Wolf Tooth Mini Roll Top NSMB AndrewM.JPG
TWO-MINUTE REVIEW

Wolf Tooth B-RAD Mini Roll Top Bag

Words Andrew Major
Photos Andrew Major
Date May 17, 2019

Bagged On

When it comes to on-bike storage there are two things that surprise me. First, that no company has managed to find a legal way to rip off Specialized's built-in SWAT storage system. And second, that Specialized hasn't found a way to migrate their hinged SWAT box concept (only available on carbon frames) to their aluminum bikes.

Beyond that, mountain bikers have been trying to balance our culture of do-it-yourself-sufficiency with removing weight from our backs since we first took rubber to trail. Hey, who carried the coffee beans, Juan Valdez or his donkey?

To that end, this 0.6L Wolf Tooth Roll Top Bag has performed exactly as advertised. It's kept my sh*t dry through pissing rainy days and a couple of exciting stream crossings, and allowed me to move a lot of weight from my pack to my bike.

Wolf Tooth Mini Roll Top Mounting NSMB AndrewM (2).JPG

For larger and more square-tubed frames, the bag works great on its own.

Wolf Tooth Mini Roll Top Mounting NSMB AndrewM (1).JPG

For round-tubed frames a strap-on B-Rad Base kit is also required.

Wolf Tooth Mini Roll Top Mounting NSMB AndrewM (3).JPG

Or bolt a B-Rad Base kit to any water bottle mounts and attach the included mounting plate.

It's also been a heck of an icebreaker. Looking to meet some new riding friends or just to strike up an easy conversation with some fellow two-wheeled trail travelers? Strap on Wolf Tooth's B-RAD Roll Top Bag and be prepared to be inundated with friendly banter such as:

  • "Shouldn't you have a coffee cup dangling from your saddle?"
  • "Who do you think you are, Morgan Taylor?"
  • "Dude, you should check out Bicycle Pubes!"
  • "Is that an inflatable life raft?"
  • "Where do you keep the kitchen sink?"
  • "Does Cam know you're lameing-up NSMB.com?"
  • "Have you been reading The Radavist?"
  • "Hey, I just met you - and this is crazy - do you have whisky? - share it maybe?"
  • "Wow, that bag really suits your bike" (Genuine)
  • "Wow, that bag REALLY suits your bike" (Facetious)

I ran the Roll Top five different ways:

  • Strapped behind the seat (meh)
  • strapped directly to the Carbon Chameleon (great)
  • mounted to my steel frame using a 20 USD Wolf Tooth mounting base (great)
  • bolted to the below-down-tube bosses on my frame using the mounting base (great)
  • and bolted to said bosses just using the included mounting plate (great)

The silicone-backed strap does a great job of keeping the bag in place but I also packed it in such a way that the hard tools were separated from the frame by more than the thin PVC-backed 420D ripstop nylon material. For example, my emergency space blanket sat closest to the frame when strapping the bag straight to the Chameleon.

Wolf Tooth Mini Roll Top Kit (1).JPG

The .6L B-Rad Roll Top is a typically high quality Wolf Tooth product. The bag alone is 35 USD and the bag + mounting plate is 40 USD.

Wolf Tooth Mini Roll Top NSMB AndrewM (2).JPG

For day 1, I just took all the tools from my pack and put them in the bag. I ended up removing my Fix-It-Sticks as I use them regularly.

Wolf Tooth Mini Roll Top NSMB AndrewM (1).JPG

Once I determined the Roll Top's weather proofing was excellent, I added a spare set of gloves and my emergency blanket. This is the kit I've been running since day 2.

Being full of tools, I liked running the bag as low on the bike as possible. The B-Rad Roll Top doesn't hang down any farther than running a below-the-down-tube water bottle and even riding old school Shore trails with lots of log-overs I never had an issue with contact. However, I did not try to run the bag on the bottom of a full suspension bike with a low BB so check that clearance before hitting Bookwus with the B-Rad hanging below your Process 111.

Beyond that, I still generally ride with a pack but it's much lighter now that my tools are all in a frame bag. The frame bag is quick & easy to move between bikes and it's a great visual reminder not to forget my tools. It's up to the individual rider to deal with the bikepacking look and prepare for some teasing and banter from riding friends, but otherwise this is a great product.

Lots of ways to B-Rad, and a larger 1L version of the .6L bag at Wolf Tooth Components.

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Comments

kekoa
+6 Paul Lindsay Absolut-M IslandLife MTmtnBiker Andrew Major Cr4w
kekoa  - May 17, 2019, 12:01 a.m.

I just can't go back to adding weight to my bike. So much rather carry it on my back and deal with it than on my bike that I've tried to lighten up. Having said that, I try to keep my pack light. Ounces equal pounds and pounds equal pain.

Reply

fartymarty
+1 IslandLife
fartymarty  - May 17, 2019, 4:15 a.m.

Ditto on that one.  My bike is 37.6lb already and I don't want it any heavier.  This would be cool to have in my fanny pack tho.

Reply

Tjaardbreeuwer
+1 Andrew Major
Tjaard Breeuwer  - May 17, 2019, 7:18 a.m.

I use a Revelate ‘gastank’ style toptube  bag for a similar function. Combined with a Specialized SWAT strap bolted to the saddle for a tube, and a pump and bottle on the frame, it lets me ride pack free unless I need a lot of water.

Personally, I’d rather have the weight on the bike than on my back, but if you want maximum ‘flickability’ I could see preferring it on your back.

My issue with the on bike storage is the weight of the storage system itself.

How much does the bag and mounting parts weigh?

If you are still using a pack, you probably end up with more total weight.

Even if you are replacing a backpack, it pays to check the weight of the entire system and compare it to a hydration pack and bladder, it might be that the pack is lighter.

Reply

AndrewMajor
0
Andrew Major  - May 17, 2019, 7:32 a.m.

Excellent point re. combined weight of packs since I always wear a pack anyways. 

If I was writing a longer editorial about frame storage I could also say a lot about the tools I’ve carrying for years for other people - this bag has really made me think about what tools I carry, especially on local rides, on my single speed. 

This bag is now doing service just on my (already heavy) FS bike and only goes on the SS for really long rides.

I do think lower is better ride wise when talking about weight vs. top tube mounted bags or bottles.

Reply

geraldooka
0
Michael  - May 26, 2019, 11:10 a.m.

Totally agree. But I didn’t always. It took a season of commitment to off the back storage and practice but now having something on my back feels awful. Particularly in the summer.

Having the weight lower down actually improved the playful flick ability of my ride and seemingly stabilizes hopping and jumps.

Reply

DemonMike
+7 capnron Ben AlanB Todd Hellinga Andrew Major Tjaard Breeuwer Cr4w
mike  - May 17, 2019, 5:13 a.m.

I can,t go back to any bottom side down-tube mount. That muddy image states it all LOL. Gotta love BC :)

Reply

AndrewMajor
0
Andrew Major  - May 17, 2019, 7:26 a.m.

Bag gets very gross outside but nothing has gotten wet or dirty inside. You certainly won’t see me with a bottle down there - mine get gross enough.

New frame, especially multi-speed, I’d like hard mounts to mount it inside - I have space.

Reply

DemonMike
+2 capnron Andrew Major
mike  - May 17, 2019, 7:20 p.m.

Still have to handle it .

Reply

AndrewMajor
+1 mike
Andrew Major  - May 21, 2019, 8:55 a.m.

Ha. Touché! 

I actually haven’t needed to open it once on a ride since I took my multi-tool out. Which puts into perspective how much just-in-case stuff I carry.

Reply

Vikb
+3 Metacomet Andrew Major Mammal
Vik Banerjee  - May 17, 2019, 6 a.m.

I moved to a frame bag with all my tools a couple years ago and will not go back. It's great having the weight off my back and it actually helps keep the bike tracking well in the rough. I also carry my water on the bike. I was a pack wearer for the previous decades and didn't think it would be a big deal, but I was surprised by how much I preferred carrying nothing on my body.

My gold standard is my Guerilla Gravity Smash because it will hold two bottles and my tools/spares so even on longer hot summer rides I've got everything I need without wearing a pack.

On my Knolly I put the framebag under the DT. Yup it gets a bit muddy, but flats/mechanicals are so a rare that's not an issue. It's waterproof and I just brush the dirt off once it dries.

On my GG the under the DT bottle does get dirty if it's wet out. I tend to not carry that second bottle unless it's a hot day so that doesn't happen a lot, but say I do a lot of stream crossings it will get a bit dirty. When I drink the clean upper bottle I just pour the contents of the lower dirty bottle into it and leave the empty dirty bottle down low. That results in minimal contact with that lower bottle.

The WT bag looks nice. I agree with Andrew I'm surprised more companies have not done in frame storage like Specialized. For sure I won't buy a new bike that doesn't carry a bottle and a framebag. Ideally two bottles like my GG.

Reply

mammal
+1 Andrew Major
Mammal  - May 17, 2019, 7:42 a.m.

That's a nice bag for your frame, works great in the GG. I'm looking to move from my pack due to my lingering shoulder injury. Without a pack on, the old shoulder feels way better.

Reply

andrewbikeguide
+1 capnron
AndrewR  - May 17, 2019, 11:01 a.m.

try alpinethreadworks - http://alpinethreadworks.com/products/index.html

He can make almost what ever you need for your frame. The fit and function are spot on.

Reply

mammal
0
Mammal  - May 17, 2019, 12:10 p.m.

I saw that on a previous thread (probably posted by you). Looks like a great solution.

Reply

morgan-heater
0
Morgan Heater  - May 17, 2019, 2:59 p.m.

Does that bottle hit the wheel when you go through your travel?

Reply

mammal
+1 Andrew Major
Mammal  - May 17, 2019, 7:23 a.m.

Cool product. That list of friendly banter is solid gold though. And unfortunately, I now know what Bicycle Pubes is...

Reply

AndrewMajor
0
Andrew Major  - May 17, 2019, 7:35 a.m.

Hahaha - you’re welcome!

Reply

cooperquinn
+13 Cr4w AlanB Dan pdxkid Andy Eunson Todd Hellinga AJ Barlas Pete Roggeman pedalhound Mammal IslandLife Andrew Major tashi
Cooper Quinn  - May 17, 2019, 9:34 a.m.

But will it fit my pour over setup? Its essential people know what a snob I am when I stop for trailside coffee. Nothing less than this setup, my digital scale, thermometer, and MSR Reactor will do. 

I'm currently carrying it in a fair trade vegetable-dyed alpaca leather bag hand stitched in the mountains of Peru, but could be swayed. 

Reply

tashi
+5 Cr4w Ben pdxkid IslandLife Cooper Quinn
tashi  - May 17, 2019, 9:53 a.m.

Your setup sounds good as long as it has room for a phone and signal booster.  Gotta get those insta posts out when you're making those kind of coffee stops.

Reply

AndrewMajor
+3 pedalhound IslandLife Cooper Quinn
Andrew Major  - May 17, 2019, 10:02 a.m.

He’s got the RED Camera in his Tacoma and the gravel parking lot he’s roof-top-tent camping in is right across from the mall so he can pick up Starbucks’ WiFi. 

His biggest issue is proving the authenticity of the consent forms those Alpaca’s signed before being turned into a ‘trail’ side coffee tote.

Reply

cooperquinn
+1 IslandLife
Cooper Quinn  - May 17, 2019, 10:06 a.m.

Whoa, whoa. Gravel? Easy there, Paint Killer.

Reply

pete@nsmb.com
+1 Todd Hellinga
Pete Roggeman  - May 17, 2019, 11:22 a.m.

And I thought you'd be upset that he lumped you in with Tacoma owners.

Reply

cooperquinn
+1 Pete Roggeman
Cooper Quinn  - May 17, 2019, 12:30 p.m.

Bah, that joke is so old it can vote.

pete@nsmb.com
+4 Cam McRae AlanB Mammal Andrew Major
Pete Roggeman  - May 17, 2019, 11:23 a.m.

Reply

AJ_Barlas
0
AJ Barlas  - May 17, 2019, 11:31 a.m.

Lol. That's bloody gold!

Reply

cooperquinn
+3 Todd Hellinga AJ Barlas IslandLife
Cooper Quinn  - May 17, 2019, 10:06 a.m.

If you aren't live streaming while you're doing it, are you even trying?

Reply

xy9ine
+5 Cr4w Pete Roggeman Andrew Major Cooper Quinn Mammal
Perry Schebel  - May 17, 2019, 10:58 a.m.

not a shabby setup. i prefer a trailside espresso myself. this modest hardware accomplishes the task satisfactorily: 

Reply

cooperquinn
+2 Todd Hellinga Mammal
Cooper Quinn  - May 17, 2019, 11:08 a.m.

The thing is.... you've now left everyone wondering, "Wait, does Perry actually own that setup?"

Its sufficiently brassy, steampunkesque, and deeply nerdy. (and, I mean all that as a compliment)

Reply

mammal
+1 Cooper Quinn
Mammal  - May 17, 2019, 12:14 p.m.

You left out "Amaze-Balls".  I'd pay just to try it out and see if it works alright.

Reply

craw
0
Cr4w  - May 21, 2019, 8:45 a.m.

This thread is the soul of bikepacking. And moustache wax.

Reply

brad-sedola
+1 Andrew Major
Brad Sedola  - May 17, 2019, 9:38 a.m.

Full ones in the pack, empty ones get squished and stuffed in the frame bag. Quite the cacophony on longer days in the saddle. Probably not the best weight distribution, but who cares its a fat bike.

Reply

tashi
+2 mike Andrew Major
tashi  - May 17, 2019, 9:50 a.m.

This is what I've come up with, I used to run a seat bag but the 150mm dropper = tire rub.  Also, having the weight lower actually makes a noticeable difference.  I used to use a waterproof roll-top bag from an Arkel seat bag, worked quite well but sometimes it didn't find the right shape for this spot.  This Specialized seat bag is pretty rad, as far as seat bags go, and is shaped just right.

My first response to that mounting plate was that it was way too fussy for what it was doing but it allows a solid mounting point virtually anywhere you want it, which is key to a good strap-on setup.  Thumbs up.

I'll take the weight on the bike any day, I ride way more actively without a pack and can't stand them shifting around.

[url=https://flic.kr/p/2ex8fZr][img]https://live.staticflickr.com/65535/46953558115_a0dcd00094_b.jpg[/img][/url][url=https://flic.kr/p/2ex8fZr]IMG_6365[/url] by [url=https://www.flickr.com/photos/48329742@N06/]tashipeacock1[/url], on Flickr

Reply

mammal
+1 tashi
Mammal  - May 17, 2019, 11:10 a.m.

I've always wondered if Tashi was the Tashi Pea (aka Jaumbs) I know... This all but confirms it. May the Monz be with you - Love Neil.

Reply

spaceman_spiff
+1 Andrew Major
Fred Phillips  - May 17, 2019, 12:18 p.m.

I don't get this eduro-strap-it-all-on trend. adding lbs to the bike and make it look like and sound a hobo special? Pass. 

Your whole bike is un-sprung weight and your arms and legs are the best suspension you've got. Keep the weight centered on your body where it accelerates least while shredding and shredding will be easier. That's why all my junk goes in my backpack. 

Looks like a cool bit for my townie. Seriously, does Cam know about this?

Reply

tashi
+3 mike Andrew Major Mammal
tashi  - May 22, 2019, 9:13 a.m.

- you're losing weight overall

- if you do it right it's silent

- looks don't matter when you're riding

- I won't speak for anyone else, but I always ride far more actively without a pack so my body suspension is better this way

- if your stuff is down low than you've lowered COG.  Sounds negligible but I've actually been able to perceive this and it's better

In the end, options are a good thing.  This is why it works for me.

Reply

mammal
+1 mike
Mammal  - May 22, 2019, 11:51 a.m.

Great points. Most importantly for me: Your lower back and shoulders don't need to support your water and gear. Packs are great when needed, but getting away from them feels sooooo good.

Reply

AndrewMajor
0
Andrew Major  - May 22, 2019, 1:28 p.m.

I’m a hybrid - always ride with a pack (jacket depending on season, phone, multitool, chin bar). Water on the bike.

On days when I’m not carrying the camera I could easily get that stuff in a hip pack but I haven’t found one I like for me. Currently trying a Camelbak vest.

Anyways, I’m fully in the different strokes for different strokes camp.

...

Fred - thanks, I had a good laugh re. the Cam comment. Everything on that list is something that was really said to me out in the wild.

Reply

Tremeer023
0
Tremeer023  - May 17, 2019, 2:25 p.m.

Alpkit Possum frame bag

Been using this for a few years now.  It's ideal for 2 hr local rides and it holds a foldable .7 litre water bottle along with tools and snacks.  Will never ride with a backpack again - i personally find that the added comfort, particularly in the heat easily outweighs the extra weight on the bike.

Reply

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