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The Silca Mattone Grande Pack is a great way to carry your ride essentials, though using the wire system with full finger gloves is a bit of a faff.
The Mattone Grande Pack is essentially a larger version of the Mattone Pack that Neil looked at a couple of years ago. One of his points was that it could have done with being a bit bigger, and Silca has obliged.
The most unusual thing about this saddle bag is the Boa dial that sits proud on the front. It might seem a bit of a flashy and unnecessary way to secure a saddle bag, but when you actually use it this Boa dial makes perfect sense.
First off, it means the bag can effectively be shrunk to take up as little space as possible by tightening the dial, as it connects to a strap that surrounds the bag – you squeeze a full 360 degrees so everything is pushed together and wasted space is minimised. This allows it to sit tighter against the saddle rails so you can, for example, fit a larger light below it. I normally need to put my light below the collar of my seatpost, but carrying the same amount as usual in the Mattone Grande Pack, the light fits easily on the seatpost itself.
Secondly the tightening not only makes the pack smaller, but also secures things more snuggly, which means less rattling around. So even when I have a loose link and metal patch container in there, nothing rattles around.
The bag itself has a 70cc capacity. Silca says you can fit three tubes, two CO2 canisters, a regulator, tyre levers, and a multi-tool. I had a go at fitting all that in and this is genuinely the case. As I run tubeless, I normally only take one tube for apocalyptic scenarios, so there was more than enough room for my other ride stuff in this pack.
It also has a couple of useful compartments on the lid, and a main compartment in the other half. This is particularly helpful not only in organising your stuff, but also in reducing the chances of rattles.
In terms of protection against the elements, I took this bag out with only an Ass Saver (which sat above the bag) in the rain a few times, and although the pack ended up looking like a Jackson Pollock painting, nothing got through.
Attaching it to the bike is done by running the strap through the saddle rails and a loop at the top of the pack, and wrapping it back round. You then hook the Boa wire to the plastic hook and tighten. This part can be a little fiddly, and isn't ideal when you've just made a repair out in the middle of a freezing February morning, although it gets a little easier once you've got used to it. Doing this in full finger gloves isn't ideal, though.
With an RRP of £51, it's one of the more expensive saddle bags we've reviewed on road.cc. That said, it's only a quid more than the Fidlock Push that I looked at in 2020, which is now £49.99; that's much easier to use on the go, but it did tend to rattle which could get annoying. The Brooks Scape Saddle Pocket Bag has also gone up since Hollis tested it last year, and is now £45; that's still a £6 saving over the Silca, but it doesn't have the compartments or the Boa closure system.
Overall, this is a really good saddle pack, big enough to fit in everything you could need for a ride. It offers good weather protection, and the Boa closure system works well for tightening, though hooking the wire can be fiddly. The price is pretty high for a saddle bag, but so is the quality.
Aside from a little faff with the wire, this is a great saddle bag
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road.cc test report
Make and model: Silca Mattone Grande Pack
Size tested: 77cc
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?
Silca says, "Use the power of BOA® to keep all your spares in a compact, rattle free pack. The Grande can hold up to 3 road tubes and everything you might need on the side of the road or trail."
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
* 77cc Capacity
* Internal dimensions 150mm x 90mm x 55mm
* Holds 3 tubes, 2 CO2, regulator, tire levers, and multitool
* BOA® Closure System
* YKK Waterproof Zipper
* Hypalon strap for security
Very well made; it feels secure both on the saddle and in the hand.
Does exactly what's expected of it, although the wire closure can sometimes be a little fiddly, especially with full finger gloves.
Early days but feels like it's been built to last – one bonus of boa dials and wire is that they are replaceable, so even if the main component does break you can always fix it.
It's not a cheap saddle bag, but when you compare it with others in the same bracket it comes out fairly well.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
It performed well, offering a good amount of storage space, no rattles, and squeezes down to take up as little room as possible on the seatpost.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
The Boa system.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
Getting the wire back on can be a bit of a faff.
How does the price compare to that of similar products in the market, including ones recently tested on road.cc?
The Brooks Scape Saddle Pocket Bag is £6 cheaper but doesn't have the compartments or the Boa closure system, and the Fidlock Push that I looked at in 2020 is now just a quid cheaper, and though it's much easier to use on the go, it had a rattle that could sometimes get annoying.
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
It's a very good saddle bag that's well made, holds your ride essentials securely and protects them from the weather, and packs down small when you need it to.
About the tester
I usually ride: CAAD13 My best bike is: Cannondale Supersix Evo
I've been riding for: 10-20 years I ride: Every day I would class myself as: Expert
I regularly do the following types of riding: commuting, club rides, sportives, general fitness riding, fixed/singlespeed,
George is the host of the road.cc podcast and has been writing for road.cc since 2014. He has reviewed everything from a saddle with a shark fin through to a set of glasses with a HUD and everything in between.
Although, ironically, spending more time writing and talking about cycling than on the bike nowadays, he still manages to do a couple of decent rides every week on his ever changing number of bikes.