Saturday, October 23, 2010

Frame bag

I made a frame bag for the Pugsley, in order to make it ready for some overnighters. A frame bag allows putting heavy gear in the middle of the bike and with a low center of gravity, which means it does not affect the handling of the bike very much. My experiences from the Fargo are very good in this matter. It really is nice not to have a heavy rucksack (or even a lighter one) when riding.

The frame bag took me about seven hours to make, and while the craftsmanship probably is far from that on the commercial alternatives, the result seems quite good. I used 1000D Cordura, which is pretty strong. Spectra would probably be both stronger and lighter, but the finished bag still weighed only 300g, so I think the Cordura is a good alternative. As I understand Spectra is both hard to find and more difficult to use.

The design is basically the same as on the one I made for the Fargo. which has worked great. The bag is divided into two compartments by a velcro divider, which make it possible to adjust the width also in the middle of the bag. Two zippers give access to the compartments. The frame bag was loaded with some camera equipment, bike gear and a down jacket (no compression bag) to really fill it up for the test ride.

I added a map pocket to the left side panel. Might come in handy.

The Pugsley frame bag is a lot wider. On the Fargo I made the panels that go against the tubes 6 cm wide and on the Pugsley 9 cm wide. The Pugsley has a wider BB than the Fargo and the frame triangle is lower, which should allow for more width. A three hour test ride revealed no problem, but I would not go much wider. The velcro fastening system does make it possible to tighten it more, thus making it more narrow if necessary. It worked great as it was, though.

I also added bottle cages to the fork, just like the Fargo has. Thanks, Coastkid, for showing how to easily do this. Now I need to find some thermos bottles that fit into the bottle cages.

Some final things still remain to do before the Pugsley is fully ready for multiday trips. I will probably add a bottle cage to the downtube and order a rack for the front as well. The cables prevent strapping a drybag to the handlebar like on the Fargo, hence the need for a front rack.


  1. making my own frame bags is another thing on my `to do` list... you did a good job on that, well done!, fork mount bottle cages is a great way to save bag space!

  2. Just found this blog via Fillarifoorumi and wanted to comment on the awesome quality - thanks for sharing the trips! Wish I was somewhere away from the computer right now :D

  3. Awsome bike! Screams "take me on an adventure!".. :-)

    bottle cage for downtube; obv. gets very dirty and forces you to be more careful over large obstacles.

  4. Yes, a bottle under the downtube gets very dirty and you wouldn't want to drink directly from it. I think it still is a good place to carry water (low COG), as I've done with the Fargo. It is not affected by obstacles, since it is safely tucked up between the bottom bracket and the front wheel.

  5. Looks like some excellent sewing! Are you buying the materials in Finland Peter? Or ordering them from abroad? I haven't looked very seriously yet, but have a few sewing projects in mind and have no idea if there is anywhere in Finland where you can buy material for making outdoor gear.

  6. Toby, there is actually a nice Finnish online shop for sewing material, I've ordered from them a couple of times and the package has always arrived the next day, something which you are not really used to in Finland.

  7. What type of clamps (fasteners) did you use to attach the bottle cages to the Pugsley's fork?

    I would love to do this on my own and pick up a couple of Salsa's new cages.

  8. For clamps I used the clamp part of a cheap led tail light. I bought a bunch of them for 2 € a piece. Works great. I don't know anything about the durability yet, so for a longer trip I would take a couple of spare ones with me.