Spring here in Austin is always a welcome season. The temperatures are just about perfect and hot dry summer hasn’t hit. This is usually the time my SPOT single speed calls out to me to hit the pavement and get out there for fun rides. Lately due to a twist in my employment status (Unemployed), I have been able to enjoy commuting to one of my favorite locals called Mellow Johnny’s. They have just the right vibe of coolness mixed with a place to get things done.
Over the last year I have had the opportunity to test out various bags, backpacks and other things a cycling commuter might want. One such item was a rear seat post rack bag called the Arkel TailRider Trunk Bag. It’s the perfect companion to the Arkel Randonneur Seat Post Rack. It provides ample room for 2 locks and other misc items.
The Arkel has performed flawlessly over this last year without any issues. The Zippers still zip and the bag basically looks brand new.
Arkel TailRider Trunk Bag Overview
- Weight: 660 g / 1,46 lbs (unit)
- Volume: 8 l. / 488 cu. in. Expands to 11 l. /700 cu. in. (unit)
- Color Options: Red or Black
- Length: 16.5 inches (41.9cm)
- Width: 9 inches (23cm)
- Zippers: Waterproof
- Handle: Padded
- Cover: Rain Cover
- Straps: Compression Straps
- Rain Cover: Integrated rain cover
- Attachment: 4 Velcro Straps with reflective strips (2 per side – 7.5 inches apart (19cm))
- Suggest Retail: $114.95
Arkel Tailrider Overview
We have tested the TailRider in both dry and wet conditions. When we talk wet, we are talking tropical storm rain where the sky opens up and unleashes huge volumes of water. The integrated rain cover is key during these times, keeping everything nice and dry, well except the rider and his shoes. The picture below was me after my Friday Bomb Run. The entire run was dry, but wicked humid and then when I started biking home, the sky opened up. It was like I was a kid again, having fun riding in a massive downpour.
While the bag is rated to resist rain for a few hours, the integrated rain cover is perfect for longer rides in soggy conditions. For those that have cell phones without waterproof cases, having a dry place to store them while cycling is essential. From our testing the TailRider can really put your mind at ease, knowing the phones will be safe and dry, regardless of what nature throws at you.
Arkel’s TailRider design is sleek, uncluttered and aerodynamic. It starts off around 6.5 inches and tapers down to about 3.5 inches. If you’re into shoe boxes, this isn’t your bag, but for those who like clean lines and an aero look, you will not find anything better.
The TailRider uses 4 Velcro straps to attach the bag to a rack. The bag requires at least 16.5 inches of rack space and the spacing between the straps is roughly 7.5 inches. Each Velcro strap on has reflective strips that are useful at night making your bike a little more visible from the side.
The bag has plenty of compartments including 2 side storage areas with zippers, a main compartment that can be broken down into 2 sections using an Internal divider and 4 internal packets. Additionally the bag has a top area that can store other items like a jacket or shirt using the synch straps. I found this especially useful when cycling back from running. I would always bring and extra shirt with me for after the run and store my sweaty shirt on top of the bag as I rode home.
The TailRider also comes with a expansion bellow for those that simply can’t leave items behind. The bag essentially expands sideways, offering room for those who love to over stuff. Our bag most often would house 2 heavy duty chain locks and both the bag and rack had no problems storing/carrying both.
Lastly the TailRider comes with 2 D-rings for shoulder straps. This makes carrying the bag a little easier.
Verdict – We love the TailRider. It simply is a fantastic commuter bag and is the best we have tested. Again it’s design is sleek, uncluttered and aerodynamic and shows Arkel did their homework in designing a bag that’s stands out.
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