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  1. #1
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    Those with roll top frame bags- any regrets?

    I've got a new frame needing a frame bag. I've made two so far, both zippered and ugly but functional. For this particular frame, which I hope will be a long distance foreign tourer, I've been thinking about a roll top.

    Roll tops have long been touted as the solution to broken zippers and are a definite bikepacking favorite. That said, some complain about ease of access and closure speed relative to a zipper. (For my new frame, I don't think this will be an issue as most other items I'd want to easily access would be in my top tube bag or feed bags.)

    So for those of you that have and use roll tops, any regrets about them compared to zippered frame bags? Any features you have or wish you had that you'd like for bikepacking? Width preferences?

    Thanks in advance.

  2. #2
    Jammin' Econo
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    I don't have any regrets with my Rogue Panda rolltop. It's simple, well made, and it holds stuff.

    It may not be quite as quick to open and close, but in general, the things I pack in the main compartment of my frame bag are not things I need to get at during the day, so I'm not getting in and out of it frequently.
    “I dream of a day when my children will live in a world without the shackles of cause and effect.” - S. Colbert


  3. #3
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    As someone who replaced a zipper yesterday, I will never own a zippered frame bag again

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by nowhereyonder View Post
    Roll tops have long been touted as the solution to broken zippers and are a definite bikepacking favorite.

    "Long been touted"? Where -- Huffington Post?

    Of the handful of people I know that have gone all-in on roll-top frame bags, precisely zero of them are happy with that decision. Too clunky to get in and out of.

    Some of these are (impatient) racer types, but only about half, and the rest are take-their-time tourists.

    It's personal preference, clearly, and we all get to make that decision for ourselves.

    The only frame bag zippers I've ever seen die have been due to gross negligence on the part of the zipper operator. That or very, very cheap bags. No surprise either way.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by mikesee View Post
    "Long been touted"? Where -- Huffington Post?
    The Daily Mail. Sorry, "long" is a stretch, as is maybe "definite."

    I'm not particularly interested in racing, but I did note that the recent ITI thread only pictured zippered bags. That genre of cycling favors light and fast verses long term reliability- days and weeks versus years.

    Many of the bikepacking blogosphere of the international variety favor the roll top, the exception being Gypsybytrade, and that's only recently due to Revelate's "Zipstretch" construction using molded zippers.

    User error or harsh conditions, zippers do fail and finding and replacing a #10 YKK in Барскон, Кыргызстан is not something I really want to do. That said, if people do indeed regret roll tops then I'll examine other zipper options, such as Revelate's.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by nowhereyonder View Post
    The Daily Mail. Sorry, "long" is a stretch, as is maybe "definite."

    I'm not particularly interested in racing, but I did note that the recent ITI thread only pictured zippered bags. That genre of cycling favors light and fast verses long term reliability- days and weeks versus years.

    Many of the bikepacking blogosphere of the international variety favor the roll top, the exception being Gypsybytrade, and that's only recently due to Revelate's "Zipstretch" construction using molded zippers.

    User error or harsh conditions, zippers do fail and finding and replacing a #10 YKK in Барскон, Кыргызстан is not something I really want to do. That said, if people do indeed regret roll tops then I'll examine other zipper options, such as Revelate's.

    I will agree that racers are more about what works in this moment and less about what might work in a year. For good reason usually, but the failures that racers see affect them the same as you and I in that they don't want them to happen again.

    I think I have one of the first, if not *the* first Revelate frame bags with the stretchy panel adjoining the zipper. 12+ years old now, with thousands of days of use on at least 5 bikes, both bikepacking and as a commuter. Used also by my racer-minded sweetie, whom tends to grind bikes to dust without hardly trying. The bag, and zipper, are still going strong -- and if you read between the lines that zipper has outlived several bikes.

    I stand by my previous assertions -- that a zipper failure was either a low-budget/low-quality bag to begin with, or it was treated poorly by it's owner.

    I also stand by my statement that we all get to choose and use what makes the most sense to us.

    Cheers,

    MC

  7. #7
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    I've made 3 frame bags so far, and will continue to make my own. From your first post, it seems like you're planning on making your own again. My first two were zippered, my most recent was a roll top.

    I wore out the zipper on my first bag last summer, and finally replaced it a month ago. This is on my commuter, so it sees a lot of use. All I needed to replace was the pull, not the teeth, as one usually sees with gear.

    The most recent bag was a roll top for two reasons: I wanted to make one truly dedicated for bikepacking on my 29er, and I didn't want a zipper. I've had the teeth get gritty on zippers, I've overpacked enough times that I wanted extra volume, and when I'm out on a trip, I don't get into the bag unless I'm stopping, so I went with a roll top. And granted, it's of course totally custom: there's a divider, inside pocket, a zipped flat pocket on the non-drive side, and the straps go the opposite way of PR's roll top.

    I used it on a week long trip last year and it was great. I used it for commuting all winter and it was really good. I'm using it right now for day rides, and it's okay. It's pretty inconvenient to get into when I'm just out for a day ride, and this frame bag is a full frame, so no bottle cages; I'm running my home made feedbags for water. I'll be switching to my 3/4 bag soon for the easy access to a water bottle.

    So I guess what I'm saying is that if you're going to make it, and you've made bags before, make a roll top. It's inexpensive and easier to make than a zipper bag, and if you're not going to add the stretch fabric, it'll live longer. But it won't be a good bag for daily rides like one that's easy to access the contents inside thanks to a zipper.

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  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Smithhammer View Post
    I don't have any regrets with my Rogue Panda rolltop. It's simple, well made, and it holds stuff.

    It may not be quite as quick to open and close, but in general, the things I pack in the main compartment of my frame bag are not things I need to get at during the day, so I'm not getting in and out of it frequently.
    I agree. Love my Rolltop Rogue Panda. Both of my colleagues on the great divide had issues with their zippers. Both had nice bags.

  9. #9
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    No regrets with my Rogue Panda rolltop either. Does it take some extra time to open and close? Yes, like just a few seconds, not a big deal to me.
    2017 Giant Trance 2
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  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by mikesee View Post
    I also stand by my statement that we all get to choose and use what makes the most sense to us.
    I didn't address that part of your response before, but I agree. Your having a zippered bag last as long as it has in the harsh environments you ride is also very encouraging.

    I'm not against zippered bags by any means, but it terms of "what makes sense" to me, less moving parts means fewer chances of failure and complication.

    For the cost involved and the otherwise positive responses in this thread I'm going to try a roll top. If the roll top proves needlessly convoluted, I'll try to replicate Revelate's stretch panels and molded zipper.

    Thanks to everyone for your input thus far!

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by nowhereyonder View Post
    less moving parts means fewer chances of failure and complication.

    I agree, in that I don't want failures any more than anyone else.

    But that line of thinking is a slippery slope, and one that could cause you to make decisions like getting rid of rear suspension, or (ack!) front suspension, or clipless pedals, or dropper posts. Or gears.

    And while I know there is a non-group of bearded ascetics out there that would have you believe the path to enlightenment is found with no suspension, flat pedals, a fixed post, and egregious facial plumage, I've ridden with that group and I'm here to tell you that usually they miss the point by a wide margin. I think their helmets are rattling so violently on their heads that they roll right past it, never knowing it was there to begin with...

    Good luck with your experiment.

  12. #12
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    My brother just got back 5 months ago from touring the world 3 years on his (actually mine) bike. When I asked him how the frame bag I made him worked he said great and that I should look at it. It was completly double coated with duct tape. The zipper that broke 4 months in was extended with sewn on material and rolled, held closed with huge safety pins. Pretty? No. Waterproof? Probably not. Worked? Mostly.

    He went through 3 bike frames, many many parts, all bags/racks failed, except for the frame bag I made and he fixed. 3 years and getting around the globe about 1 3/4 times is a lot of extreme testing on stuff. But if you want ultimate durability go roll top. If weight is an issue, go zipper and use lubricant on a quality zipper. I use chapstick cause it's cheap at the dollar store.

  13. #13
    Jammin' Econo
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    Quote Originally Posted by mikesee View Post
    ...But that line of thinking is a slippery slope, and one that could cause you to make decisions like getting rid of rear suspension, or (ack!) front suspension, or clipless pedals, or dropper posts. Or gears.
    Or not.

    In any event, as long as they are having fun, and not being sanctimonious d-bags, I could care less about other's gear choices. Wanna ride a rigid singlespeed with flat pedals? Great! Wanna ride a fully suspended fat bike? Awesome!

    The OP is looking for people to share their experiences with rolltop framebags, good or bad, which is great. But extrapolating the choice to use a rolltop to a whole host of other assumptions is just about as silly as the endless debating about a number of the other preferential gear choices you mention. Use what you like. And if you find out it doesn't work for you, then try something else. It's just bikes.
    “I dream of a day when my children will live in a world without the shackles of cause and effect.” - S. Colbert


  14. #14
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    The zippers in my DIY bags hold up well.
    Help chart the mountains at www.appalachianbiketrails.org

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    I ride a rigid SS without a dropper but I'm still using clipless pedals. I had something to relevant to say but the zipper holding my mouth shut is broken and won't open so...

    Keep thinking the zipper on my 3 year old Revelate bag, which sees primarily sandy conditions, will go but some chapstick seems to be keeping it good. Thought about roll-top but so far so good with the zipper. My bag stays on for day rides and I often access it while riding.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by Smithhammer View Post
    But extrapolating the choice to use a rolltop to a whole host of other assumptions is just about as silly as the endless debating about a number of the other preferential gear choices you mention. Use what you like. And if you find out it doesn't work for you, then try something else. It's just bikes.
    It's silly, until it isn't. I know a handful of people that have gone down that road -- a long ways.

    And while they still get out and ride their bikes on occasion, they don't seem to enjoy it like they used to. Nothing wrong with that, except that in most cases it was their one "fun" outlet, and now they have (seemingly?) none.

    I believe I've stated the same about 'use what you like', albeit with different wording, right here in this thread.

    Just trying to play devils advocate.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by mikesee View Post
    It's silly, until it isn't. I know a handful of people that have gone down that road -- a long ways.

    And while they still get out and ride their bikes on occasion, they don't seem to enjoy it like they used to. Nothing wrong with that, except that in most cases it was their one "fun" outlet, and now they have (seemingly?) none.

    I believe I've stated the same about 'use what you like', albeit with different wording, right here in this thread.

    Just trying to play devils advocate.
    Sounds like those folks were on their way out anyway. Grasping at straws to make it fun with the SS routine when really they wanted to stop riding. Maybe? Some people like the idea of biking more than the practice.

    That is what me and my beard think anyway.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by Matterhorn View Post
    Sounds like those folks were on their way out anyway. Grasping at straws to make it fun with the SS routine when really they wanted to stop riding. Maybe? Some people like the idea of biking more than the practice.

    That is what me and my beard think anyway.

    Not even close. They were just trying to simplify, and one thing led to another. Seems like they determined it was a one-way street. I'd add that it was a dead end.

    One of them has a Surly 1 x 1 with 26" wheels, full rigid. The other is on a Rivendell something or other. Both are just grumpy about bikes, and riding, and riders, with no enjoyment derived from any of it. Almost like it became their job?!

    I do not purport that this is common, just that it can, and has, and will continue to happen. Merely a cautionary tale. One of them did, at one point, use a roll-top frame bag -- which is one reason that this thread caught my eye.

  19. #19
    Jammin' Econo
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    Well, let that be a lesson to anyone considering a rolltop framebag - they can be a gateway drug leading to despair, ennui and perpetual grumpiness.

    “I dream of a day when my children will live in a world without the shackles of cause and effect.” - S. Colbert


  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by mikesee View Post
    Not even close. They were just trying to simplify, and one thing led to another. Seems like they determined it was a one-way street. I'd add that it was a dead end.

    One of them has a Surly 1 x 1 with 26" wheels, full rigid. The other is on a Rivendell something or other. Both are just grumpy about bikes, and riding, and riders, with no enjoyment derived from any of it. Almost like it became their job?!

    I do not purport that this is common, just that it can, and has, and will continue to happen. Merely a cautionary tale. One of them did, at one point, use a roll-top frame bag -- which is one reason that this thread caught my eye.
    I feel confident that those people are just grumpy and didn't really want to keep riding. At best what they did was very silly, forcing yourself out of biking in the name of simplicity is nonsense. Do they hike? Still sounds like they worked an excuse not ride into their riding style.

    Not picking on you mikesee, just not buying that bogus story. I'll add that I see nothing wrong with quitting a favorite hobby.

    Finally I don't think slippery slope arguments work as well when each person can effectively do whatever they please. The slippery slope is your mind man!

  21. #21
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    My apologies for going off-topic. Really do want to hear from you roll toppers. Sorry mates.

  22. #22
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    I want a roll top because my zipper aggravates me. However I am going to try the chap stick trick this weekend. I have already bought too many new bags lately. The roll top will have to wait, probably until the zipper fails or I get a new bike. (Mmmm new bike.) Thx for the tip on the chapstick.

    Sent from my SM-G935V using Tapatalk

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by mikesee View Post
    But that line of thinking is a slippery slope, and one that could cause you to make decisions like getting rid of rear suspension, or (ack!) front suspension, or clipless pedals, or dropper posts. Or gears.
    I tend to somewhat agree with what the ascetics espouse by shirking over complication and maintenance-heavy components. However it's also a case of ignorance-is-bliss: I've never ridden clipless pedals, dual suspension, a dropper post or had a suspended fork worth remembering.

    It's only recent that I've moved up from roller cam brakes and Biopace. Now I've got indexed shifters and 27tpi Knards.

    It can only get better from here....

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by OilcanRacer View Post
    My brother just got back 5 months ago from touring the world 3 years on his (actually mine) bike. When I asked him how the frame bag I made him worked he said great and that I should look at it. It was completly double coated with duct tape. The zipper that broke 4 months in was extended with sewn on material and rolled, held closed with huge safety pins. Pretty? No. Waterproof? Probably not. Worked? Mostly.

    He went through 3 bike frames, many many parts, all bags/racks failed, except for the frame bag I made and he fixed. 3 years and getting around the globe about 1 3/4 times is a lot of extreme testing on stuff. But if you want ultimate durability go roll top. If weight is an issue, go zipper and use lubricant on a quality zipper. I use chapstick cause it's cheap at the dollar store.
    Any report on your brother's travels on the interwebs?

    I've heard of using candle wax to lube zippers, but chapstick's a great idea.

  25. #25
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    dyer cloths work good for a zipper lubricant. A seamstress taught me that one.

  26. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by mikesee View Post
    I do not purport that this is common, just that it can, and has, and will continue to happen. Merely a cautionary tale. One of them did, at one point, use a roll-top frame bag -- which is one reason that this thread caught my eye.
    I love this.

    We met a group of similar cyclists on the GDMBR. They were as mystified by us as we were by them. In the end, they were quite nice and seemed passionate about cycling, though I questioned the wisdom of riding through rural canada with cotton shoes or leather cowboy boots. And in the end, I was the clean cut one with a beard and a rolltop bag.

    I only met one true grump on the trail. I asked if he would like to ride together, and he cursed at me, told me he had "seen my type before", and then told me to move my ass on down the road. We crossed paths multiple other times in the middle of nowhere, and not a word was exchanged. I had bad dreams about him at night. I can say that his presence truly affected my experience on the GDR. I cannot recall if he had a rolltop bag, though...lol. I could, however, recognize his tracks from miles back with their characteristic side to side steering in rhythm with a cadence of 40.

    Back on topic: the only time I wished for zippered bag was when I was trying to fit two 3L bladders in my frame bag for the great basin. Other then that, I liked it.

  27. #27
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    Clear dish soap works as well, but I am going to try a dryer cloth. I have a lot of trouble with sticky, gritty, zippers in the windy Four Corners terrain. Next one will be a roll top.
    I ride with the best dogs.




  28. #28
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    Clear dish soap, chapstick, will this work on my tent zipper as well?Ώ

    The guy up in Alaska makes nice bags, as do the other guys. If you want to pay $150 for a top quality bag, you can. They know things about sewing. If you want to pay $15 for a yard of fabric, and sew your own bag, roll top is the way to go. The guy that makes bags for a living knows things about zippers. I just bought the one they had at the store. It,(the zipper,) did not last a long time. I mistakenly thought a metal zipper would be strong.

    My zipper bag did not last more than a couple of years. My roll top bag lasts and lasts. The cordura will wear through before the velcro strap fails. I undo 3 velcro straps to open my roll top bag. It takes about 1 second. The way I make them, both sides of the bag roll over the top tube, and velcro to the side of the bag. I like looking straight down into the bag, rather than bending over to look throuogh a zippered hole.

    If you are not a good seamstress, roll top is so much eaiser to make.

    I have a dropper post, rigid and suspension forks, and flat pedals.
    I want rear suspension, but would rather spend my money on airfare to Antioquia, where mi novia is young and beautiful.
    Last edited by chrisx; 04-16-2017 at 11:27 AM.

  29. #29
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    I have not used a roll-closure framebag, but I am prone to over stuffing the framebag, and the zipper is unquestionably the weak link.

    I have the latest/greatest 'stretchy-zipper' design and it's convinced me my next framebag will be a roll-closure.

  30. #30
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    Those with roll top frame bags- any regrets?-imagen009.jpg

    Back in 2008, or was it 7. I got the idea to make a frame bag from an old 1940s bicycle perched high on the wall of Second Ascent. There was a leather frame bag attached to the old bike. It looked like a briefcase, sort of. So I sat around and thought about it for a while. No one to copy from back then, I had to come up with my own design. I figured out that zippers are not made to support weight. I made the bag to hold two, 2.5 liter water bottles. "Necessity is the mother of invention." What if the zipper failed down in Baja and I could not carry enough water. There are roads that have not seen a car in 20 years.

    In the last couple of years, roll tops and + tires have become popular. I expect the guy in Alaska makes a much better roll top bag than I do. If you make your own gear. A bag like this one is much simpler and eaiser to make. They last longer not a guess
    Last edited by chrisx; 04-16-2017 at 01:29 PM.

  31. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by nowhereyonder View Post
    I've got a new frame needing a frame bag. I've made two so far, both zippered and ugly but functional. For this particular frame, which I hope will be a long distance foreign tourer, I've been thinking about a roll top.

    Roll tops have long been touted as the solution to broken zippers and are a definite bikepacking favorite. That said, some complain about ease of access and closure speed relative to a zipper. (For my new frame, I don't think this will be an issue as most other items I'd want to easily access would be in my top tube bag or feed bags.)

    So for those of you that have and use roll tops, any regrets about them compared to zippered frame bags? Any features you have or wish you had that you'd like for bikepacking? Width preferences?

    Thanks in advance.
    Have you had any frame bag zippers break on you? The zipperless frame bags seem to me to be pretty awkward and hard to get stuff out of, which seems to defeat the purpose of having one but I haven't had any zippers break on any of my bags.

  32. #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by spruceboy View Post
    Have you had any frame bag zippers break on you? The zipperless frame bags seem to me to be pretty awkward and hard to get stuff out of, which seems to defeat the purpose of having one but I haven't had any zippers break on any of my bags.


    The two zipper free frame bags I made ended up in the trash can with broken zippers. Am I expected to have esoteric knowledge about zippers? The old roll top still works.
    }Awkward? I am unable to figure out what you are talking about.
    Those with roll top frame bags- any regrets?-imagen011.jpg
    The opening is the full length of the bag. Would you prefer to take things out of the top of a grocery bag, or remove things from the side of a grocery bag, from a smaller opening? I would rather stand up straight, and look down into a bag. Apparently some people like to bend over and look in through the side of a bag. Roll top is accessible from either side of the bike equally as well. The zipper bag works better from only one side of the bike.

    Zipper bags are like clipless pedals. I tried them because of peer pressure. Only to discover something else is what I prefer. Stylish, no. If looks are important, go with a zipper bag made by a professional. it is not just a penguin on your shirt, it is a well made bag. It is good to look good. If you travel to remote areas as I do, wear sensible shoes. Get of your bicycle and walk around.

  33. #33
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    Quote Originally Posted by chrisx View Post

    The two zipper free frame bags I made ended up in the trash can with broken zippers. Am I expected to have esoteric knowledge about zippers? The old roll top still works.
    }Awkward? I am unable to figure out what you are talking about.
    Click image for larger version. 

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    The opening is the full length of the bag. Would you prefer to take things out of the top of a grocery bag, or remove things from the side of a grocery bag, from a smaller opening? I would rather stand up straight, and look down into a bag. Apparently some people like to bend over and look in through the side of a bag. Roll top is accessible from either side of the bike equally as well. The zipper bag works better from only one side of the bike.

    Zipper bags are like clipless pedals. I tried them because of peer pressure. Only to discover something else is what I prefer. Stylish, no. If looks are important, go with a zipper bag made by a professional. it is not just a penguin on your shirt, it is a well made bag. It is good to look good. If you travel to remote areas as I do, wear sensible shoes. Get of your bicycle and walk around.
    I have never used a zipperless bag, so perhaps you are right - maybe they are easy to get stuff in and out of. How does it close up?

    The giant zippers folks are using on bike frame bags seem pretty tough, baring tons of mud it is hard to imagine them failing a lot, but I guess it could happen. My first frame bag is still going strong, having outlasted two frames.

  34. #34
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    Quote Originally Posted by chrisx View Post
    Click image for larger version. 

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    Both sides go over the top tube. The right side has velcro on the side of the bag. The left side goes over the top and backdown to velcro to the right side. You grab it with both hands and pull up, takes 1 second.

    If you pull up on the right side of the bag, too hard, you could cause the bag to shift to the left a little. Perhaps zippers are for people who cannot regulate the amount of force they use when pulling up on both sides of a bag.

  35. #35
    saddlemeat
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    Quote Originally Posted by spruceboy View Post
    I have never used a zipperless bag, so perhaps you are right - maybe they are easy to get stuff in and out of. How does it close up?

    The giant zippers folks are using on bike frame bags seem pretty tough, baring tons of mud it is hard to imagine them failing a lot, but I guess it could happen. My first frame bag is still going strong, having outlasted two frames.
    The giant zipper on my RP framebag gives me the most trouble, it seems to be more vulnerable to dust and grit. The smaller zippers work smoother, but all it takes is a good dust storm to clog them all.
    I ride with the best dogs.




  36. #36
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dogdude222 View Post
    I only met one true grump on the trail. I asked if he would like to ride together, and he cursed at me, told me he had "seen my type before", and then told me to move my ass on down the road. We crossed paths multiple other times in the middle of nowhere, and not a word was exchanged. I had bad dreams about him at night. I can say that his presence truly affected my experience on the GDR. I cannot recall if he had a rolltop bag, though...lol. I could, however, recognize his tracks from miles back with their characteristic side to side steering in rhythm with a cadence of 40.
    LOL – thanks for making my day, Ddude. You win the thread!

  37. #37
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    I have to say that as a bag maker, I really like making rolltop bags. It's just nice to know when you ship a bag out that it's going to last a very long time. I don't know how long exactly but I would guess a couple decades at minimum.

    That said, zippered bags can last a while too. I have a backpack with #10 zips that is in its 12th year and just starting to go. On the other hand, I have some zip-less panniers from my grandfather that I still use on a commuter and they're at minimum FORTY years old, maybe more. I've had to replace the buckles and drawstring and reinforce a bit of the stitching but other than that they're doing ok.

    While we're on the subject of zips, I've been meaning to get some spray-on PTFE lubricant and test that on my own zippers. Next hardware store trip I'll get some. I've heard good things, but I also heard good things about graphite and wax and I don't like either of them for zips. So hard to tell without trying it. If it works well we will probably preventatively apply it to all framebags before they ship out.
    Nick Smolinske - Owner/Operator at Rogue Panda Designs
    www.roguepanda.com

  38. #38
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    So everyone who has a SS, rigid bike, flat pedals, no dropper, beard and roll top bags are just an unhappy lot??
    Let me see, I used to ride SS on a rigid bike with no dropper and I had the time of my life. I guess the fact that I skipped the beard and flat pedals were the missing links to me being unhappy!
    But all of my bikes have flat pedals now cause I tired of clipless and it just plain works better for me. Dropper post on only one bike, one rigid (albeit with a thudbuster) and none of the three with full suspension. Perhaps it is the beard that makes people unhappy??
    But getting back to zippers. I have had good quality products with good quality zippers fail on me. One of them was on a Revelate gas tank and their lifetime warranty doesn't cover zippers for some "strange" reason.
    But go ahead and take your chances on making a roll top bag and perhaps the resulting unhappiness that might ensue!

  39. #39
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    Just to follow up, I decided to take some design elements from Rogue Panda and Porcelain Rocket. Zippered side pocket allows for stashing small stuff while the straps that wrap over the top tube pull up the bag on each side so the bag is symmetrically supported.

    Sorry for the empty pictures- there's still some final details to finish. I stuffed it absolutely full and took it around our local trails. It is quite fidgety to access, but it's very secure and it feels more cavernous than previous bags I've made since it doesn't mind being over stuffed. So far so good! Thanks to everyone for their input and to Rogue Panda and Porcelain Rocket for inadvertently lending their brilliant designs.

    Those with roll top frame bags- any regrets?-060e866e-2516-47cc-8278-ff25a086aed5.jpg

    Those with roll top frame bags- any regrets?-09bc4838-7b4a-40ed-aa0a-a3f4d712a777.jpg

  40. #40
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    Nice work! Interesting to see the "Frankenbag" combining my style with PR's.
    Nick Smolinske - Owner/Operator at Rogue Panda Designs
    www.roguepanda.com

  41. #41
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    Quote Originally Posted by nowhereyonder View Post
    That said, some complain about ease of access and closure speed relative to a zipper. (For my new frame, I don't think this will be an issue as most other items I'd want to easily access would be in my top tube bag or feed bags.)

    So for those of you that have and use roll tops, any regrets about them compared to zippered frame bags? Any features you have or wish you had that you'd like for bikepacking? Width preferences?

    Thanks in advance.

    I built myself a rolltop bag a few months ago, and like it. A bit easier to load, quite a bit easier to build. I put a full length zippered stash pocket on the drive side which for me solves the one downside of slower access into the bag.

  42. #42
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    Quote Originally Posted by NickSmolinske View Post
    Nice work! Interesting to see the "Frankenbag" combining my style with PR's.
    Thanks, Nick! For the cost of materials, the complexity and time it took reverse engineering other bags from pictures, I think I could have had a (nicer) bag made by you.

  43. #43
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    “I dream of a day when my children will live in a world without the shackles of cause and effect.” - S. Colbert


  44. #44
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    Slow to reply I know but I have been out riding. No regrets on the roll top. I needed a new frame bag and thought I would try something new and different. The best reason for the roll top verses the zipper is the ability when needed to over stuff with water like I did more than once on my recent Arizona Trail adventure. Yes, it takes at least an extra 2 or 3 seconds to open and close once per day when I fill up with water but I didn't let that ruin my tour.
    Those with roll top frame bags- any regrets?-img_1938.jpg]

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