February 29, 2012
One of the surprising finds at iceBike* this year was this whole range of hydration (and messenger) bags from Shimano. They’re out late in the year, kind of autumn time, but Madison had got permission from Shimano to show them off to us early.
The range is a ground-up bit of design, using new materials and designs, rather than co-opting someone else’s. Wisely, Shimano has used the respected bladder system from Hydrapak, rather than trying to reinvent the valve, as that’s often where companies can fall down when entering the market.
The bags all use very stretchy material that lets you fill them full, yet keeps things snug if it’s not packed to the gills. Shimano calls it its ACCU3D technology and it tries to keep all its bags body-hugging, and aero, with no loose straps anywhere.
The Unzen series of bags is its top-end race and trail packs. Coming in 6L, 10L and 15L sizes (actual cargo capacity, volumes don’t include the bladder) they all have the Rider CrossFit Harness which does away with the need for a waist strap and keeps the pack stable ‘during aggressive moves’. We’re assured that it’s also boob (and moob) friendly too.
The Unzen packs are side-opening. The idea being that you can just shuck one arm out and swing the bag round, ready to access the insides, rather than undo a couple of straps and take it off completely. All the zip-pulls are big and glove-friendly and there’s an adjust able shoulder-yoke to fit different back lengths. The Unzen packs will go for £75-£100
Here are some more details of the Unzen 10L
For a more simple bag, there’s the Rokko. It’s 12L and won’t come with a bladder. It has lots of pockets, side mech and a media pocket
There’s also the Tsukinist range of cycling backpacks (in 20 and 30L) that will feature laptop pockets(fluffy lined so you can put your tablet in there too and lots of breathable mesh for those smart town bike riders, plus pockets for just about everything else….
And finally, there’s the Osaka Messenger Bag range. In 25 and 35L for £80 and £90. Many pockets and a PAC-bag style easy-adjust and release buckle.
We’re looking forward to giving these a go when they come out in September time. They’ll be available from Madison dealers as always.