Here at Carradice we never rush to follow the latest trend. We knew bikepacking was a great idea - but we saw so many competitors' products failing to live up to the hype, we decided to road-test and refine our prototypes until we were sure our bags would stand the test of time.
A planned road trip around Sicily with family and friends was to be the test run. What's good enough for Giro d'Italia should be a fair test for the boys. All in all, 4 days cycling covering 450km and 7,300m of climbing - including the "Via Etna" just to finish off the trip.
New prototypes were created in 3 different fabric colours - black, camouflage and neon - all in hard-wearing cordura. The bags chosen to test were seatpack, top-tube bag and front bag. All riders had tested previous prototypes and used bags from other manufacturers, so when the bags got the thumbs up, we geared up for production.
The details that made these bags stand out were:
- Using bicycle inner tube for added grip on the bike frame - David never misses an opportunity for upcycling! Bags stayed put and had no impact on even a carbon frame.
- An ingenious support attached to the seat rails meant no sway even when the bags were fully laden - and that included lashing extra water to the top of the pack.
- Reflective material at the back and especially the side stripes - making our riders highly visible through tunnels and as evening light was fading.
However, the road trip did not go entirely smoothly. The ambitious plan almost caught them out in a race against time to get to the airport to catch their return flights. Who knew the road up Mount Etna was so tough? Fantastic downhill run to the airport put the grins back on their faces.
Our bags are now in production and we feel they are worthy of carrying the Carradice badge. More news will follow when they're available to buy.