When a pannier is too big and a seat-pack too small, a rack-top bag like the Radial Cycles Convey is a useful middling-sized alternative: big enough for day-ride or commuting essentials, but centrally balanced and unobtrusive when riding. This particular bag, however, doesn't give you much for your money.
Like most rack-top bags, the main compartment is big enough to hold something the size of a loaf of bread and a bit more besides. It's wedge shaped, roughly 15x37cm across the base and rising to about 17cm high at its tallest. The top doesn't expand upwards and there are no fold-out side pockets, so the 4.8L volume is all you've got. Almost all, anyway: there's a luggage elastic on top and a rear pocket for a water bottle.
The bottle pocket could have been designed better. If the bag's main compartment is full, it's difficult to squeeze a bottle in the pocket. And when there is a bottle in the pocket, it's awkward to zip the main compartment fully closed. On the plus side, this tight fit and an extra loop of elastic for the neck of the bottle mean that the chances of ejecting a bottle onto the road are basically nil.
The only other features are a loop for a rear LED light, a carry handle, a detachable shoulder strap, and a couple of internal pockets: a zipped mesh one in the lid, suitable for something flat like a phone, and an elasticated rear pocket, perhaps for keys or a multi tool.
There are no external pockets, no reflectivity, and no rain-cover – all things you'll find on Edinburgh Bicycle's Revolution Adventure Rack Pack 5L +1, which costs exactly half as much. Own-brand bags are often keenly priced, of course, but consider this: the current version of Carradice's CarraDura Rack Bag, which also comes with a rain-cover and reflectives and expands to 13.5 litres thanks to a rising top and drop-down side-pocket panniers, is just £38.
The Radial Cycles Convey bag is put together okay. Rather than nylon, the top and base are made of a tough plasticky fabric that feels like PU-coated tarpaulin. The bag shrugs off showers well, although sustained rain will get in at the seams so it's not waterproof. It is well padded.
Attachment to your bike's rear pannier rack is via three Velcro straps – one at the front, and two that run underneath. Most rack-top bags with Velcro straps attach at the corners instead. That's much less awkward, as you're only running each strap under the rack rail at that side. To fit the Convey, you have to pass the straps all the way underneath, through the gap between rear mudguard and rack, and then back again to fasten them. It's fiddly and not as effective at eliminating side-to-side movement, although it's plenty secure enough if you take the time to do the straps up tightly.
It's not a terribly bad bag, on the whole, but you can get rack bags that are significantly better for significantly less.
It'll do the job for day rides but it's overpriced and under-featured
If you're thinking of buying this product using a cashback deal why not use the road.cc Top Cashback page and get some top cashback while helping to support your favourite independent cycling website
Make and model: Radial Cycles Convey rack top 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?
Radial Cycles says: "With its large carrying capacity, the Convey Racktop bag is perfect for commuting, touring or even leisurely ride. Whether it's a change of clothes for work, or simply some lunch for the family on a day out, the Convey Racktop bag makes it possible to carry loads without the need for a backpack.
"Fitted in seconds with its simple Velcro fastening system that attaches to your bicycles pannier rack, the Convey Racktop bag also features a bottle pocket and drawstring cord for securing items to the bags exterior.
"Constructed out of hard wearing, water repellant tarpaulin, Rip-stop nylon and reversed waxed zips, the Convey can be fitted and left with the peace of mind your belongings are in safe hands."
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
* Single opening with internal mesh pocket
* Bottle pocket
* 4.8 litre capacity
* Velcro fitting - no tools required
Not waterproof and there's no rain-cover.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
It does the job, but it's fiddly to fit and lacks features that cheaper bags provide.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
Limited volume. Lack of pockets. No rain cover. No reflectives.
Did you enjoy using the product? No
Would you consider buying the product? No
Would you recommend the product to a friend? Only if it was in a sale for about £20.
Use this box to explain your score
It's a simple rack-top bag whose poor value drags it down.
Age: 46 Height: 1.78m Weight: 65kg
I usually ride: Ridgeback Solo World fixed wheel My best bike is: Planet X Pro Carbon Track.
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: time trialling, cyclo-cross, commuting, touring, club rides, sportives, general fitness riding, fixed/singlespeed, mountain biking