Sunday, 5 October 2008

Carradice Nelson longflap review

Well finally I have purchased a saddle bag to use on my Humber, after much research and some feedback from other saddle bag users I finally decided on purchasing a Carradice Nelson longflap saddle bag. As it was to go on the Humber it had to look the part and as Carradice have been making their traditional cotton duck saddle bags since the 1930s it was an easy choice to use one of their bags.

My next choice was deciding which size bag to buy, as they make several sizes. In the near future I'm keen to do some overnight tours on the Humber fully loaded with a compact tent, sleeping bag, cooker etc so that's why I decided on the Nelson longflap. When the extra flap is not in use it is held out of the way with two sturdy dome clips. It has a capacity of 15 ltrs and extends to 18 ltrs when using the flap. It came complete with a small but sturdy wooden dowel rod fixed across the back with two screws. This supports the entire bag and the white buff leather straps pass through your saddle loops and back into the bag and fasten around the wooden dowel. And as their old advertisement states above " Warm days, cool nights, Room for woollies in Carradice " there is plenty of room for woollies and anything else you may wish to carry.

The side pockets are rather large and I have managed to fit a bicycle bag in one side. This bag is carried in case I need to board a train etc as in Japan all cycles must be in a cycle bag to be accepted and the other side pocket holds my leather tool bag which was previously mounted on the saddle loops and a can of CRC oil.

The main compartment is huge and could easily hold a lightweight one person tent, compact sleeping bag & cooking kit & spare clothes etc. Most of the time I won't need such a large bag but it's good to know I have the room if needed. The top of the bag has fittings for two straps to carry a wet jacket/rain cape or even tent poles. The rear of the bag has a reflective logo and a leather strap in which a small light could be clipped. All the main points that would normally wear out on a bag of this type are reinforced with high grade leather. Any items that are carried in the main compartment are held in place by a waterproof cover on a drawstring to stop them falling out etc.

As you can see from the above photos my bag is mounted directly to the saddle loops of the Brooks B 17 and the lower strap is affixed to the seat post. If you don't like the idea of the contents of your bag sitting at an angle or the bag gently brushing the back of your legs as you cycle you could fit a Viva saddle bag rack which should then bring the bag backwards away from the back of your legs with the lower seat post strap fixed around the lower portion of the Viva rack. In the US these racks are available from Velo orange but here in Japan they can be ordered from any bicycle shop. The two colored tags you can see mounted on the saddle loops are bag tags from the Lake Pepin 3 speed tour, What the heck are bag tags ? following this link and find out

Pictured above is the Carradice Nelson longflap saddle bag and the Viva saddle bag rack.

Overall rating : Well worth the money as it looks trad and is very well made plus it's waterproof. The perfect accessory for any 3 speed cyclist.


bicycleandukulele said...

I have used a Carradice Longflap for over 20 years. It has been long distance touring, shopping and used for the daily commute. It travels out almost every day in all weathers, winter and summer and has never let me down. It is now on my Pashley Roadster and should last another 20 years.
It is also the best bag for carrying a ukulele by bicycle!

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