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review

PRO Discover Team Top Tube Bag

8
£49.99

VERDICT:

8
10
Excellent weatherproof storage with sufficient day-ride space and great stability
Truly waterproof
Welded construction
Light
Secure
Waterproof zip can need two hands
No internal divisions
Weight: 
87g

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Impressively weatherproof, sleek and integrated, PRO's new top tube bag is a hardy ride addition, with enough space to satisfy most needs.

Several years ago, few outside of triathlon desired a top tube bag, but now hardly a month goes by without another one (or two) hitting the market. It's found new fans among bikepackers, endurance and gravel riders thanks to being fundamentally simple, but worthwhile evolution is always welcome.

> Find your nearest dealer here

PRO is Shimano's component and accessory arm, and the Discover Team range sits above the Discover and basic PRO ranges. At just 87g, this Team version is lighter than the Discover top tube bag, while offering the same 0.7L from an undivided single compartment.

The ripstop-reinforced polyester and nylon fabric is thin and very flexible at the front and base, so it conforms to your tubes well. Meanwhile the rear and top are stiffened by the zip, while the sidewalls have fairly rigid plastic panels so the thing keeps its shape.

2021 PRO Discover Team Top Tube Bag - zip.jpg

Each of the three Velcro straps is integrated with the bag's welded construction. They're tough straps, backed with a shiny PVC coating that's tacky to resist sway. The two on the bottom are evenly spaced, and the front strap is positioned low, where it's most likely to fit around the steerer.

Value

The Discover Team top tube bag is well-specced for the money, with stability and protection at the top of the list, though similar bags from Straight Cut for £55, and Miss Grape at £60 offer around the same capacity but with (respectively) extra features and less weatherproofing.

The Team is 52mm wide, 92mm high, 195mm long at the base and around 160mm long at the top – the curved corners don't take kindly to measuring.

2021 PRO Discover Team Top Tube Bag - top.jpg

The waterproof zip has a useful cord loop and a garage to stash it in, and opens towards you. It's easy to open while riding, but closing it isn't such a smooth experience – it often needs a couple of tugs to get around the curve. Still, the bag retains its shape throughout, with only mild creasing when dragging hard on the zip.

> 26 of the best bikepacking bags — how to choose lightweight luggage

The internal space is all black, and isn't subdivided, with no valuable-friendly padding – and because the material is so thin, anything at the bottom is essentially in direct contact with your top tube. There's enough room for most ride essentials, a few valuables and snacks; it's perfect for an average day out.

With no cable port it's not ideal for supplementary batteries, though, and it'll only take limited excess clothing.

Attachment

Fitting is simple and the front strap fits pretty well, even on bikes with slammed stems. If you pedal with your knees in you'll probably brush against the bag now and then, as it overlaps the width of most top tubes a little. Unlike bags with straps that are separate from the base, these integrated straps pull the sides in and generally align them with the tube.

> 14 of the best touring bikes — get your dream steed for taking off into the beyond

Filled with light and medium-weight items, the Discover Team remains very stable, with only the occasional minor lean to one side. Adding more weight doesn't unduly alter its shape, but can make it lean more often. I never found it a problem, though, as when properly fastened the bag mostly stays put.

Overall

The weatherproofing is excellent, and with its sleek shape, easy to clean exterior, low-profile looks and practicality, the PRO Discover Team top tube bag makes an impressive, easy-access storage option. It's well-constructed and durable too – there's little not to like.

Verdict

Excellent weatherproof storage with sufficient day-ride space and great stability

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road.cc test report

Make and model: PRO Discover Team Top Tube Bag

Size tested: 0.7L

Tell us what the product is for and who it's aimed at. What do the manufacturers say about it? How does that compare to your own feelings about it?

PRO says, "The PRO Discover Team Top Tube Bag is a lightweight and waterproof top tube bag for bikepacking."

PRO is Shimano's components arm, and this bag sits above their Discover Top Tube Bag in the range.

Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?

PRO lists:

700ml capacity

Fully waterproof

Welded seams

Anti-sway design

Weight: 83g

Rate the product for quality of construction:
 
9/10

All the seams are smooth and robust, the corners are rounded, and the integrated straps are generously wide and tough.

Rate the product for performance:
 
7/10

The zip can be a little stiff, often needing two hands to start opening or finish closing. Once open the space is easy to access, and the bag stays put better than many.

Rate the product for durability:
 
8/10

Everything is wipe-clean, and there are few places for dirt or water to sit. The beefy straps are more than up to the task, and so far, with careful operation, the zip has worked well.

Rate the product for weight (if applicable)
 
9/10

At 87g, our test bag was only 4g above PRO's claimed weight. Considering its intended purpose, that's hardly worth getting hung up on.

Rate the product for value:
 
4/10

£49.99 is quite a lot of cash for so little storage, but it is well-made.

Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose

It did all that was asked of it, securely carrying accessories, snacks and the odd valuable on rough rides with no problems.

Tell us what you particularly liked about the product

The integrated straps and weatherproofing.

Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product

The zip's regular reluctance to allow one-handed operation.

How does the price compare to that of similar products in the market, including ones recently tested on road.cc?

It's £5 less than the Straight Cut Top Tube Bag, and £10 less than Miss Grape's Node Road bag, although that one is larger.

Did you enjoy using the product? Yes

Would you consider buying the product? Yes

Would you recommend the product to a friend? Yes

Use this box to explain your overall score

A top tube bag is a fundamentally simple thing, but not everyone gets it right. PRO has produced a well-designed, hardwearing, practical and stylish bag that does all that's expected of it, and doesn't make its presence felt.

Overall rating: 8/10

About the tester

Age: 49  Height: 178cm / 5'10"  Weight: 76kg

I usually ride: Specialized S-Works Tarmac SL6 with Campagnolo Super Record 12s  My best bike is: BMC SLR01

I've been riding for: Over 20 years  I ride: Most days  I would class myself as: Expert

I regularly do the following types of riding: road racing, time trialling, cyclo cross, commuting, touring, club rides, general fitness riding, mtb, Riding with my children, using both a child seat and trailer bike

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