PBK Saddle Bag

Bertin Publicity Card Most bikes need at least a few tools, a spare tube, patch kit and such like in case of a repair or adjustment being needed far from home. Often, we store them in either a handlebar bar if a tourist or randonneur or in an under the seat saddle bag of some sort if we are a sport rider travelling light. 

Saddle bags vary tremendously in both configuration and capacity. Some are large enough to store what’s needed on a weekend tour and others are minimalist configurations with just enough room for necessities. I tend toward the minimalist type and do not want anything that will shift around impairing the handling or large and bulky enough that it snags a leg when mounting the bike.

What prompted the search for a new saddle/tool bag was a pre-ride inspection last summer. I was looking over the bike for issues and noticed that the tools on my oldest bike had worn through the nylon fabric of the tool bag which would now need replacement. After search multiple sites on line, I discovered that almost all the bags were complex, overly large, expensive or all of the preceding. However, ProBikeKit had a PBK house branded bag that was simple, inexpensive and elegant and looked just the right size. 


I liked the look and capacity and ordered two, one for each of the Bertin C 37s. Shipping was prompt and the bags arrived well packaged. Once unpacked, they looked like this:

Opening the protective inner wrap revealed a bag exactly as advertised on the PBK website.

One of the issues raised by other buyers in the comments section of the PBK catalogue was the tendency for the velcro closure strip to be too short and not hold securely if the bag was fully loaded. I determined to test this and packed the bag with the materials from the now worn out Cannondale predecessor. Everything fit beautifully with the Mafac tool kit being perfectly sized to the dimensions of the bag and the 700C x 28 tube tucking in comfortably.

On the subsequent ride, I discovered the stability concerns were true as the bag fell off on a large bump. The velcro had not held the weight of the tools and tube so I determined to have the problem fixed. I went to a fabric store and found matching black velcro tape in the notions section. It was 19 mm / 3/4″ wide and a perfect match for the PBK strap width. A quick trip to a local dry cleaners had the seamstress sew on the velcro to both of the PBK bags with the result that the whole strap now supported the weight as the bags would hang on the saddle rails.

If you look carefully in the images below you can see the before, in the top photo, and the after, in the bottom photo. (Click to enlarge.)

Each of the bags fit comfortably and tidily between the saddle rails of a Brooks B 17 and a Selle Italia Turbo. (See the photo below.) In both applications they are completely stable and secure and do not rattle or shift over road bumps. Also, due to their compact size, they do not chafe the thighs and are completely out of the way when swinging a leg over the seat for mounting. I fact, I liked them so much, I bought three others and had them modified as well to put on my other bikes.

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