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This 6x4.5 inch seatpack is new from the peculiarly named manufacturer ExSpider, which is better known for car accessories. It looks like a useful pack for essentials, with enough room to carry tools, a spare tube and a couple of energy bars, plus the additional feature of a built-in LED rear light. Problems began to appear when I fitted it to my bike...
The straps that go round the saddle rails have Velcro tabs, but when one strap is attached to the Velcro on the pack itself, there's no Velcro for the other strap to attach to. My solution was to loosen both straps so the Velcro could attach on both sides, although then the pack flops around below the rails instead of being held tight.
The strap that goes round the seatpost is attached to the underside of the pack rather than the front end (i.e. the nearest point to the seatpost). This has the effect of tilting the pack downwards at the back. Not the end of the world, but it looks a bit naff and it limits the usefulness of the LED light, which now points at the rear wheel instead of straight back towards traffic.
When I went for a ride with the pack fitted, things didn't get any better. On a standard road saddle, the pack's moulded EVA shell is simply too wide: the back of my thighs touched the pack when pedalling. It was uncomfortable on one side because the zip tab jabbed my leg on every downstroke.
With an old toe-strap, some insulation tape and a bit of bodging, I managed to move the pack backwards on the rails, then pulled the zip open a little so the metal tab didn't dig into my thigh. I was comfortable, but the strap around the seat post meant the pack was now tilting down at a crazy angle, rendering the LED light totally useless.
To be fair, the width of the pack may not be an issue for all riders; it might be okay on the wider saddles found on utility bikes. And if you don't stand on the pedals when climbing, the pack won't swing around so much on its loose straps. But even then, the strap design remains odd and the downward tilt still undermines the value of the rear light.
It's hard to recommend buying this pack, not without trying it on your bike first. Some of the features are good in theory but they're poorly executed.
Promising looks, but some odd design features make this bag useless for most road bikes
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Make and model: ExSpider LED seatpack 6.0x4.5
Size tested: 6.0x4.5
The quality of construction is good, but the pack is let down by other design features.
With its hard shell, the pack is likely to be durable, but other negative features over-ride this positive.
I found this pack uncomfortable. On most road saddles, the pack is too wide and will rub on the back legs when pedalling - although this may not be an issue for all riders.
The price would be fair if the kit didn't have the downsides already mentioned.
Did you enjoy using the product? No
Would you consider buying the product? No
Would you recommend the product to a friend? Only if they tried it on a test ride first
Age: 50 Height: 5ft 10 / 178cm Weight: 11 stone / 70kg
I usually ride: an old Marin Alp My best bike is: an old Giant Cadex
I've been riding for: Over 20 years I ride: A few times a week I would class myself as: Experienced
I regularly do the following types of riding: touring, club rides, sportives, mtb,