Product review: Brooks Barbican shoulder bag

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Brooks Barbican shoulder bag, £225
Miles covered/time:
8000/18 months

What’s good? I’ve worn this bag – designed for cyclists, but perfect for those of us vain enough to value style as highly as substance – on every ride for the last year and a half, whether that’s a hop to the supermarket or a 400-mile motorway journey.

I’ve applied some low-cost waterproofing liquid to the outer, and it’s never let a drop of rain in. The large flap is secured by a single magnetic closure; it’s only opened on the go once, when I might have been accelerating to a speed north of 90…

The overall construction is utterly robust, and it fastens securely by way of a waist closure that holds the bag close to your body while you’re riding.

Crucially, the shoulder strap, along with the rest of the bag, survived a 70mph get-off, with just mild abrasion marks and a few abraded stitches. And the name ‘Brooks’ will also mean something to those in the know.

What’s not? Enormous cache and undisputed heritage aside, it’s absolutely inescapable that this bag costs as much as a half-decent three-piece H&M suit and a new pair of pointy shoes.

It’s for this reason alone that I’ve lopped two stars off the rating. If you’ve the money, ride a Bonneville and regularly check yourself out in polished surfaces, you’ll appreciate this bag enormously, however.

Rating: 3/5

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Marc Abbott

By Marc Abbott