September 6th, 2010

Brooks Devon Pannier [Review]

After being flagellated for 3 months by a clever-by-halves Basil pannier (don't get me started!) I finally decided to gamble, that AUD$350 might buy me something that actually works. With my fourth recent order from Chain Reaction Cycles, I included the left-hand-side Brooks Devon Pannier pictured below (I saw a few hours later they were then sold out of left-hand-side Brooks Devon Panniers, from which, I might deduce, few people take the same gamble that I did). Okay, so maybe they could be a bit cheaper, like maybe $200. And maybe for $350 they could be made in England, not China. However, I doubt there is a much better pannier for stylish office commuting in the ye olde manner I have going on with my Velorbis, than this one by Brooks.

The water-proof zip affords ready access to every inch of the bag, without removal. The sturdy carcass of canvas appears sure to age gracefully. For those especially precipitous days when 99% water resistance may not suffice, Brooks provide a bright orange shower cap: oh I can't wait! The positive trade off though is that canvas is breathable, something Dr. Behooving discovered when swapping the dome tent of his impoverished youth for a canvas one, to never wake in a lather of condensed breath again—if you must know, I hunt moose, and there are no 5 star lodgings in places with moose. 

The greatest thing about my new pannier though, is the way it ingeniously hooks to my rack, in an instant, and sticks fast like a woman in love. The elegant cam system exposes those pseudo lockable fastening systems (as found on Basil panniers that shall remain nameless), as the point of sale gimmicks they are. 
Other thoughtful details are the flip-top leather hoods on the side pouches: a mobile phone can be kept dry, yet able to be reached before she stops ringing. An elastic strap holds shirts in the manner of a suitcase; in fact the whole pannier can be unhooked and laid out like a suitcase, as though you have actually arrived some place special when in fact you have just ridden to work. The pearl finished alloy fasteners, the woven handle, and the hide thick leather throughout, all have an air of distinction to belie those regrettable words "made in China". But yay for China, I say. Yay for that Mandarin opera that plays for free in the street there. May it always be so suitably priced!

Summary: world's best bag but too dear.

If "Waltons Mountain" were a bicycle brand...

...they would make millions. Each model would be braised and lugged with a clear coat finish to expose all that good honest American handcrafting, in the manner of bikes by Bowery Lane Bicyclesoh so cool! There would be a model for each member of your family, the all American Waltons family you know you could be, if you just went to church. Only an "alien" could see as clearly as I'm seeing now, how the world's greatest consumer society will be helped from their cars onto bikes: via nostalgia!


Introducing models Olivia and John                                                                       click for enlarged view of the finish I am imagining      

 
Followed by the Esther and Zeb


We must have an Elizabeth and Jim-Bob, oh and of course we'll have an Ike, although made to order.


Which leaves us only with our Mary Ellen and our flagship model the John-Boy, you speed freak you John-Boy.

I will go to bed now content that finally, I have written an entry to encapsulate the full intellectual breadth of this blog project in one single post. Everything I have set out to achieve, it's all here. My magnum opus! Aaaah, goodnight.