In support of saddlebags


My trusty Carradice Camper has been with me for over 12,000 touring miles in 2011. It’s rugged canvas construction is silent while riding, even on nearly unridable washboard in Baja, or the doubletrack of the Great Divide. The attachment to the Brooks saddle, by way of bag loops, is with leather or nylon straps and quietly suspends the bag. The silent partner of my system is the Velo Orange Pass Hunter Rack, which is often concealed from view by the immensity of the Camper model, at about 25L. It mounts simply and ruggedly to the cantilever posts and the seatstay bridge, supporting the underside and backside of the saddlebag. It ensures that the bag does not sway, rub atop the wheel or fender, and remains clear of the brake straddle wire. The Velo Orange blog has posted some photos of my 1985 Schwinn High Sierra wearing a Pass Hunter Rack, mounted on the rear as a saddlebag support.

With fixed mounts (non-adjustable), this rack will mount more nearly level on larger frames as seatstay angles approach vertical. For the purpose of a saddlebag support, an angled rack is beneficial to securely cradling the bag. The fixed angles of the rack also ensure that the bag sits as near to the center of mass of the bicycle as possible, without interfering brake operation. On extremely small frames, the rack may rest at an unacceptable angle. With the Pass Hunter Rack as a bag support, additional space remains behind the seatpost for stowage of additional goods, which I used to store my tent, a Big Agnes Seedhouse SL2.


3 thoughts on “In support of saddlebags

  1. Great timing on this post. I was going to ask you which bag you were using, but I decided to shut up and just pick one. Awesomely, my Carradice Camper Longflap is on its way as I type this. Thanks for justifying my purchases for me. It seems that I aspire to acquire identical gear to yours.


  2. Yo Chris, you still owe me your e-mail address. I got a job at a bike shop, called the Bicycle Shop, that has been slinging wheels since the 60’s. The head mechanic has been there since 1978, when he was still in high school. He knows everything about fixing bikes and is real nice. I’m also working on a photo collection of winter riders in Anchorage– it’s not all fatbikes and expensive studded tires, you know. The former mayor of Barrow rolled in the other day on his Tour Easy recumbent(c. 1983) with studded tires, windshield, and safety flag blowing in the breeze. He wears a bugle around his neck, which acts as a horn, constructed of a plastic mouthpiece, a funnel and clear plastic tubing. You should consider such a safety/musical device. It’s sounds better than you’d think.

    The Camper is the largest bag available from Carradice (I think, the Super C is close); Riv offers a bag advertised as 32 L, which is larger. It appear that their bag would require a full sized rack platform as the bag is more broad, while the Carradice is taller. I know from lots of experience that you can overstuff the shit out of the Carradice with the long flap and the long leather straps.

    I’m also working on a piece about packing light, on the cheap. Given your association with the “industry”, you could get great prices on Revelate Bags now available through QBP. Eric, from Anchorage, used to stitch custom bags, but has since gotten big production orders from Surly/Salsa /QBP. Those are neat bags at a good price.

    I’ve also got a Carradice Lowsaddle Longflap model, which is identical to the Camper, excepting dimensions and volume. Works well without a rack as it is smaller (still medium sized in the world of saddlebags).

    If I were you I would try to be more like me too. Someday we’ll be riding identical Prairie Breakers.

    • Ok, cool – so we’re going with the Prairie Breakers then. Phew. These Revelate frame bags are looking great. Too bad the average customer in a Philadelphia bicycle shop thinks you can get a bicycle for $40. You know… a big one… with sturdy tires. And it has to have a comfortable chair and paddles that hook to your feet.

      You should be emailing me all the time. My email is chrisharne and the domain is gmail. Or, you can go with “sackballsgmail” if that’s easier to remember.

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