It’s the end of a weary 7 days of toil at the coalface of operate, which also indicates it’s time for To start with Glimpse Friday – your roundup of the best package to land at BikeRadar.
In this bumper version, we have a handsome custom rando bag from C. Brenn, bikepacking bags from Ortlieb, a fancy out-of-doorways coffee resolution from GSI, a chain breaker from Pedro’s, tasty nut butters from Outdoor Provisions and rad personalized Oakley sun shades.
Elsewhere on the web site, we have taken a seem at an unusal nickel-titanium airless bicycle tyre, been more than the basic principles of what particularly an ebike is and had a close appear at Wahoo’s refreshed Speedplay pedal vary.
If that isn’t really enough for you, don’t ignore to signal up to our publication for a 2 times-weekly strike of the most effective information, opinions and functions from across BikeRadar.
C. Brenn Cyclotouring Bags personalized handlebar bag
I like the aesthetic and relieve of obtain a classic boxy rando-design and style bag delivers.
Nonetheless, I have no have to have for fussy audax accoutrements, this sort of as map conditions, again pockets, or inside dividers that typically function. I simply want a boxy cycling satchel in which I can swiftly and simply pack snacks, jackets and cameras devoid of acquiring to offer with fiddly roll tops or buckles.
I shopped all around for a bag that would in good shape these requirements but the choices out there still left me sensation cold, so I eventually settled on buying a custom made bag from Cory Brenn in Glasgow, and I could not be happier with the consequence.
How do you in shape a rando bag?
Employing a standard randonneur bag with the minimum of fuss begins with the bike’s body geometry.
Randonneur/audax bikes will pair a extended-reach body and handlebar with a comparatively shorter stem. This avoids the front rack possessing to be excessively extensive and provides the bag closer to the head tube, which keeps dealing with usual.
The stack of the body is also commonly bigger to give a snug in good shape and make space for the bag (Bikehugger has a great explainer on this subject matter).
The bag then sits on a focused, lightweight front rack and is held in position with a decaleur (a very simple, non-loadbearing, slotted swift-launch) to allow for for effortless fitting and elimination.
There are normally further straps on the base or rear of the bag also, to make sure absolute protection.
This set up is not normally doable with common road geometry for the reason that prolonged stems and a tiny gap involving the entrance tyre mean fitting a bag or decaleur is hard.
My bag sits atop a small entrance rack from Brick Lane Bikes and slots securely onto the tombstone (the vertical extension at the back again of the rack).
A tiny elastic strap will then lengthen from the base of the bag and all around the tombstone to hold it in location. If I want extra safety for unpaved adventures, I also have the possibility to strap the bag to my handlebar.
The choice is to use a Rixen Kaul KlickFix type mount, but they can only have a minimal quantity of fat and are a little bit cumbersome for my preferences.
My little boxy bag fits my needs and the relatively constrained area at the front of my bike perfectly.
The bag is made from a stiff waxed canvas and is finished with synthetic trim. The bag is lined with a thin plastic sheet stiffener, which gives the bag a surprising amount of structure. The tombstone strap, stiffener and wear plate on the base are made of thick tool leather.
Cory’s style is typically more traditional with leather trims, but I wanted something a little more minimalist, which he was happy to accommodate.
Inside, there are two semi-circular flaps, which help to keep out rain and provide additional structure to the bag.
All of the hooks are custom-soldered by Cory and every riveted part is reinforced with small plastic washers.
Overall, the craftsmanship is absolutely superb and I’m really looking forward to getting stuck into using the bag this summer.
Ortlieb Fork-pack bikepacking bag
Now we have an altogether different style of on-bike luggage.
The Ortlieb Fork-pack is essentially a miniature roll-top pannier that fits to fork legs using Ortlieb’s QLS quick-release adaptor.
Using Ortlieb’s signature welded construction, the adorable micro-pannier is fully waterproof and boasts a modest 4.1 litres of storage.
The QLS adaptor is designed for forks with threaded mounts. On forks without mounts, it can be fitted using flexible steel bands that wrap around the fork (head to the Ortlieb site for a full overview of how these work because it does a far better job of explaining the fitting process than I ever could).
Orlieb cautions that the bag should not be attached to carbon forks without eyelets, but you can use it on suspension forks.
The whole system weighs 272g and could be a really useful addition to lightweight bikepacking setups.
GSI Outdoors Microlite Javapress + cage
Jealous of Matthew’s on-bike hot drink experiments this winter, I’ve decided to try out my own system but take things a step further in the beverage smugness game.
The GSI Outdoors Microlite Javapress combines your typical adventure-friendly, stainless-steel insulated flask with a french press.
Fresh coffee and water are placed in the base of the flask. The sliding inner carafe then replicates the function of a normal french press, with the rubber seal stopping any stray grounds from escaping.
The press features a hardy powder-coated finish and has a non-slip rubber plate on the bottom to protect it from bumps, and help it stay upright.
Unless you like the taste of over-extracted coffee and make it at home before a ride, this is probably best for those who want to make a fresh coffee in the field but don’t want to mess about with drip filters or an Aeropress.
- $34.99, international pricing TBC
Arundel Looney Bin
The Looney Bin is a plastic bottle cage with a ratcheted dial-adjusted clamp that is designed to take larger-than-normal bottles or flasks.
Standard cycling bottles have a 73mm diameter. The Looney Bin will accommodate bottles from 65mm through to 95mm in diameter. That makes it the perfect accompaniment to the Javapress (or a “nice bottle of pinot noir”, to quote Arundel).
Because the ratchet can be used to clamp down tightly on the bottles, it should also be more secure than a typical cage. With this in mind, I also reckon the cage could be used to secure cylindrical stuff sacks for bikepacking.
Outdoor Provisions nut butter
Outdoor Provisions (which we have featured in a previous edition of First Look Friday) has expanded its lineup to include two nut butter sachets, which provide a slow-release and nutritious burst of energy for “lower-intensity but longer efforts”.
Said to be good “on noodles, mixed into porridge, eaten with fruit or necked neat”, each 32g sachet packs 183kcal of energy.
Available in either coffee, almond and cashew, or almond, date and sea salt, both flavours are pretty tasty, but give them a good knead before slurping because the ingredients tend to separate within the pack.
As always, everything is delivered in biodegradable packaging. Ten packs will set you back £15, or you can subscribe for a regular dose of cycling snackage for a 5 per cent saving.
Pedro’s 6 Pack portable chain breaker
A few weeks ago, I put out a call to our beautiful YouTube fans to help me find the perfect portable chain breaker to supplement my otherwise perfectly-curated tool roll.
After wading through the suggestions, I eventually settled on the Pedro’s 6 Pack, which combines a small hex key-operated chain breaker with a spoke key in the handle.
This fits my needs perfectly because I specifically wanted a chain breaker that could be operated with my PB Swiss PB 470 multi-tool.
While going for two tools isn’t as svelte as an all-in-one multi-tool, I prefer the ease of use and additional torque my setup provides.
The tool itself feels really well made and the spoke keys are a genuinely useful addition. The pin in the breaker is not replaceable, but that’s not unusual for a portable tool.
I may remove the small rubber part that holds the included hex key to cut down on volume but, otherwise, I’ll be glad to have this in my toolkit (and hopefully I’ll never have to use it).
Custom Oakley Sutro sunglasses
We recently reported that Oakley was expanding its custom sunglasses programme to include 14 of its most popular models, including the Sutro, EVzero, Jawbreaker and more.
I’ve had a chance to spec my own pair and, naturally, I have gone with the most outrageously clashing design possible.
With a purple lens, orange frame, yellow legs, green logo and luminous green nose-piece, these go with absolutely none of my kit, and I wouldn’t have it any other way.
If you want a more austere look (or an even more wild one!), there are over 40-million combinations available via the service according to Oakley.
The turnaround was very quick from ordering (less than a week) and speccing a custom pair doesn’t command too much of a premium over a stock pair. What’s not to love?