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Don’t hassle me, I’m local.
The market is full of packs and saddlebags with dividers and pockets that help you stay organized but cut down on the amount of stuff you can carry. For its local Saddle Bags, Blackburn decided to go for sheer volume, which is great when you’re headed to the grocery store.
The Local Saddle Bags’ wide-open spaces mean more carry capacity—1585.62 cubic inches, to be exact. They’re perfect for running errands. The bright orange color scheme makes you more visible on the road, as well. They are compatible with most standard bike racks, but work best with Blackburn’s Interlock rack system, which locks with a key. Off the bike, the bags can be carried by the handles or by a convenient shoulder strap.
- Open space
- Bright orange color
- Compatible with most standard bike racks
- Carry handles
- Shoulder strap
- Item #BLB000O
- Q & A
Good Construction but Mediocre Design
- Familiarity: I've used it several times
First, the good stuff. The materials and construction on these are great. They're made of a very heavy duty cordura-like fabric. It's not waterproof, but it's pretty darn water resistant. The bags are definitely burly enough to hold as much as you can stuff in them - I think you'd max out the load bearing capacity of your bike rack long before you maxed out that of the bags. And, the orange color looks great and is very practical as far as increasing your visibility.
And the not so good stuff - the design just isn't very dialed. The attachment system is my biggest gripe. I have a generic rear rack, rather than Blackburn's locking system, and the Velcro attachment system provided to hook this on is less than ideal. It's heavy-duty velcro and it is pretty solid when you get it situated, but getting all the velcro securely clasped is no easy task, especially when you have the bags loaded up with groceries or library books. In my opinion, straps with plastic buckles on them would be much easier to take on and off quickly and be more secure than the velcro.
My other beef with the design is that the top flaps on the bags just have one strap to keep them shut in the middle. This means when you get moving quickly or it's windy the tops of the bags flap around a little in the wind. The fabric is heavy and stiff, so it's not a huge issue, but it's an annoyance none the less. A strap on either end of the flap, rather than just one in the middle, would have been a small detail that would have made a big improvement here.
Worth noting is that you just get one big compartment on each side. I like this, as it maximizes the amount of stuff I can cram in, but people that like to meticulously organize things would probably be stressed out by it.
These are really close to being a great product, but the few annoying design flaws I mentioned hold them back. Despite their flaws, I think the bags are a decent value for the money. They're fine for around town duty and short commutes, but I'd look elsewhere if you're a full-time long distance bike commuter or need something for touring.
What is the width between the bags? I want to make sure it fits over my e-bikes rack. Also, how does it attach to the rack? Velcro straps? Thanks.