Author Topic: Alpkit Koala Saddlebag  (Read 14526 times)

Re: Alpkit Koala Saddlebag
« Reply #25 on: October 14, 2014, 02:49:33 pm »
Talking to Alpkit next about getting suitable tabs (probably 3 on each side) sewn into the seams.... or at least having that as a "standard" option for any YACFer that wants.

To which their product development guy responded:
I am working on some developments for a version 2 of the Koala which will include a way of securing items to the top of the bag, as well as some other modifications I have been thinking through.

Re: Alpkit Koala Saddlebag
« Reply #26 on: October 21, 2014, 11:39:06 am »
Talking to Alpkit next about getting suitable tabs (probably 3 on each side) sewn into the seams.... or at least having that as a "standard" option for any YACFer that wants.

To which their product development guy responded:
I am working on some developments for a version 2 of the Koala which will include a way of securing items to the top of the bag, as well as some other modifications I have been thinking through.
That's interesting. Did they mention a possible timeframe or whether it will be the same price as the current model?
Pleasure spreads out on the map and the knapsack is full of joy.

Re: Alpkit Koala Saddlebag
« Reply #27 on: January 29, 2015, 08:11:02 pm »
My enquiry to Alpkit on 6Jan about a Mk2 Koala gave a nil response from the marketing person, who referred on to the design team but no further info has emerged. Mktg quoted +£15 for zigzag elastics to be added, which pushes the price up towards some of the more robust competitors like Apidura. I want to get one of these bags ready for the longer rides this year :-\

Riggers

  • Mine's a pipe, er… pint!
Re: Alpkit Koala Saddlebag
« Reply #28 on: January 30, 2015, 10:20:47 am »
Hadn't realised Apidura existed, so 'had-a-look', and all looks very nice but a tad expensive. The top tube one is a good idea, but it's still £40.00.
Certainly never seen cycling south of Sussex

T42

  • Old fool in a hurry
Re: Alpkit Koala Saddlebag
« Reply #29 on: January 30, 2015, 10:32:20 am »
Well sorry FF !

Anyway T42's comments worked away at the nether recesses of the old grey matter so I got on to Alpkit and blagged some iron-on 'repair' patches (usually shipped with their Gourdon rucsacs)   I backed half of each circle with a bit of cordura left over from another project and applied them in appropriate locations before cutting down and hole-punching the protruding 'tabs'.   A bit of shock-cord et voila:


and here it is with a small dry-bag of suitable size to contain my waterproof:


Sorry about the poor quality images from the phone camera but I'm sure you get the idea.
Talking to Alpkit next about getting suitable tabs (probably 3 on each side) sewn into the seams.... or at least having that as a "standard" option for any YACFer that wants.

Lost track of this topic until now. Interesting info, thanks Pete.

How's the mod holding up?
I dare eat all that may become a man.

But hold the oysters.

Re: Alpkit Koala Saddlebag
« Reply #30 on: February 19, 2015, 01:27:01 pm »
I can't really comment on how robust the (previously pictured) home-produced mod is because I've never really loaded it. 
However ... I'm beginning to think it is unnecessary.   It takes no longer to open and re-close the Alpkit than it does the Barley, and as for putting wet waterproof back in I'm considering one of these https://www.alpkit.com/products/airlok-xtra-tapered as an internal bag, with any wet gear kept in the outer but out of the inner (if you see what I mean).
The other advantage of an inner bag is having something you can pull off the bike quickly to take into controls, and I hope, stuff back in equally quickly.   I can imagine that at silly o'clock in a PBP bike park refitting the triple attachment of the Koala might not be too much fun.

Talking of attachments I found the seat post straps unnecessarily fiddly so I've gone velcro like so:

If anyone wants a small piece of 4" wide Velcro (hook side only) to do likewise I'll be happy to oblige as I got an MOQ of 1 metre.  - just PM me.


 
 


T42

  • Old fool in a hurry
Re: Alpkit Koala Saddlebag
« Reply #31 on: March 18, 2015, 07:58:03 am »
I can't really comment on how robust the (previously pictured) home-produced mod is because I've never really loaded it. 
However ... I'm beginning to think it is unnecessary.   It takes no longer to open and re-close the Alpkit than it does the Barley, and as for putting wet waterproof back in I'm considering one of these https://www.alpkit.com/products/airlok-xtra-tapered as an internal bag, with any wet gear kept in the outer but out of the inner (if you see what I mean).
The other advantage of an inner bag is having something you can pull off the bike quickly to take into controls, and I hope, stuff back in equally quickly.   I can imagine that at silly o'clock in a PBP bike park refitting the triple attachment of the Koala might not be too much fun.

Sorry for lack of response - medical fun & games diverted attention.

You could also stow your toolkit down into the heel of the Koala and put the Airlok on top of it. The tools ride best down there but you can still get at them quickly. You could also thread a light length of web through the loops to carry it.

Just ordered a fluo one. I'll maybe try it as they suggest, without the Koala round it. Have to rearrange my lighting first.
I dare eat all that may become a man.

But hold the oysters.

T42

  • Old fool in a hurry
Re: Alpkit Koala Saddlebag
« Reply #32 on: March 21, 2015, 09:26:07 pm »
Fluo Airlok arrived. Looks good. "Airlok" is nearly right, the thing is nearly airtight when rolled & clasped.  A tighter roll & it could probably double as a pillow.
I dare eat all that may become a man.

But hold the oysters.

T42

  • Old fool in a hurry
Re: Alpkit Koala Saddlebag
« Reply #33 on: April 06, 2015, 08:33:28 am »
Did 100k a couple of days ago with the Koala loaded as for an Audax, with dunnage in the Airlok and tools in the heel as mentioned above.  Result: my seatpost rack is back on the bike this morning because:

1. The K sways out.  When I aim at zig it aims at zag, so that swerving round bumps & holes was unnerving at times.  It felt almost like a cracked frame or a wobbly wheel.  I dare say I'd get used to it but I don't really want to because

2. At one point I did a daft gear-change and threw my chain. I have a technique for putting it back without getting dirty hands, using a small screwdriver that usually lives in my toolkit.  The thought of popping three clasps, howking out rain jacket and Airlok, doing the bit with the chain and then repacking everything, rolling the end up, fishing for the straps and replugging them together in the dark with three chums tapping their feet made me quail.

So I've dropped a line to Carradice about their SQR system.

As to the Koala, I reckon I'll sell it.
I dare eat all that may become a man.

But hold the oysters.

mattc

  • "Hannibal"
  • n.b. have grown beard since photo taken
    • Didcot Audaxes
Re: Alpkit Koala Saddlebag
« Reply #34 on: April 06, 2015, 09:56:44 am »
See also this comment:


One small downside though v a traditional saddlebag is that I`m having to unpack all drybag to access items whereas with a Barley it`s `laid out` inside, easier get to
Has never ridden RAAM
---------
No.11  Because of the great host of those who dislike the least appearance of "swank " when they travel the roads and lanes. - From Kuklos' 39 Articles

T42

  • Old fool in a hurry
Re: Alpkit Koala Saddlebag
« Reply #35 on: April 06, 2015, 09:33:13 pm »
In spades.

Did a 170-odd k today with the seatpost rack and Vaude ratbag rack bag.  The rack is handy enough but it weighs damn near a kilo. Trouble is I'm a low-down bum and most normal saddlebags would ride on the mudguard (Raceblade).   If Carradice can come up with the right reply I'll probably go that way.
I dare eat all that may become a man.

But hold the oysters.

Re: Alpkit Koala Saddlebag
« Reply #36 on: April 06, 2015, 10:46:49 pm »
I've got a Carradice SQR tour for long rides, if you want I can measure the amount of seatpost I have showing - I'm 5' 4" so it's a bit tight but doable.

Julia
Reine de la Fauche


T42

  • Old fool in a hurry
Re: Alpkit Koala Saddlebag
« Reply #37 on: April 07, 2015, 08:52:42 am »
Cheers Julia, that'd be great.  Carradice don't seem to be awake yet. TBH, me neither.

FWIW my seatpost shows 85 mm nut to rail fixing.  Rails to top of mudguard is 200 mm.

John
I dare eat all that may become a man.

But hold the oysters.

mattc

  • "Hannibal"
  • n.b. have grown beard since photo taken
    • Didcot Audaxes
Re: Alpkit Koala Saddlebag
« Reply #38 on: April 07, 2015, 08:05:57 pm »
In spades.

Did a 170-odd k today with the seatpost rack and Vaude ratbag rack bag.  The rack is handy enough but it weighs damn near a kilo. Trouble is I'm a low-down bum and most normal saddlebags would ride on the mudguard (Raceblade).   If Carradice can come up with the right reply I'll probably go that way.
Tubus do a rack (in Ti?)that is under 300g.

I suspect most convential racks are over-engineered for audax requirements (and similar v-light touring). And that they could weigh less (for the same capacity) than a seatpost-mounted one.

(I am no engineer - just applying physics and common-sense. Possibly badly ...)
Has never ridden RAAM
---------
No.11  Because of the great host of those who dislike the least appearance of "swank " when they travel the roads and lanes. - From Kuklos' 39 Articles

Re: Alpkit Koala Saddlebag
« Reply #39 on: April 07, 2015, 08:29:15 pm »
Most racks are rated for 25kg, which certainly seems more than you're likely to be carrying on an audax.
Pleasure spreads out on the map and the knapsack is full of joy.

T42

  • Old fool in a hurry
Re: Alpkit Koala Saddlebag
« Reply #40 on: April 07, 2015, 09:40:58 pm »
Mine's rated for 10 kg and weighs 873 g.  Last 1000k I did I had around 6 kg of dunnage in it, a lot of it just in case. PBP's different though, there's so much laid on at the controls.
I dare eat all that may become a man.

But hold the oysters.

Re: Alpkit Koala Saddlebag
« Reply #41 on: April 08, 2015, 11:47:47 am »
Did 100k a couple of days ago with the Koala loaded as for an Audax, with dunnage in the Airlok and tools in the heel as mentioned above.  Result: my seatpost rack is back on the bike this morning because:

1. The K sways out.  When I aim at zig it aims at zag, so that swerving round bumps & holes was unnerving at times.  It felt almost like a cracked frame or a wobbly wheel.  I dare say I'd get used to it but I don't really want to because

2. At one point I did a daft gear-change and threw my chain. I have a technique for putting it back without getting dirty hands, using a small screwdriver that usually lives in my toolkit.  The thought of popping three clasps, howking out rain jacket and Airlok, doing the bit with the chain and then repacking everything, rolling the end up, fishing for the straps and replugging them together in the dark with three chums tapping their feet made me quail.

So I've dropped a line to Carradice about their SQR system.

As to the Koala, I reckon I'll sell it.

I'd be interested in both the Koala (depending on colour) and the fluo Airlok if you are getting rid.
I've experienced the 'sway' you describe and it is indeed most disconcerting.  However it is curable - just have to haul on the straps that go over the seat rails.  Tight isn't enough for those straps- they have to be really really tight.
As for packing for accessibility - that's a different story and I use a tiny bar bag (doubles as routesheet holder) for any items needed in a hurry.

Re: Alpkit Koala Saddlebag
« Reply #42 on: April 08, 2015, 12:10:57 pm »
Tight isn't enough for those straps- they have to be really really tight.

This. I use a Koala every day. No problem with sway. Reach through from the other side of the saddle and yank it up tight.

T42

  • Old fool in a hurry
Re: Alpkit Koala Saddlebag
« Reply #43 on: April 08, 2015, 01:02:03 pm »
I could anticipate fun & games hauling on the straps - if I could find the right one by touch - in the dark with a couple of other bods in proximity.  I'll give it another go, though, although not on this weekend's Audax.

Re the colour, mine's black. The Airlok is yellow.  Assuming I do decide to part company.
I dare eat all that may become a man.

But hold the oysters.

Re: Alpkit Koala Saddlebag
« Reply #44 on: April 08, 2015, 08:25:04 pm »
Cheers Julia, that'd be great.  Carradice don't seem to be awake yet. TBH, me neither.

FWIW my seatpost shows 85 mm nut to rail fixing.  Rails to top of mudguard is 200 mm.

John

Might be a bit tight. Mines 11 cm from the insertion point on the frame (Enigma semi-compact) to the join of the straight part of the seatpost and the saddle clamp.
HTH
Julia
Reine de la Fauche


T42

  • Old fool in a hurry
Re: Alpkit Koala Saddlebag
« Reply #45 on: April 08, 2015, 09:39:37 pm »
Thanks, Julia.  Given the measurements I quote here, the damsel at Carradice sent a very mixed message:

"You will have enough room to fit the block on your saddle and would recommend maybe a Barley Lowsaddle Longflap or Super C Audax.  Ideally for bag clearance I would suggest about 150mm of seat post.  Alternatively, instead of the SQR System, there is the Bagman Q/R Sport which should be back in stock towards the end of next week.  You need about 18cms from the rails to just above the rear wheel for this one."


I think I shall forbear.
I dare eat all that may become a man.

But hold the oysters.

Re: Alpkit Koala Saddlebag
« Reply #46 on: April 09, 2015, 06:32:13 pm »
In spades.

Did a 170-odd k today with the seatpost rack and Vaude ratbag rack bag.  The rack is handy enough but it weighs damn near a kilo. Trouble is I'm a low-down bum and most normal saddlebags would ride on the mudguard (Raceblade).   If Carradice can come up with the right reply I'll probably go that way.
Tubus do a rack (in Ti?)that is under 300g.

I suspect most convential racks are over-engineered for audax requirements (and similar v-light touring). And that they could weigh less (for the same capacity) than a seatpost-mounted one.

(I am no engineer - just applying physics and common-sense. Possibly badly ...)

Just weighed my racks as they're conveniently off the bikes at present. Conventional three/four point fixing cheap aluminium rack, unknown load rating but happliy carries 2X15l loaded panniers and a bar bag used as a racktop bag: 460g.
Lidl quick-release seatpost rack, rated max 5kg but often loaded with more: 660g. I prefer to clamp it to the seat tube through the A of the stays to lower it a little and so it doesn't hang quite so far out the back.
They laughed when I said I was going to be a stand-up comedian. They're not laughing now.

Re: Alpkit Koala Saddlebag
« Reply #47 on: April 09, 2015, 11:59:04 pm »
Looking at the pictures, some seem to have the bag running below the level of the saddle for the whole length of the bag, others have it sticking up at an angle that goes above the saddle level. Is this something you have control over, depending on how you strap it? Or, does it depend on how you pack it / some property of seatpost+saddle / something else? I think having it in the way if I wanted to move by backside backwards would be annoying, particularly on the mountain bike.

T42

  • Old fool in a hurry
Re: Alpkit Koala Saddlebag
« Reply #48 on: April 10, 2015, 09:06:42 am »
Here's mine:



Tools behind the Alpkit label, Airlok with clothes in middle, rain jacket in a horrid ball at the back.

I could reposition the straps to have the front further down and the back end cocked up a bit more, but this would foul the brake cable.

This is my current rack set-up:



I can strap tools & a spare tyre underneath.  I need to take that into account getting a replacement.
I dare eat all that may become a man.

But hold the oysters.

Re: Alpkit Koala Saddlebag
« Reply #49 on: April 15, 2015, 09:48:25 pm »
Looking at the pictures, some seem to have the bag running below the level of the saddle for the whole length of the bag, others have it sticking up at an angle that goes above the saddle level. Is this something you have control over, depending on how you strap it? Or, does it depend on how you pack it / some property of seatpost+saddle / something else? I think having it in the way if I wanted to move by backside backwards would be annoying, particularly on the mountain bike.

I think it's how you pack it.  I've never gotten mine significantly above saddle level.
Here's mine on the Yukon.   It was a lot fuller than that the following weekend when temperatures rose and I had to shed a number of layers - but the overall angle of dangle didnt change significantly.


I find the curve from the nose of the bag, up the seatpost and long under the saddle (and the width at that point) to be perfect to accommodate the spare tyre I now carry everywhere, and that may make a difference.