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Tag Archive: saddle bags

Interbike 2012: Banjo Brothers

One of my favorite people to visit at Interbike would be our friends Eric and Mike also known as the Banjo Brothers. I’ve known these guys for at least 6 years and did you know that Banjo Brothers is celebrating their 10 year anniversary! A big congrats goes out to these guys who make high quality products at affordable prices.

Mike and Eric, The Banjo Brothers.
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For 2013 the Brothers are offering new frame bags.
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Another product they are offering is a cell phone bag/keeper. The clear plastic cover allows you full control of your screen while protecting it from the elements. This bag is perfect for storing your stuff all together so you can fit it in the back of your jersey pocket.
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You can keep your ID, CC and cash in there.
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This right here has to be my favorite, same concept as above, but you can mount it on your bike!
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Velcro to keep things secure on the bike.
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Another new product is this guy. It’s the same as their backpack but made with a different material. From what I recall, Eric said it was waxed canvas. So that should make some of you retro-grouches happy.
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Here’s a great example of Banjo Brother products mounted on a commuter/touring bike.
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Look hunny, the drapes match the carpet!
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I love me some Banjo Brothers. My own commuter back pack is 6 years old and it’s still going strong! I use for bike commuting and even for luggage when I travel.

Banjo Brothers Announce “Factory Store”

Mike Vanderscheuren of Banjo Brothers wanted to let everyone know that they’ve opened a “factory store” with some GREAT deals on Banjo Brothers gear:

The Banjo Brothers have opened a “company store”. Here’s the rationale:

We created the store in order to sell close-out goods, factory seconds, re-furbished goods, one-of-a-kinds, and other schwag that you can’t get from our fine network of dealers. If you are a dealer,
a team, organization or charity and wish to make a special buy, give us a holler and we’ll see what kind of deal we can put together.

Inventory is likely to change frequently, so check back often or subscribe to our feed.

We have a bunch of stuff not suitable for our dealer network but which is first rate product. We are just looking to keep our office and warehouse tidy.

Check out their company store by visiting it here. There are some spectacular deals to be had!

Seattle Sports Waterproof Pannier — Update

A few weeks ago, I posted a “first look�? at the Seattle Sports Fast Pack waterproof pannier.

I’ve had a chance to really ride with this bag — and I LOVE it!! The bag has carried some heavy loads (dress shoes, a stack of big library books, groceries) and has remained absolutely waterproof through some brutal late-summer Florida rainstorms.

In my earlier post, I talked about the great attachment system. The combination of rigid clips and a rotating toggle have made this bag impervious to shifting or “jumping�? off the rear rack of my bike, even with a 20 lb. load in it. It doesn’t rattle or sway in any way. Here’s a look at the attachment system for those who missed my earlier article:

I also really enjoy the ease with which I can open and close the bag to fill it and remove items. I was using some cheapie Nashbar-branded panniers before I got this bag to review, and with that one I have to unclip two buckles, flip open a flap and then undo a drawstring to get at my goodies. With the Seattle Sports pannier, I merely unclip the buckle and roll the top twice to open it. Reclosing it is just as simple — two quick rolls with my wrists, clip the buckle and I’m off!

The fabric, besides being completely waterproof, has also proved to be quite durable. It doesn’t show any signs of wear, even after I scraped that side of the bike against a narrow concrete passageway I sometimes pass through on my way to work. Sharp corners of books that I’ve carried haven’t damaged the bag in any way, either.

I still dislike the inky black interior of the bag — I wish the bag was lined with a lighter-colored material to help me find small items in the bottom, but in practice this really hasn’t caused me any problems.

In any case, this Seattle Sports Fast Pack bag appears to be just the ticket if you have stout commuting loads, live in wet areas and are tired of your other panniers flapping and jingling as you ride. For more information and pricing, take a look at Seattle Sports’ bike gear page.

Now, if I could only scrape together enough cash to buy one for the other side!

Seattle Sports “Fast Pack” Pannier — First Impression

Seattle Sports Waterproof Pannier

Seattle Sports recently sent us one of their waterproof “Fast Pack” pannier bags to test in the harsh summer rains of west-central Florida. Any company based in Seattle will surely know a thing or two about wet weather, and Seattle Sports is well-known for their excellent gear that is built to handle extreme wetness!

Here’s a bit about the bag, directly from the manufacturer’s website:

-10″ w, 14″ h, 5″ deep
-750 cu. in. per single bag
-18 oz.
-sold individually
-AVAILABLE IN GREY
-Price: $59.95

The bag is a simple three-roll-closure bag with nylon buckles, much like traditional dry bags for kayak and canoe applications. It is made of a radio-frequency welded nylon and rubberized fabric. It features a side compression strap for keeping loads from swaying, a smallish reflective patch on the back of the bag and a small zippered interior pocket.

The interior of the bag is lined in soft nylon. Even though the bag only holds 750 cubic inches, a lot can hide down in there, and the interior is DARK. A lighter-colored liner would help a user locate small items hiding down in the bottom. The zippered interior pocket is located on the outer wall of the inside.

Inside the bag:
Inside the bag

The rack attachment system is the real showcase of this bag. Comprised of two upper rigid clips with spring-loaded locking keepers and a sliding, rotating lower “toggle” that clamps around the bottom of the rack stays, this system is absolutely bulletproof. You will not shake this bag loose, even with a heavy load!! This attachment system is well-designed and is perhaps the best I’ve had the pleasure of using.

The bag's attachment system

Here’s a closeup of the upper clips. The keepers are on the inside — no real springs in there, but these keepers pop up and press back to release the bag from the upper rail of a rack:
The upper clips w/ keepers

I’ve only ridden with this bag once so far…and only with a light load (a pair of dress shoes). In the coming weeks, I will put this bag through its paces, including some serious wet-weather testing to check the waterproofness of this bag.

So far, my only real gripe is the reflective patch on the back of the bag. There’s room on the back for a much more substantial reflector…something I’d like to see on this bag, since so many other pannier manufacturers put loads of reflective tape and patches on their bags.

The tiny reflective patch:
Tiny reflective patch

Stay tuned for more as I torture this bag!!! I’ve got to say, though, that this bag really looks like it can handle some serious punishment. We’ll see if I’m right, won’t we?

Visit Seattle Sports’ cycling products page for more details about their waterproof bags.