These days, chances are you’ve got a local bag maker in your state. In my area here in New Mexico, there are a few, and just down the hill from Santa Fe in Albuquerque is Buckhorn Bags, a small company run by Sam Lutz. Sam makes custom framebags, both full and half, as well as a plethora of other accessory bags. I’ve got two bikes that have been begging for framebags, so when Sam announced he was going to start offering them, I sent him some money, a few photos, and waited for a few weeks. Well, I’ve been using these bags for a while now and would like to share the process and product with you so check out more below…
Custom Means Custom
Prior to hollering at Sam, I was using a “stock” geometry bag for my Sklar gravel bike. It worked for sure but the fit left a lot to be desired. For one, this frame has a curved top tube, and it’s a really long bike so not many off-the-shelf bags will fit it correctly. Having a completely custom bag for this bike just accentuates the things I love about it.
The process Sam deploys is used by other bag makers, so it’s not an entirely unique process. It relies on CAD measurements made from a simple drive-side photo with a ruler propped up against the bike to help in scaling the drawing. You can read all about this process Buckhorn uses at their website.
For this bike, getting that top tube arch correct adds another layer of complexity to this process but I was confident Sam would be able to nail the silhouette correctly. As you can see, he did! Yet the profile of the bag is only one part of the product.
About 6-8 weeks later, Sam delivered my bags to me.
Half Frame Bag
Both the drive-side and non-drive-side has a full-length zipper. The drive-side pocket is deep and can hold a myriad of ride snacks, an extra water bottle, jacket, tools, or in my case, my Sony camera. The non-drive, or “map” pocket is thin, meant for things like your phone or wallet or a paper map if you carry one of those on rides. The map pocket has a long elastic net inside to keep your goods secure as well.
What I like about Buckhorn Bags’ frame bags is how thin they are. In my experience, I haven’t gotten any thigh rub packing them out. The rigidity is due to how many lash points are on these bags. Even the half-frame bag has multiple attachment points, ranging from sewed-in straps to velcro lash straps, and on full-frame bags, you can choose to mount your bag on the bottle bosses.
Full Frame Bag
These two bikes have needed frame bags for a long time. The Crust Dreamer is my tourer/commuter/grocery getter and the Sklar is my go-to gravel bike. Having a full-frame bag on the tourer makes total sense. I went with the “double-decker” option, as well as the “bolt-on”, map pocket, and X-Pac lining options on the full-frame bag, which Sam made from Coyote X-Pac fabric. It’s cavernous in storage capacity and I can’t wait to use it on tour once the temps drop a bit here.
These custom framebags start at $170 and that price can climb with all the added extras. There’s a whole slew of colors and materials you can choose from, over at their website too.
Buckhorn bags also makes handlebar bags, stem caddy bags, and more bag designs are on the way…
Got any questions? Drop ’em in the comments!