Author Topic: Carradice Bike Bureau  (Read 5583 times)

Carradice Bike Bureau
« on: October 19, 2012, 06:14:46 pm »
I'm fortunate having an employer who encourages cycling and, as part of that, allows us to buy a pannier on expenses. They have for some odd reason determined that it may only be the Carradice Bike Bureau. As they don't have any policy for renewal, I made up my own: the last one was three years ago (although only been used for about half that) so time for a new one.

I thought it would be interesting to review the bag, show the changes Carradice have made and its suitability for long term wear.

It's at the big end of the bag spectrum, designed to take a laptop, so they have kept it away from your heels by canting it. In turn this means that it is only either right or left hand - I now have a pair.

Here is the new:


Made out of cotton duck it is very hard wearing. Across the bottom it has a piece of hard plastic which is effective at keeping the worst of the weather and the road from the bottom of the bag, but it does mean that the crap rubs off from the plastic onto you very easily.  There is a flap over the top containing a full size zipped pocket that you could use for wet clothes or (in my case) ID passes or anything you want to have very quick access to, I sometimes keep a full size D lock in there. The flap itself has velcro to keep it down, that in the old one is completely gone and no longer does its job. There is also velcro to hold it down against the mounting points for carrying - that works well. The buckles have quick release as well as a buckle, quite useful combination allowing the ease of access as well as expansion capability. Also on the front is a zipped pocket and an open, deep, pocket.

Here's what my used one looks like:



The new one is about an inch less deep than the old, the jury is out as to how much difference that will make, I confess to a little disappointment but we will see.

The rear fixing has changed. The new fixing (apols for the phone image)

New, showing the aluminum channel



Old showing the bar



The new system is riveted in 5 places, which must be good (the old two point fixing can look very strained). The lower clip was Rixen & Kaul, is now Carradice branded. The old strange bit of cord has been replaced by a much better nylon strap, I wouldn't often use the old, I may use the new, but only to lift it off and on, as the normal handle is very good.

The pannier rack fixing look to be a bit of a retrograde step, though. The old was a very positive spring loaded clip, the new depends on clippy bits of plastic and doesnt fill me with confidence. These are the two side by side:



This massive dowel is what the handle is fixed to, so top marks for that. They've also changed the skirt from a semi-rubberised fabric that wore badly to a nylon fabric that should be fine.



Inside, the new one has a laptop sleeve with a flap on the top, the old has an open pocket, with more pockets for stuff, which was handy.



and


Other features of the bag are a couple of reflective patches and nice detail around the seams etc as you expect from Carradice. This is not the lightest bag, but it is one of the most hardwearing. I would recommend it for lugging a laptop and clothes about on the commute. I've also managed to  squeeze 3 x 5 liters of water onto it, although handling was somewhat affected as a result.

And the old one's a Sue, and this one a Janet

Re: Carradice Bike Bureau
« Reply #1 on: October 23, 2012, 08:45:04 pm »
Great to hear you and the company you work for are keeping us in work. What a brilliant idea getting a bike bureau on expenses as they are the top end of the range they can seem pricey but as your example shows if they are looked after and cared for properly they will last.

Regards sue from carradice ( I made your last one )

Re: Carradice Bike Bureau
« Reply #2 on: October 24, 2012, 11:30:39 pm »
I'm on my second, but my new is like your old and vice versa. Must have been old stock, I suppose.

I've had to repair the new one with a rivet gun, where one stud on the base came away from the material.

Re: Carradice Bike Bureau
« Reply #3 on: December 08, 2012, 09:51:57 pm »
For a period of about 3 months I used to travel to Sweden almost every week. I left a bike out there, and used the Bike Bureau to carry my clothes for the week and laptop etc. as my only luggage on the plane. It worked well in that role, easily carrying everything I needed. It meant I could even skip using a taxi to the airport, riding from home to Heathrow, leaving my bike in left luggage (£8 a day for very secure bike parking, which was expensed!), going through security in my lycra (never got patted down!) and having a shower/getting changed in the SAS business lounge. The bag was then acceptable to use around the office in Sweden. A traditional pannier wouldn't have been as easy to carry and use off the bike.

I got mine earlier this year as the rack mount had a problem (it was one of the batch where the bar was the wrong alloy so too soft - Carradice repaired FOC), but otherwise it's been fantastic and very versatile. I've used it commuting, taken the inserts out and used it for shopping, used it in all weathers including Scandinavian winters and it's kept everything safe and dry. Mine is the old style of yours (the round bar for the rack mount rather than the rail).

Re: Carradice Bike Bureau
« Reply #4 on: January 04, 2019, 08:25:37 am »
I was pretty much set on buying a bike bureau for my forthcoming commute - until I read this review.

No internal pockets!  It is pretty much a canted pannier with a divider down the middle and some pretty straps on the outside.

Might sound petty, but not being able to keep pens, pencils, mobile, ID card sorted and accessible would be a real pain in the butt.
<i>Marmite slave</i>

diapsaon0

  • Advena ego sum in terra
Re: Carradice Bike Bureau
« Reply #5 on: January 04, 2019, 09:05:06 am »
The Bike Bureau, like all Carradice stuff is brilliant.  Well made, looks good and lasts forever!  I had a Bike Bureau - the old model - and used it for years. It did have a hook for keys and a pocket suitable for small items.  I carried my pens in a small pencil-case.  Now I'm retired and riding a Brompton I use a Carradice City Folder which is perfect for the job.  Laptop folder holds my ipad if needed and also works as a divider and there is plenty of room, even foe modest supermarket trips.  IMHO, nicer looking than the Ortlleb and much cheaper - and longer lasting.  I'm watching the lorry-tarp UPSO range (made by Carradice) with interest and hope that there will be cross-over of designs.  I particularly want the Bridgwater bag in cotton duck.  And I don't work for Carradice - just a satisfied customer for many years. :)
Advena ego sum in Terra

Re: Carradice Bike Bureau
« Reply #6 on: January 04, 2019, 09:16:24 am »
I was pretty much set on buying a bike bureau for my forthcoming commute - until I read this review.

No internal pockets!  It is pretty much a canted pannier with a divider down the middle and some pretty straps on the outside.

Might sound petty, but not being able to keep pens, pencils, mobile, ID card sorted and accessible would be a real pain in the butt.

2 ting. 1 - there are pockets: Two in the front where I keep change, ID and pens, and the flap pocket. 2 - you could add a pencil bag style thingy or whatever to keep stuff together.

Actually, 3 ting. If you (or frankly, anyone reading) would like to have a go with my old one, it's sitting in my loft because I can't bring myself to throw it out, giving it a good home would be an excuse to shift it. I don't suppose the postage would be more than £5-6.

diapsaon0

  • Advena ego sum in terra
Re: Carradice Bike Bureau
« Reply #7 on: January 04, 2019, 09:42:38 am »
Best offer of the year, Ham!  They are brilliant bags and I only sold mine because I was getting a Brompton - and I now have the almost equivalent City Folder.  I'm a musician and I used my Bike Bureau to carry sheet music as well as the usual stuff for the day - or weekend away.
Advena ego sum in Terra

Re: Carradice Bike Bureau
« Reply #8 on: January 04, 2019, 09:47:34 am »
It's already gone....

diapsaon0

  • Advena ego sum in terra
Re: Carradice Bike Bureau
« Reply #9 on: January 04, 2019, 06:16:34 pm »
Not surprised!  I wasn't putting my name forward for it - i've got the City Folder and the Bureau won't fit my Brompton
Advena ego sum in Terra

Re: Carradice Bike Bureau
« Reply #10 on: January 04, 2019, 06:59:17 pm »
Yebbut first I have to find the *****. It appears to have eloped with my left sock.

Re: Carradice Bike Bureau
« Reply #11 on: January 05, 2019, 11:45:19 pm »
I was pretty much set on buying a bike bureau for my forthcoming commute - until I read this review.

No internal pockets!  It is pretty much a canted pannier with a divider down the middle and some pretty straps on the outside.

Might sound petty, but not being able to keep pens, pencils, mobile, ID card sorted and accessible would be a real pain in the butt.

As ever, Carradice's own photos don't show enough of the details to work out how exactly it's put together ::-) , but I found this YT video that gives a decent overview in under a minute: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ii2j33KTrkE

There appears to have been a version of the laptop sleeve that had some phone and pen pockets and a key clip sewn on to it, but the only pictures I can find are a good few years old, so this must have been an older model.

Re: Carradice Bike Bureau
« Reply #12 on: January 06, 2019, 12:27:23 am »
There appears to have been a version of the laptop sleeve that had some phone and pen pockets and a key clip sewn on to it, but the only pictures I can find are a good few years old, so this must have been an older model.
Mine has.

Karla

  • car(e) free
    • Lost Byway - around the world by bike
Re: Carradice Bike Bureau
« Reply #13 on: January 06, 2019, 04:26:28 am »
Mine has two internal pockets: one on the front (below the lid, that's the front right?) and a zipped credit card type picket on the front of that.  I bought mine in late 2013.

Edit: Take a look at Ortlieb's urban line, they have some quite nice briefcase style bags now.

Re: Carradice Bike Bureau
« Reply #14 on: January 06, 2019, 08:24:57 am »
I looked at an ortlieb bag in a shop and was underwhelmed. Nothing to cover the hooks off the bike and no attempt to provide protection for a laptop.
<i>Marmite slave</i>

Karla

  • car(e) free
    • Lost Byway - around the world by bike
Re: Carradice Bike Bureau
« Reply #15 on: January 06, 2019, 01:25:02 pm »
I think they have two now: one which has some custom mounting hardware that stays on your rack and another that has the lid fold both ways so on your shoulder the hooks are pointing outwards with the lid covering them.

Re: Carradice Bike Bureau
« Reply #16 on: January 06, 2019, 05:07:51 pm »
I've got a Carradice Bike Bureau that I bought used at Mildenhall Rally (£10 bargain!  :D). I'm not sure of the age, but it seems to be a bit different to the ones pictured here.

It has a catch on the flap, but no quick clips on the buckle straps



It has the aluminium channel for mounting clips



No 'skirt' but several dividers/pockets



I clipped a more comfortable strap on it. No relectives.  :o

If it ain't broke, fix it 'til it is...

Re: Carradice Bike Bureau
« Reply #17 on: January 06, 2019, 06:34:16 pm »
I'm on my second, but my new is like your old and vice versa. Must have been old stock, I suppose.
The aluminium channel is Carradice's old way of mounting panniers - they've been using it since 1995 at least.
It's what they currently show on their website, so it would seem that they switched to the R&K rail, then switched back for some reason (licencing costs, more returns?).

Re: Carradice Bike Bureau
« Reply #18 on: January 06, 2019, 06:43:04 pm »
I’ve got one and it’s brilliant. Mrs S has her eye on it mind, as she’s about to start a daily commute across York and (being a student again!) may need to carry files and laptop. If I lose the BB I hope I’ll get the Pendle back.