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:
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.
The bag has a reasonably large capacity. The main compartment is split into two, with space for a laptop at the back.
The divider itself is also a compartment, having a zip along the top of its entire length.
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.
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.
There is a mesh pocket on one side of the bag and another zipped compartment on the other side.
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.
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.