Wednesday, May 22, 2013

A Little Bicycle Home Ec

While I was out on my group ride this past Saturday, I noticed that my saddle bag was coming loose.  I use the cheap Genuine Innovations bag that I got with my original CO2 kit.  But as much as it is nothing to write home about, I have yet to find a better alternative that doesn't have a big price tag.

Last fall I purchased an LG Pro 30 Wedge saddle bag as a back up after a suggestion by a fellow triathlete.  Now that my saddle bag was falling apart, I figured it was time to break this one out and make the switch.  

Bad idea!

I'll say now that I'm glad I enjoyed Home Ec in high school as much as I did.  
I've put it to good use over the years!

After cutting - yes, cutting - my old bag off (you'll understand why later on), I took out all the gear and switched it over to the LG bag.  I don't carry a LOT of gear, but the LG Pro 30 Wedge has a longer container which made getting everything in there difficult.  Here's what I carry.

  • 1 Tube
  • 2 CO2 cartridges
  • 1 CO2 valve
  • 2 Tire levers
  • 1 multitool
I've seen people carry a lot more!  Anyways, I got all of that stuffed in there (rather tight) and then discovered I had to remove my rear hydration system.  The seat post strap is an elastic band as opposed to the typical velcro strap.  I'll admit that it's a better idea given that the velcro strap typically rubs against your bike shorts and can rip holes in them.

Once that was off and the bag was strapped on, I put the hdyration system back on and took a look at my handy work.  Ugh!

Ok, it's on.  That much is undeniable.  But it's completely inaccessible.  That'll do me a lot of good if I need anything while out riding!  And on top of it, the velcro strap that holds the bag up was just barely long enough to reach.  The bag was so full that I had to really pull on the strap to get it to reach around.

Back to the drawing board!

A) I need a saddle bag.  I couldn't simply go without one though I've only ever flatted once on this bike and it was while changing the tire at home, so maybe I'd be fine without it, but I wasn't going to chance it.

B) I can't use the new bag.  Thanks LG for a very sturdy bag that makes no use on a tri bike.  So happy I'm well past the return policy date!  </sarcasm>

C) The only other bag I have is the one I took off, but it has a rip and the velcro doesn't hold together well by any means.

Time to be a little crafty!  

I took everything off the bike; the hydration system and the new bag.  I pulled out my sewing kit - yes, I own one of those - and went to work.  I ironed a patch onto the old saddle bag to fix the rip.  I strapped the bag onto the saddle and opted to sew the velcro strap to the bag so that it wouldn't come free.  And then while I was already at it, I switched rear hydration systems; a double mount switched out for a single mount.


As you can tell, with the single mount Minoura rear hydration system in place, access to my gear isn't the best, but it's a whole lot better than the LG bag!  And after a short ride, I'm either going with no rear hydration or back to the double mount for Rev3 Quassy anyways.  The single is awkward to reach for and I don't need more than two bottles at a time; water in the aero bottle and frame mounted Perpetum.

This just goes to show ya'...
  • If it costs more, it's not necessarily better,
  • If it says it fits your bike, that doesn't mean it will,
  • and Home Ec comes in use in many ways!


1.  What type of saddle bag do you use?  Is it on a road or tri bike?
I'm interested to know what other options might be good for me.

2.  What type of home ec jobs have you done to your bike?  

3.  Are you crafty?

Dream.  Believe.  Achieve. 

1 comment:

Coy Martinez said...

I stuff my tire changing kit into a bottle and put it in my bottle holster off the back of my bike. I have a double holster like you. One bottle for liquid, one with a spare tube and changing kit :)