A customer has been reminding me for a while that he'd be interested in a small saddlebag, which I am happy to make for him. The fact of the matter is that I've made a number of saddlebags, but hadn't made one quite like he was thinking about, namely a compact bag that nestles under the saddle and hangs off either the rails or the saddle loops. Making a bag is pretty easy once the design, details and pattern are all worked out, but getting to that point is an iterative process that requires a lot of working, tweaking, testing, reworking, etc... So, I've been evolving a small saddlebag over the last month or so. Starting with sketches, then making a first stab at bag with no finish details to see how the shape, mounting, and function pan out.
Following the first test bag, I think I made at least four versions of the bag, with numerous modifications along the way before feeling like I was ready to send off a test sample to this customer (who really is part-collaborator part-client, which is a relationship I like) for his take.
He had some good feedback and now I feel like I'm ready to roll with this charming little bag. I've had one on my bike for the last month or so to hold the standby items I always keep with me (rain shell, tool roll, reflective vest) to allow room in my handlebar bag for the numerous extras cold weather riding requires.
Cyclist and craftsman.