Mountainsmith Cycle Cube Gear Bag
Mountainsmith isn’t a well-known name in cycling but the brand will celebrate their 40th anniversary in 2019. Founder, Patrick Smith was a mountaineering guide who grew tired of the absence of durability and utility of the gear he was using. In 1979 he bit the bullet and began making his own. Most of his designs were dreamt up while on long tours deep in the Colorado backcountry and using the materials he had available on his trips, he would even build prototypes.
As the name suggests, the Cycle Cube is a bag with riders in mind. There's plenty of space and compartments to move the gear we use regularly for a competitive price of 79.95 USD. The 51L bag (1.8 cubic feet) has a claimed maximum load of 30lbs. It includes ventilation holes on one side of the main compartment, a padded eyewear pocket inside one of the two side pockets, and you can fit a shoulder strap to the D-rings.* The helmet and shoe storage of the main compartment is very handy on its own, but include the compartmentalized pockets for bottles, tools, food – pretty much anything you can think of needing for a ride – and its utility quickly proves itself.
*The shoulder strap is sold separately.
I often change my clothes when arriving at the meeting spot for a ride so the bag was packed with clothing as well. There isn’t any specific compartment for this but throwing a full kit in the main compartment, on top of the helmet, pads and shoes, worked really well with plenty of room available. The bag was loaded with up to three separate riding kits on a longer trip and it all fit with no problems. Small toolkits, multiple bottles and spare parts can be spread throughout the side pockets with room to move.
The only potential downside is for riders that often use a full-face. Trips to the shuttle lot or the local bike park may be a little tighter, with the larger helmet taking up all of the main compartment. A pair of pads will still fit in with it and clothes should be fine too, but the shoes will need to move into one of the side pockets. Most body armour suits won't fit with the helmet but could easily be strapped to the top of the bag.
I initially had concerns over the quality of the zips since they’re not as robust feeling as others but they have functioned perfectly even when overloaded. The seams and materials are wearing well and there are no concerns over the durability of the bag after a couple of road trips and regular day trips since it arrived. Having everything, including shoes and helmet, in one place when packed for a ride is great and for 79.95 USD, the Mountainsmith Cycle Cube does it with ease. It's easy to pack, stores more than is needed and functions as a gear bag should.
Check out the Mountainsmith website for more on the Cycle Cube gear bag