Bike Gear Upgrades - Reviews Coming.

Zefal console bag

So, as you may have read over here, I've electrified my main bike. It was a process, oh my, it was a process, and this was a "simple" front wheel drive conversion. I'll be writing a review of the product, some tips for DIY e-kit installers and some warnings. Should be published by Friday.

One of the lesser problems is loss of frame space for storage gear, like bottle cage, framebag and my DIY recycled plastic bottle and 3D printed bracket toolbox. The frame had to be almost completely evacuated to fit the 350Wh battery and, while the bottle cage is still on the downtube, the battery makes the bottle unreachable on the road. It's no major problem, but I'm back to a backpack for those bits and bobs, so I've ordered some new bags. A Zefal T "console bag" and some new RockBros rolltop rear panniers. I'll be reviewing these in the next few weeks, too.

If you've followed my now defunct Clunkerbike blog, you'd know that, since my ticker went pop, I've been doing a lot of design and experimentation with bike stuff. One such experiment was, when my old panniers finally fell apart, I built up a couple of small, hardshell suitcases as panniers, using the brackets from the defunct bags. I'm declaring that experiment successful, but not really worth the effort. They actually hold too much, and for packing a bike for travel, that's bad. Handy for groceries or carrying power tools, though, but that's what my "dutchie" is for. The suitcases will probably go back to where I found them, on the nature strip in a hard rubbish pile. Well, one will. The other's actually a good suitcase.

RockBros pannier, greySo, to the RockBros bags, I'm sooo stoked that RockBros have entered the Ortleib and Arkel space! These are 25l each, rolltop and sturdy, welded vinyl at half the price of Ortleib in Australia. Can't wait for them to arrive! They've also got rear, stretchy mesh, tool roll pockets on the rear facing panel and a drawstring thing on the side that looks like it will hold a jacket or a tarpaulin. They also have Ortleib style hangers and bottom hook. That really impresses me. They arrive early next week, so I'll start reviewing them pretty much from then. I chose grey because it's nearest to the black with white trim colour scheme of my tourer. Orange or yellow would clash, there's too much black on the machine already, so grey it is. Grey is probably a little theft resistant, too, and won't look wrong against my 9l front bags, a pair of rolltop strap-ons on fork cages.

The Zefal top tube bag I know very little about, but it's for snacks and velcro tiedowns, the crap I used to keep in my triangle bag. That arrives this week and I'll start working on the review of that pretty much out of the box.


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