Carradice Pendle Review

As I previously hinted, I have recently acquired a traditional saddlebag. I have always liked the look of the traditional saddlebags which I have seen on various bikes over the years, generally lugged steel touring bikes owned by men of a certain age.
Traditional saddlebags attach to the loops found on the back of most older saddles, modern leather saddles and the standard Brompton saddle (to name a few). I bought a Carradice Pendle with the intention of using it mainly on the DL-1, as I have long wanted some luggage which is aesthetically complementary to its looks.

The Pendle sat on my desk at work

The bag consists of a large main compartment (big enough for a large U-lock, cable and a jacket) and two side pockets which are ideal in both size and position for things like cameras, hip flasks or snacks. The pockets and main compartments close via leather straps and buckles, which will become easier to fasten and unfasten as they age.
The bag includes a handy loop for clipping an LED light to

The attachment system is straightforward but the back does not attach/detach quickly enough to make it worthwhile to do each time the bike is locked. Two leather straps wrap around a wooden dowel in the main compartment and through the loops, and a third strap is fed through a leather buckle on the rear of the bag and through the seat-post or rear-rack.


Carradice also sell a quick-release system for those who do not wish to leave the bag attached to the bike. I rarely leave the DL-1 locked up in public for long periods of time, so this shouldn’t be an issue for me. As an alternative, the black strap seen on the flap for attaching a light could equally be used for threading through a cable lock if extra security is desired.



Over the weekend I used the bag on the Brompton as I needed some extra carrying capacity. When riding the bag does not interfere with my legs and for the most part I simply forgot about it, the position of the load means it doesn’t really affect handling whilst in the saddle. On the DL-1, even when loaded the bike is easier to pick up and carry than when the equivalent load is placed in a single pannier.

A tin of tomatoes inside the bag for scale

Traditional-style Carradice saddlebags are handmade in Lancashire, mine was made by Christine

The side pockets are useful for storing items you want to have quick access to on a ride, such as a camera

Traditional saddlebags are not as popular as they once were, but they are a viable alternative/addition to panniers and a definite improvement over a rucksack. I would definitely recommend.


By fixing to any saddle with bag loops, saddlebags such as the Pendle can be used on multiple bikes when the need arises

8 thoughts on “Carradice Pendle Review

  1. …generally lugged steel touring bikes owned by men of a certain age.Hey, are you calling me old? ;-)Good to see you finally got a Carradice (if not for the simple fact that you won't need to swipe images from my blog. 😉 again) But yeah, the bag is not a quick remove, for good and bad. I saw someone make it quick release by using clips instead of straps to mount it to the saddle. My bags are now secured to the bike; I ran a Kryptonite "seat saver" cable through the holes where the straps go and attached it to chainstay and saddle.As for a U-Lock, I got an extra set of straps and put them through the two lower holes on the flap. Now I don't need to open the bag every time I need to get the lock out.

  2. @Adventure,Aww, not at all :PI think it is a particularly British thing, once in a while you see these silver-haired older chaps who have been riding since the days when everybody cycled. They usually have particularly sensible but fast bikes, all proven technologies and they always look well cared for. A Brooks and a Carradice are usually a part of that set-up.I think I may have seen the home-made QR too, looked good but I'm happy enough leaving it on the bike for the most part.The U-lock idea is a nifty one, but I don't mind opening up the compartment at the moment, I'm trying to break-in the straps anyway.

  3. I love Carradice – I favour a Low Saddle on my commuter (the Nelson's slightly less tall sibling). Incredibly practical, although I wish they had an organiser pocket inside (like the Super-Cs) at times.They're the perfect companion to a Brooks, although I use mine with a Fizik Aliante & ViVa bag loops on my SCR2.0 as well. I unstrap mine whenever I leave the bike – I find it doesn't take that long, although it's a bit hard on the straps.

  4. Excellent item and write up – I'm sold.Hope it says more about my taste than age tho ;)I can picture a very small padlock going through one of the leather straps to make it 'almost permanently' fixed and more secure.One of those hand held leather hole punch things should do the trick – again, usually owned by men of a certain age!

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  8. How wide is the main compartment on a Pendle? Looking all over the interweb I seem to get different sizes… My decision on which Carradice saddlebag to get is dependent on whether I can lay my pump flat at the bottom (34cm long). Carradice themselves say the compartment is 34cm, but most of the other retailers reckon its only 30cm.

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