Unsurprisingly, we are sent a lot of bags. Whereas most are ‘just another bag’, occasionally we receive something special. In this case it was the Miss Grape Internode.
The Internode is a premium quality frame bag. With sizes ranging between 3 to 5.5 litres to suit a variety of frame sizes.
Michele Boschetti created the Miss Grape brand in 2014. Like many entrepreneurs, he was inspired to create something he needed, that no one else was making at the time. Starting with a blank sheet, meant he could design something that worked rather than having to tinker with an existing design. This combination of creative freedom and ‘invention through necessity’ is obvious once you start inspecting the Internode.
The last of the swingers!
‘Bag swing’ is the bane of many bike packer’s lives. No sooner have you set off than your bags start to imitate a pendulum. It is more than annoying, it’s infuriating.
Bag swing can be effectively eliminated by the simple expedient of adding straps. There’s plenty of scope to add straps to a frame bag, but so many manufacturers simply specify the fewest they can get away with. Michele Boschetti obviously hates swinging bags too. His solution was simple and effective – add more straps! The Internode has no fewer than seven.
The leading edge section features two straps so that you can secure the bag to the down tube. The remaining four attach to the top tube. The pendulum effect is thereby eliminated in one, deft move. Such a simple solution. Quite how this has eluded other manufacturers is a mystery.
The nylon material features a polyurethane coating so the bag is water repellant. The single, full length, zipper is waterproof and is also very chunky. The tab is easy to grab and the mechanism is so smooth, you can open the Internode effortlessly while riding. In fact, you can open and close it with just one finger.
Internally the Internode is a bit more basic. One main compartment comes with two small pockets, large enough to stash a phone or credit cards. The internal lining is light green, to aid visibility when rummaging around. An internal divider wouldn’t have gone amiss, but otherwise I have no complaints.
Internode in use
The medium Internode fits a 56cm frame perfectly. Bottle clearance is adequate and the 4 litre capacity is more than enough for short bikepacking tours.
A frame bag is one of the most versatile bags you can use so why not use it if you commute by bike? A Bag for All Reasons (apologies to Robert Bolt), not just ditch dwelling excursions.
With bag swing eliminated, there was minimal interference when riding. Except for the small green tab on the trailing edge, whose only practical function seemed to be to tickle my right thigh on each upstroke.
A recent weekend in Wales was a perfect opportunity to test out the Internode in wet weather. Despite the weather gods doing their level best to soak the contents, they remained perfectly dry. Another rural feature particularly prevalent on the tour (sheep pooh) could have permanently stained an otherwise pristine bag. Fortunately, the polyurethane coating meant it washed off with just a spray of the garden hose.
After consecutive mucky rides, the material still looks as good as new.
Overall, the Miss Grape Internode is an excellent, high quality, frame bag and one that I would recommend to anyone. At £90 it is right up there in the premium category. Rest assured, it will be £90 well spent as this is a bag that should last you for many adventures.
A Bag For Life? Quite possibly!
Last modified: 22nd August 2018