I wanted a to move the things I need the most, like a tube, levers and a patch kit, from my commute bag to the bike. However this bike has a sort of vintage look, (it is an 80s Fuji) with a black and tan theme, and the modern saddle bags I have all looked out of place. I searched for a vintage looking saddle bag, and found some but they were all too nice ($$$) for a commuter bike. One I saw on Etsy was made from leather and used a Toe Strap to secure it and an idea was born. I thought I could probably just use any old heavy material and a Toe Strap; so I could just use stuff I had laying around.
The end design was to roll up a tube, patch kit, tools etc. in a piece of heavy cloth, sort of like a burrito, and to secure it with a Toe Strap. I ended up using a small canvas bag, so the rolling part was easier than it could have been, but many other types of materials can be used and I will try to show that here.
Step 1: Materials and Tools
Well really there are no tools required, just materials and whatever gear it is that you wish to roll up and carry. Basically you just need two things.
- Some durable cloth, in a color that you like (something like Denim or Canvas)
- Something to cut cloth with
- Toe Strap (available in sets of two, for under $10, even leather ones are available at this price on Amazon)
I actually ended up using a canvas bag that came with a Thomson seatpost, that was just the right size and color, but I also made one out of some blue denim scrap that was laying around. I already had Toe Straps, but these are very reasonable to purchase and easy to find.
Step 2: Packing
Once you have chosen your material and, if necessary cut it into the right size to roll all your stuff up in, you should pack it so that there are two sections. There will be a fold between these, and they idea is that the soft and hard parts of your kit are separated. In my case, I have plastic tire levers that have no harsh edges at all, so these and my tube go into one section, while my patch kit and one of my multi tool things that have edges and pointy things on them go into the other. Once all folded and tied up, the sharp items are stored away from the tube.
When using just a piece of material, I placed items on the cloth with a space in between, before folding the ends and sides over. For the bag approach, I first placed one type of goods (like the tube maybe) in the bag, placed my hand down across it to hold the space to allow it to fold, then stuffed the other half of the stuff in.
Step 3: Folding and Securing
So now we should have two sections of the rolled up material, or a bag (like my Thomson bag) filled with repair supplies, and a space separating the sections (or, in the case of using just plain material, extra material on each end to roll fold over). If using a bag sort of thing, it can just be folded in two. However if using a piece of cloth, first each end needs to be folded over (like folding up the ends of a a burrito), then fold it in the middle. Once folded over, it is ready to be wrapped with a Toe Strap and secured to the bicycle seat's rails.
Step 4: Finished
Well that is it really. Here are some photos of how the one I made looks on the bike, as well as how two other colors look.