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Blue Roads 10-16-13 11:33 PM

Any opinions about the new Xtracycle X2 bags vs. the new Surly Dummy Bags?
I'm looking for any reviews, opinions, thoughts, or observations about the new Xtracycle X2 bags versus the new Surly Dummy Bags.

I have a Big Dummy and am looking to upgrade from the original bags. I can't find any independent reviews of the two new bags and hardly any independent pics anywhere.

The Xtracycle X2 bags look well-designed, but in my experience Velcro loses it's ability to hold pretty quickly under hard use. It just wears out. So, that outer rain flap looks kind of weak. The inner flap, per their video, looks like it secures with Velcro and snaps. I dunno.

The Surly Dummy Bags also look good. But the rain flap fabric looks like it extends 4"-5" inches beyond the rear edge of the bags. Looks like an awkward design feature, not to mention that'll obscure the side view of my tail lights mounted on my Dummy Rails. The bags completely unfolded look sort of unwieldy. Though, they are a heavier fabric than the Xtracycle X2 bags, which is good. Replaceable wear points are good idea, too.

I'd appreciate if anyone can share any personal experience, opinions, or observations with either set of bags.


amdoo 10-17-13 09:56 PM

Here's a video of the bags without commentary though.

Blue Roads 10-17-13 10:49 PM

I'd noticed that video before, but now just watched it all the way through. Gives a bit of a view.


xtrajack 11-10-13 07:54 AM

The only independent review that I have seen was on ebay, where a person was selling his Xtracycle X2 bags because he wasn't happy with them.

I am leaning toward the Dummy bags myself.

NoBrakeNate 11-11-13 08:52 PM

I have the new Dummy bags and I really like them, they are well thought out. I haven't had to use the rain flaps yet but they stay out of the way quite well, they do stick out about two inches when rolled up.
The fold out flaps are great, no issues at all, the placement of the buckles works out very well.

Blue Roads 11-12-13 10:22 PM

xtrajack - I did see that guy's eBay auction about a week or so ago. He wasn't very fond of the Xtracycle X2 bags. To be fair to Xtracycle, I'm sure the bags work well for some folks. Thanks for the heads-up.

NoBrakeNate - Glad you like your new Dummy bags and thanks for your thoughts.

I ordered the Dummy Cargo Kit last night which is the bags, rails, and aluminum deck. I had my original rails powdercoated black and I have one of the original Xtracycle aluminum decks, but deck that isn't as long as the top rail surface area. Figured I might as well get the whole new system.

I'll post my impressions of the Dummy Cargo Kit in this thread.

Blue Roads 11-19-13 10:17 PM

I installed my Dummy Cargo Kit, which is the new Surly rails, deck, and Surly Dummy Bags. The quality, design, and finish of everything is great. Surly put some thought into this system and it shows.

The black rails are nicely made. The threaded holes are accurately positioned and accept the deck bolts without any play. The substantial aluminum deck is 4 millimeters thick, seems heavy duty, and is well fabricated.

The nylon bag fabric is thick and much more robust than the original bags. Double-layer with a liner. The wear patches for the disk caliper and derailleur are well-positioned. The bags can be configured in a number of ways, which will be useful. The versatile design of the bags is great. The rain flap covers well -- it extends, as I thought, a little beyond the inner bags to provide cover when the inner bags are loaded and expanded. The rain flaps are easily rolled up and secured.

I was concerned the rear part of the rain flaps would extend over my rear lights mounted on the rails. They don't and it's not an issue.

The stainless steel drain holes, cinch cord grommets, and deck bolts are a nice touch. Some of the plastic hardware -- the tensioning strap hook, the rain flap d-ring hook and catch, and of course, Fastex buckles -- will become brittle and break over time, but that's expected. The plastic hardware can be replaced.

I have an early model Big Dummy, so it doesn't have the Freeloader hardware bosses for attaching bag tensioning straps. I use the Xtracycle Freeloader Retrofit Kit which works fine. Four fewer wear points on the frame.

Instead of attaching my rain flap d-ring straps around the chainstays, as recommended in the instructions, I threaded it through the tensioning strap hook. Works fine. Small point, but that's another two fewer wear points on the frame.

The bag-to-rail attachment straps appear to use something different than Velcro. When pulled apart the material unfastens pretty easily, and for a second I thought it might be an issue, but laterally, the way the buckles exert the load, the material seems to hold more strongly than Velcro. Maybe it's a non-standard version of Velcro. In any case, it's a plus.

I use the Xtracycle Whatchamacollars, so with those and the bolt-on deck, the system feels solidly installed. No play or rattles.

Aesthetically, the rails, deck, and bags look great. The rails and deck are nicely finished in black. The bags are a deep black nylon without any branding, which I like. The stainless bolts on the black deck give a good, utilitarian look.

Surly has done some nice work with this cargo system. I recommend all three pieces together -- the rails, deck, and bags. Glad I made the purchase.

xtrajack 11-23-13 02:48 PM

My Dummy bags arrived today, out of the box, they look to be heavier material than the original Xtracycle Freeloaders.
I like the idea of the replaceable wear patches, although I think that they should have been made of heavier material. Actually, I am planning to make mine out of a HDPE (I think) flexible cutting board. I am also going to make wear patches for where the kickback kickstand hits the bags.

Blue Roads 11-24-13 02:21 PM


Originally Posted by xtrajack (Post 16272088)
I like the idea of the replaceable wear patches, although I think that they should have been made of heavier material. Actually, I am planning to make mine out of a HDPE (I think)

Yes, it's a good feature. Hypalon aka CSPE would work well, too.

xtrajack 11-29-13 11:03 AM

After installing the Dummy bags, I discovered why the "jump straps" are necessary. The Dummy bags aren't as easy to use as the Freeloaders are. However, they do a better job of keeping smaller loads cinched tight. With larger loads, the jump straps work well to cinch the load.

With my normal load out:

Road side bag:
32 oz Naglene
16 oz stainless steel thermos
32 oz stainless steel thermos
wide bottom metal mug
bento box
assorted extra clothing

Ditch side bag:
My go bag (murse, or whatever you want to call it, I call it my go bag, because if I go, it does too.)

: I wind up using the center jump strap to cinch up my go bag.
On the other side, I just use the lower buckles to cinch up the water bottle etc...
I put the unused jump straps in the pockets.

The rain flaps look to be plenty long enough for my needs.
All in all I think I will be very pleased with them.

troysmith80 03-20-14 09:52 PM

The yuba bags look pretty good too. They also have the baguettes which are a little smaller.

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