Monday, 9 May 2011


I have got a new bike messenger bag. I have been testing it for a few months before doing this post.

It is made by a company called Bagaboo and it replaces my now three year old Timbuk2 messenger bag.It is strong and carries everything I need. It is a little bit larger than my old medium size Timbuk2. It has enough pockets. I would have preferred a key holder but I now just stick my keys in the smallest front pocket.

Above is a photo of the stuff I usually carry in my bag including a lock for the Brompton. No problem finding anything against the bright orange lining.

The strap has a generous pad that sits on the shoulder. I like the pulley system that enables you to adjust the strap while the bag sits across your back so you can get it just right.

Problem. The pulley system does slip and I have found the bag slipping down by my side when it is just hanging off my shoulder. However this only occurs when I the bag is not across my body. I have also found that somehow the shoulder strap can also get twisted and this requires me to straighten it out again. But this doesn’t happen that often.

I am not sure if I will keep it as long as my Timbuk2 but it is good for now.

Why didn’t I get another Timbuk2? For some time the supplies of Timbuk2s messenger bags in London have been very low up until the end of last year when a new range and supply arrived. But the colours of the bags I like all have a dark blue or black linings. Crazy. Previously all linings were white. As I have said previously, having a dark lining within a deep bag is useless when you need to find something in a hurry or find something period. I lost my first iPhone two years ago when I had to take everything out of my Brompton front pannier with the black lining because I was looking for my camera. I didn’t pick up the iPhone and by the time I went back to the shop it had been stolen. (They had left the bag the phone was in.) I could get a Timbuk2 custom made for me, but I don’t see why I should at this point and I thought I would have a change after having used one for three years.

I have found a video by a cyclist who has worked out how to use the strap system. Once you get it, it is simple. But I am not sure if I get it yet.  The link to the video is here.

Thanks to Mary at Velorution who went out of her way to help me with the Bagaboo.

Nearly forgot. Cost £130 approx. I think it is more now. Oh yes. It is waterproof, the bag, not the price.

Here are the links to other bags I have brought for cycling and my views on buying bags.

When choosing a bag.

Brompton bag vs Timbuk2 

Ortlieb zip city

Update: Saturday 14th May.  I have discovered what I was doing wrong with the adjustable strap.  I wasn't securing it and this is why it was sliding down.


Craig said...

I broke down an paid for the O bag and used it for the first time today. Although it looks a little dorky, I wanted a bag for the front mount and that I could also carry upstairs to work via shoulder strap. I have to say if I were traveling far with this bag on my shoulder it's a bit heavier than I'd like to carry around, but as my trip is VERY short up stairs there's no issue for me. And I'm okaying looking slightly goofier with a big shiny bag on the front of my bike because of the convenience vs strapping a messenger bag across my body.

So if you're like me and don't have to carry the bag off the bike very far and don't mind look a bit like a dork AND you can stomach the (truly awful) price, I'd recommend it.

Cycling in Heels said...

Thanks Craig. I am considering whether to get another front bag because in the future I will have to carry more stuff around.

Gareth said...

I looked at Bagaboo when my medium Timbuk 2 became too uncomfortable when carrying larger loads. Having emailed Bagaboo with a few queries I didn’t get any response. I ended up looking elsewhere and bought a Vandal from Mission Workshop- an expandable backpack. I use it everyday for commuting and at the weekends for trips to the DIY shop or supermarket. Any load, large or small, can be carried really comfortably and it’s totally waterproof. My only concern is that as it covers quite a large area of your back, it may become quite hot in summer. And it does lack a key holder. It was pricey but if you plan using something everyday then I think it’s worth the investment.

Cycling in Heels said...

Thanks Gareth. I will check out Vandal. But I take your point about carrying stuff on your back in the summer which is an issue if you want to stay cool.

She Rides a Bike said...

I have a little Timbuk2 Pannier Messenger that I recently reviewed for Commute by Bike. I use it all the time. Very durable and stylish and the clips fit very nicely on the Arclite rack on the rear of my Dahon. I never wore a messenger style bag before and this one is much more comfortable than what I originally expected.

Leslie said...

If you want reliable waterproof bags (and not too expensive), look here:

Cycling in Heels said...

K. I will go and see if I can track down the Timbuk2 Pannier Messenger. The Brompton is lower than the Dahon and it may not work on the back but there may be a way to attach it to the front.

L. I will also check out the bags on the Overboard site.