“A place for everything, and everything in its place.”
This 17th century phrase is attributed to a few people, but without entering that argument, it would seem that Black Line Sprinting, a luggage and apparel brand from Cape Town, South Africa, took the phrase to heart when designing their VeloRacing Bag.
I’m very fond of starting and finishing rides from my place of residence. Whether that is at home, or somewhere I might be staying on holiday. Driving to trails can be irksome. Bikes need to be loaded onto or into cars, then pack your helmet, shoes, kit (if it’s a long drive), spares, better chuck a pump in, some suncream, a towel, what about more food, throw some swimmers in just in case we go to the beach afterwards... the process of packing, then unpacking, takes the joy out of simply going for a ride!
But for certain rides, or events, you just need to get there by car. And the people behind BLS have put a lot of thought about what you need to carry, and how to do it easily, with their VeloRacing Bag.
The 56L bag is made up of 4 main compartments, in a supported box shape. The lower compartment takes a helmet (not a full-face) and has a spares box for food, tubes and essentials. I tended to put my sunglasses case inside the helmet too.
On top, there is a large flat area for clothing, but it was the perfect size for my tools and spares plastic case I’ve put together for easy race day packing. There’s a compartment for shoes, and another to take two bottles. There was still plenty of room for my clothing, heart rate monitor strap and GPS computer and food in the top, plus a sports towel. There are also two small bags included for dirty clothes and shoes on the way home.
As you can tell, the VeloRacing bag has more of a XC/trail leaning than all-mountain and enduro. The bag wouldn’t work for a full-face helmet and pads. Given South Africa has such a strong marathon and stage racing scene, it’s not surprising that it leans towards the XC spectrum.
In use, the bag left me wanting for little. While a few things come out when I come home, spares and tools tend to live in there now, and it’s an easy one-stop-shop to throw shoes, helmet and bottles into when packing the car. The gear bags for dirty clothes and shoes have been a great improvement on leaving smelly kit in the car. This way there is one bag to empty right into the washing machine, no forgotten socks or gloves. Then the cloth bag goes in too.
The bag itself has been solid, but a couple of small changes like some mesh for where your helmet is stored, and a wrap for the two handles to keep them together might not go astray. And if I was picky, expanding the bottle holding capacity to 6 could make the bag more attractive to the cross-country crowd, given race day will normally have 4-7 laps depending on the grade being raced.
All that aside, a bag that I wasn’t quite sure would fill a need has become something I reach for anytime I’m driving to the trails or a bike race. It not only keeps my gear organised but it makes packing and unpacking less of a chore and I’m forgetting items far less frequently.
|Great organisation for heading to the trails||Mostly suits XC and trail riders|
|Well thought-out design||Your helmet wont dry out post-ride very easily|
|Keeps dirty things in one place|
|RRP: $235 delivered|
Words and Photos: Mike Blewitt