July 27, 2012

XLAB Carbon Wing and Rear Cages

After getting tired of stuffing repair tools and extra gear in my back jersey pockets, decided it was time to get a saddle bag. But I wanted one that would not only function for long road rides but also serve a purpose in duathlons and competitive rides. So I settled on the XLAB Carbon Wing with XLAB Tire Bag and XLAB Mini Bag. I also added two XLAB Gorilla cages.

Graphic from xlab-usa.com showing Carbon Wing, Gorilla Cages, Mini Bag,
Tire Bag, and X-Nut for external CO2 carrying (I skipped the X-Nut). 

This set-up will allow me to carry repair gear, extra tube, phone and keys in the XLAB bags while on standard rides. Having two extra bottle cages on the back will let me remove the frame cages for duathlons or carry 4 bottles on long distance road rides.

Installation wasn't hard, but it did take some effort due to the awkward placement of some nuts and the need to use both hands (find a friend). Would've been easier with the seat completely off the post and a proper torque wrench, but no big deal. In the Tire Bag I was able to fit a spare tube, tire levers, three CO2 catridges, Park multi-tool, XLAB Nanoflator air chuck, and some spare contact lenses; could probably fit a second tube without the multi-tool. The Mini Bag will be reserved for phone, keys, cash, etc...it would be a tight fit or not zip all the way if you had a larger smart phone, but between gravity and the velcro strap, it should all be secure.

Carbon Wing installed on seat; about to install
two bags and two bottle cages.

Completed rig on the bike. Tire Bag below, Mini Bag hidden in the
space between the two (empty) Gorilla cages.. 

Picture from xlab-usa.com of Nina Kraft with the full system,
including the X-Nut.

It's such a convenient way of carrying repair gear, I eventually got my wife an integrated CO2 carrier as well.