Learning.

21 08 2013

Learning is an incredibly satisfying experience. Sometimes, as I get older, I feel like I am just treading in footsteps that are laid down in front of me. Inspiration lacks.

But an antidote is apparent. One look at Daisy picking up new skills, physical abilities (the high rope ladder to the tube slide at Mugdock park !) or mischief and I realise how useful the tools we humans have been given really are: brain and body.

Anyway, I have been making more bags. Firstly, a micro under-top-tube bag. This was a challenge for me. For a start, it has a water resistant zip incorporated. I have never sewn a zip in to a bag before. It was also very long, but slim. This was a pretty big risk for twist. In the end, the zip could have been done better and due to inadequate preparation, there *was* some twist.

Again though, I learned ! the next one will have a different arrangement around the zip. It will be wider and I will cut the pattern much, much more carefully. I cannot stress (as Trina told me before I even started) how important prep is in this game. You need to sew in straight lines and everything needs to be aligned. Having a very constant margin on your materials helps enormously in this endeavour. It is also extremely important (as in any physical task) to visualise your steps.

Next was an improved saddle bag. As my friend Biff pointed out, the first saddle bag had a fair extension behind the velcro saddle rail attachment. When I was riding on Carn Ban Mor, I purposely overloaded it and packed it poorly to see what would happen. I had 2 heavy duty tubes at the rear, with a waterproof stuffed into the front cone. After the majority of the steppy descent was done, the velcro gave out and the bag came partially adrift. However, no stitches were harmed. This was good and bad. In real use, this bag will only carry soft, light clothing. However, it gave me the idea to add a cam buckle to the seat rail loop, so it won’t come adrift without extreme force.

The new saddle bag extends further down the seat post, is marginally shorter, has a smaller roll top but is still very easy to pack. The volume ends up very similar, but it is better triangulated by the attachment points.

I feel sure this will act as a spring board to further iterations, but this one will see some proper use. My stitching and pattern was excellent, so it was much easier to make.

Next was a v3 of the UL feedbag. Shorter x-pac section, larger baffle made from silnyon, an oblong base and a daisy chain of polyamid webbing around the circumference in order to allow multiple possibilities for mounting. This is a good design and overall I executed it pretty well. However, the oblong base was hard to sew, making me think a square base, with angled off corners will be the better option. I have some pu coated super light denier cordura coming that will, I think, be ideal for the baffle.

These feed bags are SO useful! I got out for a ride into Glen Almond the other day no tech, no singletrack, but it was beneficial to see this pass between Crieff and Loch Tay. It is a bonny place to be. I used one feedbag to carry a tube, a mini tool kit and all the food I needed for the 3 hour ride. I am still investigating the possibility of a more complete bag that will fit within the loops of a Jones bar, but 2 feedbags rocks.

I am also planning a Wingnut style ruck sack. As you may note from previous posts, I hate carrying stuff on my back, but when needs be, a 1.5l bladder is no problem. Wingnut do make a tiny bag, which I have used for many years, both locally and in the longer 100 mile races I used to do. The bag will be based off this, in that it will be small, have space for a 1.5l antidote bladder, but it will be slightly taller, with modular waist band pockets and will have just a tad more stowage space. Exciting.

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4 responses

22 08 2013
wunnspeed

Hey… me again. Twist in the small stuff is hard to battle but as you mentioned, keeping constant seam allowances (also tough) and making sure both sides are exactly the same size (gets tougher when you add zippers), etc. I’ve found that alignment markings help on the ‘corners’ of the bags. Also, structurally, the Dyneema is really floppy but very durable. If you move up to the heavier XPac or 1000 Denier cordura, you gain some weight but you also gain a lot of structure. Lastly, Point North has some stuff that looks like rubberized grip tape (think skateboarding), it’s great on the seatpost and under seat parts of the bags to help stop slipping and abrasion resistance. I use it on our bags and I love it!

22 08 2013
kelly.b

Very interested in your wingnut style bag I have a wingnut but being a smaller female rider find the straps are totally in the wrong place so have been meaning to adapt for sometime time now. Thanks for the inspiration 🙂

6 09 2013
Brandon Bogardus

Love the seat pack. Going to copy it for my first-ever sewing attempt. Thanks for the inspiration!

28 09 2013
velopest

go for it!…its good fun making stuff to use.

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