Category Archives: Swift Industries
At the Melburn Roobaix yesterday (more to come on that), I bumped into my friend Ben Kamenjas from Sydney, who I met a few years back when he worked at Deus Ex Machina. Ben’s a wealth of cycling knowledge, especially the obscure / idiosyncratic world of French components and frames. At a certain point in your life, you tire of looking at others’ work and decide to start building for yourself.
What you see here is Ben’s first bike, under his moniker Cicli Spirito (no link yet). It’s a fendered porteur with a customized VO rack that mounts to the vintage center pull mounts and classic French parts with a classic geometry.
It’s always difficult to shoot a porteur with weight on the front, so I asked Ben to act as the kickstand while I snapped a few, very quick photos.
With this weather, I’m sure Ben was stoked on his Swift Industries Pelican bag, fenders and nice, plump tires during the Roobaix. That’s a great looking bicycle!
The AWOL blog has so much good content in it these days. Like these photos of Dylan and Erik’s Swift Ozette randonneur bag!
Swift Industries’ KlickFix handlebar bag, the Paloma looks like a great alternative to the traditional rack and decaleur. Blue Lug does a great job photographing their new stock, so head over to Blue Lug’s Flickr for more and see more at Swift!
Also, I love the brake setup on this bike!
Swift Industries is having a pop up shop and video premiere at Velo Cult this Friday! Be there.
I’m of the belief that the Klickfix system is one of the easiest, most practical methods for attaching a handlebar bag. Screw a decaleur, this is a quick-release that does everything and I’m stoked to see Swift Industries design a new bag to work with the system. Introducing the Paloma Handlebar Bag:
“The Swift Industries Paloma Handlebar Bag is designed for the Klickfix Handlebar Adapter™, combining the function of a randonneur bag with the ease of a quick-release mounting system and the signature aesthetic Swift Industries fans have come to recognize and love.
Weighing in at 1 pound, Swift Industries offers cyclists a light front bag in customized colors. The 6 liter capacity bag is lined with rip-stop X-Pac™ fabric, making it the perfect fit for bicycle tourists and everyday cyclists alike. “We see the Klickfix Handlebar Adapter as a simple and clever alternative to the racks and decaleur measurements our Ozette Randonneur Bag requires. In two fluid steps the quick-release system works its magic and you’ve got your maps, windbreaker, and camera with you wherever you go,” explains company co-owner and designer, Jason Goodman.”
See more at Swift!
When I first came across Swift Industries, I didn’t even have a use for the Ozette randonneur bag and yet, I really, really wanted one. My last touring bike was set up for a handlebar-mounted bag. At the time, I chose Arkel as a manufacturer and I still have it, but I wasn’t happy enough with it to put it to use on the new Geekhouse tourer. I wanted my front weight as low as I could get it and the Arkel sat too high. The older model bag also wasn’t water proof. Or even water-resistant. Not ideal for a touring rig. The 2013 model is water proof, however.
Two large panniers and a large randonneur-style front bag is all I need for touring portage. The Ozette randonneur bag has so far, been the perfect choice for the Geekhouse. Without leaping to any great tech-overview, I’ll just say that Swift and Geekhouse are a good pairing and when it comes down to it, the 10.5 litre capacity of this bag is a large improvement over what I was used to with the Arkel (which has 10 litres of space but the aforementioned weight distribution makes it a less than ideal option).
Along with the large compartment, there are five external pockets and a top map-case. The two back pockets will fit an iPhone, a point and shoot camera, film and anything else you’d need to access without reaching under a jacket and into a jersey pocket. The front pocket is out of reach while riding, so things like first aid, camping supplies, or what have you would go there. The map-case is big. Big enough for maps or cue sheets. Each of these are covered with a loop-secured, top-flap. For quick stashability, the two side pockets do wonders. All in all, I fit everything I’d need for a long ride, like a Brovet, just fine.
All of this from a classic design and a waterproof construction. Now, securing the bag to the appropriate rack is the most important part. My Geekhouse rack is wide enough to where the velcro straps hold the base of the bag just fine. With a “tombstone” rack extension, I could slip it in the bag’s sleeved support but it wasn’t enough to keep the Ozette laterally-stable. Two zip ties did the trick but I’ll still use a decaleur for increased support, at which time, I’ll remove the zip ties. This will enable me to use the handy shoulder strap Swift supplies.
Right now, out of the box, so to speak, the Ozette randonneur bag is a customizable, modern-spin on a classic design. I picked my colors, added it to the shopping basket on Swift’s site and it showed up under a month later. All for $210. I have nothing against Berthoud, Ostrich or other manufacturers, I just wanted to support a new, smaller company in Seattle. Plus the olive looks great on the bike. See more at Swift Industries and if you’re still reading without clicking through the Gallery, check out more detail photos there!
One of my favorite shops is carrying one of my favorite bag makers. Blue Lug in Japan now has Swift Industries’ full line in stock at their shop. The Polaris Porteur is such a rad bag. Check out more great photos at the Blue Lug Flickr.
At the 2012 Philly Bike Expo, one brand I was looking forward to meeting the most was Swift Industries. Their small, yet productive workshop puts out some of the best looking touring bags out there. From small to large panniers, saddle bags, rando bags and even Cetma porteur bags, their entire line screams functionality with personality. Rather than try to photograph the bags inside the convention, I rolled it outside.
These bags are all made by hand in Seattle, Washington and are fully customizable. Check out more below!