Designed to replace a traditional saddlebag, the Speedsleev Elastic Pro Seatsleeve is a construction of nylon and Velcro compression straps. Although it’s a little pricey, its simple effectiveness has meant we’ve ended up buying our own, replacing much-loved saddlebags on road steeds and electrical tape on our mountain bikes.
There are two sizes of the Seatsleeve available, with the smaller version – which will hold a tube, two 16g CO2s, an inflator, tyre levers, valve extenders and the contents of a patch kit – claimed to best suit roadies. The larger option is meant for the mountain bikers (or super cautious roadies) and is claimed to hold a large mountain bike tube, or two road tubes, plus everything else its smaller sibling carries.
Stuffed in, we fitted our usual MTB race spares within a small Seatsleev. The large size has plenty of room for additional tools, canisters and thicker tubes
With that being said, we’ve been happily using a small to carry a lightweight 29er mountain bike tube, a 20g CO2 canister and a compact CO2 inflator/multitool – it’s a tight squeeze, but it works.
A total of three Velcro straps make up the Elastic Pro, with the innermost strap used to create a pocket for the tube, and the most outward one used to attach the whole thing to your saddle rails.
Your tube goes in the middle, other accessories in the compartmentalised outside sleeve, and the whole thing is then wrapped around the saddle rails
Laid out flat it’s not too dissimilar to a tool roll – there’s a series of slim slip pockets to hold tyre levers, valve extenders and CO2 canisters, with the whole sleeve wrapping together with Velcro and elastic. We did find the sleeve pockets a little too narrow for our square multitool or oddly shaped CO2 inflator, and so just placed these in the middle and used the material’s compression to hold them in place.
We were previously riding mountain bikes with a spare tube taped to our post, but this can take crucial time to undo if racing against the clock. With the Speedsleev, getting to the spares couldn’t be quicker and at just 47g (without a rain cover), it’s perfect for race situations.
Former XC world champion José Antonio Hermida was using a Speedsleev at the 2015 Absa Cape Epic
Proving that the design can be prone to user error, we lost our multitool during a trip to the Absa Cape Epic. Here, we’d stopped to adjust a saddle and then quickly wrapped the multitool back in place… apparently not well enough.
The included rain cover keeps things clean (in looks too). However, it will delay repairs in a race – so is optional
The small Seatsleeve is supplied with a lightweight elasticated rain cover, something that at first we dismissed. However, recently we started to use it outside of race situations as it keeps our gear clean, and more importantly, adds a guaranteed level of protection in case a multitool tries to free itself again.
Because the Seatsleeve attaches to the saddle rails only, one major bonus is that there’s no seatpost strap to rub your shorts against. This also means your seatpost will keep its logos – and more importantly, it’s perfectly suitable for use with dropper posts.
This lack of secondary attachment may result in some knocking against the seat post for some, especially for riders who run their saddles far forward. However, it’s an issue can be avoided with correct packing (in other words, don’t have a CO2 canister inline with the post) and tight wrapping.