First Look! New Thule Pack ‘n Pedal Puts Cargo Bags, Panniers & Cases on the Bike
Thule, long known for making things to carry our bikes, is introducing a complete line of packs and bags for carrying things on the bike.
Committed to the concept of combining their history of transporting things with many of their employees’ passion for cycling.
How committed? They’re launching with 20 products in the new Pack ‘n Pedal line now, and more are promised next year.
The line was developed by folks within the company hand picked by CEO Magnus Welander, and you’re seeing these product here before many of their employees…
The move into packs and bags that carry things on the bike began perhaps before they knew it. They bought Case Logic in 2007 and introduced luggage in 2010. That, combined with a fervent cycling culture within the company, was the impetus to create a way to carry stuff on the bike. The side mission was to attach things to the bike in a way that met the needs of active cyclists as well as commuters that are more interested in appearing proper at the office than on the bike.
Rather than start from scratch, they purchased the design IP from Freeload, a New Zealand company that had been making panniers and bike bags but weren’t in a position to scale the arguably brilliant solutions to making on-bike cargo super easy to mount. From there, they added a number of features to make usage simpler. Eighteen months of development later and the Thule Pack ‘n Pedal line got official.
The pannier racks mount using a strap system that spools up a nylon belt to tighten onto the frame. This makes it easy to mount to any frame, but those with carbon forks might want to stick to a rear rack only. That said, each rack includes torque specs for all frame materials, including carbon. This design also let’s you fix it to smaller (BMX?) frames and position the rack where you want it.
The racks can carry up to 50kg, and the pannier bags mount and release with a quick pull rip cord (the blue thing above), and a rare earth magnet holds it flat against the bike. The only downside to the magnet is you shouldn’t put a non-SSD hard drive computer in the bag. Thule’s rep says iPads and similar devices without a spinning hard drive should be fine.
A sheer side pocket on the panniers let’s you put a white or red blinky light in a pocket and turn it on for visibility. They even make an extension kit for those of us with big feet that slide the rear packs further back to improve heel clearance. All pannier bags have hidden backpack straps.
The iPad (yes, iPad) handlebar mount is water resistant, and the front bag has an easy access main panel zippered flap and a top access flap with hard case for sunglasses. This makes access easy when wearing it as a shoulder bag off the bike.
Both pieces connect to a handlebar mount that can support two accessories and uses push-button quick releases. The iPad sleeve fits directly in the front bag, letting you hide the electronics if you’re just running in for coffee.
There’s also a larger top-of-bar pack that holds your phone in view along with anything else that’s about the size of large paperback.
Internal pockets help keep it organized and a magnet holds it shut even if you unzip it. This means it’ll stay shut while you try to zip it up en route rather than flap open in the wind.
Perhaps the best item, although a bit big for performance oriented riders, is the seat bag. The opening uses elastic bands rather than a zipper, so it simply pulls open for quick access.
Inside is an organized tool roll that keeps all your tubes, CO2, gels, tools and other miscellany easily accessible without having to dig through a small pack. In case you’re missing it, the tool wrap is laid out on the back rack.
Pricing starts at around $39 and goes up from there.