News

50 litre kit bags back in stock June 16 2017

We have had a delivery of 50 litre kit bags and have started shipping orders for these. There has been a slight redesign with stronger stitching to the base which improves carrying capacity and longevity, only available in black for now although we may do another limited edition in an alternative colour in the future.

 


Stock Situation 5th May 2017 May 05 2017

We have been busy with production at the factory early spring and have delivered a large quantity of items to our UK distribution partners, the stock situation at the moment is as follows:

Monster bags - Plenty in stock

Stealth bags - Plenty in stock

50 Litre Kit bags - Plenty in stock

25 Litre Kit bags - Plenty in stock

Our distribution partners are despatching bags same working day in pretty much 100% of orders using Royal Mail tracked service for UK deliveries. 

We will be starting on production of the next batch soon and depending upon demand aim to keep a permanent in stock situation with our best selling bags.

Duffbag Stealth - In stock

Duff bag Monster - in stock

Duffbag Kit bag, both sizes - in stock

Duff bags now back in stock and shipping same working day


Duffbag 50 litre kit bags back in stock May 02 2017

Long awaited 50 litre kit bags now back in stock! This was the original duffbag product where it all started with the 50 litre kit bag. Still pretty much the same as the original design with a built in changing mat and enough capacity to stash all your gear from a day ride.

Just £19.95 and with free UK delivery

Click here for more info


Revised website and increased production April 21 2017

With the new riding season getting underway we have put some long awaited attention back into the bag business. First and most importantly we have massively increased production and inventory of duffbags that we hold and have a rolling production schedule that will prevent the out of stock situation that plagued the business from the past.

As new owners we have revamped the brand and introduced some new brands

 

Otivam is our new parent brand, our production facilities are in Bulgaria naturally we spend a lot of time there organising production and quality inspections. The Bulgarian word for go is Otivam which we thought works well for us. The exciting new brands are Planina Snow and Planina Velo, these are taking our Bulgarian theme further as the Bulgarian word for mountain is Planina. Bulgaria is great for both skiing and cycling and we are able to develop and test products whilst there. We have already developed a range of products for Planina Snow - Snowboard bag, ski bag, ski boot bag and ski pole bag. These were prototyped and tested over the last winter and will be in production in time for the 2017 - 2018 winter sports season. This summer we will be developing and testing the Planina Velo range aimed at the road and touring cyclist.

The duffbag or duff bags as some know it, range of products will continue but with increased production and stocks. Duff bag or duff bags are available through a range of UK stockists, you can find duffbag or duff bags stockists on the website under the stockist section

Thanks for reading, we will update with pictures of new products soon.


Mountain bike transport bag to keep car clean October 15 2016

"I have a really dirty, muddy mountain bike that I need to put in the back of my car, without covering the inside of my car in dirt, sand, mud and oil."

This is a problem that most of us mountain bikers face from time to time, especially in autumn and winter when the trails are particularly wet and muddy.

What is the best way to transport a wet, muddy, mountain bike and keep your car clean?

Some people opt for the rear bike rack option or roof rack - this is not a bad option unless you want to stop on the way back as an expensive bike on a bike rack is a tempting opportunity for thieves.

A bike rack can be a magnet for theft of an expensive mountain bike.

Many people opt to put the bike in the rear of the car with the seats down but over time the inside of the boot (trunk) of the car starts to resemble a drying, festering swamp. OK if you drive an old nail that you just use for biking but many of us use our main set of wheels for work, commuting and general family ferrying, quite soon a muddy swamp for a boot (trunk) gets old real quick.

How about a great big, zip up, water proof bag for transporting wet, muddy mountain bikes from the trail to keep the inside of your car clean?

We developed the duffbag Monster bike bag to overcome this very problem: the Monster bag is HUGE, it will swallow a 29er full suspension large frame mountain bike comfortably, with the rear wheel on, and zip all that trail nastiness inside the PVC lined polyester bag. The bag simply slides into the boot (trunk) of the car and keeps the inside of your car clean.

Once back at home you can jet wash or hose your bike down, let it dry and then store your pride and joy in the bag ready for you to rip up the trails again on your next ride.

You can find out more about the duffbag monster bike bag, the bag for transporting your dirty mountain bike and keeping your car clean by clicking here


Hello from the new owners of duffbag October 10 2016

We are the new owners of the duffbag business. Our main business is manufacturing but we also retain a keen interest in cycling, being cyclists ourselves. We loved the original duffbag products but could no longer get them when the original business closed down.

We have taken over the brand and the designs and will be adding to the range over the coming months to incorporate a winter sports and outdoor activities range as well as appointing retail stockists in the UK, Europe and the US.

We now have stock of most items available with new stock arriving and new lines being added all the time.

Duffbag Team


Bike bag storage for keeping bike indoors April 03 2014

 

We know many of you use your bike bags for many different reasons and not just travel. We know storing a bike indoors in a hallway, flat or apartment can be a challenge and storing a bike in a bike bag is a well proven solution. A wet muddy bike is generally going to get complaints from husbands, wives, girlfriends, boyfriends, landlords or anyone that you share a living space with. Storing a bike indoors in a bike bag is a good way to protect it from knocks or damage or condensation rusting expensive parts. Security is another key aspect, leaving a bike on display, indoors, in a shared hallway is asking for trouble, a bike locked securely in a discreet bike bag may not look so tempting. Some people use our bags for long term indoor storage of a bike, for example if the expensive bike is stashed away for the winter while you use the winter training bike. Our bags have a water resistant outer shell and a water resistant PVC lining, whilst we are not suggesting you could leave your bike stored in a bike bag outdoors exposed to the elements, the bag would offer significant protection from the elements if stored in a shed or garage or maybe even a sheltered balcony. To summarise - storing or storage of a bike indoors in a bike bag could be a good solution if you are limited on space for example in a flat or apartment, it is even possible to store a bike in a bike bag and keep it is a spare room or bedroom without too much trouble from those that you share a house with.

   


Soft Bike Bag 120cm x 90cm March 31 2014

 

The maximum dimensions for a bike bag on the French High Speed TGV network is 120cm x 90cm, this allows you to carry on a bike packed into a bike bag this size and take it in the passenger carriage with you as hand luggage. The maximum size for traveling on Eurostar with a bike in a bag inside the passenger compartment used to be 120cm x 90cm but it has since been changed to a much smaller size, too small for anything other than a folding bike.

The duffbag Stealth soft bike bag is 120cm x 90cm and is compliant with the size regulations on the TGV High Speed train network in France. Eurostar will still take a bike packed into a bag this size but not in the passenger compartment - the bike would need to travel in the baggage car.

 

The duffbag Stealth soft bike bag folds down really small so is ideal for stashing in either a pannier or hotel room and is designed to be both lightweight and compact. If you are looking for a bike bag to take on Eurostar and onwards using the TGV train network in France the duffbag Stealth could be just what you are looking for.

You can find out more about the duffbag Stealth bag by clicking here


Taking a bike on TGV High Speed Trains France SNCF March 26 2014

SNCF TGV High Speed train Gare de Lyon Paris

Many people like to travel to France with their bike and why not, it is of course a fabulous country for cycling, quieter roads, more space and great scenery a real cycling country.

In simple terms all trains on the SNCF (Société Nationale des Chemins de fer français) will accept bikes on trains as long as they are dismantled and in a bag no larger than 120cm x 90cm. Some routes will accept fully assembled bikes but it is best to check with your specific routes. The same applies to the TGV and Intercités trains as well as Thalys trains.

The TGV high speed train network covers much of France and is relatively bike friendly as you would expect with the volume of bicycle tourism that the country attracts.The TGV trains are super fast and can whisk you from Paris to Lyon in just two hours, and Bordeaux, Marseille or Grenoble to the French capital in around three hours.

Bikes can be carried on as hand luggage, free of charge and stowed on the luggage racks within the carriages as long as the bike is in a bag with maximum dimensions of 120 cm x 90 cm. Full size bikes unpacked can be accommodated but need to be booked in advance and may not travel in the carriage with you. Failure to comply with these regulations can involve an on the spot fine which can make a hole in your holiday budget.

 

Fully assembled bikes

Many TGV and Intercités (including night trains) have space for assembled and unbagged bikes but you may require a reservation. If the route you are on does require a reservation there is normally a €10 surcharge which you pay and book with your ticket. You can book this in person at any SNCF ticket office, there are some useful links at the end of this article.

Published timetables  (print and online) show a bike symbol against services that can accommodate unbagged bikes. Check with station staff to see what carriage you should load your bike into and where on the platform you should wait. 

Night Trains

Night trains do require a reservation, you will need a reserved seat AND a reservation for your bike and this needs to be booked in advance and your bike will most likely travel in a separate carriage.

Local Trains

There is an excellent network of local trains that links up smaller towns and villages, these will take bikes providing there is space available. Please note some restrictions apply at peak times and holidays, please check in advance if in doubt.

Possible Problems

Despite following all the regulations and having the correct booking you can sometimes run into problems with the inspector on the trains. Make sure you retain all the booking paperwork and tickets for inspection. If in the unlikely event the inspector does issue an on the spot fine you should be able to reclaim this if you have the correct booking and the inspector is incorrect - as in most situations politeness and a smile go a long way.

Duffbag Stealth bag 120cm x 90cm soft bike bag - ideal for train travel in France

Our duffbag Stealth soft bike bag is 120cm x 90cm and has been successfully used on many journeys on the TGV High Speed Train network with SNCF France. The big advantage with a Stealth bike bag is the light weight, (under 2kg) together with the ability to fold down really small to stash in a support vehicle or pannier which makes negotiating the TGV High Speed train network in France with a road bike, mountain bike or touring bike that much easier.

 

Traveling with your bike using the TGV High Speed train network in France with your bicycle in a bike bag is a great way to explore France and beyond, with the Alps, Pyrenees and the Tour de France a very popular cycle touring destination as well as the beautiful coastal and central regions. 

You can find out more about the duffbag Stealth bag by clicking here

These duffbag Stealths soft bike bags travelled on the TGV High Speed French Train network as part of a group of twelve.

You can find out more about the duffbag Stealth bag by clicking here

Useful Links

Voyages SNCF

Trainline

Thalys

 


Bike bag for hotels, apartments or university halls of residence March 24 2014

Many of our duffbag bike bag customers tell us tales of traveling with their bikes and staying in hotels. Some are traveling for business, some for pleasure but mostly they have used duffbag bike bags to get their bikes safely and securely into their hotel rooms. Naturally, most hotel receptionists and security get a bit sniffy if you try and wheel a muddy bike through their lobby or even a clean bike, it just does not fit with their specification of how a hotel reception should look. It seems that once you envelope your bike in a bag it renders it "invisible" and the problems of bike and hotel"disappear". Now please don't take this as us encouraging people to flout rules and regulations but we love to travel and we love bikes so combining the two is surely a good thing and if we can find a way to combine the two we will normally take it, especially if it makes the security of our precious bikes a bit better.

Often we hear tales of people traveling for business or working away for the week returning home at weekends. We all work hard for our bike fitness so a week without getting some miles in makes a big difference to bike fitness especially if you are training for an event, so many people like to take their bike along on a trip and get some miles in after work - sure beats hanging around in a lonely bar talking rubbish to strangers!

Another story we hear quite often is keeping bikes in university halls of residence, this is often a problem as university halls don't really understand the bike thing and like you to stash your £2,000 carbon fibre precious two wheeled beauty in the outdoors bike shed. If you value your bike this will go against the grain and you will want to think of an alternative. Again we are NOT encouraging anyone to flout the rules, especially to do with safety we are just saying that many people do keep their road bikes or mountain bikes in a bike bag inside their room in university halls of residence. Obviously the same is true of keeping a dirty bike inside an apartment or flat or hallway of a house, many landlords will object to keeping a bike indoors, storing a bike in a soft bike bag can get around this problem.

Once again, we are not encouraging people to break the regulations of keeping a bike in an apartment, university halls of residence, house or hotel, we are simply reporting anecdotal claims made by our bike bag customers.   


Soft bike bags for mountain bikes, road bikes and cycle touring March 21 2014

Why consider a soft bike bag?

 

When we developed the duffbag bike bags for mountain bikes, road bikes and cycle touring we wanted to develop a range of soft bike bags that met our needs. A soft bag, by its nature needs to be lightweight and foldable, a bike bag that can be packed down to a compact size that will fit in a backpack or cycle pannier or stash in a small apartment on a winter training camp, university halls of residence, hotel room, chalet etc.

The bags had to protect the bike and also be robust enough to pass through the world's transport system including airports, plane travel, train travel including Eurostar and the French TGV train network.

We also wanted to develop a mountain bike soft bag that you could put a muddy mountain bike in after riding and place it in the back of the car and protect the car seats and interior - a bike transport bag to keep your car clean, quite a design challenge.

 

We initially developed our duffbag Stealth bag, this is designed to be a very compact soft bike bag that can take a road bike or tourer or mountain bike and then developed the duffbag Monster soft bike bag that is large enough to take a full size 29er mountain bike with full suspension with the rear wheel on!

You can find out more about the Stealth bag here

You can find out more about the Monster bag here

Over the last four years we have developed these soft bike bags, in conjunction with feedback from our many customers worldwide, and incorporated many extra features to meet road bikers, touring cyclists and mountain bikers needs. They have been taken on many expeditions to all parts of the globe as well as in weekly use by muddy weekend warriors everywhere who want to ride muddy bikes and keep their car clean!

 

Duffbag soft bike bags are only available direct from us, we are the designers and manufacturers and only sell online. This keeps our costs down and cuts out any middlemen. This way get a great product at a great price and become part of the duffbag soft bike bag community, we love to hear your feedback and tales of your adventures with your duffbag bike bags.

Our product range is currently:

  • Duffbag Monster bag - huge soft bike bag built to take a full suspension 29er (or smaller) mountain bike
  • Duffbag Stealth bag - compact soft bike bag built to take a road, touring or mountain bike
  • Duffbag Kit bag - 50 litre capacity all purpose kit bag for stashing wet or muddy kit 

Afan Forest Wales, Mountain Biking March 19 2014


Afan Forest Park in South Wales is just off the M4, between Cardiff and Swansea, in South Wales. The nearest town is Port Talbot, although that is some way off as the actual location is by it’s nature quite remote.

Afan Forest Park has benefited from extensive investment to become a first class mountain bike trail centre, with five purpose built graded trails to suit all levels of ability.



There are two visitor centres within the park, with camping and catering facilities at each as well as bike hire, repair, spares and equipment sales. On each of our many visits the staff have been enthusiastic and helpful and the food is really good biker food – jacket potatoes, lasagne etc. and not a chip in sight.



View from the campsite at the visitor centre


We have stayed at both campsites and can say that they are both good and very good value, you are allowed to light fires at the campsite at the main visitor’s centre if that is your thing and all are quiet and peaceful at night times, although the campsite at the main visitors centre is not that level so choose your pitch carefully – if it is wet you will have a river running through your tent in no time!. You need to be sensible with bike security as with anywhere, if you are really concerned there is a secure bike storage area at the Glyncorrwg centre which we have used in the past. Facilities at each are pretty good, with showers (token operated), toilets, bike repair and cafe although the cafe at the visitor centre shuts quite early – the Drop off cafe at Glyncorrwg stays open late and plays biking videos and has a really nice vibe (note on my last visit April 2011 the Drop off Cafe was closed)

So what of the riding? The riding is very good, I have written about individual trails elsewhere on the blog but here is a brief summary of each;



Penhydd

Penhydd is currently closed at the time of writing (April 2011) for major works but the last time I rode it I remember it as a fun trail, mostly fireroad climbing with some cheeky switchbacky descents with great names – Hidden Valley, Side Winder, Dead Sheep Gully and Genesis, some fantastic singletrack, whilst not as thrilling as some of the bigger trail descents, it more than makes up for with the twisty flow and switchbacks, I look forward to it re-opening in the near future.

Y Wall (The Wall)

Distance: 23Km

Climb: 450m

Time: 1.5 – 3 hours

Start: Afan Forest Park Visitor Centre

Overall grade: red/difficult

Currently my favorite trail due to its natural flowey feel and swooping singletrack a long fire road climb and some great singletrack sections especially the ominously named “Graveyard” and the aptly named “Zig-Zag”



"Graveyard" nothing to worry about here then!


Whites Level

Distance: 15km

Climb: 400m

Time: 1.5 – 3 hours

Start: Glyncorrwg Mountain Bike Centre

Overall grade: red/difficult

Not sure why they call it level as it is anything but. Whites is the most extreme trail at Afan with a whole mix of something for everyone – technical rocky climbs, fast descents, singletrack a “black” run section, boardwalks, table tops, berms and kickers, its all there. Personally, although I like Whites it feels a bit too man made for my tastes, kind of like someone had a clipboard with a tick list of things to include and added everything. My advice is to ride it once and see what you think, it is thrilling and fast in places, well worth all the climbing but for me does not flow together.

W2

Distance: 44km

Climb: 975m

Time: 4 – 7 hours

Start: Either Afan Forest Park Visitor Centre or Glyncorrwg Mountain Bike Centre

Overall grade: black/severe

W2 is an interesting one, it splices together The Wall and Whites Level making for a 44km, 975m of climbing 7 hour epic. This one is worth doing if you only have one main day of riding as you can do pretty much the whole thing in one day. Personally I like to ride each trail individually and take in the view and the individual characteristics of each trail but for a full on smorgasbord of riding W2 has it all.

Skyline

Distance: 46km

Climb: 2000m

Time: 5 – 7 hours

Start: Glyncorrwg Mountain Bike Centre

Overall grade: red/difficult

For some reason I have never ridden Skyline, it is quite long 46k with 2000m of climbing, someone once said it is a bit cross country and not that exciting but that is all I know about it, I will tick it off the list one day, if you have ridden it let me know what you thought, hey you may even talk me into riding it next time I am there.

Signage.



All the trails at Afan Forest are very well marked with clear markers at turnings, just don’t miss one as you will have to back track to the last one and find your way back onto the trail. Each singletrack section is marked with a named gate to aid navigation and to keep groups together as people tend to wait at the end of each section for members of their party to catch up.

Surface

The surface is generally quite loose and rocky, expect boulders and exposed rock, with quite narrow single track. There are tree stumps lining the edge of the trail so you need to be quite precise as clouting one of those is not good. Some of the single track has a steep bank on one side, which it pays not to look down as you are riding as that will really put you off. In the wet it is quite slippy, but still rolls nice and fast as there is not the thick mud that you find in other parts of the country.



Safety

OK, there is no getting around this, mountain biking is dangerous, not in the league of setting yourself on fire with petrol dangerous but if you are not careful you can hurt yourself quite badly. Add to this that you will be high up in mountains with changeable weather and with no phone signal in some places it pays to be prepared. A helmet is a must, you do see people without helmets, but that is up to them, personally I have seen cycling head injuries that have ended up in intensive care, believe me that is not a nice place. Body Armour -when I first saw people with knee and elbow pads I must say I sniggered to myself, we are going for a bike ride for crying out loud. I now have extensive scars on both knees, I am going to invest in a set of knee pads for my next trip. Basic first aid gear is a good idea, don’t go mad, but plasters and bandages are great for cuts and sprains. I have broken my foot in three places, mountain biking in Wales and strapping my ankle with bandages enabled me to ride/ hobble off the mountain, without that it would be a call to the rescue guys. Generally, if you ride within your capabilities and are well prepared you will be fine, but if you are stepping up to this from spinning around your local woods prepare for a steep learning curve as this is in a different league.

Here at Duffbag, we visit the trail centres in Wales regularly, this is what our products were designed for duffbag kit bag for transporting dirty kit post ride and duffbag bike bags for transporting dirty bikes to and from the trails. If you see us in the duffbus at any of the centres come over and say hi, we are very friendly!!



Taking a bike on London Underground, Tube March 18 2014


Technically you are allowed to take a bike on the London underground Tube network at certain times of day and on certain lines. In reality turning up with a bike at a Tube station is going to cause a few problems.

For example you cannot take bikes on moving escalators at any underground station, which means you have to find one with a lift. You can’t travel at peak time either (07.30 – 09.30 and 16.00 – 19.00, Monday to Friday, except for public holidays).

Well to be honest if you have ever traveled at peak time on London Underground you really would not take a bike down there unless you wanted to end up wearing it.

As part of our product testing for our new duffbag Stealth bag we decided to see if we could take a bike in our bag through the London Underground network unhindered, possibly passing through sections where bikes were not allowed. Would we be arrested? Get thrown off the Tube network, end up on News at Ten? This is what happened…


First thing let's buy a ticket
OK with a ticket purchased covering all zones let’s enter the Tube network with our Stealth bag and see what happens…

The video below shows, that actually very little happened, we were able to travel around unhindered, using escalators and access turnstiles as usual, getting on and off the Tube was no problem although trying this at busy times with such an anti social piece of luggage may not have gone so well. As you can see our Stealth bag is designed to be as small and light as possible and requires a little dismantling of the bike, but as you can see, it really is not that big and obtrusive and certainly does not draw unwanted attention – Stealth by name Stealth by nature!



So to summarise, you can take a bike in a bag through the London Tube network, we won’t tell exacty which lines and stations we travelled through as we may or may not have been supposed to be there ;) Let’s just say we had a ticket that covered zones 1-6 and had no problems anywhere.

For further reading the following is from the London Underground regulations saying which lines can and can’t be used by bikes:

Circle, District, East London, Hammersmith & City and Metropolitan Lines
On these lines non-folding bicycles are permitted on all sections outside peak times.

Bakerloo Line
Non-folding bicycles may be taken between Queen’s Park and Harrow & Wealdstone in the morning peak and vice versa in the evening peak, and in both directions outside peak times.

Central Line
Non-folding bicycles may be taken outside peak times in either direction between: White City and West Ruislip/Ealing Broadway Leyton and Epping Newbury Park/Woodford and Hainault.

Jubilee Line
Non-folding bicycles are permitted outside peak times in either direction between: Finchley Road and Stanmore Canning Town and Stratford.

Northern Line
Non-folding bicycles may be taken outside peak times in either direction between: Edgware and Colindale Hendon Central and Golders Green East Finchley and High Barnet/Mill Hill East.

Piccadilly Line
Non-folding bicycles are allowed outside peak times in either direction between: Barons Court and Hounslow West/Uxbridge Cockfosters and Oakwood.

Victoria Line and Waterloo & City Line
Non-folding bicycles must not be taken on the Victoria Line or the Waterloo & City Line.

Docklands Light Railway and Croydon Tramlink
Docklands Light Railway and Croydon Tramlink do not take bicycles.

All stations
You cannot take cycles on moving escalators at any underground station.

You can find out more about the duffbag Stealth bag by clicking here


Duffbag Kit bags – ideal for wet or dirty kit, mountain biking, surfing, winter sports March 13 2014


Duffbags – A really tough, useful bag with a water resistant liner for stashing wet muddy kit in.
The duffbag idea was born in a tent at the foot of a Welsh mountain in October 2009 – We were on a mountain bike trip to the Afan trail centre and were camping in late October. Needless to say it was wet and muddy, after three days of riding and juggling mucky kit in a small tent it was time to pack up and head for home. We looked like refugees from tent city with our collection of bin bags and festering carriers and throwing everything in the back of the car left everything wet, muddy and smelling of wet dog.
On returning home I figured out there had to be a better way of transporting wet, muddy kit and set about designing the duffbag kit bag, our first product. After many prototypes we found the right material that had a special coated PVC lining that gave us the strength and the water resistance that we wanted. We had a small batch made and started testing them…



New bags in black

We filled them up with water (they eventually leak at the seams but will take 50 litres of water)
We filled them up with really muddy, gopping clothes and then slung them on some cream leather BMW seats (and didn’t get told off)
We supplied Team Columbia mountain Bike Race team with 9 of them and asked them to try and break them (they couldn’t)
We added a changing mat and shoe pocket
We sold a few to our friends at mates rates and then it grew from there. Duffbag is now sold all over the country and is used by mountain bikers, surfers, kayakers, snowboarders, in fact any kind of sport that involves getting wet and or muddy and requires gear to be transported.



Built in changing mat, great for getting changed in draughty car parks



Water resistant liner keeps mud and moisture inside the bag

 

Here is another video we made that shows the bag in use, no mud here as it was summer time but it shows it in use as intended

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What about cleaning?
Duffbags naturally get pretty dirty inside if they are used as intended – luckily they are easy to clean. We designed them so they are easy to turn inside out for cleaning, simply hose off any muck and leave to dry- they dry really quickly as the PVC liner beads and sheds moisture faster than a wet Labrador. See the video below to see how easy it is.

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What else can you use it for?
We like to spend time at the beach and do a bit of body boarding with the kids, duffbag is great for all your beach gear and wetsuits, best of all it saves filling your car boot up with sand and soggy gear, see the video below for more details.

)

Then of course there are winter sports, some friends of ours took their bags over to the Alps on a skiing and snowboarding trip, they were great for stashing boots and wet gear and really helped keep their chalet clean.

Duffbag high up in the Alps


Thanks for reading and enjoy your duffbags


Long distance touring with the Stealth bag March 12 2014


One of our repeat customers describes himself as a “long distance cyclist”and has led a few groups traversing France. Two years ago for example he led a group of twelve cyclists from Toulon to Calais over 10 days, quite a distance. For the trip they used duffbag Stealth bags as they were travelling from London to Paris on Eurostar and then on to Toulon via TGV. The duffbag Stealth complies with the Eurostar strict luggage restrictions for bikes (bikes must be in a bag no larger than 120cm x 90cm - note this regulation has now changed for 2014, bikes now need to travel in the baggage car, no change for TGV service once in France). An added consideration was that all twelve cyclist’s gear was being transported in a Mercedes support car so twelve Stealths all folded down did not take up too much room.

Last year the group headed South again to Mt Ventoux, again using the duffbag Stealth, another successful trip and some very well travelled Stealths. We look forward to sharing more adventures with our long distance cycling friend!

 


Duffbag Stealth bag bike bag March 11 2014


Duffbag Stealth – Stealth by name Stealth by nature…

 


When we designed the Duffbag Stealth bag we wanted the smallest most unobtrusive bike bag we could, one that would not draw unwanted attention on the world’s transport system.

A bag that we could fit in a full size bike, but still get on a bus, taxi, train, underground or plane – not an easy task. 

Inevitably, with a bag this small there was some dismantling involved – bars off, wheels off etc. but nothing that can’t be done in five mins with an Allen key.

We eventually settled on a design that involved placing the frame in the bag upside down, the angles of the bag hold the frame diagonally across the bag making for a small overall area. We added wheel pockets and tethers to keep everything in its place and a zip up pocket for pedals and skewers.

Internal pockets for pedals and skewers

Heavy duty, lockable zips
As with our other bags this is not a padded bag, we believe that our bags should be used on a regular basis, not just for the occasional flight away, you can pad them out for that with foam and bubble wrap. No, our bags are built for putting your bike in, protecting your car, getting to the city on the train, kind of beating the system if you like…
Where have we tested it?

  • London Underground
  • UK train network
  • Eurostar*
  • TGV (French train network)
  • Heathrow Terminal 5

* Eurostar have recently changed their bike bag regulations to carry bikes inside the passenger carriage to a bag 85cm x 85cm You can still take bikes in bags but they have to be checked into the baggage compartment if they are over this size

The real beauty? It packs down to a tiny size, meaning you can get to where you are going, put your bag in your rucksack and off you go

 

 




Dimensions
120cm across the top
76cm across the bottom
87cm from top to bottom
Construction – water resistant outer nylon 600d, special coated PVC liner, heavy duty, lockable, twin slider zips, internal wheel pockets, all seams and straps stitched for toughness and durability.

Water resistant outer coating



Water resistant PVC lining

 

You can find out more about the duffbag Stealth bag here


Duffbag Monster Bike bag March 10 2014



Now larger to take wide bars and a 26″ wheel mountain bike or a 29er
We have just revamped and updated our logo on the Monster bags, the bags are also substantially bigger in size to accommodate wide and oversize bars and also take a 26″ wheel mountain bike or a 29er, please note all bags will be shipped with new logo now

Note new logo on larger bags, all monster bags will now be shipped with new logo

 



We had already designed and produced our racebag but wanted something bigger…
Much bigger…
Some of our bikes are built a bit more burly, full suspension and with oversize bars, just too big to fit in our race bag. So we simply took our racebag design and made a new bag only much bigger, hence the Monster was born…
The race bag was initially designed to suit our own needs – we wanted a bike bag that could take a road or mountain bike, but did not involve stripping the bike down and then rebuilding it when we got to where we were going.
We also wanted a bag that could take a muddy and dirty bike, allow us to put it in our car or camper without getting the inside of the car filthy dirty.
Finally, we wanted a bag that we could take on a plane and then fold up when we got to our destination and would fit it in a rucksack.
Needless to say we could not find anything…
So we designed our own!
The Monster bag is designed to take a full suspension mountain bike(not triple crown), simply pop off the front wheel, turn the bars sideways and away you go. The rear wheel stays on, meaning when you get to your destination you are pretty much ready to ride.
The bag will take a bike with pedals on, but we recommend taking the pedals off and putting them in the zip up pocket inside the bag, it just makes carrying easier.
Talking of carrying we have a shoulder strap, a mid bag strap and a handy strap on the end of the bag that makes maneuvering the bag a cinch.
Inside the bag is a wheel pocket to keep everything in its place, couple this with heavy duty twin slider zips and you have a bag that is great for transporting dirty bikes as well as transporting bikes across continents.

Heavy duty, lockable zips



Internal pockets for pedals and skewers

Air travel?
We have taken our bags on planes, we simply pad the bike in strategic areas, drivetrain, forks, frame etc, add some cardboard for additional protection and away you go. The beauty of this is that when you get to your destination you can discard the packaging and fold up your bag and forget about it, simply replace the packaging for the return journey. If you have tried living with a dirty great wheeled bag in a one bedroom apartment for a week or more you will know what an advantage this is.

 

Foldable
As we said earlier we wanted a bag that could fold up when we get to our destination. If you are staying in a one bedroom apartment at a winter training camp or alpine lodge, the last thing you want is a dirty great wheeled bag taking up more room than you do. If you are doing some touring and want to stop in a B&B, you can fold up the racebag into your panniers, just use it for overnight storage without upsetting your hosts.

This is the Monster bag folded, the racebag folds up slightly smaller

This is the Monster bag folded, with some compression you can get it even smaller
Dirty bag?
If you are transporting dirty bikes to and from rides the inside of the bag will inevitably get dirty. Our bags are designed to be tough and simple to clean – simply turn them inside out and give them a good shake, scrub with water and detergent and then hose off, leave to dry and away you go.

 



Dimensions:
Across top of bag 144cm
Widest point 158cm
Depth 93cm

Water resistant outer coating



Water resistant PVC lining

 

Link to Monster Product Page here

 

What our customers say

 

I use my duffbag race bag to transport my bike on the back seat of my Porsche 911

Joe Handley London 


Received the bags on the 11th, just like to say how pleased I am with the quality of your product. Top job!!

Steve B, Staffs

 


How to build a bike from scratch – On One frame build February 14 2014

If you mess around with bikes long enough you may well consider building your own bike. Imagine the satisfaction of choosing your own components that really suit your riding, assembling it and riding it and knowing that it is a true one off that you built yourself.

Building a bike up from scratch is a lot easier than it sounds, however you will need a reasonable to high level of bike repair and maintenance experience, here’s a bike that I built up one wet Wednesday afternoon.

This was a new mountain bike build, using some new components plus some bits from a “donor” bike. I had chosen a steel frame from On One, purely because I had always wanted one and liked the slim tube retro look. The frame I chose was the “456″ so caled because it could take a 4″, 5″ or 6″ travel fork without upsetting the geometry. This is the kind of bike that would really suit my riding style.

 

The key to a successful bike build is to get organised- make sure you have allowed sufficient time, around 3-4 hrs of steady methodical work, you will get quicker as you get more practiced.

Make sure that you have all the components that you need to build and you have all the specialist tools that you need, for example;

  • Allen Keys
  • Workstand
  • Screwdrivers with Torx bits
  • Mallet or hammer
  • Adjustable wrench
  • Zip ties
  • Headset press (you can make your own)
  • Cable cutters
  • Pliers, long and short nose
  • Crankset pullers or specialist tool (Hollowtech)
  • Grease and lubes
  • Latex gloves unless you like the oily fingernail look
  • A radio or some tunes

Personally I like to lay out all my tools on the bench and the components so I can see what I am looking for, the last thing you want is to be rummaging around in the toolbox or running down the cycle shop to buy the bits you have forgotten.

OK, with everything laid out, the radio on, a cup of tea to hand and a nice warm workshop let’s get to work…

A good quality workstand will always make things more comfortable, sure you can build a bike without one but your back won’t thank you for it. With the bare bike frame at the right height fit the seat clamp, pin and saddle. It sounds obvious but seat posts come in a variety of different sizes, make sure you have the right one for your frame. This being a steel frame and an alloy seat post I lightly greased the post before inserting, this will prevent the post seizing in the frame at a later date – a problem you really don’t want.

Fitting the cups for a new headset can seem a bit daunting the first time you do it, the cups must be fitted square and parallel and if you get it wrong, can ruin the frame. It is not difficult and with care and thought can be done, if you are in doubt your local bike shop should fit one for you for around £10, maybe for free if you buy the new headset from them.

If you are doing it yourself you will need a headset press. These are upwards of £30 to buy and unless you are regularly building bikes is not something you use that often. I made my own from bits from the local hardware store for less than £3. It is just a long coach type bolt with some hefty square washers, it does the job just fine.

When fitting the new headset cups, ensure that the headtube is free of excess paint and swarf and then smear both the headset cups and inside the headtube with grease. Fit each cup one at a time using the headset press, checking carefully by eye as you tighten the press to ensure they are going in square. If they are not, stop! Undo the press and start again. Do not be tempted to just tighten away and hope that it will sort itself out – it won’t. just take your time and they should go in nice and easy, I am a bit sad and like to mahe sure that the logos on the top and bottom cups line up.

With the headset neatly fitted it is time to turn our attention to the Crankset. This one is a Shimano Hollowtech II crankset. It requires a special tool to fit it but it is quite easy to fit. Some bike builders recommend that you “face” the frame with a special tool to ensure that the surface where you fit the bottom bracket are perfectly square. On this frame I did not bother, and generally do not, (mainly because the tool to do it is £200) again a local bike shop could do this for around £25 if you want.

Assemble the bottom bracket and crankset as per the manufacturers instructions paying special attention to the tightening instructions, being careful not to overtighten. Also pay attention to the manufacturers instructions regarding the spacers that come with the chainset, this is important to achieve the correct chain line I have fitted a nice set of Crank Bros Eggbeater pedals to finish things off.

From here it is pretty easy, you have done the hard part and it is just a matter of fitting the components as you go. On this build I used a set of forks from the donor bike, but if not it is simple to fit a new set, just be very careful when you cut the steerer tube on the forks, as if you get this too short it is bye bye forks. This is certainly a time to practice the old saying check twice and cut once.

Once you have the steerer tube the right length fit the star fangled washer that comes with the headset and assemble the headset as per the manufacturers instructions, adding spacers to suit your required bar height. iI used a Cane Creek S3 because they are great value and I have one on all my bikes so can interchange spares if need be.

With the stem and bars fitted, it is time to fit the brakes. In this case a set of hydraulics from Shimano. First fit the rotors to the disc specific wheels, using the Torx fittings provided with the brakes, some rotors are uni-directional so pay attention.

Next fit the calipers to the corresponding lugs on the frame and fit the levers, attaching the tubing to the frame using the appropriate frame lugs and zip ties or specialist fittings. Always read the manufacturers instructions and follow them.

Next, pop on the wheels and see if everything spins nicely and nothing is rubbing.

You now need to fit the rear derailleur and front shifter and then shifters for the bars, again I took these from the donor bike. If you are buying new many internet sites offer an entire groupset including chainset, shifters derailleurs etc. It can be cheaper to buy this way.

Fit the chain and again check that everything runs smoothly

The last bit is to run the cables to the front and rear derailleur, this is the mark of a good bike build, there is not much worse than seeing big, loopy cable runs or too tight a run that will not run smoothly in daily use. Think it through and make it tidy.

From there it is just a simple matter of tuning and adjusting the shifting and have a good look around to see that everything works as it should, then you are off for your first cautious test ride.

From here it is pretty easy, you have done the hard part and it is just a matter of fitting the components as you go. On this build I used a set of forks from the donor bike, but if not it is simple to fit a new set, just be very careful when you cut the steerer tube on the forks, as if you get this too short it is bye bye forks. This is certainly a time to practice the old saying check twice and cut once.

Once you have the steerer tube the right length fit the star fangled washer that comes with the headset and assemble the headset as per the manufacturers instructions, adding spacers to suit your required bar height. iI used a Cane Creek S3 because they are great value and I have one on all my bikes so can interchange spares if need be.

With the stem and bars fitted, it is time to fit the brakes. In this case a set of hydraulics from Shimano. First fit the rotors to the disc specific wheels, using the Torx fittings provided with the brakes, some rotors are uni-directional so pay attention.

Next fit the calipers to the corresponding lugs on the frame and fit the levers, attaching the tubing to the frame using the appropriate frame lugs and zip ties or specialist fittings. Always read the manufacturers instructions and follow them.

Next, pop on the wheels and see if everything spins nicely and nothing is rubbing.

You now need to fit the rear derailleur and front shifter and then shifters for the bars, again I took these from the donor bike. If you are buying new many internet sites offer an entire groupset including chainset, shifters derailleurs etc. It can be cheaper to buy this way.

Fit the chain and again check that everything runs smoothly

The last bit is to run the cables to the front and rear derailleur, this is the mark of a good bike build, there is not much worse than seeing big, loopy cable runs or too tight a run that will not run smoothly in daily use. Think it through and make it tidy.

From there it is just a simple matter of tuning and adjusting the shifting and have a good look around to see that everything works as it should, then you are off for your first cautious test ride.


New Revised Monster Bag on Test February 12 2014

                          

We are currently testing a new, revised Monster bag, here is a sneak preview of how it will look. We have changed the bag to accommodate a few innovations in bike design. The first is that we noticed that bikes are becoming ever bigger, especially the width of handlebars so the bag is 50mm longer in the bar and fork area, which means that oversized or wider bars can now be comfortably accommodated. The second significant change is that there are more and more 29ers in use than there were a few years ago. We were regularly being asked for a 29er bag so our new bag will take a 26″ or a 29″ wheeled mountain bike.

The final most noticeable change is to the logo print on the bag which is now in line with the logo on our other best selling bag – the Stealth bag.

We should finish testing this week and if all else goes to plan the new bags will be available early to mid March, watch this space for more details.