Scicon Saddle Bag Comparison
The good folks at Scicon sent me a batch of Scicon Saddle Bags from Cycling Silicon Valley in Italy to review and compare.
And it got me thinking: saddle bags aren’t an entirely sexy topic (are they?).
By what metrics do we compare them?
I've never thought much about saddle bags, but since I had to start using them (living in a rural area, it's mandatory), I've had to.
“What's to think about Tim? Pick a size and go.”
A-ha, intrepid cyclist, therein lies the problem: how big should your cycling saddlebag be?
Now, this might seem a little extravagant but it seems to me that you want a saddle bag for different scenarios: for example, mountain biking and road. (This makes complete sense and if you do not agree you are not being sensible.)
And within the road discipline, how many do you need? For mine, you need two: one for your everyday riding (tube, levers, canisters) and one for bigger rides like Gran Fondos (two tubes, two canisters, tool) or mountainbiking. Some people might want their multi tool (I use and recommend the Crank Bros Multi Mini) in their saddle bag regardless, and fair enough. If that's you, step up one size from my recommendations. Of course if you're smart, you use tubeless tyres (no puncture in 4 years!) and carry minimal puncture equipment.
So, based on that extremely scientific assessment, here's what you want:
- Road small
- Road larger
Moreover, what else should we look for?
Well, I reckon you want something with a good zip and something easy to attach to a bike.
The Scicon Elan suits general road use (2 spares) and gran fondos and mountain biking.
The Scicon Elan suits general road use and probably gran fondos or mountain bike although its use in MTB would be limited.
The Scicon Elan suits general road use but probably not gran fondos or mountain bike.
The Scicon Phantom is good for training, leisure and possibly commuting on a road bike.
Funnily enough although the Phantom is 230cc, it seems a lot smaller than the Elan (210cc).
Not sure? Take this quick quiz.
Now, what's to like about the Scicon saddle bags?
Firstly, they're EASY to get on and off. So's Velcro, sure, but these twist/connect fixtures are far more reliable than Velcro (in my experience). The actual fixture is also easy to install.
Moreover, they have inbuilt levers. Read that again: IN BUILT LEVERS. Never again carry levers. These suckers are integrated right there in the bag.
They're well built, and the zips are nice and chunky with decent zip tapes.
As to compatibility with rails? Well, I have used these on Prologos and Specialized so make of that what you will.
What's not to like?
About the only thing about the bags is they have a bit of give in the material. In the Phantom this contributed to the zip teeth failing somewhat.
Want to win a Scicon Saddle bag?
I gave away a Scicon Elan and Compact to two lucky people on my mailing list. Velonomad giveaways only go out to the mailing list. Join here.
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I use a Velcro version of the 210cc bag on my seat tube just above the rear water bottle mount. It is the perfect size for a single tube, and that way tools don’t damage it. I then run a medium-sized bag in the normal place. In reality I could run a 210cc at the seat also, since I don’t need more storage..