Saying goodbye to my saddle bag: enter the Sticky Pod.
In late June I published an article titled “What I carry on road rides“. In that article I discussed not only what I carry on road rides, but how I carry all of that stuff around.
Up until late last week I’ve always used an under-the-saddle bag to carry a large portion of my emergency gear. I’m not a big fan of saddle bags but, as I stated in the article, I’ve always felt that they are the most practical choice for carrying seldom-used emergency gear on my training rides (I very much like the Topeak Micro which, as saddle bags go, is about as clean and aesthetic as you’ll find).
All that changed last week when I was turned on to an alternative product, the Sticky Pod.
The Sticky Pod is available in two sizes: Small (6″x5″) and Large (10″x5″). I went with the “Large” size so that I could store my Lezyne Pressure Drive Hand Pump in it (one less thing bouncing around in my jersey pocket). The Large bag actually has elastic bands to accommodate and secure the micro-pump, which I appreciated.
I decided to load the Sticky Pod up with all the gear and supplies I would take on a typical long, solo training ride. I don’t carry all of this stuff with me on every ride, but I wanted to see how the bag felt fully loaded.
So, here’s a picture of my fully loaded Sticky Pod, followed by a complete parts list with links. Click image to enlarge:
- Topeak Mini 9-Function Bicycle Multitool
- 700×18-23 (27×1) 80mm PRESTA Valve Tube
- Tire Lever
- 60mm Valve Extender (with core tool)
- Spoke wrench
- Spare Derailleur Hanger
- Micro CO2 Inflator
- 16g Threaded CO2 Cartridge
- Glueless Patches
- KMC Missing Link (10 Speed)
- Ziploc Sandwich Bag
- Lezyne Pressure Drive Hand Pump
- Zeiss Pre-Moistened Lens Cloths
- Germ-x Antibacterial Soft Wipes
- Sportlegs Capsules
- Duct Tape (Small strip)
- Microfiber Cleaning Cloth
- House key
That’s everything I used to carry in my Topeak Micro, plus some other stuff that I kept in my jersey pockets. The total weight of the bag with everything listed above is 550 grams (1.21 pounds).
The large Sticky Pod is very thoughtfully designed. There are a total of four pockets: 2 zippered mesh pockets, 1 open mesh pocket and 1 zippered “closed” pocket. Also, as mentioned above, there are elastic bands used to store a micro-pump. Three of the four sides of the Sticky Pod are zippered, so the Pod can be fully opened (as seen in the above picture) for easy access to all your stuff.
The outside of the Sticky Pod is made from, I believe, neoprene. The back of the Sticky Pod has small bumps on it, which are designed to keep it secure in your jersey pocket. I don’t think the Sticky Pod is fully water-proof, but it’s certainly water-resistant: I have finished all my rides with it drenched in sweat, and the interior remained dry.
I almost never even gave this product a try. When I got my Sticky Pod late last week and loaded up all my gear, I put it in my center jersey pocket and thought, “Forget this! All that stuff in one spot is too heavy. I’m staying with my saddle bag.”
So my first impression was not great. Still, I figured that since I bought it I should at least give the thing a shot, and so I set off on a ride. When I first started riding I was certainly aware that the Sticky Pod was back there, but I quickly forgot about it. When I finished the ride I decided that the jury was still out.
I carried the fully loaded Sticky Pod on Saturday morning’s fast ~100 kilometer group ride in the heat. I completely forgot that the Sticky Pod was back there, and it didn’t affect the quality or comfort of my ride in any way.
What I did notice is that my bike looked very clean and sharp without its former… appendage.
I wear very tight race-cut jerseys, and so the Sticky Pod was held close to my body and didn’t bounce around at all. I can’t speak to how the Sticky Pod feels in a loose-fitting jersey, but I could see where bouncing and pulling might be a potential problem.
I rode again yesterday with the Sticky Pod, and that solidified my opinion: no more saddle bags for me–this product is a winner!