Just recently Brooks England presented the new series of Scape Travel Bags, the article can be found here. These bags also include two models for the rack, Scape Small Pannier and Scape Large Pannier. Brooks has provided the latter model for a check — so this is a great opportunity to have a detailed look at the new model!
One of the great strengths of Brooks is undoubtedly the design — almost all parts convince with a timeless look, great feel and tasteful colors. The new Scape series is no exception, and so the tested bike bag in a very dark green mud, combined with black and silver accents, knows how to please at first sight.
The nylon material reminds in its surface texture of canvas, and is quite thin and lightweight — the whole bag weighs only 760 grams. Nevertheless the material makes a very durable impression. In addition, the bag is IPX4 certified and offers, also thanks to the welded seams, protection against splash water. So nothing stands in the way of use in the rain.
Attachment on the rack
Certainly one of the most important features of a bicycle bag is the possibility to attach it to the rack. To test this, this was tested on the racks of the now quite common Wingee mudguards — and the bag was easily and securely fastened here.
There are two hooks at the top that can be attached to the rack very easily and hold it firmly in place thanks to the click-fix mechanism. The position and distance between the two hooks can be adjusted on an approximately 23 cm long aluminum rail and permanently fixed with screws. To prevent the bag from wobbling in the lower area, there is a plastic hook. This hook can also be adjusted horizontally in its position on a 20 cm long rail and is then hooked onto the strut of the rack. All in all a stable way to fix the bag securely to the bike and to be able to remove it easily.
Handling of the bike bag
The Scape bicycle bag is a roll-top model — i.e. a bag that opens to the top in full width and can also be flexibly adjusted to the size of the contents. It is closed by turning the opening at least once and then fixing it with two hooks on the left and right.
This is quite easy and quick to do and holds well if you adjust the straps of the hooks to the right length. But then the ends of the straps should be rolled up and fastened with Velcro tape so that they do not get into the rear wheel while riding. This is also easy to do in principle, but takes some time. As long as you don’t adjust the position of the straps every time you use them, this shouldn’t be a problem in everyday life.
The inside of the bag is unspectacular: there is nothing to see here except a solid plate on the back, which gives the bag the necessary stability towards the rack. With a volume of 18 to 22 liters, the loading options are pleasantly large; here, as an example, the bag was filled with a shoebox and a water bottle, but there was still a lot of storage space left to the top. For small stuff there is a small storage compartment with a zipper on the front, which is protected by a flap from above. The storage space can be extended with additional (small) pockets from the Scape series, which can be attached to the side.
As maximum load weight Brooks indicates 9 kg, which might be quite sufficient in the everyday life. So for example, only 8 kg per side may be attached to the luggage holders of the Wingee mudguards anyway. If you have loaded the bag heavily and want to remove it from the bike, you will notice a shortcoming: There is only a very thin cord to hold the bag — with the corresponding weight the bag is then uncomfortable to hold. A wider and therefore more comfortable carrying strap would have been desirable here.
In the test the latest model from Brooks made a good impression. The design and materials are convincing, the handling is good. Once basic adjustments have been made, the bag can be quickly and easily attached to the bike and removed just as simply. In the tested combination with the Wingee rack, the bicycle bag had a stable hold without rattling or wobbling while riding.
When it comes to storage space, the Large model tested here offers a pleasantly large amount of space, which can be used flexibly thanks to the roll-top construction. The only thing that would be desirable would be a wider carrying strap and maybe even a wider range of colors — although the current color scheme also harmonizes quite perfectly with the Cannondale shooting-model.
The retail price of the Scape Large Pannier is 120 euros and can be ordered directly from Brooks’ website, where you will also find further information and an overview of all products in the Scape series.