Luxury Luggage

As mentioned in my last post, I have recently acquired a lovely red Brompton M3L. Initially I used my Vaude Cycle 25 which has served me well on many other bikes, but due to the lack of a rear rack (The “R” type Bromptons still wouldn’t be able to accommodate a regular pannier), I had to use the bag as a backpack. As anyone who has tried cycling any sort of distance with a backpack on will tell you, this was not exactly ideal.
The Brompton head-tube has two threaded bosses for the attachment of the Brompton luggage block:
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Once you have forked out for this, the entire range of proprietary Brompton luggage is available to you (unless you were foolish enough to buy the S-type, leaving the S-Bag as your only option). Brompton make several bags to fit to this block, including a leather attaché case (A-bag), Touring pannier (T-bag), Small messenger bag (S-bag), Large messenger bag (C-bag) and the folding basket. Ortlieb also make their own bag for the system, the O-bag. I hope they extend their range with a D-bag in the future (although the T-bag is also amusing in its own right).
I looked over the range and decided that the C-bag best meets my needs when riding the Brompton. I was out on the DL-1 when I picked the bag up, but it was comfortable enough to ride whilst wearing the bag, mainly due to the upright riding position. I find it rather baffling that this type of bag is generally popular with fixie riders, whose leaned-over riding posture means the bag would constantly try to slip forward (I suppose riding a fixie has never been about practicality anyway). The frame which supports the bag when clipped onto the Brompton can be removed when not in use, although I have found that wearing the bag with the frame still in it is perfectly comfortable.
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The bag has a reasonably large capacity. The main compartment is split into two, with space for a laptop at the back.
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The divider itself is also a compartment, having a zip along the top of its entire length.
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The front of the open bag has 2 small pockets as well as a clear compartment, possibly intended for a name/address tag. The flap attaches via velcro, with two plastic buckles for extra security. The flap also contains another pocket, with a waterproof zip seam.
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The rear of the bag has two pockets which site either side of the stem when the bag is mounted on the bike, each with waterproof seams.
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There is a mesh pocket on one side of the bag and another zipped compartment on the other side.
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The bag clips and unclips onto the luggage block easily. At first I was a bit sceptical, but the whole system seems very sturdy indeed.
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When loaded, the bike’s handling is not diminished, in fact it seems to handle slightly better, which is quite unusual.
Brompton luggage, expensive but worth it.
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11 thoughts on “Luxury Luggage

  1. I find it rather baffling that this type of bag is generally popular with fixie riders, whose leaned-over riding posture means the bag would constantly try to slip forward (I suppose riding a fixie has never been about practicality anyway).Most modern messenger shoulder bags have a side stabilizer strap that holds the bag in place. Otherwise the bag would slide forward!And the dig at fixies: Ouch! (Though I don't ride one!)

  2. Oh the expense of Brompton ownership…I have an old Brompton with the front bag, and it is the best accessory you can add to the machine, after you've bought some lights.Just occasionally you may find the mounting block working loose – you notice the problem when the bag starts to rattle about.

  3. "Most modern messenger shoulder bags have a side stabilizer strap that holds the bag in place. Otherwise the bag would slide forward!"My Timbuk2 has one of those – I still have to adjust the bloody thing every 5 minutes. They're a lousy choice if you don't have to swing them from back to front every 5 minutes to unload packages, imo.I have an S Type Brompton (S6-L) and the C bag fits fine, fwiw. I'd not try the touring pannier on the S types, but then I don't need to disassemble the bike & carry it in my luggage, so that's no problem 🙂

  4. @Adventure!Just an observation is all. I'm still slightly miffed from my experience where a bike shop employee suggested that spending £600 on a fixie without mudguards, lights or chain-guard would be better for pottering around town on than a Pashley Roadster Sovereign. A bike shop recommending impractical bikes for practical use isn't exactly good for cycling as a whole in a country where it struggles to be seen as anything other than a leisure activity.Having said that, one more person on a bike is always a good thing, regardless of what type of bike.@MikeThanks, I'll keep an eye on it, although the bolts did have thread-locker on them, and were a pain to get all the way in, so I expect they'll be ok for a while.@JohnGood to know it works with the S, Brompton say no, but I imagine they are just being cautious to prevent any negative media coverage caused if one happened to interfere with someone's steering at a critical moment. It seems a shame that the S, M and P all have slightly different stems, making it more of a challenge to convert your M to a P for a weekend away for example.

  5. Mr Colostomy–I know where you are coming from. I too feel that fixies are not necessarily the most practical bike. I have grumbled at fixies many a time in the last decade, mostly because of some fixie riders feeling that they found "the way" and would look down on those who had a freewheel. But then again fixies have gotten a whole new generation to bicycle (and like biycling!) so I can't really find fault with that. (Well, I can still find fault with bikes that look like candy…)To screw up the stereotypes, today I rode my Raleigh 3 speed with a giant Manhattan Portage messenger bag on my back.

  6. When I bought my Brompton last summer, I opted for the C bag – the biggest bag (though you don't always NEED the extra room, it's NICE to have!). I haven't regretted that decision. Expensive, but worth it. I particularly like that the C bag can hold my Wellington boots PERFECTLY! It's like the bag was MADE for Wellingtons! 🙂

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