Friday, December 21, 2012

Moving with a cargo bike

Sadly, not the way I would prefer for that sentence to be parsed, but here it is:

Saturday, December 1, 2012

Swift Industries

To use the Campeur as a hauling bike, I have so far just been putting stuff in the trailer. There is only so much room in there, though, and I don't want to hook it up for solo rides, for grocery shopping, etc. To that end, I plan to add a rear rack and have acquired a small saddle bag and rear panniers from Swift Industries. There is no getting around the fact that these are pricy items. That said, panniers and bicycle luggage in general are expensive items, and the inexpensive options carry hidden costs. I specifically chose to support Swift Industries because they are a regional company, the luggage is made by hand, and I love the philosophy and business ethic of the small firm. See a bit more here:

A month after ordering, just as promised, the bags have arrived and I am simply blown away by them. I love how they look, and the construction is solid. The design is well-thought out, from D-rings for shoulder strap to compression straps where they should be. The pockets are the right size and where I would have put them. The materials are wonderful; waxed canvas, cordura, and waterproof vinyl interior linings. They fold flat when empty, but bulge out (and unroll to tower upwards) generously.

For simpler, shorter rides, I have also added a Little Dear   saddle bag. It is just the right size for a lock, lunch, jacket, and critical tools. Attaches with leather straps and a wooden dowel to the loops at the back of the saddle. It looks huge on my tiny bike but is actually a fairly petite bag when compared to other traditional saddle bags.

I'm looking forward to breaking these bags in, and I would not be surprised to see these bags outlive me. It is a real pleasure to find companies taking the time to build things slowly and properly, and relatively close to home.