Reborn classic bag design that'll take a useful amount of stuff, but isn't the comfiest if you use it for carrying your bike.
The SKS triangle bag swept me back to 1989 and geography classes spent fervently flicking through mountain bike mags, lusting after thin walled, triple butted rigid chromoly beauties with balloon tyres, beefy grips and er, Bio-pace elliptical rings while bearded teachers burbled on about their gap year jollies across faraway lands in melon trucks.
Bracing neatly against the seat and top tubes these bags kept safe the arsenal of tubes, tooling, keys and in fact anything else you didn't fancy been spattered in acres of evil smelling gloop, or leaping lemming fashion from jersey pockets come the first bump. As the nickname implies, it also provided cushioning for the rider when conditions dictated carrying your bike.
Made under licence by Deuter and with a 1.4-litre capacity, this faithful rendition of the original shoulder holder overcomes the need for frantic pannier rummages when you've had a flat, or need to locate your wallet, passport or other valuables that might be needed at a moment's notice.
Rip-stop polyester is much lighter than the old Cordura fabric these bags used to be made from. There are no obvious signs of vulnerability when frisked by thorny foliage and it resists hard showers handsomely.
With efficient packing it manages a spare tube, multi tool, tyre levers, energy bars, micro jacket, mini pump and CO2 cartridges without making the rubberised zip fob tricky to operate. The zip failed my hosepipe torture test, showing signs of water ingress after thirty five seconds at close range but this is academic in the real world unless you come a cropper during a river crossing.
Filled to the gills, this reborn frame bag is slimmer than the originals, which is just as well. In those days 122mm bottom bracket axles had us pedalling like John Wayne, but we're better seated now and there's not as much space to play with. As long as you've got the Velcro snugged tight, there's little chance of it brushing against your inner thighs, impeding a decent cadence.
However, while it's a nice tour-friendly take on an old favourite, mild bruising following some extended carrying of my crosser leads me to conclude there are some better big name options on stream for mud pluggers and old school mountain bikers.
Nicely made touring accessory but retro revivalists will need to look elsewhere for the classic shoulder holder.
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road.cc test report
Make and model: SKS Triangle Bag
Size tested: N/A
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?
"Triangular frame bag made of sturdy material, which offers space for tools and spare inner tubes. It is safely secured to all kinds of bike frames with its three Velcro strap attachments and the flexible reinforcements." Great for touring, less so mud plugging.
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
· All round reflective strips
· Volume 1.4 ltr
· Meausurements 250x50x210mm
· Universal fitting means it fits almost any bike
Rip stop nylon material.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
SKS triangle bag is a nice alternative to wedge packs and convenient stash point for keys, wallets, passports/other essentials tourists might need easy access to. However, cyclo crossers/mountain bikers seeking the classic shoulder holder are better served elsewhere.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
Good interpretation of an eighties classic for a touring audience using high quality materials/fittings.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
Did you enjoy using the product? Yes.
Would you consider buying the product? Possibly.
Would you recommend the product to a friend? Tourists yes but there are more versatile options for mountain bikers
About the tester
Age: 38 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)