The new gold standard for Saddle Bags
Last month I reviewed a new concept hard shelled saddle bag from Cyckit. See review here.
This bag is truly unique in that it does away with BOTH Velcro™ AND zippers. Its only drawback was that it was a tad too small. So when I came across Clean Motion Bike’s Pelikan SMS saddle bag, I was intrigued as to how it compares to (a) Cyckit’s Aeroclam and (b) a top quality ‘regular’ bag from Shimano PRO line.
PELIKAN SKS FEATURES:
Two great features make this saddlebag worth a serious look.
See photo to the right –>
- Easy-on / easy-off silicone straps hold the bag firm and secure – most other bags that I have owned use Velcro™ which quickly wears out then the bag falls off. In fact, just yesterday I saw a cyclists bag drop from his saddle rails due to worn out Velcro™. Silicone straps will never wear out nor stretch and they WON’T rip through your Lycra shorts…but, this bag still uses zippers which can get clogged with sand, dust, mud, dirt, debris thereby making the bag extremely difficult to open/close. I challenge Clean Motion Bike to see if they can come up with an option to zippers.
- Soft silicon-infused plastic underbelly and leading edge. I think this is a fantastic idea.
- The rugged underbelly exoskeleton protects the bag as well as its contents from being worn through by the seatpost’s saddle rail bolts & clamps. I have a bag right now (pictured below) that has a big hole in it from the saddle rail bolts. I had to place several layers of duct tape on the inside to keep the bolt from going through the tubes. After I mounted the Pelikan SMS, I looked to see if there were any interface issues and, right now, the bolt comes into contact with the plastic exoskeleton, and not the bag nor its contents.
- Soft silicone is infused into the front of the exoskeleton which does two things. (1) protects your seatpost from marks or wear – extremely important if using a full-carbon post. (2) helps keep the bag in place as the soft silicon grips around the post preventing it from slipping.
HOW DOES THIS BAG MEASURE UP?
The photo above shows a size comparison with a standard bag and the Pelikan SMS bag.
The table below is used to compare several features between a standard saddle bag and the Pelikan SMS bag.
Mounting the bag was very easy and took less than 10 seconds. Hold the bag secure to the seat post, flip the silicone straps over the saddle rails and attach the straps to the other side. Unzip the zipper and add the tubes and anything else you might want to carry. Plenty of room to carry everything you need and best of all, no more tubes in the jersey pocket.
The bag stays firm and secure on the seat post. The contents inside stay put as well. No need for additional straps to hold the bag down, plus, inside the bag is a hook for your keys and a mesh pocket to hold an additional small item. I use this mesh pocket to carry a spare seatpost clamp. Several years ago, I broke one while out on a 60 mile ride and, you guessed it, the clamp broke right at mile 30. Not leaving home without a spare clamp ever again, and this mesh pouch is the perfect place to store it.
Until the Pelikan SMS bag arrived, this was my setup (see photo to the right). My daughter had one too. Within weeks, the Velcro™ on both bags gave out forcing us to add a custom double sided heavier-duty Velcro™ strap. This was the only thing keeping the bag from falling off.
The only drawback is that some ‘racers’ might find this bag a little too-large. Most everyone else will find this bag to be just right for carrying everything you need.
The silicone straps do not abrade away your Lycra shorts and they hold the bag firmly from slipping or coming loose. The bag is manufactured from a heavy duty ballistic nylon with a heavy duty exoskeleton that acts to protect the carbon post, as well as the contents inside the bag.
This is one well thought out, we designed and well engineered bag. It is definitely worth picking one up for your next ride!