9 Aug 2017

8th August 2017 Bags I the yellow one!

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Wednesday 9th 60F, 15C, overcast and breezy but should be a fine day.

I found some Pex underfloor heating pipe with the necessary 10mm bore to fit tightly over the Trykit rack's top crossbar. After cutting some short lengths I sanded the ends smooth to avoid any sharp edges rubbing through the new bag. I then tapped the two lengths of pipe over the ends of my elongated top bar with a plastic hammer. Now I could then slip the bag rings over the newly extended ' bag hanging' pipe. I then used a shoe lace to stop the bag from moving laterally by tying off to the rings. The plastic hose extensions could be a little shorter but I'll test them out first.

My usual test for bag security is tipping the trike almost horizontal. If the bag stays put, then it can usually be trusted on corners and ramps. The latter are the greatest test of safety. With occasions where a formerly secure bag jumps straight into a back wheel.

Zip-ties might do a better security job and are usually neater, but require a sharp tool to cut them. I know you can stick a sharp object into the "buckle" to unlock the little tab but there is usually some degree of haste involved when you really want them to be gone. Most thieves probably carry sharp objects to avoid any risk of apprehension. Their sociopathic "needs" are always far greater than the entire rest of the world's survival.

I'm still considering support options for the rack shelf. I don't want a 'beer belly' of bag hanging close to the sprockets. The applied load is not necessarily uniform so proper support is vital. I'm thinking self-healing cutting boards if I can find one large enough. This might be the problem getting one thin enough. Or even a baking grill would do.

Today was the bag's first ride in anger as I headed off north into a gusty gale. The trike felt lighter than usual thank to leaving the Carradice Camper at home along with the heavy canvas, sports bag. The yellow bag's remarkable capacity soon began to prove itself as I worked my way around the village supermarkets. A headwind coming back so I spent most of the time on the tri-bar extensions. Only 13 miles.

Initial irritation with the neck was soon solved by undoing the buckles on each end of the bag. This allowed the throat to open fully and extend well away from the saddle. Loading mixed shopping has never been this easy! The large area of the base, inside, allowed me to move heavier objects forward onto the shelf.  While the lighter or more fragile stuff could be brought towards me or placed on top. This was vastly superior to shoving the heavy stuff in the Camper and everything else in the sports bag lying [always slightly precariously] on top.

I even found an easy way to stow the hefty Asbo U-lock. The lower picture looks a bit untidy but first I had to empty the bag of shopping to find my camera. The whole caboodle looks much neater with a few things in the bag or with it rolled down tighter. The U of the U-lock points downwards right into the bottom of the mesh, outside pocket as I draw the cloth handle through the loop and catch it in a toe-strap passing through the Brooks saddle frame. Not only did this secure the lock, where it was easy to remember, but it simultaneously took up the weight of the bag. This saved it sagging over the narrower Trykit rack.

All in all, I am absolutely delighted with the new bag! Practice will smooth the routine of releasing the two, or four, excellent quick-release buckles each time I need to open it up. The webbing straps slide effortlessly on demand, but lock as soon as any tension is placed on them. Best buckles I have ever tried, so far.

What I don't like is the superfluous padding wrapped around the spare cloth handle. I may unpick the stitching and discard the padding. Then I can use the bare cloth handle for an extra level of security in securing the bag on the saddle pin. Though the handle is rather long and might need a turn, or two, around the pin to take up the slack. Or tucked down out of the way behind the seat tube and fixed to the rack.

There is no slop and the bag never felt as if it were moving about. Not even on the fierce ramps so typical of supermarket car parks. BTW: An adjustable padded shoulder strap is supplied with the Overboard Waterproof Duffel bag but I have no real use for it. There are no internal dividers and only one flat internal pocket. But I like that for the freedom to fit anything and everything in there if needed. I would use loose carrier bags inside if I need them, just as I always have.

This is the smallest of three models at 40 liters. Larger 60 and 120[?] liters are also available in Yellow and Blue and possibly black.[?] The 40L is highly recommended as a very large capacity saddlebag for tricyclists with a rear rack. I'm still searching for a suitable shelf extender. The plastic, kitchen cutting boards proved far too thick and heavy. A wire oven grill shelf might work but I am slightly worried about the likely localized wear. Anyone contemplating using such a bag for camping or [shopping] expeditions should consider having a deeper rack shelf if they are ordering one to fit their trike. I'll find something to extend the  shelf eventually but I am still searching for lightweight, totally weatherproof, non-wearing ideas. For the moment I'll have to make do with the cloth handle hooked over the saddle pin. 


Click on any image for an enlargement.
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