Bridge Street Saddlebag - Medium  £70.00

9/10

Brilliantly simple saddle bag that can be fitted to any bike; ideal for commuting and light touring

Weight 507g   Contact  www.bridgestreet.cc

by David Arthur   July 17, 2014  

The Bridge Street Saddlebag came about via a successful Kickstarter campaign last summer, with the bags being manufactured in Warwickshire. It took a year to get the bag through development with 14 prototypes. That investment in getting it just right has paid off, because the end result is a real gem.

The appeal of the Bridge Street Saddlebag is that it uses an off-the-shelf Klickfix mounting system that can be fixed to any round seatpost. Unlike some saddlebag designs that hook onto the bottom of the saddle via small loops, the Bridge Street has been happily doing service on everything from traditional touring bikes to sub-7kg carbon race bikes during this long-term test.

Admittedly it looks a little out of place on a carbon race bike, but it certainly works just fine and if you have some long distance adventures planned this summer with an overnight stop, this is perhaps your best solution where you can't fit a rack, and don't want to carry a rucksack. It also doesn't have the old fashioned looks of a Carradice, the main choice in this small market, and you don't have to have a Brooks saddle with bag loops either.

Where the Bridge Street really scores well is in its lack of weight. It's very light. That's due to the hollow polymer frame and coated nylon exterior. The roll-top opening means it can accommodate varying loads easily and ensures it's waterproof. I've commuted in persistent rain and the contents remained dry.

Installing the bag onto the bike is pretty straightforward. You do have to remove the seatpost to fit the Klickfix mounting arm though. It'd be nice if the mount didn't necessitate the removal of the post to fit, but once on it is very secure. At the other end of the mounting arm is a one-click release bracket that snaps the bag securely into place.

It's all very solid; I've been testing it extensively for months including the occasional 110km round trip into the road.cc office, and even included some rough roads and gravel paths to test its ruggedness, and it's coped just fine.

How much can you fit in the bag? Plenty, that's for sure. Bridge Street offer three sizes; I tested the medium because that seemed like the best compromise for some commuting and light touring. That gives you 8 litres of capacity. The size small bag offers 4 litres and the large 15 litres. That should be plenty for most commutes, provided you don't have to carry a laptop; I got my seven-inch tablet in there just fine.

If you're going to use it touring as your primary bag, you'll have to travel extremely light. You can get a change of clothes in there and some lightweight shoes, some essentials, food and tools etc, but then you're starting to run out of space pretty quickly. You get a bit of extra load lugging ability with the twin straps under which you can stash a waterproof jacket and arm warmers.

It's worth bearing in mind the 5kg weight limit Bridge Street advise, but you'll probably want to keep your contents on the light side anyway. Because the medium bag is quite small, it's prevents you loading up too much stuff; it certainly focuses your attention on the absolute essentials.

Inside the main compartment is a small zipped pocket that is ideal for storing a mobile phone, wallet and house keys.

Because the Klickfix mounting system is also available for the handlebars, you could mount a size small bag to the bars, use the medium or large bag at the rear and have enough space for a few days touring the open road.

A light can be fixed to a small loop on the back, and this was really my only cause for complaint. Unless the bag is very carefully packed, the light could sag down and point towards the rear wheel, rather than at the traffic behind you. With the seatpost, the regular place for mounting lights, out of action because of the bag, I'd like to see a better solution to the light mounting for winter commuting and riding. There are a couple of reflective details and trim that boosts night time visibility however.

During riding you certainly don't notice the bag. Because it's centrally mounted, any weight is well balanced and after you get used to the extra weight through the first couple of corners, you soon forget it's there. And because it's tucked away behind your body, it doesn't impact your aero performance as much as a pair of panniers, making it ideal for speedy commuters or brisk tours.

Verdict

Brilliantly simple saddle bag that can be fitted to any bike; ideal for commuting and light touring

road.cc test report

Make and model: Bridge Street Saddlebag - Medium

Size tested: Medium

Tell us what the product is for, and who it's aimed at. What do the manufacturers say about it? How does that compare to your own feelings about it?

The Bridge Street Saddlebag is constructed from two layers of high strength coated nylon, wrapped around a hollow polymer frame. The design of the bag means the fabric doesn't rub on anything as you ride, so we don't need heavy fabrics or reinforcements, while the waterproof coatings are safely sandwiched inside the bag for a longer life.

We use a standard, quick release mounting system on the back of our bags. You might have the very same thing on the back of a handlebar bag. It is simple, reliable and instant to use. Spare parts are widely available if you break something, or lose something, or want to use the same bag on other bikes. And yes, you can mount the Bridge Street Saddlebag up front if the shape of your bars permits it.

The Bridge Street Saddlebag has just a few, carefully chosen features. The lining material is a grey nylon that makes it easier to find your stuff without showing the stains of a tough life too much. There is a single zipped interior pocket that is big enough to hold a map. A discreet second zip provides access to the internal frame for crash repairs, and offers a secret place to stash your emergency bail-out cash.

Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?

8 litres /500 cubic inches

500g/18oz including mounting hardware

Everyday use, from day rides to long-distance, hotel-based tours

The high mounting bracket has a load limit of 5kg (11lb). The low bracket has a slightly higher load limit of 7kg (15lb). It is hard to fit the Large bag on the low bracket, however, unless you are very tall or ride a bike with particularly small wheels. So 5kg is probably the practical weight limit for most people.

Rate the product for quality of construction:
 
9/10

Handmade in the UK the quality of construction is brilliant and it's been extensively long-term tested through the winter and spring and survived just fine.

Rate the product for performance:
 
10/10

A brilliant solution for commuting and touring, and it fits any bike (as long as it has a round seatpost) so you've got no excuse for not planning that multi-day adventure now.

Rate the product for durability:
 
9/10

I've purposely waited until writing this review because I wanted to properly long-term test it, and it's stood up just fine.

Rate the product for weight, if applicable:
 
9/10

At just over 500g for the lot there aren't many lighter luggage solutions out there.

Rate the product for value:
 
9/10

The price seems very reasonable taking into account it's made right here in the UK.

Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose

Brilliantly simple and well designed, it's also rugged and durable, and very light.

Tell us what you particularly liked about the product

It looks good, it's light, and it can be fitted to just about any road bike.

Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product

The light loop sags unless you pay particular attention to loading the bag.

Did you enjoy using the product? Yes.

Would you consider buying the product? Yes.

Would you recommend the product to a friend? Yes.

Anything further to say about the product in conclusion?

I'd give this bag a 10/10 if the light bracket were a little better designed, other than that it's a very smart product that meets its intentions spot on.

Overall rating: 9/10

About the tester

Age: 31  Height: 180  Weight: 67

I usually ride:   My best bike is:

I've been riding for: 10-20 years  I ride: Every day  I would class myself as: Expert

I regularly do the following types of riding: road racing, time trialling, cyclo cross, commuting, touring, mtb,

 

14 user comments

Oldest firstNewest firstBest rated

I'd be careful about fixing supports on to a carbon fibre seat pin. That's probably why they give a 5kg limit.

At the very least make sure that the surface of the seat pin is not scored by the metal band on the mount.

posted by ChairRDRF [137 posts]
17th July 2014 - 20:01

22 Likes

I had the large bag with the extended mount and found when out of the saddle ( and admitantly fully loaded ) it unbalanced the back of the bike. The beauty of the design though is brilliantly simple and dead easy to remove when you get where you want to go.

posted by Chrisbpr [14 posts]
17th July 2014 - 20:23

19 Likes

That looks neat.

The Xootr Crossrack is another option - similar concept (it clamps onto the seatpost) but a bit more robust and can take a full pannier. Mrs Fegg has just got one for her folder and I'm sorely tempted to follow.

Doctor Fegg's picture

posted by Doctor Fegg [137 posts]
17th July 2014 - 20:25

15 Likes

Looks great but seems pricey for what is a fairly simple bag...

ride slow, ride far, ride often

posted by mzungu [35 posts]
17th July 2014 - 21:34

18 Likes

Looks practical... a bit nicer than the drybag + straps/bungees setup that bikepackers have been doing for several years. Carradice could use some competition.

Re: price - everything for the bike is quite pricey nowadays, or not?

posted by chokofingrz [300 posts]
17th July 2014 - 21:53

10 Likes

I got one when it was on Kickstarter. Very happy with it too. It sags slightly, but that's more to me filling it to the max.

posted by smcc1879 [11 posts]
17th July 2014 - 21:59

16 Likes

I suppose I could fit it to the winter bike, wouldn't want a fixing system attached permanetly to the race bike, particularly as the seatpost removal isn't a simple affair the seatpost battery cord isn't long enough somay require disconnection which means crankset removal (yes I should have got a longer cable)

The mounting is a negative for me though.

posted by pmr [172 posts]
17th July 2014 - 22:43

14 Likes

Yeah, I got one through the kickstarter project. Very happy with it. I use it every day, much better than a rucksack. I did a Coast to Coast tour a few weeks ago & stuffed it full of tools & spares (3.5kg worth), I didn't notice it. I'd get another. I don't have an issue with the light dragging down, but when almost empty it does point slightly upwards.
It even has a little label inside to tell you who made it. I like that.

Currently going slower than I'd like...

posted by stealth [195 posts]
17th July 2014 - 22:43

14 Likes

It's interesting, but a Barley (or a Super C Audax) is £50, and doesn't look slightly as though you've strapped a sleeping bag stuffsac to your bike Smile

The Klickfix fitting is an excellent idea, and I''ve seen Carradice mods that use the same thing.

I guess if you've a modern bike, and feel a Carradice would look out of place, these are a good bet, but £70 seems an awful lot to me.

--
"Tant que je respire, j'attaque!"

John_the_Monkey's picture

posted by John_the_Monkey [422 posts]
18th July 2014 - 8:41

13 Likes

Looks ideal for my needs, but I'll have to wait until I replace my current bike as my seatpost is rusted in place and impossible move!

posted by pikeamus [41 posts]
18th July 2014 - 12:11

16 Likes

Those who helped through Kickstarter got them for £50. Smile

Currently going slower than I'd like...

posted by stealth [195 posts]
18th July 2014 - 17:04

13 Likes

It must have been well tested, and user feedback gathered, but I still wouldn't fancy fixing what is in effect a sturdy lever with a 5kg weight at the end to the top to a carbon seat post, adding weight of rider, then go bouncing over cobbles or unsurfaced bike paths. Nor would I feel good about subjecting an expensive titanium post to the same treatment, with a metal bracket scoring into it. Presumably a suspension post wouldn't take the bracket, which leaves a hard as iron aluminium post as the only safe option?

posted by bikeylikey [168 posts]
19th July 2014 - 7:47

13 Likes

It doesn't sound like a major expense to buy a basic alloy post to use with this, for those that have carbon and want to carry more than a light load. You already have to remove the seat post to install it, so it's not a great deal more fiddling.

I do like the design, I use an Altura seat post bag now which serves a similar occasional need, but at the small size/low weight end of their range. However, I think that price needs to drop, I paid £35 for the Altura and there are plenty of good seat post & saddle bags at no more than £50.

Oh, for anyone worried about these things scoring the seat post, just wrap some electrical insulation tape around it before you put the adapter on.

posted by bikebot [645 posts]
19th July 2014 - 10:37

12 Likes

Rule #29

posted by Skidz [5 posts]
19th July 2014 - 11:37

11 Likes

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