrical and making it look pretty.
I think heat treatment would be necessary, after bending it. In my opinion it's a bad design.
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Old 02-10-19, 10:54 AM
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Sure, here's a fairly recent pic of the bike with fenders and saddlebag,and you can see the bag's on the fender a little -- the fender isn't really holding its weight but it's keeping it off the tire:




It's perfectly comfortable this way -- it doesn't hit my legs uncomfortably or anything, but it'd be nice to have the option of running that saddlebag (or a similarly-sized one) without fenders or a full-size rack. But when I compare measurements of it to this image from Ocean Air (which says they need slightly less clearance than the Carradice), it's either too tight or would just, just barely work (and if it sagged/fatigued at all might instantly not work).



And no, get a new bike with 650b wheels is not currently on my list of solutions.
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Old 02-10-19, 10:57 AM
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Originally Posted by kingston View Post
Nitto R10, R14 & M1 could all be worth a look. The nice thing about Nitto racks is the availability of different length struts makes them very adjustable.
Thanks; the R10 might be what I'm looking for.
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Old 02-10-19, 12:09 PM
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@antimonysarah I don't imagine the following is what you want to hear, but even so, I believe this is the most practical solution.

I bought this bag:
https://www.ebay.com/itm/ROSWHEEL-8L-10L-Bicycle-Cycling-Waterproof-Pannier-Bag-Saddle-Rear-Seat-Carrier/253309867024?hash=item3afa71d410:m:mZIKaLOuYNSE1oHqqe7RP6A

You saw mine on LOL. This is a cheap knockoff of much better bags. Disregard the word "waterproof" except in, shall we say, an aspirational sense . I think the designer misunderstood how the straps are supposed to work, so using this particular bag is a bit challenging. A better one would be better. But it holds a lot of stuff, and when properly mounted and well packed, does not sag.

I have this exact bag and, though I have many misgivings about the design, I have no regret about buying it. It is cheaper than a rack or a support for the bag you have, and will serve you better, so in that sense I recommend it. I have not tried the more expensive versions, but I suspect it would be worth spending more.
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Old 02-10-19, 01:27 PM
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With your saddle being that close to the tire, I think a total re-think might be warranted.

The racks that clamp onto a seatpost (I assume your seatpost is not carbon) can hold a rack top bag quite nicely and they are not that heavy. Looks like your saddle is pushed back on the post pretty far, but still a rack top bag might be the best option.

I attached a photo of my road bike with the type of rack and bag I am talking about.



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Old 02-10-19, 01:46 PM
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Or the type of rack I showed in the post above could be used to support the saddle bag that you already have?
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Old 02-10-19, 01:55 PM
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Originally Posted by Tourist in MSN View Post
With your saddle being that close to the tire, I think a total re-think might be warranted.

The racks that clamp onto a seatpost (I assume your seatpost is not carbon) can hold a rack top bag quite nicely and they are not that heavy. Looks like your saddle is pushed back on the post pretty far, but still a rack top bag might be the best option.
I own a rack and a rack-top bag (and I don't need a seatpost clamp, I've got rack eyelets). I wanted an option for the bike in "light"/brevet mode rather than heavy/touring mode, but still be able to carry a jacket in my saddlebag. (Doesn't have to be that specific saddlebag, for the record.)

@rhm -- I have looked at pricier versions of that one in stores and they don't quite clear the tire, but there may be one out there that does.
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Old 02-10-19, 02:24 PM
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I have the Revelate Pika which claims to need only 6.5" of clearance. I used it on a brevet once and didn't like how inaccessible everything was. Seemed like no matter what I wanted it was at the bottom of the bag. Whatever speed advantage I may have gained from dropping the weight of the rack I lost many times over digging around for stuff in the bag at controls. Other than that it's a nice bag. I use it a lot, just not on brevets.
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Old 02-10-19, 02:49 PM
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Okay, so at present the fender does what you want a rack for, and your goal now is to take off the fender and get something else for that purpose, is that right?

So how about a 6" section of fender with the standard fender strut holding it up at the rear? I have a piece of fender I can contribute if you want it.
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Old 02-10-19, 03:31 PM
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Originally Posted by kingston View Post
I have the Revelate Pika which claims to need only 6.5" of clearance. I used it on a brevet once and didn't like how inaccessible everything was. Seemed like no matter what I wanted it was at the bottom of the bag. Whatever speed advantage I may have gained from dropping the weight of the rack I lost many times over digging around for stuff in the bag at controls. Other than that it's a nice bag. I use it a lot, just not on brevets.
Yeah, the Pika was the one that was too tight -- although IIRC it was my other bike I tried it on, which has the same saddle position and same wheel size but wider (and thus taller) tires.

@rhm -- that's a good idea and I appreciate the offer -- I actually have several ex-fenders I could cannibalize since I had some front ones crack while the rears were OK.
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Old 02-10-19, 04:22 PM
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That happens to be a Carradura bag , carradice - cordura ... I got one decades ago
they had a bag support pocket in the bottom the opening can be seen in the above picture.. something they did not attempt on the canvas bags
the chromed steel bag support used the seat post binder bolt to secure it, I used a regular nut & bolt , rather than something bike specific..


Its on my Beater/snow bike , now..





....
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Old 02-10-19, 04:23 PM
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I cut an old Blackburn Al rack down and mounted it for my carradry. When the bags on you don't really see it.




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Old 02-10-19, 07:45 PM
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I've had no problems using an Ortlieb large saddle bag with the holder set to keep it at an angle that avoids wheel rub. I use some old innertube rubber to space it back off the seatpost. It's been large enough for 400k rides in bad weather and very durable and waterproof.

Second good option is the Arkel Randonneur rack and bag. The rack looks like a regular seatpost rack, but it's not - it's supported by the saddle rails and places no strain on the seatpost. I've also used that for brevets and it's worked well. The Arkel has a waterproof cover which comes with it.
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Old 02-12-19, 05:56 AM
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The Nitto R12 might work too.
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Old 03-06-19, 04:21 PM
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Try the Carradice Classic saddlebag rack. It's a copy of the Karrimor Uplift, which was a copy of the Tonard rack. I've used the Karrimor for fifty-five years, they are quite reliable. So far as I can tell the Carradice is a bit more solid than the Karrimor. You will need a saddle with built-in bag loops.

If you want the bag an inch or two or three lower than the original position it is not hard to modify these.
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Old 03-07-19, 02:31 PM
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Checked the Carradice website. They say the Classic rack rides 12cm below the bag loops to which it attaches. That would leave you with 3 to 4cm of clearance. The saddlebag will sag down a cm or so beneath the bottom rails. Trying hard to push this rack because they were out of production for over 30 years and I'd like for them to remain available. Other good point to the Classic is you release one strap. pick up the bag and carry it with you. The rack itself makes a good carry handle. Finessing the hooks back into bag loops could take 30 seconds, esp. when bag is heavy, taking the bag with you is always a 2 second operation.
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Old 03-17-19, 03:50 PM
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Solution: Nitto R10 looks like it will work (note before anyone goes all armchair installation quarterback—it’s not really on there it’s just sitting there over the fender with one strut loosely in position to make sure it will fit before I throw out the packaging):


Brevet bike and R10

​​​​​​Part of the point was to have an option for PBP if I crack a fender in transit or something, and when I am exhausted I have trouble getting a leg over a trunk bag (which my other bike is modeling:

Gravel bike with trunk bag
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Old 03-18-19, 05:55 AM
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I have wondered if I could put loops on my rear Berthoud fender and use it as a rack. On one of my first rides with it, my large ortlieb saddle bag fell on it with a big bang. I thought I was going to have to take the fender off and ditch it at the next trash can, but there wasn't even a dent.
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Old 03-19-19, 05:21 AM
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Originally Posted by unterhausen View Post
I have wondered if I could put loops on my rear Berthoud fender and use it as a rack. ....
You can. I put an extra pair of Velo Orange fender braces on the rear fender of my Holdsworth for that purpose:



I put rectangular loops (made from spokes) on it so I could use a discarded helmet strap, but the helmet strap is not very convenient. It takes too long to adjust it to the right length.
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