Sunday, July 19, 2015

Sunday morning thoughts on frame bags

It has been awhile since I've given this blog any attention and frankly, I just haven't made the time for it.
Recently I have been using and experimenting with bolted frame bags using the frame water bottle mounts.

Back in March, I worked with Zen bike Co., on a bikepacking specific hardtail for the North American Handmade Bike Show which utilized 5mm bolt bosses inside the frame resulting in a completely bolted frame bag, save for a piece of velcro behind the zipper for ease of closure.

Some of the examples of using the existing H2O mounts and only velcro along the top of the bag.

I've been using a 'special blend' of closed cell foam and lexan sandwiched inside the edgeband. This gives the bag structure, support and padding because this is much more than just putting holes through fabric.
Without the velcro, the bag needs to stay centered and stabilized. If the edgeband itself were to sag, or droop over the downtube it would not only look bad, but it wouldn't allow the bag to function so well.

And the BIGGEST advantage of the bolted bag is...... Less stress on the zipper. I do believe this is the answer to the roll-top bag vs zipper argument.

When bolted, the frame bag is supported by, not suspended from the frame. Huge difference.

This is the direction I'm focusing on going forth with design. I'll still offer bags with traditional velcro attachments.
For the time being I'm choosing to not explore the roll-top closure for frame bags as there are some very competent designs currently being offered by other bag makers.
And frankly, I've never had a problem with a zipper so it really doesn't have any relevant interests to myself and honestly that's what drives most of my designs.

This spring/summer has seen an explosion of interest in bikepacking across the board and that has created a lot of back logs amongst bag makers; myself included.
With a wedding this August, a long list of orders and a part-time job at the bike shop; I got behind and I apologize for that. It's not my style.
To those who have hung in there and dealt with me, you're receiving the finest in bikepacking gear that money can buy and I thank you for that!

More to come in the future with some special projects on tap!



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