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Verdict: 
Small, neat and well made – a great saddle bag
Weight: 
38g

Castelli's Undersaddle Mini is a sleek saddle bag that's big enough to hold the essentials. The water-resistant material is strong and shuts out water very effectively. I found it to be secure and easy to access when needed.

  • Pros: Small, secure, holds the essentials
  • Cons: No fixing for your pump

The Undersaddle Mini has proven to be perfect for my riding needs. It lives on my road bike and on the rare occasion that I need something from inside, I can get at it easily, making roadside repairs that bit quicker.

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I don't tend to carry much on the bike – a couple of tubes, a CO2 canister, tyre boot, quick link and multi-tool with chain tool will get me out of most mechanicals. Anything worse than that and I'll be seeking refuge in the nearest cafe and ringing for a lift! The Undersaddle Mini is easy to pack with these items and I even had space for a rag to wipe oily hands. If you wrap the inner tubes tightly you can also get a tyre lever in there, though this isn't required for my clincher tyres.

The inside is a simple single space with a small mesh pocket for your multi-tool. This is the only thing I'd change about the design. The Allen keys snag on the mesh material, making it fiddly to get out. A minor gripe which I solved by putting the mini-tool in a small plastic bag.

Outside, the bag is 'water resistant' though I've soaked it with the hosepipe during washing and there's no sign of any water getting through. The zip has also been made water resistant. This doesn't affect its smoothness. It's still really easy to open up and get at your stuff, though you do have to remove it from the bike. Personally, I don't see that as an issue.

Castelli Undersaddle Mini pack 2.jpg

When on the bike, I really like the way that this looks. There are no straps flapping around and it's held securely to the saddle rails with no movement. The subtle branding and small silhouette mean it's barely noticeable. Add to this good stitching and I can't see this needing to be replaced for many years.

Thigh rub is something that can cause a lot of pain but, try as I might, I couldn't make contact with the Undersaddle Mini. The strap is easy to trim if you need to take a bit of length off. This should keep it from catching your shorts if you've got wider thighs. The zip sits in its own 'cave' to keep it out of harm's way.

Castelli Undersaddle Mini pack - back.jpg

One feature that I wish had been carried over from the XL version is the external pump sleeve. Putting my pump in a jersey pocket isn't the worst, but it's harder to forget if it remains strapped to the bike.

In terms of value, you're paying quite a bit more for this than the very good Fabric Contain Small saddle bag at £21.99, but nowhere near the eye-wateringly expensive Silca Seat Roll Premio at £48. I reckon it's a price worth paying: you're getting a very well made, stylish and compact saddle bag that sits very securely on the rails and holds a lot for its small silhouette. I'd call that very good value. That said, for a fiver extra you can have the XL version with the pump holder.

> Beginner's guide to carrying stuff on your bike 

Overall, this is a fabulous saddle bag that sits quietly under the saddle without movement and allows easy access to spares when needed. It's well made, looks great and I can see it lasting a fair few years between my summer and winter bikes.

Verdict

Small, neat and well made – a great saddle bag

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road.cc test report

Make and model: Castelli Undersaddle Mini

Size tested: Mini

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?

Castelli says, "Part of the Castelli Race bags range, the Undersaddle Mini is the perfect bag for sticking on your road bike to carry some summer essentials.

"Super compact this fit and forget under saddle, seat-pack can be crammed with a couple of (road) inner tubes 18-25mm a multi-tool, a spare link and a few £10s. In short most of the things you might require on a ride. It fits with a single strap (through the rails no need for a seatpost stabiliser), this strap uses a magic moulded hook and loop fastener that can be trimmed at home and that won't fur your shorts. The Mini bag is also weather resistant as is the zip. It's not totally waterproof but its better than most. The zip pull sits in a little cave so it stays silent and doesn't open mid-ride. The rear wordmark is reflective and the lining is in a pimp corporate red. Could you ask for more?

"Possibly the greatest accolade for the Castelli Undersaddle Mini is you forget its there."

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

From Castelli:

Key features

Water and stain resistant materials

Water-resistant zipper

Water resistant construction

Adjustable hook and loop attachment strap

Internal storage pocket

Reflective accents

External dimensions 5 x 5 x 13cm (enough room for a Lezyne V-Tool with chain-breaker or similar 2 road bike inner tubes a spare link and some folding cash).

Rate the product for quality of construction:
 
9/10
Rate the product for performance:
 
9/10
Rate the product for durability:
 
8/10
Rate the product for weight (if applicable)
 
6/10
Rate the product for value:
 
5/10

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

Very well. The spares are stored securely and then they're pretty easy to get to when needed.

Tell us what you particularly liked about the product

The compact size. Let's face it, I'll rarely use this, so being secure on the bike and being small and forgettable is really important. I can't stand things rattling in a saddle bag.

Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product

Nothing really. I'd like to see the pump sleeve included in the future.

How does the price compare to that of similar products in the market, including ones recently tested on road.cc?

It's at the higher end, but nowhere near the Silca Seat Roll Premio (£48).

Did you enjoy using the product? Yes

Would you consider buying the product? Yes

Would you recommend the product to a friend? Yes

Use this box to explain your overall score

This carries all the spares that I need while being very compact, secure and looking great, though it's a shame it doesn't have a pump strap like the XL version.

Overall rating: 9/10

About the tester

Age: 24  Height: 177cm  Weight: 62kg

I usually ride: Cannondale Supersix Di2  My best bike is:

I've been riding for: 5-10 years  I ride: Most days  I would class myself as: Expert

I regularly do the following types of riding: road racing, time trialling, cyclo-cross, commuting, club rides, general fitness riding, I specialise in the Cafe Ride!

Son of a Marathon runner, Nephew of a National 24hr Champion, the racing genetics have completely passed him by. Liam spends his time plodding his way through cyclocross races, very busy not winning. As an advocate for perfectly clean chains, he can be found cleaning his bike instead of training. A shop mechanic, Liam has many helpful skills, such as being able to identify 'cross tubs by the tread pattern alone. If you bump into him, he'll probably be eating.

7 comments

Avatar
Team EPO [216 posts] 4 months ago
0 likes

For those in the UK just watch out with the eBay link  as it is a US based seller so the postage is £12 before any import handling and duties!

 

 

Avatar
srchar [1535 posts] 4 months ago
0 likes

Is it big enough for a spare tub?

Avatar
bobbk [21 posts] 4 months ago
1 like

I have the larger version (which I think is designed to accomodate a tub).  Really like the design, especially the sleeve to hold a mini pump, but the clamp screws at the top of the seatpost  did cut a hole in the top of the seatpack within a week of first fitting. My guess is this version would also be prone to the same potential problem.  A small piece of tape now covers the hole. If you buy one, would recommend beefing up the the area where the seatpack comes into contact with seatpost with some tape. 

Also found my minipump did move around in the sleeve, have fixed this by wrapping a spare Garmin mount band around the pack & pump.

Avatar
Liam Cahill [188 posts] 4 months ago
0 likes
srchar wrote:

Is it big enough for a spare tub?

The only tubs that I've got hanging about are cross tubs so can't really test that. I'll go with a non-committal 'maybe' for now. I'll try and confirm soon though.

Avatar
MoutonDeMontagne [148 posts] 4 months ago
0 likes
bobbk wrote:

I have the larger version (which I think is designed to accomodate a tub).  Really like the design, especially the sleeve to hold a mini pump, but the clamp screws at the top of the seatpost  did cut a hole in the top of the seatpack within a week of first fitting. My guess is this version would also be prone to the same potential problem.  A small piece of tape now covers the hole. If you buy one, would recommend beefing up the the area where the seatpack comes into contact with seatpost with some tape. 

Also found my minipump did move around in the sleeve, have fixed this by wrapping a spare Garmin mount band around the pack & pump.

Think this may depend on your particular seatpost - I've had one for 3 years and plenty of grit with no sign of it wearing through. However, quite often theres been an ass-saver inbetween the two. Agree that a spot of electical tape wouldn't hurt tho. 

Pretty pleased with it on the whole, certainly the best out of any I've owned. Rattle free and about the perfect size for summer (2tubes, multi-tool, 2xCO2 canisters + inflater, tyre lever(s), spare link)and still enough room for a house/car key if needed. Tucks under the saddle really nicely and barely noticable. 

Avatar
survivor [18 posts] 4 months ago
0 likes

Have anyone checkout SNAP.B saddle bag? It's about time we re.think the whole concept of saddle bag.

https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/vouel/snapb-rethink-saddle-bag

Avatar
quiff [160 posts] 4 months ago
0 likes
bobbk wrote:

...the clamp screws at the top of the seatpost  did cut a hole in the top of the seatpack within a week of first fitting. My guess is this version would also be prone to the same potential problem.  A small piece of tape now covers the hole. If you buy one, would recommend beefing up the the area where the seatpack comes into contact with seatpost with some tape. 

I have this mini version and I had the same problem - the top of the pack is not reinforced, and so my saddle clamp wore a hole in the top of it within a week, allowing water ingress (though to be fair I rode LEJOG during that week). Agree it will depend on your seatpost design and possibly saddle position, but would second the recommendation of adding some sacrificial electrical tape etc to reinforce the top of the pack.