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.
Practical little bag for smaller mobile devices and other valuables
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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"
Generally very good.
Despite some superficial fraying around the straps, everything's held up nicely.
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.
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.
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,
Shaun Audane is a freelance writer/product tester with over twenty-eight years riding experience, the last twelve (120,000 miles) spent putting bikes and kit through their paces for a variety of publications. Previous generations of his family worked at manufacturing's sharp end, thus Shaun can weld, has a sound understanding of frame building practice and a preference for steel or titanium framesets.
Citing Richard Ballantine and an Au pair as his earliest cycling influences, he is presently writing a cycling book with particular focus upon women, families and disabled audiences (Having been a registered care manager and coached children at Herne Hill Velodrome in earlier careers)