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review

Assos Spider Bag G2

7
£115.00

VERDICT:

7
10
Very impressive for its very narrow use case, but it is expensive
Comfortable to carry
Very breathable
Expensive
Of limited use
Weight: 
92g
Contact: 

At road.cc every product is thoroughly tested for as long as it takes to get a proper insight into how well it works. Our reviewers are experienced cyclists that we trust to be objective. While we strive to ensure that opinions expressed are backed up by facts, reviews are by their nature an informed opinion, not a definitive verdict. We don't intentionally try to break anything (except locks) but we do try to look for weak points in any design. The overall score is not just an average of the other scores: it reflects both a product's function and value – with value determined by how a product compares with items of similar spec, quality, and price.

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The Assos Spider Bag G2 is a comfortable way to carry light loads on longer rides, and it's very breathable, but its use really is limited and the price is high.

The Spider G2 is specifically designed for light loads, when you need extra storage capacity but don't want a full-sized rucksack. Assos has essentially stripped out everything unecessary you'd get with regular backpacks.

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This means a few things, but key amongst them is that its use really is limited to its intended purpose – it's unlikely it would take the place of a commuter bag, you wouldn't be able to carry your laptop around in it comfortably, and you certainly couldn't use it for a proper shopping trip... But for carrying smaller, lighter items on longer rides, it's great.

I mostly used it for carrying water and food on longer rides on hot days. During the pandemic my usual methods of water top-ups were impossible – pubs I might have stopped at previously weren't open, and even public water fountains were turned off. Before testing the Spider G2 I would stick an extra bidon in a jersey pocket, which was annoying as it stopped me from taking other things, and it was irritating on the small of my back, and it stretched my jersey pockets.

The idea of taking a rucksack had occurred to me, but the reality of doing a four-hour slog with a backpack on is about as appealing to me as doing a four-hour slog on Tony Martin's sandpaper saddle. And this is where this bag becomes incredibly useful.

Rather than having thick padded straps, the G2's are thin and lightweight – like you would find on a pair of bib shorts. To stop them twisting Assos has included two thin tabs that sit across the straps, a simple solution that works well. I didn't have any noticeable twisting throughout the review period. This does mean you can't use the bag for anything particularly heavy – I found that three full 800ml bottles was about the limit on what I would consider.

2021 Assos Assosoires Spider Bag G2 - straps.jpg

The straps have no adjustability beyond the natural stretch in the fabric. The bag sits between your shoulder blades where it is least likely to cause irritation when riding, and leaves the rest of your back clear for hot air to escape. It also means it has almost no impact on your aerodynamics as it sits about as wide as your head and out of the wind.

The main body of the bag is made from the same Schloss Tex and NEOS Mild fabrics that Assos uses on its waterproof jackets, so the contents are going to stay relatively dry regardless of the conditions. I say relatively because despite the material itself being waterproof, the zip isn't.

2021 Assos Assosoires Spider Bag G2 - unzipped.jpg

For the rear of the bag, which sits against the back, Assos has used a 3D Net panel – essentially a highly breathable padded mesh. If you hold it up and unzip the front of the bag you can see through it. It can also be folded up and stuck in a jersey pocket when not needed.

2021 Assos Assosoires Spider Bag G2 - back padding.jpg

The combination of breathable jacket fabrics and a mesh panel means this is a great bag to carry in warm weather; you don't get the same kind of heat buildup that you would with a regular backpack. It's more like wearing a section of jacket than carrying a bag.

The fact that it only holds three litres and isn't designed for any significant weight obviously means you can't ram it full of stuff, it's essentially a larger version of a jersey pocket.

> How to carry stuff on your bike

It has a simple closure system of just a full-length zip running top to bottom, with a piece of material over the bottom third of the zip on the inside to stop anything falling out.

2021 Assos Assosoires Spider Bag G2 - zip detail.jpg

Aside from that, there are two compartments inside, separated by a light mesh, and a small clip for keys.

2021 Assos Assosoires Spider Bag G2 - key fob inside.jpg

The reflective strips either side of the zip are very visible and light up well, and one of the tabs on the straps is also made from a reflective material, though it is quite small.

2021 Assos Assosoires Spider Bag G2 - strap logo 2.jpg

Value

With an RRP of £115, this is very pricey for a 3L bag – you can pick up similar size bags for a fraction of that – but the Spider G2's hyper-focus on a single use and the lack of anything else like it in the market mean it's hard to compare.

For small loads on long rides it works exceptionally well. Assos seems to have really thought about the challenges that come with carrying even a small bag for extra bits, and come up with a really effective solution.

> Emergency essetials: 10 things to take with you every ride

It's not cheap, but it is great for long days in the saddle, or just when you want to take a casual ride somewhere without your phone, wallet, and keys in your pockets.

Verdict

Very impressive for its very narrow use case, but it is expensive

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road.cc test report

Make and model: Assos Assosoires Spider Bag G2

Size tested: 3L

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?

This is a small capacity backpack designed to act as additional storage for longer rides or when you can't put things in pockets.

Assos says: "The second generation of our Spider Bag is a low-volume, weatherproof solution to any two-wheeled situation that benefits from added storage capacity."

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

A lightweight, weatherproof backpack style bag that's perfect for commuting or huge rides in the mountains

The main 3-litre compartment is made from the waterproof Schloss Tex and NEOS Mild softshell materials

Additional Ramp Pocket internal storage sleeve provides extra security and protection for valuable items

Internal key clip aids organisation

3D Net back panel promotes a cooling airflow thanks to its open mesh construction

Sens 2L harness and strap system is elasticated to deliver maximum comfort and security

Reflective, full-length zip

Bag volume: 3-litres

Rate the product for quality of construction:
 
8/10

It is very well made for its specific use, so for transporting bottles, food, or kit for a ride its construction is great.

Rate the product for performance:
 
8/10

It is possibly the highest performance cycling bag I've ever come across – for its specific use case.

Rate the product for durability:
 
8/10

It's made from highly durable material, with only one zip, so it's likely to last a long time.

Rate the product for weight (if applicable)
 
8/10

As there is not much to it; at only 92g for a bag, it's essentially a musette for your back.

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

Used for its intended purpose it's very comfortable; it stays flat on the back and offers very impressive breathability. Just don't put too much weight in it.

Rate the product for value:
 
4/10

It's a very high price for what is essentially a 3L bag – though it is unlike any other cycling bag I have used...

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

Very well, for hot days where I needed the extra storage.

Tell us what you particularly liked about the product

The breathability; it's like wearing a square of highly breathable fabric on your back.

Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product

Its limited versatility.

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

Given its hyper-focus on a single use and the lack of anything else like it in the market, it wouldn't be particularly useful to compare it to other bags. You can pick up a 3L bags for a fraction of the price, but it won't be the same thing. Yes, £115 for a 3L bag that can't be used for much outside of long rides where you want a bit more storage seems OTT, but for small loads on long rides it works exceptionally well.

Did you enjoy using the product? Yes

Would you consider buying the product? If I had a specific need.

Would you recommend the product to a friend? If they had a specific need.

Use this box to explain your overall score

This is a difficult piece of kit to score. It excels at its very narrow use case, but it lacks versatility. In terms of performance on long rides where I need to double the amount of kit I can get in my jersey pockets, it is unrivalled, but it comes at a high price.

Overall rating: 7/10

About the tester

Age: 33  Height: 6 ft  Weight:

I usually ride: CAAD13  My best bike is: Cannondale Supersix Evo

I've been riding for: 10-20 years  I ride: Every day  I would class myself as: Expert

I regularly do the following types of riding: commuting, club rides, sportives, general fitness riding, fixed/singlespeed,

George spends his days helping companies deal with their cycling commuting challenges with his company Cycling for Work. He has been writing for Road.cc since 2014. 

When he is not writing about cycling, he is either out on his bike cursing not living in the countryside or boring anybody who will listen about the latest pro peloton/cycling tech/cycling infrastructure projects. 

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