Thursday, July 09, 2015

Bike Bag Dude Frame Bags: Overview

The new BBD kit on the Fat Fargo
In my Odin's Gear Review, (seen HERE), I mentioned that the Bike Bag Dude Chaff Bags had been redesigned. Bike Bag Dude reached out to see if I wanted to check out those and a new Top Tube bag they are producing now. Well, it wasn't long until a couple of those Chaff Bags, a new top tube bag, and a frame bag showed up for the Fat Fargo yesterday. Let's take a quickie tour around the bike to see what I have here.

The big deal for Bike Bag Dude is now they have a complimentary "Top Tube Bag" to go along with the frame bags and Chaff Bags they always have done. The Top Tube Bag is similar to other "gas tank" style bags out there, which vary in shape and quality quite a bit.

This one is fully seam taped and the zipper has a nice little "garage" to park it under when things are shut up. Plus there are two tabs to pull everything in to keep it from hitting your knees whilst pedaling out of the saddle. The sides are padded to help this bag retain its shape when it isn't completely stuffed with.......well, stuff! Straps are made from a Velcro product dubbed "One Wrap" which isn't a traditional hook and loop closure material. It is more supple and grips like crazy, but comes apart when you want it to without a lot of effort, unlike some super-gnarly Velcro I've encountered with other bags.

The size of this bag is 11" long by 3 inches in width by 4.5" high at the stem end.

The Top Tube Bag can be anchored at the tail to the frame bag, which allows easy one handed open/closing of the bag. 
The Top Tube Bag and Chaff Bag. All BBD bags come with these nice, embroidered patches.
The new Chaff Bag is pretty much the same deal as the old Chaff Bag, just bigger. The original, and still available Chaff Bag is 100mm in diameter, but that is a bit of a snug fit on a man-sized paw. So, Bike Bag Dude now offers this in a 120mm diameter option, which I found so far to be perfect for reaching into all the way to the bottom.

The other dimensions are the same for both bags with the overall height being 10 inches. Perfect for water bottles and whatever else you might want at hand as you are riding. The Chaff Bag is also available in several colors to matchy-match your other bags, or not if you don't roll that way. Of course, the Top Tube Bag and frame bag can also be ordered in several different colors.

The frame bag features an "upper level"easily big enough for many water bladders,
The "lower level" is a great place to store heavier objects to help keep the center of gravity lower. 
The left side features this "map pocket" which is great for storage of flatter objects or actual maps and cues. 
So, the frame bag is essentially the same as my previous BBD frame bag which resides on the Ti Muk these days. However; there is one new addition here which is different. On the left side there is a long, horizontal zippered opening for a "map pocket". It isn't super deep, and I can easily touch the bottom of it, as I am in the image above.

I like this pocket idea, since I am not real big on keeping cues out on my handle bars all the time, as many folks do. I can easily unzip, reach in, grab the cues, read 'em, and replace them into the frame bag while riding. That keeps my handle bar area less cluttered and the extra protection of the bag should help preserve them in inclement weather.

Of course, you can put whatever you want in there, as long as it is flattish, or very thin. Things like a bunch of gels, a packable wind/rain jacket, or beef jerky would be a few things I could think of here. That's the beauty of working with someone like Bike Bag Dude- you can customize the bag to your preferences, within reason.

Bike Bag Dude is located in Australia. The time from initial contact to delivery on these items for me was 29 days. Prices vary, but are in line with what most custom bag makers charge. Again, colors and special touches are possible. The process was quite easy as well. I just sent an image of the bike, dimensions, and with a few messages, the bags were constructed in a very professional and correct way. Durability of these bags is top notch. I've battered and abused my previous Chaff Bags and my frame bag for over three years with little to no degradation of the fabric or seams. Trust me- I've abused them! Plus, BBD bags have traveled the world and been used in the biggest ultra-distance events on the planet by top athletes. Sometimes in disguise due to sponsorship arrangements! It's good stuff, and the BBD folks are easy to deal with.

Look for an update after I've put these through their paces. I'll be reviewing the Top Tube Bag for

NOTE: Bike Bag Dude sent over their Top Tube Bag, Chaff Bag, and frame bag at no charge for test and review. I was not bribed nor paid for this post and I will always strive to give my honest thoughts and views throughout.


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