At the Icebike trade show in the UK today Shimano unveiled a completely new product line to the world in biking bags and we were there to prod and feel them for the first time. With four core models to the range it encompasses commuter and mountain biking options and all models were extremely light and yet seemed quite rugged. First up is the star of the show the Unzen mountain bike bag.
With a unique strap system results in a fantastic ergonomic form fitting pack that hugs your body but without constricting at the shoulders or arms. Having tested lots and lots of different bags the fit on this is very different. Initially you are reaching to tighten the straps but positioned properly it fits really well across a wide ark around your body. The ACCU3D Series (Accurate 3D Technology) is precision-engineered to fit the natural riding position and is combined with the Rider Fit Cross Harness system allows air flow around the back through channels in the padding. How it will work on the trail is too early to say but our high tech on site test (jumping up and down) worked well.
The pack has a number of other innovative features too. Stretchable side pockets, loop zipper pulls, armour storage straps, light loop, stretchable body, easy side access. There are three sizes available (6L, 10L, 15L in three color ways) and two different Hydrapak bladder options – 2 or 3 litre.
Pricing in GB pounds range from £74.99 to £99.99 depending on volume and reservoir size.
The ROKKO daypack is similar to it’s big brother the Unzen and is designed as the ‘ultimate all-rounder’. Able to handle weekend rides in the hills as well as weekday jaunts in the city. This 12l daypack is hydration system ready and Shimano branded reservoirs will be separately available, meaning you can slot in a camelbak if you so desire… Pricing in GB pounds is £49.99.
The TSUKINIST collection – a blend of tsukin (Japanese for commuting) and cyclist- is designed to meet the bicycle commuter’s specific needs. These spacious bags (20l and 30l) with a breathable back panel are packed with smart features such as a separate padded laptop section, a Smartphone pocket (that is big enough for an actual smartphone) on the shoulder strap and a bright colored rain cover which stores away neatly in a pocket. The 20L version is GB£79.99 with the 30L version coming in at £89.99.
The OSAKA messenger bag is a classic over the shoulder courier bag, named after the metropolis that Shimano calls home, Osaka. The 25l (GB£79.99) and 35l (£89.99) messenger bags provide a streamlined and stable fit and feature a unique quick adjust system, a deluxe organizer panel and a padded laptop compartment.
We were particularly taken with the Unzen and the Tsukinist (30L) bags, both of which are really good for their application. Expect a full review in the Autumn.
First availability is planned for October 2012.