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Topeak Aero Wedge Pack Saddle Bag

22 Feb

Under normal circumstances I am a cycling minimalist, i.e., I don’t carry much with me on a ride except for a small bicycle mini-tool, tire boot, a can of compressed air and a spare tube. However, I had to make some adjustments a few months ago when I bought a Surly Necromancer Pugsley and had a Shimano Alfine 8-Speed Internal Geared Hub installed on it. The Pugsley in an awesome Fat Bike, but a spare 26 x 4.0 inner tube is enormous and will not fit in a standard bicycle saddle bag. In addition, the Alfine hub pretty much demands that you carry a pair of needle nose pliers with you for when have to remove the rear tire to fix a flat. Because the Alfine hub is only available as a bolt-on (no skewer) you also have to carry a short 15mm box wrench! It took me a while to find a seat bag that would hold everything I need, but the Topeak Aero Wedge Pack Saddle Bag holds all I need and has room to spare (it is an expandable bag).

Topeak Aero Wedge Pack Seat Bag

Topeak Aero Wedge Pack Saddle Bag

The large Topeak Aero Wedge Pack Saddle Bag is made of 1200 Denier Polyester with a Dupont Teflon coating and has an internal storage capacity of 90–120 cubit inches (this bag is also available in two smaller sizes as well). The bag measures 9.1″ x 5.1″ x 5.5″ and weighs just under six ounces. You attach this bag to the rails of your saddle with two nylon straps that have fast release buckles—there is also a Velcro strap that wraps around your seat post. The back flap on this bag has a slot so you can clip on a taillight, and above the slot is a large 3M reflective strip (one of the largest you will find on a seat bag).

Topeak Aero Wedge Pack in mud and snow

Topeak Aero Wedge Pack Covered With Mud

I used this bag all winter and it held up well to snow and ice. However, I did have a problem once the snow on the trails turned into mud. My Pugsley has very wide knobby tires (Surly Nates) and they kick up so much mud that words defy description (see photo above). While the mud washed off the bag fairly quickly, the zippers were so clogged up that I could not get the bag open. Even after several thorough cleanings with soapy water and brushes the zippers still won’t work smoothly, and I can’t find any sort of lubricant that helps. Therefore, while I would highly recommend this saddle bag for most conditions, if you ride on muddy trails you really need to either find a different saddle bag or at least wrap this on up with something like Saran Wrap. At the moment I am testing a Topeak Wedge DryBag, but have not used it enough to offer an opinion on it yet.

The Topeak Aero Wedge Pack Saddle Bag retails for $28 and should be available at your local bike shop.

 

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5 responses to “Topeak Aero Wedge Pack Saddle Bag

  1. nasser

    February 22, 2012 at 3:25 PM

    For stubborn zippers, use a dry bar of soap. And its smells great too.

     
    • All Seasons Cyclist

      February 22, 2012 at 4:55 PM

      Nasser, I finally figured out the problem is not so much the mud as it is the fine sand. The mud washes out, but the fine sand just clings to everything (I live near Lake Michigan).

       
  2. kurtbredeson

    February 22, 2012 at 3:46 PM

    I see from your muddy picture that you have the same problem I had in fall: muddy water bottle nipple! I love the Camelback waterbottle but the spout on mine got so dirty from mud, the inside of the spout had mud in it! I had to switch to one with a flip-off dome cap for muddy seasons. It’s more annoying to drink from, but grit in the mouth is a terrible trade-off. My commute is short enough in winter (40mins) that I take no water at all, so I don’t worry about freezing water.

    Keep up the good work!

     
    • All Seasons Cyclist

      February 22, 2012 at 4:57 PM

      Kurt, kind of funny you mentioned the water bottles with the flip-off dome. I bought a pair of Nalgene bottles with domes a few weeks ago and will be writing a product review for them in March. I spend a lot of time riding in the mad and rain, so these are going to come in handy all year long.

       
      • kurtbredeson

        February 24, 2012 at 11:14 AM

        That’s probably exactly what I have been using. Not the most user-friendly, but keeps the grit out of your teeth :)

         

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