November 15, 2011


When my much-abused Chrome messenger bag died this year I was looking round for an alternative an remembered I’d bought a rooks Barbican messenger bag a few years ago when I was flush with a bit of extra cash.

I had used this in the past but only as a man bag’, rather than for cycling. As a general purpose bag it’s completely useless - it slides around (the curse of all messenger bags) and the leather shoulder pad is incredibly stiff and uncomfortable. Use it, as intended, as a cycling bag and it works perfectly.

As with many Brooks products the design comes straight from the Edwardian era, in this case from 1910:

In 1910 John Boultbee and his son Wilfred Mason Brooks filed two patents related to improvements in satchels, knapsacks and the like. Both these patents guaranteed more equal distribution of the load over the straps and more stability of the bag whilst cycling.

The curse of messenger bags is that under load conditions they slide down under the rider’s right arm rather than sitting in one place. The Brooks’ design works like a Sam Browne belt, forming a triangle to stabilise the load on the rider’s back and stop it from sliding. The only downside is my daughters now call me Seatbelt Man’!.

Seatbelt Man!


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