Craft Cadence Top Tube bag is a small bag made for keeping the most essential items dry and exceptionally easy to access. I've been testing it for the last few weeks on short and all-day rides on my gravel bike, on and off road. Here are my thoughts on the Craft Cadence Top Tube Bag.
Craft Cadence Top Tube Bag has a capacity of 1 to 1.5 L. The bag is built with waterproof 600D polyester coated with TPU and seamless welding construction. The top easily flips to close and open, with a Magnetic + Velcro enclosure system. The bag straps directly to the top tube with two velcro straps, and to the headset spacers with one velcro strap. It has an inside small zipped pocket for the smaller items like bank cards and keys.
The top tube bag looks and feels well made. The velcro straps seem strong and the waterproof 600D polyester coated with TPU looks sturdy and thick, as well as the seamless construction. Although slightly flexible, the materials and the construction help to keep the shape of the bag.
Access while riding
This is my favorite feature. The top enclosure is very easy to open and close with one hand while riding. The velcro and the magnet work well together. It literally only takes a swift gesture to open and close, and the velcro helps to keep the enclosure secure while riding, so there is no risk of opening by accident even when going off-road. Only time will say if the velcro lasts for the long run.
I find that the bag's capacity is practical for commuting, sporty rides, light touring or as a complement for a full touring setup. Here is what I can fit inside: my wallet and keys, one small tool kit and repair kit for punctures, my sun glasses and 2 bars. The dimensions of the bag are: L 20.5cm x H(max) 11cm x W 5cm. It can take a volume between 1 and 1.5 liters.
600D polyester coated with TPU isn't like the material used for most dry bags, it doesn't have a "plastic" finishing but is more like a coated fabric. This gives the impression of being more water absorbent than other materials like PVC/Tarpaulin. Rest assured, after 10 minutes under the tap of my kitchen sink, the results were pretty conclusive: no water got inside the bag.
I know by experience that waterproof coatings wear off with time, but the good news is that they can be easily re-treated at home. You would just need to get a waterproof spray coating that's compatible with polyester and apply it yourself.
There is a loop on the top of the bag to clip a small bike computer or something of the sort. I personally don't use a computer for navigation, so I didn't find a use for this loop, but the strap is strongly attached to the bag and it seems like a good location for a navigation device.
There is a cable outlet on the front of the bag. This is an elegant solution for charging a navigation device from a battery pack inside the bag. Particularly useful during long trips!
There is a zipped pocket inside, for keeping smaller objects like keys from bouncing around, and keep things more tidy inside the bag.
To put the price in perspective, I picked two top tube bags from reputable brands that I'm familiar with: Restrap and Ortlieb. The three bags have their own particular features but what I looked for in this price comparison is that they are all waterproof and good quality brands that I've tested in the past. These are the official prices for march 2022 in Europe:
Restrap Top Tube Bag 0.8L: 39,99€
Craft Cadence Top Tube Bag 1 to 1.5L: 49,95€
Ortlieb Cockpit Pack 0.8L: 59,95€
While this is far from being a full comparison review between these three bags, it gives us an idea of where the Craft Cadence Top Tube Bag sits in terms of pricing. For me, it seems a pretty reasonable price considering the bigger capacity and the additional features.
What could be improved ?
The bag is made for stems that are located no higher than 11 cm from the top tube. On my own gravel bike I'm at the limit. If my stem was any higher it would interfere with the top enclosure of the bag.
That shouldn't be a problem for the large majority of modern bicycles, where the frame's stack is usually higher, reducing the need for too many spacers which keeps the stem close to the top tube. Anyhow, I think it's worth doing a quick check before ordering the bag.
+ Easy to attach to the bike (and detach as well).
- The top enclosure could interfere with stems higher than 11 cm from the top tube.
+ Very easy to open and close while riding, and it stays securely closed.
- Slight leg rubbing when going out of the saddle.
+ Excellent additional features for attaching a navigation device, plus the cable outlet.
- The velcro used to secure the lid could loose its grip over time.
+ Good capacity for the essentials.
+ Elegant design.
+ Good quality manufacturing.
+ Excellent waterproofness.
1 - 1.5 L
L 20.5cm x H(max) 11cm x W 5cm
600D polyester coated with TPU
49,95€ (Europe 03/2022)