Recently, I've been having to take more and more stuff into the office with me. I change in the office every morning and work have recently given me a laptop. As such, I've found that I've outgrown the Brompton S bag - come weekends when I'm staying away, I have to resort to using a backpack. Likewise, any day I fancy swimming, I have to take an additional bag.
After lamenting on the London Brompton Club Facebook page, it was suggested I try a saddlebag as I can't really use the T or M bag on the Brompton and even the full size O bag isn't recommended for the S type handlebars (though I have in the past managed to fit the T type onto my S type handlebars which was interesting trying to brake and steer!)
Anyhow, I decided to give a saddlebag a chance. After all, I used to use one on the road bike for my puncture repair kit and the like (though, that was more of a saddle pack).
There seems to be a liking for Carradice bags within the Brompton club and having a look around, these seemed to offer good value for money and good quality, so I ordered myself the Super C Audax saddlebag. I chose this one over the others, purely because I prefer the clip fastening, than the leather straps.
When it arrived, I fitted it to the Brompton. It was perhaps a bit bigger than I was expecting but this wasn't to bad as I wanted a bigger load carrying capacity.
However, things didn't bode well when I cycled to the office the next day. The bag itself would catch on the back of my legs whilst pedalling and then the bag itself was perhaps a bit to big to fold the bike down and place in my normal position on the train. This was because the bag was sticking out from the back of the saddle.
I tried to resolve both issues but fairly rapidly realised that I wouldn't get on with the bag without paying for something like the Bagman and that this would not only cost me more money, but would mean it wouldn't have the ease of getting on and off the train each day to get to work, making my commute more difficult.
Therefore, I ended up selling it to a member of the Brompton Club for a slight loss. However, I can say I've tried it and it didn't work out.
However, the idea of a saddlebag is not dead - I'm looking at saddle packs now. Something slightly smaller, purely for storage of small items, like keys or phone. This is partly due to my new purchase of a backpack (whilst I'm not keen on a backpack when cycling, I felt it was needed in this instance) and a lack of easy to reach pockets for fumbling with keys. However, this would be something only large enough to hold these small items and wouldn't interfere with my pedalling. At least that's the theory!