Gilles Berthoud’s are my favorite under-seat bags: lightweight, beautiful and functional. Since using one on a tandem in the 2003 Paris-Brest-Paris, I’ve found them useful whenever my handlebar bag doesn’t have enough capacity, or as the only bag on bikes without a front rack. Berthoud now offers a version that attaches neatly to their saddles with the KlickFix system. We’ve added these bags to the Compass Cycles program.
Like the other Gilles Berthoud bags, the saddlebags are made from waterproof canvas and edged with leather. These traditional materials work well, keeping the contents dry even during my rainy 50-hour ride in the 2007 Paris-Brest-Paris, a year that remains infamous for its wet conditions. The canvas is lighter than most ‘modern’ materials, too – the Berthoud saddlebag weighs just 242 g (254 g for the KlickFix model). And yet it has enough room for two spare tubes, a spare tire, a few tools, a wallet and a pair of arm warmers. The elastic loop closure is easy to open with one hand. I usually run both ends of the elastic loop through the hook for an ultra-secure closure.
The KlickFix attaches to Gilles Berthoud saddles (except the superlight Galibier) with two screws. The saddlebag then slides into the attachment and locks firmly into place. A strap around the seatpost further stabilizes it. To remove it, you open the strap, push the two red tabs inward, and then pull the bag upward. It’s an elegant solution that is simple to use. The second version attaches to the saddle rails of (almost) any saddle with a toestrap.
Like all products we sell, we’ve tested these bags for thousands of kilometers – including the Volcano High Pass Challenge – to make sure they work well even on the roughest roads. I’m sure you’ll find them as useful as I do.