Isn’t it great when the gift idea hints you drop hit their mark?
Back in November, over a few bottles of porter, son Sam and I were discussing Christmas gifts and I suggested I needed that perfect retro saddlebag for my 1983 Raleigh Clubman. Something befitting a lugged steel frame.
I thought nothing more of it but surprisingly, given Sam’s scatter-gun brain and the porter, I opened a neatly-wrapped package at Christmas and out popped a Carradice City Classics Bingley bag.
It’s that perfect size – not too big – not too small – Goldilocks would no doubt approve. Made in Nelson, Lancashire from waxed cotton duck and thick leather, it is perfect for my tool roll, two spare tubes and my light battery. It attaches to seat rails, Brooks-style saddle loops or the handlebars, if you have the necessary handlebar real-estate.
The load is secured by two sturdy metal poppers and the whole thing looks set to outlast its owner.
The bag also comes with a canvas strap, allowing the user to remove it from the bike and throw it over the shoulder in a rakish, cosmopolitan, devil-may-care attitude. I have not yet summoned the fortitude to do this.
An RRP of £40 may seem steep (thankyou Sam!) but this will be the last saddlebag you will ever need to buy. It’s bombproof, beautiful and available in either green canvas/dark brown leather or a very Henry Ford black on black.