In the summer when I’m on my road bike I don’t carry much with me—just a few energy bars in my jersey pockets and a spare inner tube and CO2 pump in a small seat bag. However, when I ride off-road or in the rain I tend a carry a bit more with me and often need a place to store some of my rain gear when it is not needed. This past winter I purchased a Revelate Designs Tangle Frame Bag and it is one of the best pieces of cycling equipment I’ve ever purchased.
As the name suggests, the Tangle Frame Bag is a bag that fits on your bike frame—this one attaches to the top tube with reinforced Velcro straps. It also has adjustable webbing straps for the down tube and seat tube and low profile camlock buckles with strap keepers. I bought this bag for use on my winter bikes, but I think any commuter or distance cyclist would really benefit from it as well.
This bag is very well designed and thought out. It is divided into two pockets—the thinner pocket on the left hand side holds smaller items like maps, chemical hand warmers, and cell phones. The pocket on the right hand side is much larger and can easily hold vests, jackets, tools or enough energy bars for a 24-hour ride. Or, since the main compartment has an exit port at the front of the bag, you can use the larger pocket to hold a hydration pack. You could also use the larger compartment to hold the battery for your headlight and run the wire through the exit port (and still have a lot of room to spare).
The Tangle Frame Bag is made of Dimension Polyant Xpac 400 Denier Fabric (also known as sail loft). I own a lot of seat, saddle and storage bags and this is the sturdiest soft-sided bag I’ve ever seen. The zippers on this bag are water-resistant and the inside of the bag is lined with a bright yellow fabric so you can see the contents even in low-light situations.
This bag is available in three sizes. The smallest bag is 17″ long by 4″ tall and is designed for 15″–18″ mountain bikes. The medium bag is 19.5″ long by 4.5″ tall is designed for 17″–20″ MTB frames. The largest bag is 21″ long by 6″ tall and fits 20″ (or larger) MTB frames. These bags also fit road, touring and commuting bikes—just check the Revelate Designs Website for additional sizing information.
I used the medium-sized bag this past winter on my Surly Necromancer Pugsley and had to buy shorter water bottles to fit in the bottle cages. Another alternative is to buy side entering cages.
Revelate Designs is located in Anchorage, Alaska and I’ve purchased several of their products and every one of them has been of the highest quality. These bags have a product warranty that covers any defects for life. The Tangle Frame Bag retails for $68 to $70 (based on size) and is available from the Revelate Designs Website.