Roll Top Frame Bags

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rifraf
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Roll Top Frame Bags

Postby rifraf » Fri Oct 19, 2018 8:55 pm

Wingnut wrote:Some "bikepacking" bikes with Rohloffs...

Image



Well I'm toying with getting a frame bag and thus far (very early days), I'm leaning towards a roll top version.

Some of the reasons for said leaning, include weather resistance and hearings as well as reading about zip failures.

I sorta like to buy once and buy right if I can and I thought I'd ask for some opinions of those who utilise frame bags.

So far I've seen Porcelain Rocket "52Hz" https://www.porcelainrocket.com/collect ... ducts/52hz

and Rogue Panda "Rolltop" https://www.roguepanda.com/shop/rolltop-framebag/

I'd be interested in hearing thoughts and opinions on these or others or even why some may dislike the concept of roll tops.

If I've done it right, I've quoted one of Wingnuts post above which shows a Porcelainrocket version back from page 19 of the bikepacking thread.

It was my intention initially to post my query in there but its taken a long time to read through to page 19 and I'm feeling like my eyes are going square from looking at my 11' laptop for so long, so apologies if anyone is thinking this should have been in the bikepacking section.
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Re: Roll Top Frame Bags

Postby Cheesewheel » Sat Oct 20, 2018 4:13 am

I have used two different brands of frame bags with the traditional side zipper format. Weather-wise, roll tops sound like the way to go. The only con I can think of are that the the process of rolling the top may add a lopsided lateral bulge to the bag (although that depends on how the bag is made and, more importantly, if you are the type of person to overpack the frame bag). When the frame bag is bulged, it can graze your legs as you peddle, which tends to default one to a bow legged sort of cadence. Also one's vision of the front chainring gets impaired, which may or may not be an issue depending on how frantic your gear changing decisions need to be while you are on the move. The other obvious con is that it would probably be more difficult to access the contents in a roll-top while you are on the roll.
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Re: Roll Top Frame Bags

Postby Aushiker » Sat Oct 20, 2018 11:22 am

I have a Bike Bag Dude framebag, custom made so pricey of course but worth it in my view. I haven't got any experience with roll-top bag so cannot comment on them specifically. That said I have seen no reason to date to consider a different style of frame-bag. The bag has worked well, kept my gear dry in heavy rain and has been very durable so far.

I carry my tablet in the bag without a second thought.

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Re: Roll Top Frame Bags

Postby baabaa » Sat Oct 20, 2018 12:00 pm

My set up is a Salsa Frame Bag 11 (made by Revelate) with a Revelate Designs Viscacha Seat Bag just like this...

Image

Image

( image from http://www.bicyclespacedc.com/our-blog/ ... with-salsa )

Been using these for about three years now and with frame rubbing, a bit of crank arm chaffing against tinned lentils stored too low, the odd tote the bike over barbed wire fences, a bit harsh got-to-get-that-last-bit-of-mud off scrubbing, airport wear and tear but mostly bloody sharp stick poke damage, I see the frame bag will wear out way before the zips fail. Dunno I am a lot like you in go for the long term kit but unless you are going a heavy duty canvas or fabric not sure you should really look at these things as a extra long life term item. (.... and I still use my old cantkill'em wilderness equipment and summit gear canvas panniers )

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Re: Roll Top Frame Bags

Postby RonK » Sat Oct 20, 2018 3:39 pm

I think the likelihood of zip failure is seriously overstated.
But if a single-compartment frame bag would work for you then it may be worth considering.
However I chose my bag based on what I want to carry in it, and how I want to carry it. A single-compartment top-loading bag just wouldn’t work for me.
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Re: Roll Top Frame Bags

Postby rifraf » Mon Oct 22, 2018 1:50 am

RonK wrote:I think the likelihood of zip failure is seriously overstated.
But if a single-compartment frame bag would work for you then it may be worth considering.
However I chose my bag based on what I want to carry in it, and how I want to carry it. A single-compartment top-loading bag just wouldn’t work for me.


Hi Ron, thanks for the input.

I've been doing more reading than riding of late unfortunately so have come across some references to zip failures.

One of the reasons I'm not rushing a purchase decision and asking of others experience is I'm not entirely sure yet of a packing methodology or exactly what I want to achieve, wether its to eliminate a pair of panniers, simply to further distribute my load or have a smaller packing option for shorter trips. Hence me asking some questions in here to determine a direction.

I've only just now become aware that there was roll top bags despite from Wingnuts inserted pic (above,) it appears they aren't that new.

That serious tourers/bikepackers like Cass Gilbert are rocking them suggested they might be worth more than a glance.

Perhaps you might expand on why a single compartment top loading bag wouldn't work or be problematic for you might provide helpful insight?
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Re: Roll Top Frame Bags

Postby rifraf » Mon Oct 22, 2018 2:03 am

Cheesewheel wrote:I have used two different brands of frame bags with the traditional side zipper format. Weather-wise, roll tops sound like the way to go. The only con I can think of are that the the process of rolling the top may add a lopsided lateral bulge to the bag (although that depends on how the bag is made and, more importantly, if you are the type of person to overpack the frame bag). When the frame bag is bulged, it can graze your legs as you peddle, which tends to default one to a bow legged sort of cadence. Also one's vision of the front chainring gets impaired, which may or may not be an issue depending on how frantic your gear changing decisions need to be while you are on the move. The other obvious con is that it would probably be more difficult to access the contents in a roll-top while you are on the roll.


G'day Cheesewheel, the slower access definitely sounds like a con I'd not considered.

Interesting that bulging is a consideration with regards overpacking, as grazing of the fabric is something I'd prefer to avoid as well with bow legged cadence.

Riding IGH, perhaps a front chainring view isn't so important for me on my bike, but a good thing to point out for other newbies reading the thread to consider.

I'll think long and hard regarding bulging and shape retention now you've pointed it out and its more poignant given some manufacturer sizing info was a suggestion to consider one size up frame bag to better fill the frame referencing "a small gap between the bottom corner of the bag and your down tube."

Appreciate the comments.
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Re: Roll Top Frame Bags

Postby rifraf » Mon Oct 22, 2018 2:18 am

baabaa wrote:My set up is a Salsa Frame Bag 11 (made by Revelate) with a Revelate Designs Viscacha Seat Bag just like this...

Been using these for about three years now and with frame rubbing, a bit of crank arm chaffing against tinned lentils stored too low, the odd tote the bike over barbed wire fences, a bit harsh got-to-get-that-last-bit-of-mud off scrubbing, airport wear and tear but mostly bloody sharp stick poke damage, I see the frame bag will wear out way before the zips fail. Dunno I am a lot like you in go for the long term kit but unless you are going a heavy duty canvas or fabric not sure you should really look at these things as a extra long life term item. (.... and I still use my old cantkill'em wilderness equipment and summit gear canvas panniers )


It could be that being old school in my thinking is an issue, which is likely a reflection on my age and "waste not, want not" upbringing.

For some of my gear I've managed to look to a bigger picture than longevity as there is more to gear than just how long it lasts and one issue with long lasting gear is the weight penalty as well as missing out on new and exciting technologies due to struggling with a justification of an upgrade when old gear appears to have lots of life left in it.

The Revelate is an often lauded product which appears to be considered one of the benchmarks with regards bikepacking gear for the masses.

It seems to have gone up a fair wack of late both locally and online if my recent searches are anything to go by, possibly the Au dollar has further tanked.

A Surly specific or Ripio is not out of conjecture yet.
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Re: Roll Top Frame Bags

Postby rifraf » Mon Oct 22, 2018 2:32 am

Aushiker wrote:I have a Bike Bag Dude framebag, custom made so pricey of course but worth it in my view. I haven't got any experience with roll-top bag so cannot comment on them specifically. That said I have seen no reason to date to consider a different style of frame-bag. The bag has worked well, kept my gear dry in heavy rain and has been very durable so far.

I carry my tablet in the bag without a second thought.


Good to hear of your satisfaction and confidence in your BBD gear and its weather resistance.

I'm less concerned about price, though always a factor, than ignorantly buying the wrong product, being a little unclear about certain factors,
some of which have become apparent in this thread.

I've been lucky with much of my gear in that whilst its not always been perfect its ticked enough boxes that I've not been particularly unhappy with most of it.

Thankfully I've been able to both research myself online (and in here), as well as been often able to benefit from others personal experience, which usually I give more credence and weight to than an article written possibly on behalf of a sponsor.

Given that touring weather in WA tends to be wetter weather, rain resistance is something of a quality of high priority for me.

Thanks for your input - much appreciated.
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Re: Roll Top Frame Bags

Postby RonK » Mon Oct 22, 2018 10:38 am

rifraf wrote:
RonK wrote:I think the likelihood of zip failure is seriously overstated.
But if a single-compartment frame bag would work for you then it may be worth considering.
However I chose my bag based on what I want to carry in it, and how I want to carry it. A single-compartment top-loading bag just wouldn’t work for me.


Hi Ron, thanks for the input.

I've been doing more reading than riding of late unfortunately so have come across some references to zip failures.

One of the reasons I'm not rushing a purchase decision and asking of others experience is I'm not entirely sure yet of a packing methodology or exactly what I want to achieve, wether its to eliminate a pair of panniers, simply to further distribute my load or have a smaller packing option for shorter trips. Hence me asking some questions in here to determine a direction.

I've only just now become aware that there was roll top bags despite from Wingnuts inserted pic (above,) it appears they aren't that new.

That serious tourers/bikepackers like Cass Gilbert are rocking them suggested they might be worth more than a glance.

Perhaps you might expand on why a single compartment top loading bag wouldn't work or be problematic for you might provide helpful insight?

Yes, tent zips sometimes fail too - usually as a consequence of heavy use (or abuse), sometimes because the zips are too light or of poor quality. But like tents, frame bags made with quality zips of the appropriate type rarely fail.

It's not wise to buy a frame bag without having a good idea what you are trying to achieve, and what you want to carry in it. A frame bag is never going to replace a pair of panniers - it will be much too small for that, and the thin shape of frame bags limits the kind of gear you can carry in them. You can't just stuff them with bulky objects - they will bulge and rub on the cranks and possibly on your legs. So they are best suited to compact objects or long thin ones.

Consider also that with a frame bag installed you have eliminated most of your bidon placements. Where will you carry your water? Will you festoon the frame with clamped on bidon cages? The most logical place of course is in the frame bag. Coincidentally, most frame bag designs have a hydration port in the top corner for just this purpose. And this arrangement quite naturally favours using a two-compartment, horizontally divided frame bag, with water bladders in the top compartment. This is also the ideal place to carry tent poles.

Some astute bag makers such as Rockgeist even offer hang loops for tent poles in their frame bags. Rockgeist will make you a roll-top bag too if you must have one. According to Rockgeist, on a frame bag with moulded #10 YKK zippers, blowouts are a rare event. Its more common to see blow outs on coiled zippers (zippers with a flat outer profile covered with a shiny urethane tape). But don't overstuff them and the zips won't fail - simple as that.

Roll-top bags have vertical dividers - a divider of some form is necessary to reduce bulging, but a vertical divider is likely to further restrict the shape of the objects you can carry. And of course you have to unload a top-loader to get to stuff at the bottom.

When I was planning my bikepacking setup, what I was going to carry and where/how I was going to carry it was part of the planning. I already knew when I ordered my frame bag what I was going to carry in it. What is in the bags? In the top compartment there are two 2-litre water bladders, water filter and tent poles. In the bottom compartment there is a spare tube, tools and parts, pump, chain lube, tyre sealant and other oddments. Neither compartment is overfull so there is no bulge, and there is still some room for a few extras such as a little reserve food if necessary.

I don't put overmuch store on what people like Cass Gilbert are using. Cass uses his gear far more frequently than most and in far more extreme conditions than you or I will ever use it. And he is pretty much testing the designs his sponsors supply.
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Re: Roll Top Frame Bags

Postby twowheels » Tue Oct 23, 2018 12:47 am

A youtube channel called Path Less Pedaled reviews this type of equipment, I don't have myself. I like the balance in the reviews he does & have purchased or otherwise been influenced by his perspective. He may have covered these types of frame bags & discussed pros/cons of features.

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Re: Roll Top Frame Bags

Postby tmac100 » Tue Oct 23, 2018 5:31 am

Since I sold my Bob Ibex and have switched to 100% Ortleib roll tops, all I can say is that these bags are great.

I have two different sizes of front bags, and must say I prefer the larger bags. A O. handlebar bag is great, but I just have it resting on my sleeping bag perched on my front rack. The bag's strap is wrapped around the h-bars and all is well. I have the O. "duffle-type bag" with roll-type closure on my rear rack with water bags, tyres, etc ...

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Re: Roll Top Frame Bags

Postby Mugglechops » Tue Oct 23, 2018 11:11 am

I have 2 framebags from BBD one of them is from his first batch that he made and I have had it for 4 years now and the zips are still fine.

A mate has the Rougue Panda roll top bag and I thought the access into was not as good as my BBD bags with 2 zippers and 2 compartments. Plus it took them so long to make it I would have cancelled my order compared to my BBD one which was here in a week from ordering.
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Re: Roll Top Frame Bags

Postby Paddles » Wed Oct 31, 2018 10:06 am

Sorry to hijack the "rolltop" thread, but has anyone had any experiences with the Blackburn "Outpost" range of frame bags? These bags are quite cheap compared to their competition. The usage for the wife and I would only be to hold enough clothes for an "overnighter" at a pub somewhere, say a t-shirt, shorts/undies, light jumper and a pair of thongs. We wouldn't go camping on our bikes so don't need to carry too much. I'm not too worried about zippers busting, usually if they're maintained properly with a bit of possum p!ss and kept clean they don't fail, we generally won't ride through mud and rain either because we're fair weather cyclists :mrgreen:

They look to fit the bill for us and would allow us to hopefully leave the two bidons on the inside of the frame triangle. Even though i've got cage mounting points under the downtube and on each fork leg, I'd like to keep everything inside the frame triangle if I can. We keep our tools and tubes in packs under our saddles already so they're not an issue either.

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Re: Roll Top Frame Bags

Postby rifraf » Sat Nov 10, 2018 6:51 pm

Hi Ron,
thank you for the effort of your detailed and expansive explanation including all the links.
I appreciate the time you put into this.
RonK wrote:Yes, tent zips sometimes fail too - usually as a consequence of heavy use (or abuse), sometimes because the zips are too light or of poor quality. But like tents, frame bags made with quality zips of the appropriate type rarely fail.


Good to know that better bags zips are typically good quality and not prone to failure when appropriate care is taken of them.
The tent analogy I think is a good one.

RonK wrote:It's not wise to buy a frame bag without having a good idea what you are trying to achieve, and what you want to carry in it. A frame bag is never going to replace a pair of panniers - it will be much too small for that, and the thin shape of frame bags limits the kind of gear you can carry in them. You can't just stuff them with bulky objects - they will bulge and rub on the cranks and possibly on your legs. So they are best suited to compact objects or long thin ones.


Whilst I didn't think merely adding a frame bag alone would eliminate a pair of panniers, I can see how my rushed message might have conveyed that.

Knowing about the issues that come from over-stuffing the frame bags is good knowledge to have shared and the sort of thing easily missed by newbies

RonK wrote:Consider also that with a frame bag installed you have eliminated most of your bidon placements. Where will you carry your water? Will you festoon the frame with clamped on bidon cages? The most logical place of course is in the frame bag. Coincidentally, most frame bag designs have a hydration port in the top corner for just this purpose. And this arrangement quite naturally favours using a two-compartment, horizontally divided frame bag, with water bladders in the top compartment. This is also the ideal place to carry tent poles.

Some astute bag makers such as Rockgeist even offer hang loops for tent poles in their frame bags. Rockgeist will make you a roll-top bag too if you must have one. According to Rockgeist, on a frame bag with moulded #10 YKK zippers, blowouts are a rare event. Its more common to see blow outs on coiled zippers (zippers with a flat outer profile covered with a shiny urethane tape). But don't overstuff them and the zips won't fail - simple as that.

Roll-top bags have vertical dividers - a divider of some form is necessary to reduce bulging, but a vertical divider is likely to further restrict the shape of the objects you can carry. And of course you have to unload a top-loader to get to stuff at the bottom.


I'm definitely not up to speed with the various dividers and their common usage so good info here.
I had bladder carrying duty as my first thought for a frame bag amongst others having read of your setup when using the Fargo.

I had a squiz at Rockgeist and their features appear quite progressive.

I remember you mentioning tent pole issues with your original tarp tent setup.

It appears that the combined experience of the readers in here that the zips will be fine if they aren't abused and their failure uncommon.



RonK wrote:When I was planning my bikepacking setup, what I was going to carry and where/how I was going to carry it was part of the planning. I already knew when I ordered my frame bag what I was going to carry in it. What is in the bags? In the top compartment there are two 2-litre water bladders, water filter and tent poles. In the bottom compartment there is a spare tube, tools and parts, pump, chain lube, tyre sealant and other oddments. Neither compartment is overfull so there is no bulge, and there is still some room for a few extras such as a little reserve food if necessary.


Yes I think I'll go away and get the intended usage thoughts more firmly down pat before I revisit making choices based on weather proofing of frame bags, let alone purchase decisions.

RonK wrote:I don't put overmuch store on what people like Cass Gilbert are using. Cass uses his gear far more frequently than most and in far more extreme conditions than you or I will ever use it. And he is pretty much testing the designs his sponsors supply.


Sounds logical and like sage advice so thanks for your input.
I think having caught up with some bills and having a few spare pennies in my pocket, I was getting ahead of myself.

Sorry this response isn't as timely as I would have liked, nor anywhere as expansive as I had intended, but I do appreciate you taking the time to have put your thoughts to keyboard and offering the benefits of your experience.
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rifraf
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Re: Roll Top Frame Bags

Postby rifraf » Sat Nov 10, 2018 6:55 pm

Mugglechops wrote:I have 2 framebags from BBD one of them is from his first batch that he made and I have had it for 4 years now and the zips are still fine.

A mate has the Rougue Panda roll top bag and I thought the access into was not as good as my BBD bags with 2 zippers and 2 compartments. Plus it took them so long to make it I would have cancelled my order compared to my BBD one which was here in a week from ordering.


Thanks for the response Mugglechops.
There appears to be some love for the quality of the BBD gear.
I came across it first in one of RonK's posts and between some of the posters in various threads it now suggests a common theme of pricy but quality gear with some longevity.
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Re: Roll Top Frame Bags

Postby rifraf » Sat Nov 10, 2018 6:57 pm

tmac100 wrote:Since I sold my Bob Ibex and have switched to 100% Ortleib roll tops, all I can say is that these bags are great.

I have two different sizes of front bags, and must say I prefer the larger bags. A O. handlebar bag is great, but I just have it resting on my sleeping bag perched on my front rack. The bag's strap is wrapped around the h-bars and all is well. I have the O. "duffle-type bag" with roll-type closure on my rear rack with water bags, tyres, etc ...


Always good to get a heads up about satisfaction with various gear Tmac - thank you.

Certainly Ortlieb have some history of weatherproof gear which can't be sneezed at.
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Re: Roll Top Frame Bags

Postby rifraf » Sat Nov 10, 2018 6:59 pm

twowheels wrote:A youtube channel called Path Less Pedaled reviews this type of equipment, I don't have myself. I like the balance in the reviews he does & have purchased or otherwise been influenced by his perspective. He may have covered these types of frame bags & discussed pros/cons of features.


Thank you Twowheels, I'll be sure to have a squiz next time I can get to the library and take advantage of their free wifi.

The huge (3 gig +) Apple updates have been sucking the life out of my prepay allowance.
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