Support road.cc

Like this site? Help us to make it better.

review

Miss Grape Node Road

7
£60.00

VERDICT:

7
10
A strong, stable pack of a very useful size, but expensive
Narrow shaping
Easy zip
Strong fabrics
Expensive
No cable port
Top tube strap not adjustable or removable
Weight: 
100g

At road.cc every product is thoroughly tested for as long as it takes to get a proper insight into how well it works. Our reviewers are experienced cyclists that we trust to be objective. While we strive to ensure that opinions expressed are backed up by facts, reviews are by their nature an informed opinion, not a definitive verdict. We don't intentionally try to break anything (except locks) but we do try to look for weak points in any design. The overall score is not just an average of the other scores: it reflects both a product's function and value – with value determined by how a product compares with items of similar spec, quality, and price.

Good scores are more common than bad, because fortunately good products are more common than bad.

  • Exceptional
  • Excellent
  • Very Good
  • Good
  • Quite good
  • Average
  • Not so good
  • Poor
  • Bad
  • Appalling

The Miss Grape Node Road offers an unusually slim design and a useful 0.75 litres of space that's very easily accessed. It is well made with good materials, but this quality comes at a cost.

At 4.8cm in diameter, the Node Road is narrower than many top tube bags, especially those aimed at bikepacking.

The bag has a large non-adjustable Velcro strap that goes around the top tube, and a removable front strap that secures around the stem/headset with a camlock buckle. For many bikes the location of the top tube strap will be fine, but it is fixed, so does have the potential to interfere with cabling or cable stops.

> Buy this online here

> Find your nearest dealer here

The strap has some very sticky fabric sewn into the bottom, while the bag itself has silicone dots for grip. This helps make the bag more stable, preventing it from rolling side to side.

2021 Miss Grape Node Road 3.jpg

The bag is made from incredibly strong and reasonably light nylon polyester, which is very water-repellent and also very hard wearing. On the inside is a second layer of fabric that helps smooth the bag, and a sheet of firmer material lodged between gives a firm shape that holds well.

While it isn't officially waterproof, the material stands up fine, even against a hosepipe.

Pockets

On each side is a section of smoother fabric with a gap that could potentially give a place for a map, audax card or something thin that doesn't need water protection but does need easy access.

The main compartment is opened with a large zip. Opening the zip is very easy with the big looped puller making it simple, but while closing is still possible single-handed, it does take a little more effort. Once closed the zip is kept quiet and out of the way in a large zip garage.

There is no cable port, though, which some may find a shame.

> 23 of the best bikepacking bags – how to choose lightweight luggage

When loaded full the bag can flop a little from side to side, but careful packing to ensure weight sits lower down does help. When pedalling I had no problem at all, with legs and knees staying well clear of the bag.

Although 4.8cm makes is reasonably narrow, there are some that go further, such as the Apidura Racing Bolt-On Top Tube Pack and Restrap Race Top Tube Bag, which are both 4cm.

Value

At £60, the Miss Grape Node Road is up there with the most expensive options of all: that Apidura is £52, for instance, while the Restrap is £64.99 (it's gone up £5 since our review last year).

At the other end of the scale, it's worth looking at the LifeLine Adventure Top Tube Bag which offers a similar size and performance – and is 20g lighter at just 80g – for £15.

Overall

The Miss Grape Node Road offers a useable amount of storage that is easy to access, and it's good in poor weather. It stays in place well, not moving much thanks to good fabrics in key areas, and it's reasonably light and narrow.

The straps might not be the perfect location or size for all bikes, though – and there's no denying it's expensive.

Verdict

A strong, stable pack of a very useful size, but expensive

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

road.cc test report

Make and model: Miss Grape Node Road

Size tested: 25x7cm

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?

Miss Grape says: "The Node Road is an ultralight top tube bag designed for Road/Gravel use. Its width of 4.8 cm, the narrowest in its category, minimises the possibility of contact with the legs while pedalling."

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

Miss Grape lists the following:

Nylon 420 polyester 300 dotted fabric with water-repellent polyurethane resin coating 10,000 water columns, tear-proof with very high mechanical resistance.

Custom polypropylene ribbons, black/green and black colour.

Nylon plastic accessories.

The Node bag is produced in Italy and certified according to Reach CE n. 1097/2006. 1097/2006.

Dimensions

Length 20 cm

Height 8 cm

Width 4,8 cm

Weight 98g

Rate the product for quality of construction:
 
7/10

Good materials.

Rate the product for performance:
 
8/10

Easy to open and close and very stable, empty or full.

Rate the product for durability:
 
8/10

The materials feel very strong and robust and should last a long time.

Rate the product for weight (if applicable)
 
7/10

Not superlight as claimed, but still a reasonable weight and not significantly heavier than even the lightest.

Rate the product for comfort (if applicable)
 
7/10

It's reasonably narrow, and I had no issues while either in or out of the saddle.

Rate the product for value:
 
4/10

More expensive than almost all other top tube bags.

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

It's ideal for most day rides, or as part of a multi-bag setup for multi-day trips.

Tell us what you particularly liked about the product

Easy zip.

Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product

The fixed-position strap under the top tube.

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

It's more expensive than most other bags. The Alpkit Fuel Pod is larger, also a simple one section zip and – while not as sturdy – it has a cable port. It's £35. The Restrap Race Top Tube bag runs it close at £59.99, although has a different design and setup. At the other end of the price scale, the similarly-sized Lifeline Adventure top tube bag is just £15.

Did you enjoy using the product? Yes

Would you consider buying the product? No

Would you recommend the product to a friend? Probably not

Use this box to explain your overall score

This is really well made, the zip is easy to use on the go, and it's impressively resistant to rain and spray. It's good, but not colossally better than much cheaper bags; to score higher it could do with a removable/adjustable main strap, a cable port like many of its competitors, and perhaps a more attractive price.

Overall rating: 7/10

About the tester

Age: 35  Height: 168  Weight: 62

I usually ride:   My best bike is: Cannondale SystemSix

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: road racing, cyclo cross, sportives, mtb, Lots of gravel style riding

Latest Comments