Thursday, 13 June 2013

Review: Scicon Compact 430 Saddle Bag

Last winter saddle bag straps for some reason became the bane of my riding life; I had three fail on me within the space of a few months! They were going on the seatpost tie, and on the saddle rail loops, and these weren't cheap packs either; mostly Topeak bags, which I have always been fairly impressed with. As a result of my misfortune, and the fact that I was increasingly getting annoyed with the tatty piece of tape that I had to put on my seatpost to save the carbon from the saddle bag strap (I think I'm getting cycling OCD), I was on the lookout for a "no-strap" "click-and-fix" design bag that I could use on my road bikes...

Enter the Scicon 430 Compact. It's not a cheap offering, I got mine from ProBikeKit at a discounted, if still fairly weighty £26.99. However, after using the bag for a few weeks I have decided it's worth the cash; there's a reason this is the chosen saddle bag of almost all the pro teams that are supported by Scicon (and many that aren't).

The Scicon 430 is the middle of the range volume seat bag from the Italian brand, but it is the Rolls Royce in terms of quality. As soon as you pick it up, it is evident that it's a well made piece of kit; the carbon effect side panels, the water-resistant liner, the strong zip and stitching, and the reflective piping are all things that ooze quality compared to other packs I have trialled.

That's before you even get to the gadgetry; the main feature of which is the mounting system. The system uses a bracket that mounts without tools (with a small turning knob) onto the saddle rails. You need to do the knob up quite tight to stop it coming loose, and rattling, but once it's on there it's secure.

The bag itself then fits to the bracket with a simple twist and click motion; placing the bag at right angles to the saddle rails it slots into place, you then turn it 90 degrees for a positive locking effect. Certainly there is no indication that it is likely to come loose.

The mounting casing itself has another trick up its sleeve as well; it houses two Scicon tyre levers, which although I suspected they would be a token offering, they actually perform admirably out on the road when you get stuck with a puncture. Neat!

As mentioned, the 430 is the mid-range offering from Scicon, and it is plenty big enough for a road rider that needs the essential repair kit. Below is a photo of what I keep in my saddle bag; large sized multi-tool (with chaintool), tube, patches, an extra spare tyre lever (in case one snaps), and a chain-link. The 430 swallows all that up without any qualms; in fact, there's room for probably a second tube in there as well if you were going for an extended ride.

If there is one thing to possibly criticize the 430 for, it's that it can rattle a bit; partly I expect because of the mechanism, but partly because the plastic mounting inside the bag provides a hard object for things like tools to knock against. This problem was easily overcome however, by wrapping the multi-tool in bubble wrap (which also helps to keep it dry). Easy fix!

Out on the road the bag is completely unnoticeable; with some strapped bags I have found that the seat post attachment can touch your shorts and pull threads, the risk of that is completely eliminated with the 430; it leaves your seatpost free of clutter and looking good.

Overall, I really can't fault the Scicon Compact 430; no more strap breakages, no more velcro pulling on your shorts, no more fiddly mounting, and best of all, no more unprofessional looks! This really is a classy pack, well worth investing in; it even comes in a Tour de France yellow if you are the next Wiggo!



1 comment:

  1. Scicon Compact 430 Saddle Bag is very good, but it is plenty big enough for a road rider that needs the essential repair kit.

    Regards.
    Stretched SaddleBags

    ReplyDelete

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