Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Made with Pedal Power! The Velo Bagworks Tool Roll and Give-Away

Velo Bagworks Tool Roll
Aside from its miniature striped adorableness, what drew me to this Velo Bagworks tool roll was its maker Robert Anderson's claim to produce it "on a 1922 Singer sewing machine that doesn't even have a plug." Oh hello! Just minutes earlier I'd been sitting in front of my Singer Model 115 Sphynx of 1919 vintage, rocking the iron pedal in pursuit of finishing some curtains. Who needs electricity when you've got pedal power, eh? And how deliciously appropriate to make bicycle tool rolls for pedaling, by pedaling!

Velo Bagworks Tool Roll
The minimalist, under-the-saddle tool-roll has become a popular offering from cottage industries and DIY enthusiasts. It is an item that is useful, fun and relatively easy to produce - allowing makers to offer a handcrafted product at a reasonable price. New to the market, Velo Bagworks tool rolls are made in Devon, England and sold via Robert's Etsy shop at around £15-20 apiece depending on fabric and pattern. Some are made from a PU-backed cordura and some out of waxed cotton canvas (pictured here), both reasonably waterproof. 

Velo Bagworks Tool Roll
There are several features of the Velo Bagworks tool roll that make it stand out from similar products of its kind. Firstly, it is among the smallest, most compact tool rolls I've ever seen. 

Velo Bagworks Tool Roll
While large enough to fit the basics - including a good sized multi-tool, spare tube, tire levers, even a small pump or CO2 cartridge - it makes use of space with impressive efficiency and folds up neatly into a wallet the size of a large adult fist. For those who prefer their tool bags as small as practicable, this one is a good candidate.  

Velo Bagworks Tool Roll
Additionally - and this is perhaps the more important feature to mention - the Velo Bagworks tool roll is designed to close and attach securely. The traditional "bike burrito" style tool roll is typically held together with a leather toe strap, which tightens around the roll but is not attached to it. As several cyclists I know who've used such bags have learned, this design carries a risk of losing the tool roll in action: It can simply slip out of the strap and you'll never know it! No such danger with the Velo Bagworks, as its lighweight nylon strap is sewn into the fabric of the roll itself.

Velo Bagworks Tool Roll
Threading easily through the rails of any standard bicycle saddle, the Velo Bagworks tool roll uses a snap-closure buckle, making it simple and quick to fit and remove, as well as to tighten as necessary. The roll is narrow enough to sit snugly under the saddle and does not interfere with pedaling. Because of the small size of the bag, those who like to clip a tail light to their seat post still might be able to fit it in if enough seatpost is showing.

Velo Bagworks Tool Roll
The Velo Bagworks tool rolls come in a variety of traditional colours, as well as these crazy "deck chair stripes" patterns. I love how the bright stripes look on my bare-metal bike, though they pretty much go with any bicycle colour. 

Velo Bagworks Tool Roll
If you like the look and sound of the Velo Bagworks tool roll, one of them could be yours at no cost. We would like to give away a similar roll to the one pictured here (the exact pattern of the stripes is a little different on each bag) to a Lovely Bicycle reader located in the UK or Ireland. 

If you'd like to take part in the give-away, simply leave a comment to that effect, and don't forget to include your contact email. And if you're in the mood to entertain, tell us: What is the strangest thing you've ever carried in your tool roll or saddle bag? Any bag-related adventures or misadventures? I'll get things started by admitting I've put an uncapped 1L bottle of water into a saddlebag...

Entries accepted till Thursday, 26 June, 11:59pm GMT. Many thanks to Velo Bagworks for the give-away, and, as always, thank you for reading Lovely Bicycle!

46 comments:

  1. You missed out on another catchy title… rainbow roll!

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    1. Oh I'm sure a reader would helpfully point out that *technically* they are not rainbow colours.

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    2. The Amazing Technicolor Tool Roll!

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    3. Nice tool roll, please enter me for the draw

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  2. I don't think I qualify since I'm across the Channel, and I've carried absolutely nothing of any interest in a tool roll or saddle bag...primarily because I don't own either of those accessories, eschewing them for more practical means of transporting tools: https://flic.kr/p/o5TzSS

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  3. That is a handsome tool roll! Sadly I am not eligible for the contest, but I suppose it is only fair as in the past you have done US-only.

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  4. Large frozen turkey in a messenger bag. Cold and awkward.

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  5. Seems like the perfect solution for someone with an ever expanding stable and the problem of having to either have multiple tool bags or transfer the attachment clamp before each ride.

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  6. I had a live rooster in one saddle bag and a ukelele and ping pong balls in the other. Long story. Even in the moment I knew it was a very odd load.

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    1. @ Angela D- The accompanying ambient music to that scene must have been singular.

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    2. That is priceless - there should be an award for that achievement.

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  7. I had a mouse LEAP out of my seat bag once when a bunch of us stopped on a ride. Everyone laughed at me for squealing like Beverly Sills sitting on a tack and then called me disgusting for eating what was left of my PayDay bar.

    I wonder how that Town Mouse got along exiled out there with the Country mice.Did he spend his evenings regaling the yokels with tales of garbage can smorgasbords and winters indoors? Maybe he started a community theater or gave dancing lessons to the children... Maybe a Fox got him. Regardless, the zipper on that bag is still chewed open on one side.

    Spindizzy

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  8. Non-qualifying US reader, but...

    The weirdest thing I've carted in a saddlebag was a bale hook that I found embedded in a gravel road. No farmers use those anymore, and the rusted state of the hook told me it had been buried in the road for decades, probably coming to the surface of the road from the freeze/thaw cycle. I snagged it because those things are wicked and would punch a hole in any tire unfortunate enough to run that hook over.

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  10. I just bought one, wonderful Idea but for me black is better. Looking forward to it, seems like a wonderful idea for the 1981 Romic.

    Anyway - oddest bag story? Funny rattle...loose nut or bolt? Couldn't find the answer until I opened the saddlebag and found a bottle of motrin.

    Getting older..

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  11. I've managed to transport a three-piece suit relatively crease-free in a pannier, whilst wearing a floor length ballgown! I felt like Cinderella, with my bike as my carriage.

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  12. Wow, what a lovely toolbag.

    I can't say I've carried anything particularly odd in my saddlebag, though I have once squeezed in an entire filled ciabatta into a saddlebag half its size. It came out rather flattened and sad-looking, but it at least got me round the rest of my cycle.

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  13. i feel like my saddle bags have had a boring existance as nothing exciting ever gets stuffed in them. they barely fit a tube and multi-tool. speaking of which, i really like how there is a separate pocket for each. nothing really worse then pulling your spare tube to fix a flat, only to discover your multi-tool has rubbed a hole in it.

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  14. I once found a four foot sash clamp by the side of the road. It weighed a ton and was difficult to strap to my bag. Then, when I got to work, I realised it was knackered and binned it.

    The bg o' beer is still one of my finest accomplishments,
    https://www.crazyguyonabike.com/doc/page/?o=1&page_id=146013&v=w#pic_653889

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  15. I had gone through an extended period of no flats, hence ignoring my seat bag pretty much. When I did flat, my spare tube had rubbed against another object (for the life of me I can't remember what it was) as to abrade a hole through it. :(

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  16. I like this tool roll and would like to take part in the give away. The trickiest thing i have ever had to carry is a strawberry custard tart. It was a delicious mushy mess by the time I arrived at my destination.

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    1. Jennifer, leave your contact info if you'd like to be in the draw!

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  17. Good news follows bad.

    After reading the depressing news about the Royal Post dropping cycle deliveries, it is heartening to learn someone is making a living with a pedal operated sewing machine.

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  18. Wine-box inner refilled with water, in the days before camelbacks.

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  19. Three flagons of ale in a single pannier. I fell off. Does this still count?

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  20. I've been wracking my brain all day, and then remembered...
    The day of my college graduation, I rode my road bike to a classmate's party across San Francisco wile wearing a real honest- to-angus great kilt. No panniers or saddle bags, but I did flip the sporran around and wore it as a messenger bag...just keys, money, a bottle opener, and a skein dhubh.
    (didn't want it to fall out while riding and cause a puncture. )
    There are living witnesses to this.

    These Velo Bagworks pieces are nice looking, well designed tool rolls. I see a few in our future here.

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  21. I found an abandoned chair with arms beside the road and carried it on my back by putting my arms through the hollow chair arms. It was easy to carry that way!

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  22. As I live on an island with a pedestrian ferry that allows free bicycles, it will be hard to remember the strangest stuff I hauled. Four foot awning, 10 gallon brewing bottle for small beer, 5-foot long native flute, a couple boxes of marble tiles (the frame really objected to that one... whipped back and forth like an angry snake).

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  23. Why, a tool roll would be lovely!

    On my first ever long distance ride, I rolled out carrying far too much gear (perhaps 50 lbs), including a giant, 1 liter bottle of tomato sauce.

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  24. Ohhh, both fun *and* useful - win win!

    Please could I enter? Sadly I have no particularly interesting seatpack-content tale to tell - only tools, spares, clothing, food, the usual.

    I am having difficulty logging into my google account today hence the anonymous comment, but my email is rebecca19804@gmail.com and can of course be contacted via my blog or google+.

    velovoice

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  25. …to a Lovely Bicycle reader located in the UK or Ireland

    "Ireland" includes Boston, yes?

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  26. The funniest item I have ever carried (rather, tried to carry) in my saddle bag was a big marrow from a vegetable 'honesty box'. At 50p it was a steal and just too good to leave! (and my eyes are bigger than my belly). Anyway, it was 15 undulating miles from home - the saddlebag spat out the marrow umpteen times, sending it rolling into verges. It was a sorry sight when it arrived in the kitchen .... but I still managed to use at least half of it.
    I have photographic evidence, should you want to see this beast!!!!! :0)

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  27. Lovely little bag I'd love to own for my gravel bike. I've had some weird stuff in my panniers while touring but probably carrying a giant live tomato plant in a front box takes the cake for me.

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  28. UK reader here!

    The oddest thing I've carried - a tractor bearing. Weighs about a kilo, makes an excellent paperweight.

    Keen to enter - not too keen to leave my email / contact details out in the open in the comments, though!

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  29. I suppose aside from the occasional spill of groceries in my bag (and the discovery of a random egg a few weeks later, miraculously unbroken) the funniest thing I've ever carried in my bag were a few potted cacti. My love for succulents combined with my lack of a cargo bike made for a very interesting ride for three adorable little plants, plus a fourth in my bottle cage. Fortunately the ride was only a few miles, and everyone arrived unscathed!

    I don't qualify, unfortunately, but I did want to share :]

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  30. Haven't popped into your blog in a long time. Last I left off, you were in Ireland and I couldn't bear not to be there, too! loved riding a bike from my cousin's house to Drombeg Circle the first time I was over.

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  31. Ohh those stripes on that tool roll are perfect! I think the strangest thing I always carry is a tootsie roll lolli-pop, because sometimes soothing my upset soul is just as important as fixing my flats!

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  32. Technically I don't qualify, but what if I fly over, and load up my saddle bag with a few days worth of gear and cycle up to see you and pick it up in person?

    Some folks are surprised to see that my tool roll include a nail file, because... have you ever noticed how your nails grow at warp-speed when you are touring or even just on a long ride!

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  33. Ooh I love a good raffle. Please consider obswerve@gmail.com as an entry. Would look fabulous on my gold Claud Butler Majsetique mixte :)

    Pip pip!

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  34. Ooh, that would be nicer than the nasty little saddle bags purchased from discount German supermarkets currently adorning 2 of my bikes. My Pashley has a nicer leather bag (intended for motorcycles), but I haven't carried anything more interesting than nappies, motorcycle parts and dandelion leaves for the tortoises.

    I love this blog, found it when I was researching Sov' Roadsters, love the fact you're now in Nor'n Iron! pmj.davey at gmail.com

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  35. I went fishing on Lake Michigan and carried fresh salmon on ice in a saddle bag on tour. Then did my laundry the next day with the same ice. It was worth the weight :)
    across2worlds@gmail.com

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  36. Replies
    1. Behold the perils of a give-away: Would-be winner 1: contact email does not work; would-be winner 2: turns out not to be in the UK/IRL. Hoping 3rd time's a charm and waiting to hear back!

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