BTR's quality bike corner shape bag isn't the classic shoulder holder revered in retro mountain bike circles but (and now whisper this) it comes very hot on the heels of some established marques' interpretations of the frame-as-packhorse concept.
Admittedly, in the style stakes, these touring versions have a slightly 'sandals in socks' image but despite their fall from fashion, are still surprisingly useful caddy's if you're not wowed by wedge packs, or wanted wallet/tickets/phones within easy reach.
Made from rugged, easy clean nylon with bold retro-reflectives, its single compartment will gobble two 26x1.5 tubes, medium sized multi tool, keys, tyre levers, patch kit, mini pump; hell, why not throw in a couple of zip ties while you're there?
Standards of construction were much better than I was expecting and while thinner than some, the Velcro straps tether securely around standard and oversized frame tubes without annoying sway or spoiling otherwise clean lines. Even laden to the gills, there's been no impediment to higher cadences, or call for adopting a 'John Wayne' pedalling style.
However, I was surprised by how much of the main triangle it consumed. That's a moot point on larger frames with horizontal top tubes but can impede bottle release, and shouldering on compact road and mountain bikes proved inconvenient at best.
Zipper tags can often prove fiddly, especially when dipping in for an energy bar, so I looped a zip tie through its drilling for greater convenience. Sheltered locations help but ours remained dry during some decidedly wild weather.
That said, stitched, rather than welded construction always surrenders. Thirty seconds sustained tickling from my garden hose saw a pool developing in the base, so wrap valuables in a freezer bag just in case.
Good interpretation of classic design but might be too big for some frames
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Make and model: BTR Corner Frame Bag
Size tested: Large, 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?
"Perfect for storing items such as keys, wallet, phone, bike tools, innertubes, puncture kits etc".
Not a bad Touring interpretation of the classic triangle bag concept but suffers from a slight image problem these days.
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
* Reflective stripes
* 270 x 220 x 70 mm
* Water Resistant
* 4 velcro contact points with frame for extra security
Materials and construction seem of a decent standard.
Easy enough to use but can obstruct seat tube bottles/cages on smaller semi/compact geometry framesets.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
Questions of style aside, these are really useful ways of carrying stuff that might be needed at a moment's notice. Materials and standards of construction are pretty good and prodigious dimensions seemed fairly unobtrusive on larger, horizontal geometry frames. While my hosepipe test found weaknesses in the water-resistance, real world moderate cloudburst didn't present cause for concern.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
Surprisingly rugged design, decent materials.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
Nothing of particular note.
Did you enjoy using the product? Yes.
Would you consider buying the product? On balance, no.
Would you recommend the product to a friend? Quite possibly.
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)