Larry Varney co-editor of bentideronline.com and his first time with vincita bags for Brompton.
"Two Bags and a Handle from Vincita"
I discovered Vincita almost by accident. A few months ago, I decided to take my Brompton P6R to Iowa for RAGBRAI. I wanted to get some sort of protective case to carry it in, and to enable me to keep it in my tent without the chance of any mess caused by dirty tires or chain. There were a few options online, some hard cases that would provide lots of protection, but at a price that I really didn’t want to pay. Further Googling brought me to an alternative: the Vincita B132B “soft transport bag”.
The price was right, so I examined the specs, and everything sounded good. While it wouldn’t save the bike from really crushing accidents, it would more than cover the things I wanted it for. I bought it, and also a plastic bag from Ikea that many online had recommended. See, I had planned on placing my clothing alongside the bike in the bag, to help keep it steady and provide even more protection. This plastic bag would keep my clothing clean.
I wish now I had purchased the accessory B206B garment bag – it looks like a great idea. Maybe that will happen someday. As it is, I am very happy with the B132B – the wheels and handle allow me to pull the bike when I don’t feel like carrying the bag, and built-in carrying straps allow me to do that when I’m where the ground isn’t convenient for pulling.
While riding the bike not only on RAGRBRAI but also locally, I use the Brompton T-Bag. It’s a very good bag, as you might expect. I often think of it as being the most “bang for the buck” bag available. The only problem is, someitmes I do not need to carry much stuff with me, so it’s a bit of overkill. I looked at some other bags that Brompton dealers have on their websites, and I was surprised and disheartened to see significantly smaller bags with price tags that weren’t small enough!
That’s when I remembered Vincita again, and decided to check their website to see what they might have. I stumbled across one of their newer products, theB205MB Messenger Bag. With a capacity of 6.1 liters (as opposed to the 31 liters of the T-Bag), I knew I had found what I needed for daily rides. The price, $94.90, was also very attractive. I ordered it, and have been using it for the past couple of months. How do I like it?
First off, I have been very pleased. It is waterproof – the “tarpaulin fabric” lives up to its name. In addition, it has features which make it very nice for daily use. A large main pocket is great for hauling around a small camera bag, as well as some spare tubes and other essentials. A zippered pocket runs along the top flap of the bag, and is great for storing your wallet, keys, cell phone, and anything else you might want to get at in a hurry. There’s a removable shoulder strap included, which makes it very handy for carrying when I’m off the bike. Oh, and of course it works with the front bag mount hardware on the Brompton.
Is it perfect? Well, I do wish it had an external pocket of some kind for holding a water bottle. That’s not a deal-breaker, as I have untilized a removeable bottle cage holder – but still, it would be nice if it were on the bag. But, this is a very minor quibble, and as you might guess, I use this bag often.
While checking out what Vincita does have for the Brompton, one other item caught my eye: the A132 Handgrip. I have seen similar items, usually in very nice-looking leather, but the prices were just too high. Have I mentioned that I’m cheap? Seriously, I’m quite capable of lifting and carrying my P6R without using some expensive handle – but this item, at only $29.90, looked like a good idea.
And it is! One thing I don’t like about lifting my bike without it, is the effect that my sweaty hands might be having on the paint. With this, I have no worries. It attaches to the main frame tube via three very sturdy velcro straps. The handle itself is off-center, so you can vary the positions by how you strap it to the bike. Again, is it perfect?
On my bike, not quite. I suspect that if I had a Brompton that wasn’t quite as heavy in the rear, if I didn’t have the fender and rear rack, things would be fine. Instead, the weight is biased further back than what the handle seems to like – not by much, just a couple of inches. I wish the portion that straps to the bike had a slot in it so that I could move the unit a bit more aft. Still, it’s not off by so much that it’s not usable – it’s just not “perfect” for more butt-heavy bike!
As you might have guessed by now, I like these products from Vincita. They work well, sometimes very well, and any flaws are slight and would not deter me from recommending them to any prospective buyers. Toss in the very low prices, and these items are nearly irresistible. If you’re in the market for a bag to carry your Brompton in, or a medium-sized bag to carry your stuff around while you are riding, and a handle to lift your Brompton into and out of your car, give Vincita a close look. I think you’ll enjoy these products as much as I have.
Larry Varney is a co-editor of the largest online recumbent magazine, BentRider Online (bentrideronline.com)
Visit his personal blog https://larryvarney.wordpress.com/