The Gravel stereotype is of a drop bar bike loaded to the hilt with enough bags to rival the luggage capacity of your average Volvo estate. Truth is, we don’t all need to be hauling cargo and a simple saddle bag for the essentials is all thats needed for most rides.
But with most saddle bags designed for the roadie market, sizing is an issue. Finding one with the capacity for gravel sized tubes, tools and the essential snacks, can be a struggle. Luckily, Arundel Bicycle Company are on our wavelength.
Arundel Gordo – a bag for Gravel
This Arundel Gordo is the largest of the brands water resistant saddle bags with a 43 cubic inch carrying capacity. It is made from a nylon fabric impregnated with thermoplastic polyurethane and the seams are all sonic welded. Even the zipper is a waterproof design with a small garage to tuck it out of harms way. The bag attaches to the saddle rails with a wide 1 ½” Velcro strap and metal hoop – simple and durable.
Attaching the Arundel Gordo to the saddle is quick and easy. The Velcro strap is long enough to ensure that you can cinch it up tight enough to compress the bag enough to prevent any waggle. Even loaded with two large innertubes and various tools, it never came detached or loose while riding.
As with nearly all saddle bags, it’s sensible to stick some electrical tape or similar on your seatpost where the bag makes contact. Mud and vibration will quickly spoil your post otherwise. The Gordo fits snuggly against the various seatposts we tested it on, the material of the bag easily moulds itself to the shape of the post.
Compared to many saddle bag designs, the Arundel Gordo looks a little different. For a start it mounts sideways under the saddle and I questioned if I had fitted it wrong! The all black plastic design looks more like a CD wallet than a saddle bag, but it is certainly tough and durable. One nice feature is the reflective zip, which adds a bit more visibility on the road. It’s a shame they didn’t think to add some more reflective features to the sides of the pack and break up the void of blackness.
I’ve had plenty of puddles and soaking wet trails to test the water resistant claims of the Arundel Gordo. Even in a torrential downpour and road spray soaking the bag, the contents remained perfectly dry. Another benefit of the material the Gordo is made from is that it’s easy to wipe clean. While fabric bags absorb mud and discolour, this bag still looks as good as new.
For the size and quality of the bag, the Gordo represents good value at £32. You’ll struggle to find a similar sized bag from the kings of durable and waterproof, Ortlieb at this price. In fact, the Gordo sits alone in this category and price point.
Overall, the Gordo is a well made, waterproof and hardwearing bag that shuns gimmicks for simplicity. It’s a bag for life – but you might struggle to fit your weekly shop into it.
Arundel bike products are distributed in the UK by Lyon Cycle. Visit their website to find your nearest dealer.
Last modified: 15th December 2019