· Stainless steel D-rings
· 100% cotton canvas - 18.5 oz.
· Water-resistant finish
· Heavy-duty side-release buckles
· 677 cu in/11 liters (W: 25cm/9.85", D: 20cm/7.9", H: 22cm.8.7")
· Four colors: gray, black, olive and blue
· Price $105
· Made in Iowa, USA
Speaking of tall frames, most everyone in touch with cycling is familiar with the Surly brand of bikes/frames. As an old tourer, I have been a fan of the Surly LHT since I first discovered it many years ago. Alas, for most of its existence it was not available in a frame size that would fit me. Then last year I became aware that Surly was making the Long Haul Trucker frame in a 64cm size. So I snapped one up.
I built it up with sturdy yeoman class parts like the Deore rear derailleur and 8 speed barends. There’s also a fairly eclectic assortment of stuff I like, some vintage. For instance, I used a Huret Challenger front derailleur and a set of 180mm Sugino AT triple cranks. For brakes I used a set of polished Tektro CR720 cantilevers and some no-frills Dia-Compe areo levers. Topped it all off with a VO headset and rando bars, aged Brooks Flyer, and MKS touring pedals. The wheels are Shimano hubs with Sun CR18 rims made complete with a pair of 35m Panaracers Paselas. All in all, nothing too special but decent stuff.
As it turns out the geometry is pretty close to my custom made Mercian tourer. I remember coming upon the LHT when I was looking for a loaded touring bike in 2003. I opted for the Mercian, but may have gone with the LHT had it come in a little bigger size.
I am pleased by how comfortable this bike is. It has all the braze-ons I want and it's a real pack mule. It would also be worthy for commuting or social rides. I almost put Nitto North Road bars on mine and still may at some point. There are a lot of ways to go with a frame like this and all of them are good.
Sales of the Orpington have been brisk. Along with the sales we’ve had questions from customers pertaining to mounting the Orpington, which is a rando style bag. So, in anticipation of future questions and those that have questions but never asked, we want to say that we highly recommend a rack and decaleur. Also, before you order take care to ensure the Orpington will be a proper fit for your bicycle. If you ride a small or tall frame take special note of the dimensions.
We’ve had folks ask us why the Orpington front bag opens towards the front. It's a fair question. Although, it should be noted that there are other rando-style bags that open from the front. The popular Ostrich randonneur bag comes to mind.
We did have a prototype that opened to the rear, but frankly it would not close up as tightly as the front open version and, therefore, was more vulnerable to rain penetration. The front opening bag mimics our panniers and closes snugly with no need for inside flaps to help keep water out.
Of course the point of having a rear-opening bag is that it makes accessing the main compartment simpler while you’re in the saddle. However, the Orpington is still very accessible from the saddle. Because it has a single front and center attachment point, it was easy to lift one side of the lid and reach into the bag to retrieve items from the main compartment.
I’ve been using the Orpington for over a year and I’ve done this maneuver many times. In fact, I have even unlatched the buckle up front, and opened and closed the bag with my right hand while riding. I would not recommend that technique, particularly since lifting the edge of the lid is pretty effective.
For now we don’t plan to make a rear opening front bag. However, if you want the rear-opening bag there are plenty of great bag makers out there doing quality front rando-style bags that open toward the rider. At the end of the day, it’s your happiness that matters!
Thanks for the warm response to our new Orpington bag! We really appreciate the support and kind words!
We thought we'd put up a few more pictures to illustrate how the bag attaches to the rack with the side straps and buckles. It’s a distinctive feature of the Orpington that makes this bag exceptionally stable and easy to get on and off.
Of course we did sacrifice the side pocket option. But don’t fear, there’s plenty of room in the three other pockets and the main compartment.
Another unique feature is the snap on/off map pouch. This will allow you to take your maps with you into the café, or go without a map pouch.