I got this nice little saddle bag early last month and thought it would make a good start for product reviews on my blog.
Zixtro Shell is one neat looking water proof saddle bag from Zixtro, the makers of various innovative bike accessories with a tag line that reads, ‘Like no other’. They certainly have some interesting line of bike accessories.
I think this is one of the most stylish and good looking saddle bags that I’ve used or seen. The red Zixtro Shell that I have blends perfectly with the Lemond’s Red and white combination. After I got the Lemond earlier this year, I could not bring myself to put the oversize and black saddle bag that I have on the beautiful bike. So, I simply did not use any saddle bag on the it. I just stuffed my jersey pockets with tools and spare tube along with the on bike food and cellphone. It can get a bit crowded especially for long rides.
|It matches the Lemond perfectly..
When I saw the sleek and small Zixtro shell, I liked the aesthetics that went well with the bike. I also saw an opportunity to free some space in my jersey pockets for more food by moving the tools, spare tube and puncture kit into the saddle bag. The shell comes in five different colors including the red. If you don’t want your bike to be too fast with too much of red on it, you can choose from white, black, grey or yellow.
The hard molded case has a very neat finish and looks like it could last for a long time. Being a hard case of plastic(?), it is also completely water proof. It did quite well on a couple of rides I did in slight drizzle with wet roads. There was no seepage on the ride. Once at home, I could wash the muck off the outer shell without emptying its contents and just wipe it dry with a cloth for its shiny new look.
|The Z-lock clamp and the molded shell saddle bag
The clamp that goes on the saddle rails uses what they call a Z-lock. It is a sturdy clamp and has a couple of ridges on each side where the metal hooks can be set depending on the width and thickness of the saddle rails. It is quite easy to swap between bikes with this Z-lock clamp. With an earlier clamp based saddle bag I used, the clamp is screwed onto the saddle rails with Allen bolts. It is a pain to remove the clamp and fit it on a second bike if you want to use the same saddle bag on two different bikes. So, I really like the convenience of the Z-lock clamp. The clamp looks quite sturdy. There is no visible shake once you set it on the rails. Have to see how it behaves in the long term.
The shell doesn’t have any zips on it. Instead it uses a velcro strap that goes under the bag, to open and close it. No zips to fiddle with. I have had problems with sand/mud going into zips on the saddle bag especially when it is all covered with sand and mud after a rainy ride. I need not worry about that now. I find it quite convenient.
|Opens and closes with the help of a velcro strap. Pretty spacious for a compact saddle bag.
Like many other saddle bags, this too comes with a provision for hooking on a tail lamp to it. With my previous saddle bags, I’ve lost a couple of tail lamps on the road when I hit pot holes. That is unlikely to happen with the shell since the hard shell provides quite a strong base for the tail lamp to clip onto instead of thin and sagging cloth based hooks I had on my other saddle bags.
There is ample space for me to put my spare tube, multi-tool and puncture kit. There is still space for my phone(it goes in when it rains) and may be a couple of energy bars and other small tools like a spoke wrench could go in. There is small elastic strap on the roof of the bag inside, where I can put some money and easily get it out when needed.
I don’t really see many. It is a neat little product. One possible drawback I see with the product is the possibility of the plastic parts breaking. I have never had any issues with other accessories that I’ve used before but it is just something at the back of the mind. The build quality looks great though. So, I will have to see how the plastic clamps and stuff behave in the long term. I will update this review with any observations in the future. Especially if I see something negative.
For now though it is doing a great job and looks quite elegant.
Where can you get this from?
In Bangalore it is available at BOTS, at Probikers in Chennai and at The Bike Affair(TBA) in Hyderabad. Also available at MVS Enterprises in Coimbatore(Sanjay 9843028817).
Full disclosure: I have received this product from TBA for review. I’ve used this over the last couple of months and tried to be as objective as possible in the review. Obviously the review could be colored by my own likes and dislikes.