Review of Carradice Carradry bar-bag

Please be fair and thoughtful in your opinions. No rants please.
bretonbikes
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Review of Carradice Carradry bar-bag

Postby bretonbikes » 22 Jan 2018, 2:43pm

As the title says I've just posted the latest of my review - this time for the Carradice Carradry handlebar bag. This is a review done over two years and with 20+ bags so hopefully worth the read;-) http://www.bretonbikes.com/homepage/cyc ... -in-france
35 years of cycletouring, 30 years of running cycling holidays, 5 years of running a campsite for cyclists - there's a pattern here...

PH
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Re: Review of Carradice Carradry bar-bag

Postby PH » 22 Jan 2018, 3:02pm

Interesting review as always.
Do Carradice make these and the other PVC bags in the UK or do they outsource them? Having looked at the Carradry and cotton bags side by side there seems to be more differences than the material used and I know two people who've returned PVC panniers after failures.
Seems a shame to me that a company that's built a reputation on one sort of product should then deviate from that to something that is at best a poor imitation of products already available.

bretonbikes
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Re: Review of Carradice Carradry bar-bag

Postby bretonbikes » 22 Jan 2018, 3:21pm

PH wrote:Interesting review as always.
Do Carradice make these and the other PVC bags in the UK or do they outsource them? Having looked at the Carradry and cotton bags side by side there seems to be more differences than the material used and I know two people who've returned PVC panniers after failures.
Seems a shame to me that a company that's built a reputation on one sort of product should then deviate from that to something that is at best a poor imitation of products already available.


It says 'Made in Britain' but like you there seems to be a disconnect between these and the Super-C types though the welded construction is inevitably quite different. I've also used the Carradura panniers in the fleet (review to come) and there is a bit of the 'generic far-eastern' about them, lots of pockets and zips and covers and flummery. For our fleet I now use exclusively panniers with the Super-c pattern made in heavy black Nylon - likewise front-bags and they, to my mind are much more what Carradice should be doing as an alternative to the Cotton-Duck range - very high quality, simple, classic, bomb-proof.

But I do find it hard to criticise such a great company, and no doubt they know more about it than me - I just wish they'd use my company to test prototypes as believe me my customers would flag up basic flaws in a couple of weeks...
35 years of cycletouring, 30 years of running cycling holidays, 5 years of running a campsite for cyclists - there's a pattern here...

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fossala
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Re: Review of Carradice Carradry bar-bag

Postby fossala » 22 Jan 2018, 5:13pm

bretonbikes wrote:I just wish they'd use my company to test prototypes as believe me my customers would flag up basic flaws in a couple of weeks...

Have you contacted them regarding this? Anyway, good review.

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Re: Review of Carradice Carradry bar-bag

Postby Cyril Haearn » 23 Jan 2018, 10:06am

Hello BB I read your website, the canal sounds great, boring +1
But what do you do in the non-cycling season, September - May?
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bretonbikes
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Re: Review of Carradice Carradry bar-bag

Postby bretonbikes » 23 Jan 2018, 3:00pm

Cyril Haearn wrote:Hello BB I read your website, the canal sounds great, boring +1
But what do you do in the non-cycling season, September - May?


The canal is great (for about 10 kms then I go hunting for a hill...).

Well we also run the Gouarec campsite (google is your friend) and spend a massive amount of time trying to sell/organise/research holidays - not so easy in the present climate...
35 years of cycletouring, 30 years of running cycling holidays, 5 years of running a campsite for cyclists - there's a pattern here...

bretonbikes
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Re: Review of Carradice Carradry bar-bag

Postby bretonbikes » 23 Jan 2018, 3:22pm

fossala wrote:
bretonbikes wrote:I just wish they'd use my company to test prototypes as believe me my customers would flag up basic flaws in a couple of weeks...

Have you contacted them regarding this? Anyway, good review.


I've mentioned it to several of our suppliers - people like Vaude, Robens, Orbit (when I was speaking to them), Carradice, Snug-pak, Trangia and so-on. None have taken me up on the offer. Every September, at the end of our season, I take a group of 14 cyclists with me on a tour away from Brittany (usually mountains - this year the Pyrenees) and it's pretty much the same group each time for the last 20 odd years;-) I often 'prototype' new gear with this group and their feedback would prevent a hell of a lot of stupid mistakes by even the best manufacturers. But it seems no-one is interested...
35 years of cycletouring, 30 years of running cycling holidays, 5 years of running a campsite for cyclists - there's a pattern here...

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Re: Review of Carradice Carradry bar-bag

Postby Bmblbzzz » 30 Jan 2018, 4:02pm

I'm sure I've been told that the Carradry bags are made on a dedicated production line in the same factory as the cotton duck stuff.

Anyway, I've got one of these Carradry bar bags and I recognize some of the issues you mention but not all. Inevitably mine hasn't had as hard use as anything on a hire fleet though I wonder if there have been some production changes too (I can't remember when I got mine, probably 2014; I've now replaced it with a Super C bar bag, mostly for aesthetic reasons).

I recognize the difficulty in opening and closing the lid on the move. It didn't bother me as the lid is tight fitting if you just pull it down.
I agree that the grey is a poor choice. It's simply dull! Either classic black or some bright colours would be better.
My map lid hasn't spilt but it is difficult to get maps in and out of; and it's a tad too small for an OS Landranger.
Mine hasn't gone mouldy but then I avoid putting wet stuff in it.
The internal pockets have split in one or two places.
Haven't noticed any weak rivets.

One item you didn't mention is the detachable bar that fits underneath the bag (on this and the Super C) for attaching lights or accessories. It seems like a good idea but personally I never found it much use.

Carradice also make a bar bag in the Carradura range: https://www.carradice.co.uk/bags/handle ... dlebar-bag I've never used one nor do I remember seeing one IRL but it looks more 'conventional'. It's cheaper than the Carradry but not waterproof (has a rain cover, something I take as a sign of inconvenience) and so I'm wondering if the welded PVC bags are perhaps not suffering a bit from falling between the two stools of the high-end, traditional, quality Super C line and the cheaper Carradura nylon bags? But that's just speculation on my part, obviously I don't know sales figures etc.

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Re: Review of Carradice Carradry bar-bag

Postby Bmblbzzz » 30 Jan 2018, 4:07pm

As a general comment on map pockets, the first bar bag I had was an Altura, which I got half price from LBS because of a fault in its map pocket. It had velcro fastening at each end; at the closed end to attach to the bag and at the open end to close/open it. The glue sticking these velcro strips to the plastic was faulty and melting. I tried various things to clean it up and restick the velcro but in the end had to give up on the map pocket. So perhaps they're trickier to get right than they look!

bretonbikes
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Re: Review of Carradice Carradry bar-bag

Postby bretonbikes » 30 Jan 2018, 4:12pm

Thanks for that - I did find the light fitting "Underneath is a detachable plastic fitting for lights." and it took me ages to work out what it was for - at first I thought it was a handle, but one that turned the bag upside-down...

The Carradura range are just too fussy for me (and suffer the 'gray' habit) looking like any one of the no-name bags from the far-east (though no doubt better made)- I actually quite like the Carradry bags, but the devil is in the detail and there they are a bit lacking.
35 years of cycletouring, 30 years of running cycling holidays, 5 years of running a campsite for cyclists - there's a pattern here...