Thursday, March 3, 2011

Cousin Angie's Product Review: The Axiom Gatherer Shopper Saddlebag

The Axiom Gatherer Shopper Bag
Cousin Angie, a new convert to bike commuting, purchased this attractive Axiom “Gatherer Shopper” saddlebag for her Townie a few months ago. While style was an important feature, Angie is a working mom and prizes function as well.  Her new Axiom bag fits the bill for both.  She uses it for everything from consignment and grocery shopping but it still looks appropriately professional for carrying files to work meetings. This lightweight saddlebag is made with 600D polyester and attaches to the rear bike rack with Velcro fasteners. A handle in between the two bags allows one to carry it like a briefcase or over the arm when detached from the bike. The roomy interior of the bag is supported by a large stiff, removable sleeve, making it easy to stand open for loading purchases. The sides of each bag also have the usual band of reflective safety tape sewn into the fabric for safety in traffic.

Angie and bag in front of the new bike garage!

Angie’s favorite thing about the Axiom saddlebag, besides its stylish appearance, is its carrying capacity. She has no problem using it for grocery shopping and said it is weighty enough to haul multiple gallons of milk, large diaper boxes, bags of fruit and other heavy items.

Axiom interior.
She is less happy with the Velcro straps that attach the bag to the rear of her Townie, finding them awkward to manipulate, especially when the saddlebags are full. A much pricier version is available, however. Angie further noted that snaps secure the closure flaps on either side of the bag but that they are difficult to locate and join together and don’t stay snapped. She felt any updated design should include magnetic snaps and that a band of Velcro on the body of the bag and on the underside of the flap would keep the flap from flying about when she pedaling. I think an updated version should also include interior zip pockets to keep items such as keys, mobile phone and spare change neatly organized.

The Gatherer Shopper saddlebag comes in three patterns, although I think Angie’s pattern is from a previous year. She purchased it from Landis Cyclery in Phoenix for $75.  Landis has four locations in the Phoenix area.