Go Back  Bike Forums > Bike Forums > Touring
Reload this Page >

What happened to Kirtland bike bags?

Notices
Touring Have a dream to ride a bike across your state, across the country, or around the world? Self-contained or fully supported? Trade ideas, adventures, and more in our bicycle touring forum.

What happened to Kirtland bike bags?

Old 11-23-17, 01:54 PM
  #1  
curbowman
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
curbowman's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2016
Location: Caracas, Venezuela
Posts: 156

Bikes: Imremo (cheap taiwanese mtb) and vintage Jupiter King (Japanese '70s road bike)

Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 69 Post(s)
Liked 6 Times in 5 Posts
What happened to Kirtland bike bags?

I was looking at the excellent library of old catalogs in velo-pages.com and "discovered" the Kirtland bags & panniers.

Kirtland

They seemed to do good stuff, including a saddle bag that looks very much like today's "bikepacking" ones. And their quick mounting system is very similar to Arkel's. And since they were doing business during the late '70s I can't help to think, what happened to them?
Attached Images
File Type: jpg
Kirtland bags 1979 Page 01.jpg (77.4 KB, 515 views)
File Type: jpg
Kirtland bags 1979 Page 06.jpg (91.6 KB, 520 views)
File Type: jpg
Kirtland bags 1979 Page 09.jpg (82.3 KB, 517 views)
File Type: jpg
Kirtland bags 1979 Page 11.jpg (128.2 KB, 515 views)
curbowman is offline  
Old 11-23-17, 02:30 PM
  #2  
prathmann
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: Bay Area, Calif.
Posts: 7,239
Mentioned: 13 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 659 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 3 Times in 2 Posts
Thanks for the link. I just purchased some Kirtland rear panniers from another BF member and was wondering which exact model they were (S/T) so the old catalogs were very useful. We used their smaller Century 200 front panniers on our tandem for daily commuting in the late '70s. Their panniers and other bags were highly regarded in the '70s but I remember them as being rather high in price. Don't know what happened to the company but by 1980 they had lots of competition and I had the impression that the popularity of bike touring was starting to decline.
prathmann is offline  
Old 11-23-17, 04:15 PM
  #3  
fietsbob 
coprolite
 
fietsbob's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: NW,Oregon Coast
Posts: 42,609

Bikes: 8

Mentioned: 194 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 7332 Post(s)
Liked 940 Times in 595 Posts
Companies just go out of business.
fietsbob is offline  
Old 11-23-17, 05:04 PM
  #4  
tinrobot
Spit out the back
 
tinrobot's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: Silverlake, CA
Posts: 1,115
Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 24 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 3 Times in 2 Posts
I really like the way that handlebar bag mounts. Much easier than Ortliebs with their fussy cables.
tinrobot is offline  
Old 11-23-17, 05:19 PM
  #5  
djb
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: Montreal Canada
Posts: 10,345
Mentioned: 29 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1627 Post(s)
Liked 254 Times in 221 Posts
Originally Posted by tinrobot View Post
I really like the way that handlebar bag mounts. Much easier than Ortliebs with their fussy cables.
at that time, I was only dreaming of getting motorcycles, so have no recollection of this brand. I do however still have a cordura handlebar bag from about 1990 that used that same type of rigid metal brace thingee to mount, with the pokey bits going into sleeves along the side of the bag.

So I guess that method became the norm by then, as it seems to me that other handlebar bags had this system when I got mine.

Just last summer I was rooting around for the bits and couldnt find them all, which was too bad because it would have worked fine to go on an old bike or two we have that have quill stems.

I remember when riding the bike without the bag on, but with the metal support screwed on, it looked like you were either riding around searching for water, or were a nerdy ham radio enthusiast even when on a bicycle....
djb is offline  
Old 11-23-17, 05:36 PM
  #6  
Bandera 
~>~
 
Join Date: Mar 2013
Location: TX Hill Country
Posts: 5,931
Mentioned: 87 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1112 Post(s)
Liked 162 Times in 107 Posts
Originally Posted by curbowman View Post
They seemed to do good stuff
Like Eclipse they made high quality innovative kit back when touring was a booming category in the industry.
If I recall correctly the founder sold Kirtland in ~86-87. Perhaps a member from Boulder CO will have more exact info since they were made there.

I still have a H-bar bag, small panniers and three late model seat wedges. The seat packs are still in daily service many years and thousands of miles on, faded but functional.

edit: Remembered that I have a set of NOS Kirtland Pursuit MTB panniers circa '88-90, on the un-opened package "Made in Korea".

-Bandera
__________________
'74 Raleigh Internat'l. '77 Trek TX900 FG. '90 Vitus 979. '10 Merckx EMX3. '13 Soma Stanyan

Last edited by Bandera; 11-23-17 at 06:34 PM.
Bandera is offline  
Old 11-23-17, 06:59 PM
  #7  
Tourist in MSN
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: Madison, WI
Posts: 6,954

Bikes: 1961 Ideor, 1994 Bridgestone MB-6, 2006 Airnimal Joey, 2009 Thorn Sherpa, 2013 Thorn Nomad, 2015 VO Pass Hunter, 2017 Lynskey Backroad, 2017 Raleigh Gran Prix, Perfekt 3 Speed -age unknown, 1980s Bianchi Mixte on a trainer. Others are now gone.

Mentioned: 34 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1737 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 219 Times in 183 Posts
I have an old Kirtland bag that hung below the top tube and had a strap that went around the downtube, but it only fit well on a bike with a pretty short headtube. It held a few tools and a tube, not much else.

Originally Posted by djb View Post
... I do however still have a cordura handlebar bag from about 1990 that used that same type of rigid metal brace thingee to mount, with the pokey bits going into sleeves along the side of the bag.

So I guess that method became the norm by then, as it seems to me that other handlebar bags had this system when I got mine.

Just last summer I was rooting around for the bits and couldnt find them all, which was too bad because it would have worked fine to go on an old bike or two we have that have quill stems.
...
I bent up a steel rod (I think it was 1/4 inch) to be able to use such a bag (brand was Avineer, spell?) on a threadless stem setup. See photo. I sprayed it with black spray paint, but you can see the paint did not stick to the galvanized rod very well.

But later I got tired of a bag that did not have a quick release way to bring into a restaurant or store with me, so I switched to the modern style of bar bag.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg
50IMG_4907.JPG (438.5 KB, 489 views)
Tourist in MSN is offline  
Old 11-23-17, 07:23 PM
  #8  
djb
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: Montreal Canada
Posts: 10,345
Mentioned: 29 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1627 Post(s)
Liked 254 Times in 221 Posts
mine was able to come off easily, I think there was a strap or sometihng you undid, then slid teh bag off the prongs. Not too awkward at all, but getting a waterproof and click on click off modern bag is just plain nice and practical.
djb is offline  
Old 11-24-17, 09:51 AM
  #9  
TulsaJohn
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: Tulsa, OK
Posts: 242

Bikes: Co-Motion Americano Rohloff, Thorn Nomad MkII, Robert Beckman Skakkit (FOR SALE), Santana Tandem, ICE Adventure FS

Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 52 Post(s)
Liked 3 Times in 2 Posts
I still have most of a full set with the "early warning" fabric in storage, first generation of "reflective" fabric. It reflected fair but I liked the medium blue more than the standard navy blue. I did have to replace the spring on the panniers with something with a little more strength as occasionally I would bounce a pannier off. Best, John
TulsaJohn is offline  
Old 11-26-17, 10:47 AM
  #10  
wahoonc
Membership Not Required
 
wahoonc's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: On the road-USA
Posts: 16,855

Bikes: Giant Excursion, Raleigh Sports, Raleigh R.S.W. Compact, Motobecane? and about 20 more! OMG

Mentioned: 5 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 67 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 3 Times in 2 Posts
IIRC went out of business around 1989, towards the end everything was made overseas.

Lot of old companies have come and gone.

I would say either Arkel or Lone Peak would be the closest to it today, or possibly Jandd.

Aaron
__________________
Webshots is bailing out, if you find any of my posts with corrupt picture files and want to see them corrected please let me know. :(

ISO: A late 1980's Giant Iguana MTB frameset (or complete bike) 23" Red with yellow graphics.

"Cycling should be a way of life, not a hobby.
RIDE, YOU FOOL, RIDE!"
_Nicodemus

"Steel: nearly a thousand years of metallurgical development
Aluminum: barely a hundred
Which one would you rather have under your butt at 30mph?"
_krazygluon
wahoonc is offline  
Old 11-30-17, 08:12 PM
  #11  
Anna4255
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2017
Posts: 10
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Brands come and go.
Anna4255 is offline  
Old 11-30-17, 08:46 PM
  #12  
BigAura
 
BigAura's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: Chapin, SC
Posts: 3,420

Bikes: all steel stable: surly world troller, paris sport fixed, fuji ss

Mentioned: 10 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 621 Post(s)
Liked 45 Times in 29 Posts
I was backpacker in the 60's & 70's. In 1978 I heard about bicycle touring and became intrigued. I saved up and purchased a full Kirkland pannier set for my ParisSport 10-speed. In May 1979 I quit my job and hit-the-road. For a little more than three months I rode up & down the eastern US.



The Kirkland's were excellent quality and served me well for that tour, and shorter tours I did in the following few years. I also used them for commuting & grocery-getting for a year when I lived car-free.

Last edited by BigAura; 11-30-17 at 09:05 PM.
BigAura is offline  
Likes For BigAura:
Old 11-30-17, 08:58 PM
  #13  
djb
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: Montreal Canada
Posts: 10,345
Mentioned: 29 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1627 Post(s)
Liked 254 Times in 221 Posts
That's a great picture. So, so 70s decor!
djb is offline  
Old 11-30-17, 09:35 PM
  #14  
BigAura
 
BigAura's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: Chapin, SC
Posts: 3,420

Bikes: all steel stable: surly world troller, paris sport fixed, fuji ss

Mentioned: 10 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 621 Post(s)
Liked 45 Times in 29 Posts
Originally Posted by djb View Post
That's a great picture. So, so 70s decor!
That was my parent's house in NJ. I was showing off my loaded-rig a couple of days before I left. Besides quitting my job I gave up my lease too...I was ready!
BigAura is offline  
Old 12-01-17, 11:47 AM
  #15  
nickw
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: Portland, OR
Posts: 800
Mentioned: 6 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 171 Post(s)
Liked 2 Times in 2 Posts
Originally Posted by BigAura View Post
I was backpacker in the 60's & 70's. In 1978 I heard about bicycle touring and became intrigued. I saved up and purchased a full Kirkland pannier set for my ParisSport 10-speed. In May 1979 I quit my job and hit-the-road. For a little more than three months I rode up & down the eastern US.



The Kirkland's were excellent quality and served me well for that tour, and shorter tours I did in the following few years. I also used them for commuting & grocery-getting for a year when I lived car-free.
Agreed - super cool pic. Interestingly enough, everything in that photo is cool / trendy again. Funny how that works.
nickw is offline  
Old 12-01-17, 12:24 PM
  #16  
edthesped
Senior Member
 
edthesped's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2010
Posts: 745
Mentioned: 4 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 188 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 3 Times in 3 Posts
Originally Posted by BigAura View Post
I was backpacker in the 60's & 70's. In 1978 I heard about bicycle touring and became intrigued. I saved up and purchased a full Kirkland pannier set for my ParisSport 10-speed. In May 1979 I quit my job and hit-the-road. For a little more than three months I rode up & down the eastern US.



The Kirkland's were excellent quality and served me well for that tour, and shorter tours I did in the following few years. I also used them for commuting & grocery-getting for a year when I lived car-free.
Lovin the Daisy Dukes!! Ahh the 70's... Please don't ever let the 70's styles return. 81 was my first tour, Bavaria, and if I remember correctly I rode in jeans or maybe even Daisy Dukes myself.
edthesped is offline  
Old 12-01-17, 12:38 PM
  #17  
curbowman
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
curbowman's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2016
Location: Caracas, Venezuela
Posts: 156

Bikes: Imremo (cheap taiwanese mtb) and vintage Jupiter King (Japanese '70s road bike)

Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 69 Post(s)
Liked 6 Times in 5 Posts
Originally Posted by edthesped View Post
Lovin the Daisy Dukes!!I rode in jeans or maybe even Daisy Dukes myself.
Oh, yeah. The "official" cycling attire around my home was to wear shorts with the three white strips on the side. And for grown up, jeans were the standard, with the pants tucked inside the socks.
curbowman is offline  
Old 12-01-17, 01:23 PM
  #18  
BobG
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: NH
Posts: 795
Mentioned: 7 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 204 Post(s)
Liked 27 Times in 22 Posts
I had a set of Hartley Alley's "Touring Cyclist Shop" panniers which were the prototype for the Kirtlands that came later. From Wikipedia...

"The modern bicycle pannier was invented by Hartley Alley (1919-2001) of Boulder, Colorado, in 1971.[5] Alley also designed a handlebar bag and other bicycle luggage that he manufactured and sold under the Touring Cyclist brand in the 1970s until his retirement in 1984."

That said, I had a pair of canvas, French "Sologne" panniers long before the TC Shop bags. Leather straps with buckles so I guess they wouldn't be called modern!

photo 1- TC panniers 1983
photo 2- TC label
photo 3- Sologne panniers 1968...
Attached Images
File Type: jpg
Wyoming line.jpg (86.5 KB, 367 views)
File Type: jpg
Touring Cyclist brand.jpg (18.6 KB, 360 views)
File Type: jpg
Sologne panniers 1968.jpg (44.2 KB, 368 views)
BobG is offline  
Old 12-01-17, 01:43 PM
  #19  
indyfabz
Senior Member
 
indyfabz's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Posts: 26,942
Mentioned: 192 Post(s)
Tagged: 1 Thread(s)
Quoted: 11383 Post(s)
Liked 3,019 Times in 1,680 Posts
Originally Posted by BobG View Post
That said, I had a pair of canvas, French "Sologne" panniers long before the TC Shop bags. Leather straps with buckles so I guess they wouldn't be called modern!

Did you also have the pleasure of seeing Ben Franklin "discover" electricity?
indyfabz is offline  
Old 12-01-17, 09:54 PM
  #20  
Cougrrcj 
Over forty victim of Fate
 
Cougrrcj's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: NE Ohio
Posts: 3,361

Bikes: A few...

Mentioned: 16 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 425 Post(s)
Liked 131 Times in 94 Posts
Originally Posted by BigAura View Post


Looks like a Pletscher rear rack and Zefal HP frame pump, too! Exactly the same as my 'rig' back then, but I never used front bags... My set was Cannondale in yellow (for visibility )

And yes -- I also toured in cut-off jean shorts.

So, what bike is that? --and do you still have it??
__________________
'75 Fuji S-10S bought new, 52k+ miles and still going!
'84 Univega Gran Tourismo
'84 Univega Viva Sport
'86 Miyata 710
'90 Schwinn Woodlands
Unknown brand MTB of questionable lineage aka 'Mutt Trail Bike'
Plus or minus a few others from time-to-time

Cougrrcj is offline  
Old 12-02-17, 07:14 AM
  #21  
BigAura
 
BigAura's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: Chapin, SC
Posts: 3,420

Bikes: all steel stable: surly world troller, paris sport fixed, fuji ss

Mentioned: 10 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 621 Post(s)
Liked 45 Times in 29 Posts
Originally Posted by Cougrrcj View Post
Looks like a Pletscher rear rack and Zefal HP frame pump, too!
Yep. The Zefal was great! The Pletcher rack was only barely adequate, although it did get the job done.

Originally Posted by Cougrrcj View Post
So, what bike is that? --and do you still have it??
Yes. That's my 1970 ParisSport. It's now a fixed gear that's generally my daily ride, although the only original parts are frame, handlebar (flipped & chopped), brake, and front-rack (Jim Blackburn).

I rigged it for a two-week tour (summer/2016). Only the frame & front-rack are the same from 1979.


Last edited by BigAura; 12-04-17 at 08:57 AM.
BigAura is offline  
Old 12-02-17, 08:15 AM
  #22  
Cougrrcj 
Over forty victim of Fate
 
Cougrrcj's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: NE Ohio
Posts: 3,361

Bikes: A few...

Mentioned: 16 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 425 Post(s)
Liked 131 Times in 94 Posts
Originally Posted by BigAura View Post
Yep. The Zefal was great! The Pletcher rack was only barely adequate, although it did get the job done.
Mine still wears the Pletscher that I put on it in 1977. The Zefal HP is a replacement since they tend to get bent when used for rapping on bad doggie noggins. The blue handlebar bag is an old Eclipse...

The Pletscher's spring clamp is great for holding my rolled-up work clothes on my 12.5mi one-way commute...

Handlebar bag holds wallet, cell phone, basic tools, tire repair kit, etc.

Photo taken this past summer when I rode it to work...

__________________
'75 Fuji S-10S bought new, 52k+ miles and still going!
'84 Univega Gran Tourismo
'84 Univega Viva Sport
'86 Miyata 710
'90 Schwinn Woodlands
Unknown brand MTB of questionable lineage aka 'Mutt Trail Bike'
Plus or minus a few others from time-to-time

Cougrrcj is offline  
Old 04-27-20, 10:24 PM
  #23  
muse kidd
Newbie
 
Join Date: Jan 2013
Location: Wales
Posts: 4

Bikes: 1979 Trek 700, 2011 Dawes Ultra Galaxy

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
I bought the full set in navy back in the mid-80's. I've just pulled out the handlebar bag from being in storage for 10 years. It's faded to pale tan now. The rear bags look almost new. I have no idea what happened to the front panniers? They must have been lost during one of my many moves over the years.

The front handle bar bag mount was quite simple and worked well. Ortleib and Arkel seem far too complicated. I've an Arkel on my Dawes Galaxy and though I use it extensively - I think it sits a bit too high. The nearest design I've seen is made by Swift? I think it's called the Paloma?

But like so many aspects of cycling, the older stuff seems simpler, better designed in ways. Btw, I also still have my original Blackburn front and rear racks. I'm a few years late to the convo, but thought I'd comment anyway. Cheers! - cm
muse kidd is offline  
Old 05-01-20, 02:34 PM
  #24  
Jim from Boston
Senior Member
 
Jim from Boston's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2008
Posts: 7,376
Mentioned: 47 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 799 Post(s)
Liked 203 Times in 159 Posts
Back in 1977 on our cross country bike trip, we used Bellweather pannier bags (and Pletcher rear rack). I don't think they're sold anymore either.

↓↓↓↓

Last edited by Jim from Boston; 05-02-20 at 10:29 AM.
Jim from Boston is offline  
Old 05-02-20, 10:23 AM
  #25  
Jim from Boston
Senior Member
 
Jim from Boston's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2008
Posts: 7,376
Mentioned: 47 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 799 Post(s)
Liked 203 Times in 159 Posts
ɅɅɅɅ

What happened to Kirtland bike bags?
Originally Posted by BigAura View Post
I was backpacker in the 60's & 70's. In 1978 I heard about bicycle touring and became intrigued. I saved up and purchased a full Kirkland pannier set for my ParisSport 10-speed. In May 1979 I quit my job and hit-the-road. For a little more than three months I rode up & down the eastern US.


Originally Posted by edthesped View Post
Lovin the Daisy Dukes!! Ahh the 70's... Please don't ever let the 70's styles return. 81 was my first tour, Bavaria, and if I remember correctly I rode in jeans or maybe even Daisy Dukes myself.
To further this trip down Memory Lane, I have posted:
Originally Posted by Jim from Boston View Post
My wife and I crossed the country in 1977 from LA to Washington DC. Some of the now-old-fashioned elements as I recall:

Hairnet helmets, woolen bike shorts, jogging suits for colder weather, toe clips, paper maps, phone booths for calls; sent post cards; for cash we used travelers checks and had money orders wired to us at various post offices. We were not into photography, so instead of an SLR film camera, we had a Kodak Instamatic.

To track mileage we had a mechanical odometer with a metallic striker affixed to a spoke. For lights we used those strap on D-cell battery powered lights with a front yellow and rear red lenses.

We rode Merciers, model not recalled, with sew-up tires and fully loaded rear panniers (not recommended)

Last edited by Jim from Boston; 05-02-20 at 10:30 AM.
Jim from Boston is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Terms of Service - Do Not Sell My Personal Information

Copyright 2018 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.