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review

Wizard Works Framebagracadabra

8
£99.00

VERDICT:

8
10
High-quality, high-performance frame bag, handmade in the UK
Great build quality
Three different sizes
Customisation options
Made in the UK
Fantastic aftercare
Not fully waterproof
Weight: 
270g

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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Wizard Works' Framebagracadabra is a partial frame bag that's handmade in the UK with high quality materials and components. It comes in several sizes and in lots of colour choices, and you can even build your own custom look. It features a unique top tube webbing strap attachment which gives it its standout looks, along with several connection points for straps around the bag to give it a secure fit no matter the frame size or shape.

As with all standard Wizard Works bags, the Framebagracadabra is handmade in London from 1000D Cordura, which offers strength, plentiful abrasion resistance and waterproofing. Wizard Works says the material is sourced from the UK, Germany and USA.

> Buy now: Wizard Works Framebagracadabra from Wizard Works for £99

It's available in the 'signature' Wizard Works colours, including Black Camo, Fluro Pink, Olive, Rust, and Splatter, as tested here.

There's a custom option too, which allows you to tailor the bag's colour scheme to your heart's desire. There are loads of extra colours to choose from, as well as different fabric types (including Eco-1000 recycled, and USA-made X-Pac), and you can mix and match colours for different panels on the bag. It'll cost you an additional £20 on top of the regular bag, but worth doing if you want something unique to suit your bike's look.

The bag comes in three different sizes too, to suit particular frame sizes – small, medium and large. The small size measures 41cm long, 11cm at its deepest, and 3cm where the bag sits next to the inside head tube. The medium is 45x13x4cm, and the large is 48x16x6.5cm. One way to see which size is the best match is to simply measure your frame, though Wizard Works does offer a fitment guide, with printable templates that you can download from the site and place against your frame for a quick visual check.

> 15 easy ways to carry stuff on your bike

As you can imagine, space inside each bag varies depending on the size you choose. Small gives you 1.9L of volume, medium 2.5L, while the large offers a pretty capacious 3.5L. Similarly, weight differs too, with claimed weights of 175g for the small, 215g for the medium, and 260g for the large – though ours was 270g on the road.cc Scales of Truth. Prices start at £92 for the small, £95 for the medium, and £99 for the large. All colours are the same price.

No matter which size you go for, the features remain the same throughout. This includes a long water-resistant zipper that runs along the right hand side of the bag, with a seriously chunky zip puller. According to Wizard Works, it took a long time to find the perfect zip for the Framebagracadabra – so much so that it actually held up production of the frame bag. The zip had to be made in Europe or the UK, it had to be recycled or partially recycled, and most importantly it had to have a satisfying feel in operation. Eventually, Wizard Works settled on a company called Lampo in Italy, which is Oeko-Tex certified and is powered entirely by solar panels.

2022 Wizard Works Framebagracadabra Large - zip.jpg

Though there's no cable port at the front of the bag, as you often find on other frame bags, Wizard Works has cleverly included an elongated zip hood, which enables you to unzip the zipper just a fraction to put cables through it, without risk of water getting in.

2022 Wizard Works Framebagracadabra Large - zip detail.jpg

Inside the bag you'll find the main storage space, which features a 200D yellow liner (a lightweight polyester canvas made in Germany), which makes it easy to find items, along with two mesh pockets for storing smaller items that you want to separate from the main space. The underside of the bag features a sewn-in recycled HDPE plastic insert that runs all the way to the top of the rear section and helps the bag maintain its shape.

2022 Wizard Works Framebagracadabra Large - inside 2.jpg

One of the standout features of the Framebagracadabra is the way it attaches to the frame. Rather than several straps along the top tube, there's elastic webbing instead, which has several advantages (and some disadvantages) over straps, other than looking really neat. The main benefit is that it spreads the loads across the whole of the frame bag, and it holds the bag firmly in place. Wizard Works also says it's there to take the strain off the zipper when the bag is full.

2022 Wizard Works Framebagracadabra Large - bungee strap 2.jpg

Another potential benefit is that the webbing elastic is less likely to mar your frame when it moves about, and as the elastic is so thin, there's much less chance of grit getting caught underneath.

The downside of this setup is a pretty obvious one – it takes a few minutes to install and remove. That's not a problem is you tend to keep your bag on the bike, but if you regularly take it on and off, then it's not so good.

You also get a variety of conventional straps with which to secure the bag to the rest of the frame. Included with the large bag on test are three Velcro straps – two to lash the bag to the down tube (one in the case of the smaller sizes), one for the rear of the bag to connect to the seat tube, and a longer cam lock type strap to fasten it to the head tube. You can use all of these, though I found that thanks to the substantial elastic webbing, a single strap to the down tube was enough to keep the bag held firmly in place. The two loops for the down tube ensure you can work around wherever your frame's cable stops or ports might be.

2022 Wizard Works Framebagracadabra Large - velcro straps.jpg

The quality of construction is exceptional. It looks and feels bulletproof, and the materials and hardware are of a very high quality. It looks set to last a very long time, and should be able to take a lot of abuse.

All Wizard Works bags come with a pretty decent warranty, and the company will replace or repair items at its discretion, commensurate with the age and usage of the bag. Zippers aren't covered after six months, though. If your bag isn't covered, Wizard Works will repair any damage at a reduced cost, which isn't bad really.

On an XL-spec Ribble CGR Ti, the large was a good fit – not quite edge-to-edge on the inside, but lengthy enough, given how big the frame is. Conversely, the front edge is a lovely, snug fit inside the head tube (it's 210cm long, so pretty tall). Obviously it's worth measuring your frame to see exactly how it will fit inside.

2022 Wizard Works Framebagracadabra Large - bungee strap.jpg

Though the bag isn't that wide, initially it did rub ever so slightly on the inner face of my right knee, but either I pushed the bag over a touch with my knee so it no longer rubbed, or I compensated by correcting my right knee's propensity to bow inwards slightly. Either way, it was fine after a couple of rides.

There's plenty of space inside the Framebagracadabra for carrying a day's worth of essentials. I was able to comfortably store a Polartec gilet inside the main section, along with several snacks and a Hiplok. The aft mesh pocket was perfect for storing several heavier bike tools and other accessories that I didn't want ratting around loose in the main compartment, and ditto the fore mesh pocket which was just the right size to house my iPhone 13 Pro, wallet and keys.

2022 Wizard Works Framebagracadabra Large - inside mesh pocket.jpg

The bag isn't fully sealed against the elements, but Wizard Works doesn't claim it to be. Apparently the main weak point is the stitching, where water would eventually get past the needle holes if the bag was heavily saturated. That said, Wizard Works is keen to point out that because of the position of the bag on the frame, it's unlikely to get wet because of the rider effectively acting as an umbrella. Again, the zip isn't fully sealed against water intrusion, but it is water resistant to a degree.

Value

I tested the Brooks Scape Frame bag last year and I loved just how light and waterproof it is. It's slightly cheaper than the Wizard Works number at £85, but it doesn't look quite as special in my opinion, and it's only available in one size. (It isn't made in the UK, either, if that's a consideration.)

> Buyer’s Guide: 10 of the best bikepacking bags

A slightly more expensive option is Ortlieb's £105 Frame Pack Toptube, which Matt Page tested for our sister site offroad.cc and found to be well worth the money, with full waterproofing. Again, it only comes in one size.

Restrap's framebags are all handmade in Yorkshire and come in three sizes, and all cost less than the Wizard Works (the 3.5L medium is £62.99), but you'd have to make do with black…

Overall

The Framebagracadabra might not be the ideal solution for the hardened adventurer who wants maximum waterproofing, but for everyone else it's a very good choice. Given that Wizard Works bags aren't mass produced in a far-away land, you're never going to get a cheap product. But there's plenty here to back up that £99 price tag. We're talking excellent quality of construction, great performance, loads of customisability, and solid backup if things go wrong. The only minor is that the right panel of the bag towards the front does have a tendency to collapse inward ever so slightly when it's not full. It's not a big deal, though.

Verdict

High-quality, high-performance frame bag, handmade in the UK

If you're thinking of buying this product using a cashback deal why not use the road.cc Top Cashback page and get some top cashback while helping to support your favourite independent cycling website

road.cc test report

Make and model: Wizard Works Framebagracadabra

Size tested: 3.5L/Large

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?

Wizard Works says: "The ultimate bikepacking bag, the framebagracadabra frame bag utilises the space within the main triangle and doesn't require any racks or mounts; your stuff is neatly snugged in your bike's belly, with no opportunity for bounce or waggle. Perfect for storing an extra layer and snacks on day rides or as part of a full bikepacking set up. By keeping heavy things near the centre of your bike, you can carry those tools and cans of soup without compromising your bike's handling.

"A recycled HDPE plastic bottom helps maintain its cute dogfish shape, whether empty or full. Elastic webbing at the top takes the strain off the zipper when the bag is full, helping to prolong the life of the zip. A mesh pocket inside allows you to separate your good snacks from your emergency snacks, for the most efficient snack stops. Includes multiple removeable and adjustable straps for a great fit!"

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

From Wizard Works:

Small Regular Large

Volume 1.9L 2.5L 3.5L

Size 41 x 11 x 6cm 45.5 x 12.5 x 6cm 49 x 16 x 6cm

Weight 175g 215g 260g

Attachment Elastic Lace on the top tube, and optional Omnitpe or Camlock buckle straps (included)

Made in-house, London, UK

Rate the product for quality of construction:
 
10/10

Handmade in the UK using high quality materials.

Rate the product for performance:
 
8/10

Simple storage solution on the inside, good fit and waterproof (though not impervious to water).

Rate the product for durability:
 
8/10

Early days but so far so good – it feels built to last a long time.

Rate the product for weight (if applicable)
 
7/10

Reasonably light, though not the lightest option out there as it's made to be more durable above anything else.

Rate the product for value:
 
5/10

Pretty expensive, but there are plenty of expensive competitors in the field. This bag backs up its price tag by being locally made, with parts sourced mostly from the UK or Europe, having an excellent build quality, with different sizes to choose from, and plenty of customisation options.

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

Really good – in the large size there's loads of interior space, and the mesh pockets make it easy to compartmentalise your stuff. It's easy to operate on the move, too – the large zipper is easy to grab in a pinch. It fits well, and is held in place snug, so there's no movement on the bike.

Tell us what you particularly liked about the product

The bright interior space, making it easy to find stuff on the move.

Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product

Nothing.

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

It's pricier than the Brooks Scape Frame bag, which beats the Framebagracadabra on weight and waterproofing. It's cheaper than the Ortlieb Frame Pack Toptube, but that's fully waterproof. Restrap's three framebags are cheaper still, though, ranging from £49.99 to £74.99.

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

This is a great all-round option for bikepacking, whether it's day trips or long adventures. It's genuinely one of the nicest frame bags I've come across, built to a high standard (in the UK), and with many overall benefits including the size and colour options and the ability to customise its look to your needs. It also fits well and stays securely in place. The lack of full waterproofing is the only downside to what is otherwise a superb product.

Overall rating: 8/10

About the tester

Age: 39  Height: 6'4  Weight: 175lbs

I usually ride: Condor Italia RC custom build  My best bike is:

I've been riding for: 10-20 years  I ride: A few times a week  I would class myself as: Experienced

I regularly do the following types of riding: commuting, touring, club rides, sportives, mtb,

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