If you normally fly business class then why not have the luggage to match your status when you are on your bike. This is as close as you get to clipping an executive brief case to the side of your bike.The Abus Exclusive Office bag looks business like with its smart black synthetic leather top flap and black nylon panels and subtle, indented, logo placements.
This case is offered in 2 sizes, the 20litre tested and a more compact (and £15 cheaper) 16litre volume. With several pockets and a 20 litres main compartment you can literally fit the contents of your office desk in there (apart from editor Tony's, you'd need a cargo bike to shift his desk detritus). Lifting the large leather look flap which clips down with hidden magnets reveals a zip that allows you to open up the top of the bag like a lid. Inside the padded frame of this boxy, semi-rigid case is a padded laptop sleeve which offers good protection to your computer on the road.
Adjacent to the laptop sleeve is another large sleeve like you would find in filing cabinet, ideal for carrying folders or paper work and easy to retrieve without digging deep into the bag. Two more pockets with velcro closures can stash smaller items leaving the large main compartment free to cram in your change of clothes, another full length zippered pocket large enough to fit a pair of daps completes the internal stowage.
The 20 litre capacity is equivalent to a small rucksack, any more than this loaded up and you will feel the uneven loading of the pannier on your bike. A further three pockets (yes, this bag has a lot of pockets!) are located on the outside of the bag. Inside the front pocket made from a dense neoprene has very comprehensive organiser compartments for your mobile phone, pens and other stationary, and a detachable key holder, all easily accessed by a waterproof zip. Under the main flap is a slim pocket with a lockable zip for slender, valuable items (you will need to get your own mini padlock though). The side pocket is a bit like a rendered 70s flat roof extension on the back of a Victorian house, the red headed stepchild to the family of other pockets, as it is built with a grey reflective nylon and stores the waterproof rain cover and the detachable padded shoulder strap, it literally is the lean-to storage area where tools and other messy bits can be parked.
The reflective material is pretty effective when a light is shone on it in the dark but the neat accessory included with this bag is a rubberised Abus logo that has 5 bright red LED's in it and can be attached to the back of the pannier with velcro. The large flap and waterproof zips do a good job of shielding the bags contents from the elements and although no water got in during several hour long commutes in the pouring rain their is a silver, reflective, waterproof cover to cope with when the rain comes from impossible angles. Attaching the bag to your rack is simple and because the mounting clips are adjustable (be careful not to over tighten the self tapping screws that hold the clips in place), it should fit most racks.
I fitted it to a Blackburn, a Topeak and an old Avenir rack without a problem. Once fitted, the bag is very secure and even when loaded up is very well behaved. The adjustable clips are useful to shift the bag further back so it doesn't foul the back of your ankles. The padded carrying handle means it can be carried like a brief case or when it is laden use the detachable padded shoulder strap to take the strain. To smarten things up when the bag is off the bike, the pannier clips can be hidden by a zippered flap, this also stops them from digging into your side or snagging your clothing when you are carrying it.
If you are a regular commuter who needs a case that fits a laptop in and looks smart enough to take into meetings this is it.
road.cc test report
Make and model: Abus Exclusive Office Pannier Bag
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?
"20 litre capacity bag allows you to carry all the supplies you need to and from the office".
What should be added is that this bag doesn't look out of place off the bike and carried.
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
Fabric:1260D Oxford Nylon and Koskin 6100Fabric Properties:Water repellent, DurableCargo
Straps:Padded grip and belt
Pocket1:Padded with various compartmentsLaptop
Sleeve:Padded laptop compartment
Supplied with rain cover featuring reflective detail
Closure:Waterproof and lockable zips, magnetic closure on main flap
Good quality feel and all the zips and closures are decent. Half of the lights in the detachable rear rubber light stopped working after the first day of use which was a little annoying. Also the pannier clips are made of plastic and tightened on with self tapping screws that can be easily over tightened, I would like to see this changed to a nut and bolt.
The bag fairer the British weather very well keeping its contents dry at all times. The bag is exceptionally well padded and gave me good piece of mind transporting my laptop. The abundance of pockets and especially the front organiser pocket I found very useful (although it does 'collect' useless 'things'). With its boxy construction and use of tough materials this bag is quite heavy and when fully loaded can make your bike feel lop sided.
This is a smart looking bag but if you are looking for a more rugged bag for the price then this bag sacrifices a bit for its business like aesthetic. It should still see you through a number of years of fair weather commuting.
The semi rigid, well padded frame and tough materials make this bag start with a weight penalty
Once the bag is adjusted to fit onto your pannier without your heels clipping it, it is fairly well behaved and doesn't jostle about too much.
this is a great looking pannier bag that is a also a good laptop travel bag and a briefcase
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
It kept the contents dry and in one piece. It .has also continued to look smart. The only downer was the light only half working.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
It is smart enough to take into a boardroom meeting and it carries a 17" laptop safely.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
The cool, rubber light only half working (this must have been a fault and would normally be replaced)
Did you enjoy using the product? yes (and I still am!)
Would you consider buying the product? yes
Would you recommend the product to a friend? yes
About the tester
Age: 37 Height: 180 Weight: 80
I usually ride: Bike that I am testing at the time My best bike is: Giant CFR pro. Old school carbon converted to fixed. Kinesis Convert 2 fixed. Shorter cafe racer
I've been riding for: Over 20 years I ride: Every day I would class myself as: Expert
I regularly do the following types of riding: commuting, touring, club rides, sportives, fixed/singlespeed, bare back