Cyclists really love their bags. It’s become a Randonneurmas tradition to feature at least one of the bags that have served us well over the year — and that we think other randonneurs would like. This edition of the 12 Days of Randonneurmas is no exception.
This year, we feature the Ruthworks “brevet bag,” and not just because it has the word brevet in its name. This front bag affixes to the handlebars via two leather straps, on either side of the stem.
Ruthworks is a one-person custom bag maker out of San Francisco, California, and is also a randonneur.
In describing the brevet bag, founder Ely Rodriguez writes:
The goal was to make something small enough to not interfere with your hand positions, but have enough room for snacks maybe gloves, sunglasses, etc. and a small clear area for a cue sheet. There is a third strap that attaches to whatever is down there, cable housing, etcetera, to stablize it a little. It rarely needs it, as the bag is not designed for heavy loads.
I use this bag for my daily commutes as well as shorter weekend rides of 50 miles or so, with great success. Larger than it first appears, the bag is still narrow enough not to take up much space on the bars. I like that it’s deep enough to stash a variety of things. I’ve easily carried gloves, a wool cap, a camera, a phone, and my keys in the front bag.
The top flap opens and closes easily via a velcro closure, from front to back, which makes all items in the bag easy to access. Mine also has a strip of leather across the front for extra style points.
I have seen this bag made in hi-viz material and a version that features a reflective strip on the front, if you want additional visibility in nocturnal hours.
Over the two months I have been using it, the bag has stood up well to the elements, but if I am going on a ride that predicts rain, I wrap all my stuff in baggies for extra insurance.
Ruthworks bags are handmade and beautiful. When you buy the brevet bag, you know that your purchase is not only going toward a well-made and useful bag hand-crafted just for the cyclist in your life. Your investment also supports a small business owned by a person who loves to ride bikes.
As you might expect, Ely has developed a following and he’s closed orders for the time being. Best to keep an eye on his availability page and get one as a gift in the coming months to stash for next year.
Tomorrow: a gift that delights the cyclist coffee-lover every day.