In the bag

I’m currently testing a pair of handmade panniers by Falls Creek Outfitters. I think each pair of test bags are probably “one off’s,” so that fact will be taken into account during my testing. The bags are getting fitted on my 1971 Raleigh International which is set up with Blackburn racks fore and aft, as well as on my Boulder Brevet. The Boulder has a smaller rack made by Velo-Orange and even though the bag looks great on either bike, clearly the shorter and narrower platform area of the VO rack provides less stability than the more generous platform of the Blackburn rack.

I’ll be posting a review here at The Early Morning Cyclist once I’ve had a chance to put these bags to good use over time and distance. During that time I’ll be looking at three things: aesthetics and craftsmanship, functionality, usability. A fourth consideration – that of durability – will take considerably longer to determine.

For the moment, I’ll simply share some photographs of the bags attached to the two bikes.

Pictured here on my Boulder Brevet, the Falls Creek Outfitters bags look good paired with the Ozette Rando Bag by Swift Industries. I like traveling with bike bags and the Swift bag is a personal favorite of mine. If Falls Creek Outfitters can come up to the level of quality and usefulness of the Swift product, they will certainly have done something substantial in my personal opinion.

The panniers seem to fit the look and geometry of this configuration just a little bit better. The pairing of these panniers with a vintage Carradice bag might be overkill for most riding short of packed commuting or S240 touring.


2 thoughts on “In the bag

  1. They sure look nice, and the price is pretty nice too. (Wish their website was a little more…modern, though.) I take it the panniers are a one-piece unit? And do you know if they are made in the US?

    Look forward to further reports.

  2. I may be wrong, but based upon our email conversations I believe he currently makes them by hand himself. And yes, you are correct – these panniers are one piece, which poses a (not insurmountable) challenge for attaching and keeping balanced with a load. My previous panniers have attached individually and had multiple mounting points rather than a “gravity-drape” system of securing the bags to the frame. At the moment I have this model tied down at the platform, which leaves the bags dangling everywhere else. I’d like to find a way to make them more secure so that the “floppiness” doesn’t get in the spokes or sag to the right or left when there’s more load on one side than the other. In any event, however, I haven’t even begun to adequately put these bags through their paces so any evaluation at this point is really premature.

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