Thursday, 8 May 2014


A month or two back, I was looking for a new minimal saddle bag. I'd been through two of the cheap/free continental ones, and now wanted more of a forever product. Anyway, after a bit of a look around, I thought the Arundel Uno looked the goods, and as it turns out, a mate sells them at his local shop. G'day Dan!

So, a few emails, and some issues with Toll couriers later, I had a new saddle bag, for the princely sum of $0, a request to get Dan to Warnambool this year, and also a request that I review it as a product.

This isn't the review, it's more of a review of reviews... omg so meta! While I don't think my influence is great, I feel fairly strongly that when giving advice, it should be as impartial as possible, and with some kind of research to back it up. The antithesis of what I believe should occur, is something Steve and I still joke about. MTBR reviews along the lines of:

"OMG this is like the best product ever, it's so amazing, it's just the best! I can't wait for it to arrive next week! (similar products used: none) (rating: 5 chillies/5 chillies)"

Cycling Tips cops a little bit of, generally good hearted, flack over some of their bike reviews. They all seem to state that each of the bikes is perfect, and accelerates like a rocket ship and feels great for all day riding. Ignoring the overuse of the same phrases, something I'm obviously prone too, to me it draws out an important point. I feel that each product category should therefore have some clearly stated goals to be reviewed against. E.g. a saddle bag for me, needs to be unobtrusive (not touch my legs), not fall off on rough/unsealed roads, and resist wear from the bolts on my Thompson seatpost clamp.

Bike Radar overhauled their review system a year or three back. In essence there can only be one 5 star and only a few 4 and a half items per category. They're sort of working towards a bell curve, which means they've really got to consider carefully if and when to call something the best.

Wow, that was a lot of words to say that at some point I might write some other words.

D: 8.2km
A: 55m

PMPW: 93kg