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Carradice Carradry review and DIY rack

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Carradice Carradry review and DIY rack

Old 02-25-18, 08:12 PM
  #1  
Happy Feet
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Carradice Carradry review and DIY rack

Recently I pulled the trigger and bought a Carradice CarraDry saddlebag online so I thought I'd briefly review the initial process and product along with a little DIY rack idea I am trying.

I wanted a saddlebag rather than a seatpost bag for light, fast tours because I don't trust the angle of the attachment points for SP bags when they are really loaded (last summer on a tour a friend had his sag, rub his tire and eventually fail). I've had my eye open for a local source of Carradice products but they are far and few between (none in my area) and command a silly price tag elsewhere.

Ordinarily, I'm not much of a online shopper but while perusing an English website https://www.alwaysriding.co.uk/ I saw the CarraDry on sale for 73.39CAD and thought, what the heck, let's see what happens. I opted for the quick shipping to see how it would go and in total paid 111.56CAD. Far cheaper than a Canadian source. Along the way I got hit with a $17.78CAD import duty making the bag finally cost roughly $130. If I'd opted for the slower shipping it would have been around $110.

The amazing thing was just how fast the product got shipped! I'm still old school enough to be shocked by this stuff cause I placed the order Sunday afternoon and it arrived at my door Wed. Three days from England - wow!

I was really tickled by the quality of the bag. Strong construction, dry roll top system and zipper, large but not too large without a lot of doodads and a look that will match my grey double ended drybag for the front HB's. Here are some pics:



The top can be removed via these buckles for a lighter weight option or even extended for over stuffing with extra straps included in the box



Removable mesh pouch inside hiding the mounting straps. It is listed at 12-15L and seems really big.


Snaps and roll top to keep water out


Mounted on the bike with the retaining strap around the seatpost


I mounted it as per instructions I sourced on the net, making sure to locate the leather strap buckles inside the bag to keep it tight to the saddle (which works) but when I put some stuff in it and then took it for a spin the bag bottom hit ever so slightly against the back of my thighs.

Hum...

You can buy several mounting racks to alleviate this very problem from Carradice but I decided to first try my hand at DIY seeing as it is winter here and I was bored. In the bat cave I located one of several old Blackburn racks I have kicking around and set to work with the hack saw, file and Dremel.

Before


After


Some flat black spray paint and it was good to go. Now the retaining strap can be attached to the rack


This pic shows the new position of the bag but is a little skewed because there is nothing in it to weigh it down. After this pic I moved the rack forward a bit and now the bottom of the bag does actually rest on it.


Believe it or not, we had 8"'s of snow here yesterday?

Last edited by Happy Feet; 02-25-18 at 08:25 PM.
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Old 02-26-18, 10:22 AM
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Cute rack.

Evans Cycles in UK sometimes has Carradice at a good price.

I have the Nelson Long Flap and the Pendle saddle bags (both are cotton fabric). I put a piece of cardboard in them to help stiffen the shape. I have heard of people using corroplast (a plastic cardboard) for the same purpose. If I find a nice sheet of corroplast some day, I might do the same.

A couple years ago I saw a bikepacker that was using an interesting home-made bracket for his saddle harness for support. I attached two photos of it, just in case your DIY rack does not work out.
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Old 02-27-18, 01:45 AM
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Both rack ideas look good, OP and TiMSN . Thanks for sharing.
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Old 02-27-18, 06:08 AM
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I like my Carradice, probably more than any other bag I own. Just need to find something quick on-off for it, but I'm really tempted to try a larger one on weekend trips in the future.
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Old 02-27-18, 06:34 AM
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@Happy Feet and @Tourist in MSN, Thanks for your posts. I've been looking into saddle bags and different configurations for an upcoming tour. The really big question that I have is, how do you guys think these big saddle bags would perform on a porteur rack on the front of the bike? I was looking hard at getting the Surly Portuerhouse bag, and a 24-pack rack, but I'd really like to have the Nelson Longflap. Maybe a set of panniers on the front and the Longflap on the back would be a nice arrangement?
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Old 02-27-18, 06:36 AM
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Nice job OP!
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Old 02-27-18, 09:55 AM
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Originally Posted by jefnvk View Post
I like my Carradice, probably more than any other bag I own. Just need to find something quick on-off for it, but I'm really tempted to try a larger one on weekend trips in the future.
Not sure which Carradice you have. If it is the one for the classic shaped saddle bags, Nitto makes a bracket that you could attach to your saddle for the two bag straps at the top. The bottom strap, I use an old toe clip strap, quicker than the buckle strap that came with it.
Nitto R-50 SAddle Bag Holder

I usually use a sprung saddle, the Nitto bracket above won't work on it. I made a bracket like it to fit on one bike that I do not use a sprung saddle on, but have not tried it in practice yet. I am a bit concerned that my Aluminum bar stock was too thin and too flexible.


Originally Posted by NoControl View Post
@Happy Feet and @Tourist in MSN, Thanks for your posts. I've been looking into saddle bags and different configurations for an upcoming tour. The really big question that I have is, how do you guys think these big saddle bags would perform on a porteur rack on the front of the bike? I was looking hard at getting the Surly Portuerhouse bag, and a 24-pack rack, but I'd really like to have the Nelson Longflap. Maybe a set of panniers on the front and the Longflap on the back would be a nice arrangement?
I have no clue what would work on a porteur rack. I use a large handlebar bag but I can access that while on the bike. A big bag on a porteur rack would probably mean getting off the bike to access.

I used the Nelson Long Flap on my Pacific coast trip. It worked great. I had some granola or energy bars in one side pocket, my spare tube in the other side pocket. The large middle part of the bag was for food and anything else I bought at the grocery store. You can see in the photo that the Long Flap sits on the tops of my panniers, thus did not need any bottom support for it. The straps on the top of it were old toe clip leather straps, I could use those to strap on a jacket, etc. Second photo, was getting food out at lunch time.
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Old 02-27-18, 09:55 AM
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Thanks all

MSN, I thought of that for my seatpost bag too, it looks like an old school front rack hoop that goes over the wheel to stabilize the bags. I think it would do the job for a seatpost bag. I know Portland Design Works makes a similar product called the Bindle rack.

Jefnvk, look at the Carradice website. They have the quick release system but also what they call a retro rack that permanently attaches to the bag and then the bag/rack can be taken off the bike. What bothers me a bit about both designs is that all the weight is still pivoting off off the rails and seat post. It's probably no big deal but the mechanical side of me doesn't like the stresses that would create on bumpy rides. All you need on a tour is a big drop and your seat or post breaking away with the bag.

No Control, I've seen pics of a bikepacking set up with Carradice bags front and rear. It looked like they had something like a Nelson or Barley up front and a Camper on the back. Kinda cool retro.
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Old 02-27-18, 10:02 AM
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Originally Posted by Tourist in MSN View Post
Not sure which Carradice you have. If it is the one for the classic shaped saddle bags, Nitto makes a bracket that you could attach to your saddle for the two bag straps at the top. The bottom strap, I use an old toe clip strap, quicker than the buckle strap that came with it.
I've got the Junior model, just the smaller single pocket one. I like the looks of that, I think I could actually fab up something like that on my own!

Originally Posted by Happy Feet View Post
Jefnvk, look at the Carradice website. They have the quick release system but also what they call a retro rack that permanently attaches to the bag and then the bag/rack can be taken off the bike. What bothers me a bit about both designs is that all the weight is still pivoting off off the rails and seat post. It's probably no big deal but the mechanical side of me doesn't like the stresses that would create on bumpy rides. All you need on a tour is a big drop and your seat or post breaking away with the bag.
Yeah, I've looked at them. I wasn't overly impressed with their offerings (or the associated prices), but I do need to come up with something. That is a sweet bag if it'd get on and off the bike a bit easier!
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Old 02-27-18, 10:20 AM
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Originally Posted by Happy Feet View Post
Thanks all

MSN, I thought of that for my seatpost bag too, it looks like an old school front rack hoop that goes over the wheel to stabilize the bags. I think it would do the job for a seatpost bag. I know Portland Design Works makes a similar product called the Bindle rack.
....
I was thinking that if I ever wanted to do a trip with only the rear saddle bag (like my Long Flap), no panniers or rack below it, that I would fabricate something like that bikepacker had. But I was thinking using two clamps on the seatpost (the bike I would put it on has a lot of exposed seatpost). One clamp would have an Aluminum bar stock hoop, the other would have two short pieces of bar stock hanging below it to the hoop for support. Using clamps on the seatpost (narrow clamps) and thin flexible Aluminum bar stock would make it kind of flimsy as far as side to side motion goes, but with a classic styled saddle bag, they usually do not sway side to side. All they really need is more support from the bottom.

I saw this link a few days ago, someone was trying to fabricate a bikepacking saddle harness support rack.
DIY (Seatpack-) Rack

But that would require welding, etc. I can't remember the last time I had my buzz box out, so I am not thinking anything that fancy. Plus, that still hangs from the saddle for support.
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Old 02-27-18, 11:01 AM
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Use Carradice SQR bag support *, mine on my Brompton, I take it and the front bag off, when I have to lock it up on the street rack.

* off seat post, not saddle rails..
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Old 02-27-18, 12:04 PM
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Originally Posted by Tourist in MSN View Post
I was thinking that if I ever wanted to do a trip with only the rear saddle bag (like my Long Flap), no panniers or rack below it, that I would fabricate something like that bikepacker had. But I was thinking using two clamps on the seatpost (the bike I would put it on has a lot of exposed seatpost). One clamp would have an Aluminum bar stock hoop, the other would have two short pieces of bar stock hanging below it to the hoop for support. Using clamps on the seatpost (narrow clamps) and thin flexible Aluminum bar stock would make it kind of flimsy as far as side to side motion goes, but with a classic styled saddle bag, they usually do not sway side to side. All they really need is more support from the bottom.

I saw this link a few days ago, someone was trying to fabricate a bikepacking saddle harness support rack.
DIY (Seatpack-) Rack

But that would require welding, etc. I can't remember the last time I had my buzz box out, so I am not thinking anything that fancy. Plus, that still hangs from the saddle for support.
Automotive brake tubing (zinc coated steel) would be cheaper and possibly more durable than Al bar stock. It has been used to construct bicycle racks by BF members (peterpann). You can bend it into a 180 degree turn with an inexpensive tubing bender, or pack with sand and bend around a 4-10" pole. You can flatten the ends by pounding with hammer on concrete floor or nearby street steel manhole cover, then drill holes and affix to seatstay rack bosses in normal manner. If there is little lateral movement, then vertical support could be as simple as paracord connecting the 180D tubing bend to the saddle rails.

Six feet of 3/8" OD brake tubing (~9.5 mm outer diameter) costs ~$8 at any auto parts shop. 9.5mm steel tubing is pretty darn sturdy - for comparison Tubus uses 10mm OD tubing for most of their rear racks (measures ~10.2mm due to powder coating). 9.5mm OD tube theoretically flattens to ~15mm width when hammered out (half the tubing circumference), in reality it'll be a bit less, ~12.5mm wide, which leaves 3.5mm of flattened steel on each side of a centered 5.5mm hole (for 5mm bolts used for seatstay mount). A 12.5-13.0mm wide steel "stay" is probably more durable than the Al ones included with Tubus rear racks, which are ~11mm wide where they attach to seatstays.
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Old 02-27-18, 01:16 PM
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Of late Automotive brake line is higher nickel content , so rust resistant, under the car exposed to salt, etc.

better than galvanized Zn treated steel, still fairly soft.. I used it as a cable guide on my touring bike build ..



....

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Old 02-27-18, 03:32 PM
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Originally Posted by seeker333 View Post
Automotive brake tubing (zinc coated steel) would be cheaper and possibly more durable than Al bar stock. ....
Thanks. Have not tried that, but that might be a better option.
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Old 02-27-18, 04:35 PM
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Originally Posted by jefnvk View Post
I like my Carradice, probably more than any other bag I own. Just need to find something quick on-off for it, but I'm really tempted to try a larger one on weekend trips in the future.
the longflap is great ,loads of room to take anything u want.the barley not bad either much smaller but still get loads in it for long day rides.
you need to buy a rack with either one as it does wobble and sits close to top of wheel.still great bags last a lifetime.

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Old 02-27-18, 05:22 PM
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Originally Posted by Happy Feet View Post
I know Portland Design Works makes a similar product called the Bindle rack.
I have a Bindle rack, and its fabulous! At first I got it to insure that my bikepacking-style seat bag wouldn't drag on my rear tire, but I've grown to love it for other reasons. The seatpost clamp is anodized aluminum, so in order to enhance the grip, and preserve the seatpost finish, I glued leather to the inside of the clamp on both faces. Innertube rubber would work just as well I suppose.
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Old 02-27-18, 05:46 PM
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Im FWIW seeing it still has a hole through it, and the strap wraps around a wooden dowel so there is a leak potential ..

but fine for your situation with wheel spray mud. wipes clean easily..

their dense cotton duck keeps things quite dry.. like the super C side release buckles better than the traditional straps..




..
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