BTR Water Resistant Frame Bike Bag And Mobile Phone Holder  £9.99

7/10

Practical little bag for smaller mobile devices and other valuables

Weight 100g   Contact  www.btrdirect.co.uk

by Shaun Audane   July 31, 2014  

The BTR Water Resistant Frame Bike Bag And Mobile Phone Holder is essentially a handy little tote for change, multi-tools, keys and similar ride essentials you might want easy access to.

Made from a reassuringly rugged nylon, it's a two tier design very similar in layout to Birzman's Zyklop Voyager reviewed here back in April. The upper deck, complete with clear PVC face is designed to accommodate compact smartphones up to 10x6x1.5cm. Convenient for visual checks it isn't really conducive to sweeping and similar touch screen commands on the fly.

Your gizmo sits on a shock absorbing, medium density trap-door type insert that locks in situ via Velcro, segregating sensitive electricals from bike related essentials stowed in the hull. Down below there's enough real estate for a medium sized multi-tool, small roll-type nylon wallets, keys, tyre levers, blinkies, batteries and patch kit without feeling overburdened.

Sensible packing pretty much precludes that irksome jingle over washboard surfaces, muffled further by the flexible base that does a decent job of defending top tube paintwork from unsightly swirling or more serious damage.

Conversely, the Velcro straps felt decidedly bargain basement, with some minor fraying evident within a week's service. In fairness, this hasn't worsened and seems competent enough, readily accommodating standard and oversized tubing alike.

Fitment/removal is similarly faff-free, even in full-finger gloves. Bold retro-reflectives are another plus, offering coordinated contrast by day, boosting nocturnal safety at junctions, or when entering the flow of traffic since they're not easily obscured by rider girth, even on racier configurations.

Stitched, as opposed to welded construction coupled with basic zipper and MP3 head phone port means it could never be considered anything more than water resistant. Credit where due, it's resisted relatively heavy cloudburst for an hour and less enthusiastic, everyday stuff shouldn't pose any problems.

However, unrelenting biblical rains will eventually saturate the fibres, requiring several hours at room temperature (packed with old paper) before it's fully dry, so pack a heavy duty freezer bag on longer, Audax type outings.

Verdict

Practical little bag for smaller mobile devices and other valuables

road.cc test report

Make and model: BTR BTR Water Resistant Frame Bike Bag And Mobile Phone Holder

Size tested: Black

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?

"High quality padded bag with 3 velcro straps which allow for quick and secure fastening to the bike frame. Separate phone pouch on top which allows phone touch screen to be operated as normal and storage beneath for tools, camera, money, inner tube etc etc"

A fair description.

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

"High quality water resistant (not 100% waterporof) padded bike bag

Phone pouch built into the top with space underneath for keys, tools, innertube, money etc

Includes headphone extension cable with angled 3.5mm jack

Three Velcro straps hold bag securely in place and phone touch screen operates as normal through PVC screen"

Rate the product for quality of construction:
 
7/10

Generally very good.

Rate the product for performance:
 
7/10
Rate the product for durability:
 
7/10

Despite some superficial fraying around the straps, everything's held up nicely.

Rate the product for weight, if applicable:
 
7/10
Rate the product for comfort, if applicable:
 
7/10

Convenient to use, though my zip-tie loop trick makes the zippers more convenient on the fly/wearing full-finger gloves. Touch screen functions a little hit 'n' miss too but this seems typical of the genre.

Rate the product for value:
 
7/10

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

This little bag has been something of a pleasant surprise-smart looking, user friendly and an excellent option for smaller smart phones (Samsung Galaxy Y, older Sony Xperia etc), or even small bottles of sunscreen on hotter days. Tardis like interior caters for the usual ride essentials without catching inner thighs when honking and while not truly waterproof, ours has resisted moderate downpours commendably.However, line sensitive electricals in a freezer bag or two in case of biblical stuff.

Tell us what you particularly liked about the product

Nicely made, practical bag with pleasantly neutral styling.

Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product

Velcro straps seemed lower rent than some but hasn't marred practicality.

Did you enjoy using the product? Yes.

Would you consider buying the product? Yes.

Would you recommend the product to a friend? Yes.

Overall rating: 7/10

About the tester

Age: 40  Height: 1m 81  Weight: 70 kilos

I usually ride: Rough Stuff Tourer Based around 4130 Univega mtb Frameset  My best bike is: 1955 Holdsworth Road Path and several others including cross & traditional road

I've been riding for: Over 20 years  I ride: Most days  I would class myself as: Experienced

I regularly do the following types of riding: cyclo cross, commuting, touring, fixed/singlespeed, mtb,

 

16 user comments

Oldest firstNewest firstBest rated

I've tried bags in this position but they chafe against the inside of your thighs whenever you pedal out of the saddle. Very(!) irritating on a tough climb and the velcro fasteners can end up making a mess of your bib shorts. This one looks wider than most so the problem would only be greater.

It's a shame as I would find regular eating on longer rides a lot easier if the food was there in front of me. I guess they're good for flatter rides where you're not going to be out of the saddle.

posted by mpdouglas [12 posts]
31st July 2014 - 10:36

20 Likes

I've never had that problem with my Topeak tri bag although I'd imagine you might with this one as like you said it's much wider. A great idea thou to integrate the phone pocket.

posted by N3al [6 posts]
31st July 2014 - 11:23

18 Likes

It looks interesting to me as my bike frame is so small(13 inch) i cannot use one under the saddle.
I have a mountain bike frame to top tube slopes, i shouldnt think it would be aproblem.
On the website it comes in 3 sizes...which size is the one tested? Would be handy to know, especially as you describe the amount of contents it will take.

Theres always been a starkadder......

posted by robert posts child [30 posts]
31st July 2014 - 12:18

16 Likes

Oh, yet another re-branded bag from Dealextreme? How sweet!

blog rowerowy - my blog about bicycles (written in Polish, but feel free to visit me! Smile )

mikroos's picture

posted by mikroos [197 posts]
31st July 2014 - 16:04

14 Likes

Tote bags? Shudder....

I don't even mount a pump on the bike - let alone deface it with zip bags.

Silly me. You're probably right....

MercuryOne's picture

posted by MercuryOne [1084 posts]
1st August 2014 - 22:39

11 Likes

MercuryOne wrote:
Tote bags? Shudder....

I don't even mount a pump on the bike - let alone deface it with zip bags.

Rolling On The Floor Seriously? You know that the Velominati are satirical, right?

My bike, my only bike, has a rack, hi-viz snap bands around seat-tube and head-tube, and generally has two rear lights and two front lights. And a pump. And a bottle cage.

"...let alone deface it with zip bags." - Rolling On The Floor Rolling On The Floor Rolling On The Floor

posted by brooksby [204 posts]
2nd August 2014 - 15:56

11 Likes

brooksby wrote:

You know that the Velominati are satirical, right?

I think you'll find that's only half the truth. Wink

Work harder. Buy a tank.

userfriendly's picture

posted by userfriendly [316 posts]
2nd August 2014 - 16:50

13 Likes

MercuryOne wrote:
Tote bags? Shudder....

I don't even mount a pump on the bike - let alone deface it with zip bags.

do you sit on your bike or just push it around at the end of a long pole so as not to spoil its clean lines?

Northernbike's picture

posted by Northernbike [169 posts]
2nd August 2014 - 18:05

10 Likes

I've owned loads of these now (damn deal extreme for selling them so cheaply!) and this is the best I've had so far:
http://m.dx.com/p/roswheel-11810-outdoor-cycling-pu-pvc-bicycle-handleba...

It sits on your top tube/handlebars so there's no danger of knee chaffage, and it doesn't slide around your top tube like a dead sloth when you knock it.

posted by thelimopit [118 posts]
3rd August 2014 - 16:00

8 Likes

I use one (well a £5 equivalent ebay bargain) along with with my JandD frame bag on my mtb and road bike.
Works perfectly for a cheap out-of-the way mount for the old phone I use as a GPS. Much safer than on the handlbar.
Handy place to store backup batteries and the Kemo USB connector for dynamo power.

Used it on the LEL last year and it didn't fail once.

posted by ir_bandito [60 posts]
4th August 2014 - 14:13

10 Likes

I got one of these so I could use my phone as a satnav on my road bike and hybrid. It rubbed against my knees on the road bike but not on the hybrid. Its OK in the rain and is useful storage. The downside for me was that when it's sunny the glare from the cover prevents me seeing the phone screen. The touch screen works faultlessly though. My solution to a decent navigation device was to buy a garmin edge 200 and load it with gpx tracks

posted by Perrier [1 posts]
4th August 2014 - 19:01

8 Likes

I got the 5 bucks version from ebay (which is exactly that model, mind you) and its a nice little bag indeed. Screen works perfectly behind that plastic cover, theres plenty of space too. The phone is well protected there.

I like it for adventure riding, using the phone as gps with an extra battery pack inside the bag. (and a few other things since the bag is very spacious).

I wouldnt use it for audio/headphones tho, its not the best place for that, id rather have audio in a backpack or something on my person (or wireless.. which is what i do, in fact).

Theres a couple issues with that bag:

- the zipper handles are noisy while riding and it annoys me. So i cut their handles and put some paracord. No more noise.
- the straps arent the best and on some bikes theyre harder to correct put than others. Generally the plastic rectangle will go sideways which isnt exactly nice.. but still works.

For the price, its hard to beat. this bag.

posted by muffies [16 posts]
5th August 2014 - 7:08

9 Likes

Top tube mounted bags hit your legs!

Even if they're narrow enough, they mean you have to look too far down, in my experience.

My current solution is a Lidl "Topmove" stem mounted phone case. Properly waterproof and in the right position!

PJ McNally's picture

posted by PJ McNally [591 posts]
5th August 2014 - 7:27

10 Likes

I used one of these for quite a long time with a Galaxy S3 (probably the larger size one though) which I bought from ebay.

Here are some tips:

If your phone has a light sensor to adjust the screen brightness, it may fall under the opaque part at the top with the logo. Turn off auto-brightness and set to max when you put it in the bag.

You can cut the velcro straps to length to avoide snagging things, but I advise running a sewing machine right across the cut end of the strap a couple of times to stop it fraying and the velcro coming unstitched from the strap.

Put the zips at the top near the stem to minimise knee rub when climbing standing up (it will still be there, but less annoying). (Compare 4th picture with 1st picture to see what I mean.)

If you're using the GPS, find out where the antenna in your phone is. On the S3, it's the top right, so I put the zips at the top left corner to reduce metal near the antenna for best reception.

Your top tube will eventually get quite scratched up. A piece of sticky back plastic along it would stop this I think and should be removable eventually.

DaveE128's picture

posted by DaveE128 [78 posts]
5th August 2014 - 11:35

10 Likes

Oh, and keeping the strap round the steerer tight is the key to the bag staying stable. Mine needed tightening up every now and again.

DaveE128's picture

posted by DaveE128 [78 posts]
5th August 2014 - 11:36

11 Likes

Hi, do you know which size bag it corresponds to...small, medium or large? Thanks. The reviewer does not say.

Theres always been a starkadder......

posted by robert posts child [30 posts]
6th August 2014 - 20:33

8 Likes

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