Saturday, August 22, 2009

Bike Burrito: A Better, Beautiful Bike Blowout Bag?

Since the recent single speed/fixie conversion of the Schwinn Le Tour II, I've been trying to keep the overall style at a simple, minimalistic level. One simplification was in achieved in replacing the original brake levers with newer, aero style brake levers with under-the-bar-tape cabling, resulting in a really clean handlebar. A beefy, silver single speed chain now accentuates the simple transmission of energy from front chainring to rear cog,

The purpose of the single speed Schwinn is to have a comfortable, simple, fun bike for tooling around Omaha, be it commuting to work or visiting the local restaurants or pubs and coffee shops. I don't plan on any epic adventures on this bike, but you never know. One must, in my opinion, when traveling more than a mile or two from home without a backpack or messenger bag is a "blowout bag." Typically a blowout bag is a saddle bag with a tube, pump or CO2 cartridge, tire levers, and necessary tools for fixing a flat on the go.

Most saddle bags these days are made of nylon or sometimes recycled rubber tubes, but for the Schwinn, I wanted to try something a little different. Here we come to the topic of this post; the Bike Burrito.

The Bike Burrito is an artisan made cloth tool roll. It's essentially an apron of cloth with pockets on the inside that can be stuffed with tools and a tube, rolled up, and secured underneath the seat on the rails of a saddle with a leather strap. You could think of it as an old timey looking seat bag.

I visited the Bike Burrito shop and placed a custom order. I wanted colors to match my bike (namely, red, black and white), but since I didn't see anything in their shop, I placed a custom order, asking the artisan to use their own judgment. I supplied a photo of my bike and trusted their artistic eye to match a suitable pattern.

A couple of weeks later, my Bike Burrito arrived. I found the packaging so cute that I photographed it, almost like one might document a new product "unboxing" event. The first thing I noticed was that the burrito was wrapped like a, well, a burrito, in aluminum foil. Inside the envelope was also a little Bike Burrito pin, a tiny bottle of Tabasco sauce, and a card showing the proper way to secure the roll under the saddle.

I put an extra tube in the big pocket, a set of wrenches (13mm, 14mm, and 15mm), a multi tool, and a mini pump in the other pockets, rolled it up, and tied it under my seat. I haven't ridden the bike with the burrito yet, but I noticed that the wrenches clang against each other if I bounce the bike around. To solve this, I rolled the wrenches in a rag before stuffing into the pocket. This seems to help, and also provides a way to wipe my hands, should they get soiled during a repair job.

I will post comments later after riding with the Bike Burrito for a week or so. I'll know better then about how well it rides along tucked under the seat.

Thanks to Jayme for the custom order. The Bike Burrito looks great on my bike.

The photos below show the Bike Burrito in detail.

It's a burrito, wrapped in foil.

I was pleased with the red and black tartan print.

Burritos should come with hot sauce!

The right tools and supplies for fixing a flat. I rolled the wrenches in a rag later to help avoid clinking and clanging.

My custom Bike Burrito installed on the bike. This would look so much cooler under a Brooks saddle.


Jayme Lynn said...

Wow, thank you so much for the review! I'm honored. =)

Scott Redd said...

Thank you for the fine product. Once I get the bike powder coated and accessorized the way I want, I'll send you a nice photo for your gallery.

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