Let the fashion police scoff. Saddlebags let you add useful carrying capacity to any bike – road, mountain or folder, as well as tourer. Smaller ones like this 550g Barley are perfect as day bags for sportive and audax rides or as luggage for credit card touring.
The 7-litre capacity is divided into a main pocket the size of a shoebox and two small side pockets, while six D-rings on the lid let you strap on more stuff. There’s also a tab for an LED light and a reﬂective patch.
The bag is made from cotton duck, which is rainproof and very durable, with leather straps. A wooden dowel gives the top its shape.
To ﬁx it to your bike, two leather straps go around this and through your saddle’s bag loops, while a third goes around the seatpost. Lacking bag loops, we had to use the saddle rails – which works, but the bag can sway and brush the back of your thighs.
A Bagman Quick Release Sport rack (£36.95 from Carradice) prevents this, or you could get a Brroks saddle with bag loops and complete the old-school ensemble.