Rack-free rear luggage on your Brompton
in 30 seconds for £6.90
I’ve been thinking about how to carry more stuff for trips where I am staying away for a while, at a conference for example, and I need a variety of kit and different bags. I own both a touring pannier (huge capacity) and an S-Bag (good briefcase, day bag and aircraft hand luggage) so in many ways these two would make a good pair, the trouble is that they both want to fit on the front luggage block. Steve Parry has designed a modification to fit a luggage block to the rear of the Brompton but it’s an expensive addition costing more than the luggage.
So I was racking my brains about a forthcoming trip and even thinking about buying something like a Carradice seatpost pack or saddlebag when I decided to look at where the S-Bag might fit at the back. Maybe it was the fact that I’d been looking at saddlebags but the whole thing just clicked into place in my mind – the S-Bag is very similar to a large saddlebag and its carry handle lines up nicely with the bag loops on my Brooks Saddle. I tried it our with some Velcro cable-organiser straps and it worked perfectly. If you don’t have an S-Bag it’s still a good option to buy one as it’s not much more investment than a good saddlebag and gives you a lot of luggage options.
The next problem was finding some proper straps and I was thinking about various methods with Velcro or leather toeclip straps. However Carradice came up trumps with exactly the right products for £6.90.
What you need
from the Carradice accessories > straps page
Leather straps 20 cm (8″) £3.95 pair
Nylon straps 65 cm £2.95 pair
I think they deliver outside the UK.
You only need one of the nylon straps
Fitting the straps to the saddle
They are described by Carradice as “honey” colour. My Brooks saddle was also called “honey” so maybe these will age to match.
Fitting the seatpost strap
You can see why you need a longer strap for this job
Fitting the bag to the saddle
just pass the straps through the bag handle and tighten them to the smallest size, the furthest hole seems just right. Nice retro look with the leather saddle and a bit more stylish than the Carradice bags.
Fastening the seatpost strap
At a pinch you could probably get by without this but it stabilises the whole thing. If you tighten it right up you may find the bag contacting the backs of your thighs so you need to find the right length to balance fit and stability. I have it set so the bag just lightly touches my thighs, if I was doing proper touring I might want to avoid any contact.
If you really need to set the bag a good way further back from the post you could probably find something to jam into the loop of strap as a spacer before tightening it. A small stuffsac with a Thermarest travel pillow might do very well.
The strap needs trimming to a suitable length, a flame will seal the cut end, leave some extra because you may decide after time that it’s not quite right.
The Complete Ensemble
50 litres plus and a bag for all occasions, I’d be tempted to try it with the new C-Bag which is neater and a bit bigger than the S-Bag but either way don’t assume you can load up the rear bag with heavy stuff. In these photos I had not fastened the S-Bag’s straps so the flap is just holding on by the Velcro and a bit untidy.
I reckon you can fit and remove it in less than 30 seconds. Enjoy!