Basically the love child of messenger bag and office satchel, Lezyne's town caddy is literally organised down to the last millimetre and undeniably very stylish for shorter hops. Codura/nylon construction is what you'd expect at this end of the market and does a very reasonable job of keeping the contents safe and dry while resisting the rough and tumble of urban riding. However, the omissions of stabilising strap(s) (or even Klick fix brackets allowing it to cadge lifts on a rack) mean it's impractical for faster paced/longer haul duties.
Popping open the large storm flap reveals a cornucopia of neoprene sections for sunglasses, money, pens, multi tool, tyre levers, patch kit, multi wrench, key ring and even an ID card - the epitome of a place for everything and everything in it's place. This theme continues within the main compartment where you get a generic stationary stash; mesh pouches for mini pumps, two spare tubes and a generously padded lap-top section. This readily gobbles the bigger 17inch (43cm) types and thoughtfully there's a rubberised shock-absorbing base to protect bag and contents from everyday knocks. Externally there is a further zippered A4 sized pocket for document wallets and a well-conceived mesh bottle caddy complete with drawstring closure because delicate electricals and your favourite tipple don't mix. Speaking of beverages, the heavily padded shoulder strap adjusts courtesy of a highly polished aluminium clasp complete with integral bottle opener-presumably to drown the sorrows after a hard day at the office.
I would be tempted to cocoon lap-tops/cameras and similar delicates in secondary waterproof packaging but in fairness, showers and sustained attacks from the garden hose made negligible impression upon the fabric or contents. The cushioned base offers welcome protection from the inevitable everyday carelessness while the heavily padded shoulder strap is a blessing when lugging loads either on or off bike and bold Scotchlite graphics certainly attract driver attention when glanced by headlights-albeit no substitute for a well positioned LED tab.
Given the considerable lengths that have been ploughed into aesthetics and organisation, the omission of a stabilising strap is so frustrating-especially when heavily laden and sprinting for the lights. Repeatedly nudging it back into position using my elbow became infuriating, not to mention potentially dangerous when snaking through lines of stationary traffic or swerving to avoid opening car doors, potholes and similar hazards.
Brilliant concept bag sabotaged by a lack of stabilising strap.
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Make and model: Lezyne Town Caddy
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?
"For the Modern Cyclist Computer bag for the modern cyclist. Sleek, contained design is perfect for carrying everyday essentials around town".
Very true, although needs a strap to prevent irksome bag-sway around town.
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
Durable Construction Made from durable polyester, and PVC fabrics. Lezyne logo is reflective for safety at night.
Organize Yourself Labeled organizational pockets for electronics, tools, tire repair, water bottle and personal items.
Shoulder Pad Padded and breathable shoulder strap.
Custom Metal Hardware Custom aluminum buckle with integrated bottle opener.
Internal Compartment Dedicated laptop sleeve (17in) with protective padding.
Quick-Grip Handle Top handle for quick and easy carrying off the bike
Generally to a good standard
Nice off the bike but ruined by annoying (and ultimately avoidable) sway.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
The town caddy is extremely stylish and well organised, offering good protection and comfort off the bike but falls short of the design brief thanks to sway which makes it impractical for all but the shortest of hops.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
Very well organised, fairly rugged construction and competitive pricing.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
Bag sway/lack of stabilising strap.
Did you enjoy using the product? Yes, off the bike.
Would you consider buying the product? Not without modification.
Would you recommend the product to a friend? Not in it's present guise.
Anything further to say about the product in conclusion?
I have awarded an overall six on the strength of design and practicality off the bike but this drops to three in the latter context, it would get a higher mark if it just had that stabilising strap
Age: 37 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)