Closed for the Holidays!

Please note that Dill Pickle Gear will be closed for the holidays from December 21-31. Orders for in-stock items placed before 4PM on Sunday, December 21st will be shipped on Monday the 22nd; orders placed after that will be shipped in the New Year. Have a wonderful holiday!

 

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And the new color is….

***First of all, come visit the Dill Pickle Gear shop in person at Vernon Street Open Studios on December 6-7 from noon-6PM.

The address is 6 Vernon Street, Somerville, MA. We’re on the third floor in Studio 54. And you can check out Bikeyface in the same room! More details at http://www.vernonstreet.com/open.html***

We’ll also have kits including all the materials you need to make our free sewing patterns. They contain printed-out instructions and pattern pieces, specially selected fabrics, plus binding material, zippers, stiffening material for hat brims, etc. They’ll be on the website after the weekend, but you get first dibs if you come to Open Studios.

And the survey’s in, and we have a new stock color. Actually, there are two new colors! Khaki and Stormy Blue were neck and neck with Olive coming in third. Stormy Blue won out, but since the top two were so close and we like both of them, we’re going to turn them both into stock colors. Don’t worry if you voted for olive or wine, though! they’ll still be available as “custom” colors. And all the other stock colors (red, navy, gray, and black) are sticking around too.

The new colors aren’t up on the website yet, but they will be very soon. In the meantime, here’s a preview:
small saddlebag stormy and khaki
 
Although the supplier calls the new color Khaki, we’re going to call it Sand instead. Khaki encompasses a wide range of colors with the most common being lighter than this shade, so we’re changing the name to something less confusing. 
 
Hope to see you this weekend!
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Pickle Project – Cycling Wallet

 

*** This pattern is now also available as a kit! The kit includes everything you need to make any of the options for pockets in the pattern, and an assortment of fabrics and colors. Check them out on the “Accessories” page!***

For the last couple of years, I’ve been making a tradition of putting up a free sewing pattern every year around the holidays. I think that making a gift yourself is much more personal than just buying another generic gift set, and it’s always nice to give the recipient something special and unique that they can actually use and enjoy. 

three finished wallets

This year, the pattern is for a cycling wallet that will carry your small essentials and fit neatly into a jersey pocket. As with the others, the instructions are hopefully comprehensive enough that someone with little or no sewing experience (or even without a sewing machine, if you are patient!) should be able to manage it; but if you are more ambitious there is no end of possible ways to vary it. It could also be a fun project for kids or craft parties. 

The Cycling Wallet requires under two square feet of material, which can be new, scraps, or reclaimed/recycled. I made the demo wallets mostly out of scraps, since I have them. The navy and khaki one is even pieced together out of smaller pieces. The smiley-faced one is made of four plastic shopping bags ironed together, just for something a little different. The denim one is made with a “sandwich” of three materials: denim outside, tyvek in between for waterproofness, and quilting cotton inside for the stripes. The solid blue one is made of scraps of basic vinyl-coated polyester, similar to many banners and tarps. At the end of the instructions there is a list of places where you can order supplies online.

All Options

There are several options for the pockets inside the wallet. To make the main backing piece, you select the type of pockets for each half and join the applicable backing pieces at the fold line. Option A is the most basic – the fabric folds back on itself to create one lengthwise pocket, that can alternatively be divided into two card pockets with a seam down the middle. Option B is a pleated pocket, with extra depth to accommodate a bulkier cell phone or other item. Option C is a zippered lengthwise pocket with a full-length slot pocket behind it. 

The instructions are long, but don’t worry! The process is really not complicated. They’re long because they have lots of pictures of the process, hopefully lots of other helpful information, and because I might just possibly have a mild tendency toward long-winded verbosity, so don’t let the number of pages scare you off! Just in case though, the pattern pieces an the instructions are in separate documents.

Click Here for Pattern Pieces

Click Here for Instructions

Click Here for Instructions with photos removed (fewer pages, smaller file size)

Have at it, and have fun!

wallet b and c open                wallet b and c closedWallet A Closed                Option B pleated pocketplastic bag wallet inside                Plastic bag wallet outsideWallet option A both                Wallet Option A and C

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A few new things

It’s been awhile since the last news item! Where did the time all go?!? 

For the first order of business, we’ve got a couple of new things up on the website: SOLAS Reflective Ankle Bands and the Commuter Combo Pack (more on those below).

Also, the shade of tan that has been one of our stock colors has been discontinued, so we’re phasing it out. We’ll replace it with a new stock color, and we want your input! Please click here and fill out this very, very quick survey and let us know what you think: https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/BT9CVXR

The color choices are here in this image. The top is gray and the bottom is navy, just for reference. The first on the left is the tan that’s on its way out. The rest, from left to right, are khaki, stormy blue, wine, and olive. If there’s another color you’d like instead, there’s a place for that in the survey, too!

color choices dill pickle

So, now that you’ve taken the survey (which only took you about a minute, so if you haven’t taken it, you should!), here’s the scoop on the new stuff. The SOLAS ankle bands are made of what we think is just about the greatest stuff there is for this application. It’s sturdy and soft against your skin, and it’s REALLY bright even when it’s wet. Ours are 2″ wide with velcro that’s only 1″ wide, which means that there’s a good amount of reflective area visible all the way around even if some of the velcro is showing. And the hook side is shorter than the loop side so they won’t snag your socks. Reflective ankle bands are required at night for RUSA events and many other endurance events, plus they’re a must for commuting in street clothes to keep your pants out of your drivetrain. SOLAS stands for “Safety Of Life At Sea”, because this material is approved by the Coast Guard for marine applications. So it holds up really well against the salt, sand, and slush one encounters in the city in the winter!

commuter combo pack 2014-11-20 16.15.01-1 2014-11-20 16.15.36-1

And speaking of commuting, we’re also introducing the Commuter Combo Pack. It makes a practical gift for anyone you’re trying to encourage to commute by bike, or for someone who’s been commuting forever. It includes a U-Lock Tote, the SOLAS ankle bands, and the new mini-comic book “Bike There” by Dill Pickle’s neighbor Bikeyface. It’s a cute, fun how-to guide for getting started riding around town. But even if you already know what you’re doing, you can still pass on the book to someone who needs encouragement. Or leave it on your coffee table and show your non-cycling friends the parts that show why cyclists shouldn’t ride in the door zone, how to take the lane, how to make left turns, etc. Our ulterior motive in offering the booklet in the combo pack is that we think educating the public about safe cycling is good for everyone, even those who don’t live in the city or ride for transportation. We hope that you’ll be able to use the booklet to help spread the word to your family and friends (so of course, we’re also offering the booklet by itself, for $10).

Speaking of gifts, it’s getting down to the wire if you want any “design-your-own” orders before Dec. 24th, so if you’re thinking of getting customized bike bags as gifts, get your orders in by the end of this week. Although if you don’t, there will still be stuff in stock that’s ready to go out, not to mention gift certificates.

Happy riding, and keep the rubber side down when the ice hits!

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New Today!! The Dill Pickle Gear SuperMini Saddlebag!

All new just for today, Dill Pickle Gear makes an unbelievable breakthrough in lightweight gear. The price is unbelievable, because the bag is just that amazing!

The all-new, ground-breaking Dill Pickle Gear SuperMini Saddlebag is designed just for the discerning minimalist weight weenie. 

 

It has the same great features as its larger cousins, such as mesh side pockets and reflective trim, but weighs in at an ASTOUNDING 0.5 oz! 

It is perfect for credit card touring, in that it has enough room for a credit card. And some cash, a convenience store discount card, and your keys. Well, one key. 

   

The SuperMini is available only in hot pink, because if you are not man enough for a hot pink saddlebag, you should really get something bigger to carry your baggage. You know, like spare tubes and tire levers and tools and stuff. 

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April Fool’s: The joke’s on us!

As you presumably figured out, yesterday’s cute lil’ saddlebag was just for April Fool’s Day, but it turned out that the joke’s on me, because it was unexpectedly popular! 

Now it’s got me inspired and thinking… so stay tuned for more news on that front! 

SuperMini handlebar

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So, how much can I carry?

You can click here to find out a comparison of each bag’s weight and capacity. But what does that really mean for what you can actually carry? To give you some idea, I filled up each size with an assortment of stuff you might have with you on a ride. This is by no means an exhaustive list of what you should bring on a brevet; for example, you’ll notice that while I packed a full change of on-bike clothes as well as a full change of off-bike clothes in the Large, I neglected to pack a toothbrush or clean socks. 

I tried to fill the bags so they were pretty much all the way full, but if you were so inclined you could still strap in some more stuff under the lids and have it stay put; so this is not really the *absolute maximum* you could carry, either.

I also weighed each bag as it was loaded, just to give some idea. For the sake of argument, although I showed the bags (except for the handlebar bag) with a water bottle in a side pocket, I weighed them with the bottle empty; if it were full, it would add a pound. The yellow rain jacket is also very bulky for its weight, but since it’s a great jacket and it weighs next to nothing, I almost always have it in my bag, so it’s in the photos.

The small saddlebag, filled: 

1Small Saddlebag Stuffed

 

And here’s what was in it. The water bottle was in one side pocket, the arm warmers were in the other, and the wind vest was in the lid pocket. There should have been a pump on the lid too, but I forgot. Wallet and cell phone were in the brevet card pocket. Inside were a pair of gloves, a rain jacket, a reflective sash, a tire lever, a multi-tool, a y-wrench, and a patch kit. The total weight, with no pump and with an empty bottle, was 3 lbs 10 oz.

1Small Saddlebag Open

 

 

Here’s the handlebar bag, full. Total weight loaded like this was 3 lb 1 oz. Actually the lid closes no problem, but I positioned the sunglasses to hold it open for the picture: 

1Handlebar Bag Stuffed

The cuesheet was in the cuesheet window. There were a couple of bars in the exterior side pockets as well as a small minimal cable lock, plus more bars and gels in a ziploc bag inside. Also inside were a cell phone (in the cell phone pocket), reflective sash, arm warmers, gloves, rain jacket, spare tail light, sunglasses, and lip balm. Personally, I don’t usually have my jacket in my handlebar bag, which leaves plenty of room for a sandwich or a bottled beverage, etc. 

1Handlebar Bag Open

Or even a loaf of bread!

A Handlebar Bag is just the size for a loaf of bread. This one has yellow lining.

 

 

When it comes to the Medium and the Large, there are more variables to what you can pack where, depending on whether you lash things to the lid or use a lid pocket, whether you use rear pockets, etc. So I packed the Medium just lashing the jacket to the lid, and the Large using the lid pocket. Here’s the Medium, packed: 

1Medium Saddlebag Stuffed 

And here’s what’s inside. The side pocket you can see in the picture has a wind vest and arm warmers in it; the side pocket on the other side has the water bottle. Lashed to the lid are the rain jacket and a pump, and there is a tail light on the loop on the back. In the rear zippered pocket are two spare tubes, multi-tool, patch kit, Y-wrench, and tire lever. Wallet and cell phone are in the brevet card pocket. Inside are a winter thermal jacket, long sleeved jersey, bib shorts, knee warmers, reflective sash, gloves, and a cycling cap. You could easily lash something larger or heavier, such as a stuff sack or drybag to the lid instead of the jacket. With the bottle still empty, the total weight was 6 lb 13 oz.

1Medium Saddlebag Open

 

 

For the Large, I chose one with a mesh lid pocket and mesh side pockets. Although the example in the picture does have a flap extension, I didn’t use it. By using it, you can stuff quite a lot more in where the shoes are if you are so inclined. 

1Large Saddlebag Stuffed Front 1Large Saddlebag Stuffed Back

And here is what’s in it. One side pocket has the water bottle; the other has the wind vest, cycling cap, and arm warmers. The lid pocket has the rain jacket and the reflective sash, with the pump attached. The rear zippered pocket contains two spare tubes, multi-tool, tire lever, small cable lock, Y-wrench, two patch kits, and a couple of bars, with room to spare. Wallet and cell phone are in the brevet card pocket. Inside the bag are a full change of bike clothes, including a winter thermal jacket, bib shorts, long sleeved jersey, and knee warmers; a change of off-bike clothes, including a long-sleeved T-shirt, cotton cargo pants, and a heavy flannel shirt; plus a spare folding tire, pair of gloves, and tail light. The sandals are strapped under the lid so that they don’t get the clean clothes dirty. This all weighed in at 12 lbs even, with the bottle empty. 

1Large Saddlebag Open

 

On my own rides, I often use the side pockets of my saddlebag to carry a bottled beverage or two, or a spare water bottle, or my arm warmers or vest. Particularly on the large, they are easily accessible while riding, so they are good for things I don’t want to have to stop to access. Like I said, this is not at all a recommendation of how to pack for a trip; just a representation of what will fit that you might carry.

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Gallery of Assorted Color Combinations

The most common color choices for Dill Pickle Gear bags are what you'd expect: Black and gray, navy and gray, black and red, etc. But here's an assortment of others you may or may not have thought of:

Large Saddlebag in Gray and Eggplant
Large Saddlebag in Gray and Eggplant


Custom rear trunk bag in black and tan. Mmm, black and tan.... :)
Custom rear trunk bag in black and tan. Mmm, black and tan.... :)


Small Saddlebags in Black and red, red and black, black and red, and red and red
Small Saddlebags in Black and red, red and black, black and red, and red and red


Small Saddlebags in assorted colors: Electric blue and celery, Olive and black, Black and Red, Navy and Gray, Red and Black, Black and Red, Tan and Black, Red and Red.
Small Saddlebags in assorted colors: Electric blue and celery, Olive and black, Black and Red, Navy and Gray, Red and Black, Black and Red, Tan and Black, Red and Red.
 
Large Saddlebag in Electric Blue and Gray
Large Saddlebag in Electric Blue and Gray


Small Saddlebag in Black and Neon Pink
Small Saddlebag in Black and Neon Pink


Large Saddlebag in Navy and Olive with Emerald Pockets
Large Saddlebag in Navy and Olive with Emerald Pockets


Small Saddlebag and Handlebar Bag in Black and Yellow
Small Saddlebag and Handlebar Bag in Black and Yellow


Large Saddlebag in Navy and Gray.
Large Saddlebag in Navy and Gray.


Handlebar Bag in Red and Gray with Name Tag Window
Handlebar Bag in Red and Gray with Name Tag Window


Small Saddlebag in Gray with Black
Small Saddlebag in Gray with Black


Large Saddlebag in Navy and Wine
Large Saddlebag in Navy and Wine


Tool Canister in Wine and Black with White Lining
Tool Canister in Wine and Black with White Lining


Large Saddlebag and Extra Large Rando Bag, Navy and Royal
Large Saddlebag and Extra Large Rando Bag, Navy and Royal


Boxy Rando Bag in Celery and Navy
Boxy Rando Bag in Celery and Navy


Gig Bag in Gray and Navy with Yellow Lining
Gig Bag in Gray and Navy with Yellow Lining



Medium Saddlebag in Navy and Tan
Medium Saddlebag in Navy and Tan


His'n'Hers panniers
His: Neon Green and Blaze Orange. Hers: Electric Blue and Wine. Both with gray bottoms.


Large Saddlebag in Electric Blue and Royal Blue
Large Saddlebag in Electric Blue and Royal Blue


This is a gig bag in Eggplant with Yellow lining
This is a gig bag in Eggplant with Yellow lining


Not the greatest representation of the orange, but this Handlebar Bag is Neon Green and Blaze Orange
Not the greatest representation of the orange, but this Handlebar Bag is Neon Green and Blaze Orange


A Handlebar Bag is just the size for a loaf of bread. This one has yellow lining.
A Handlebar Bag is just the size for a loaf of bread. This one has yellow lining.


Small Saddlebag in Electric Blue and Celery
Small Saddlebag in Electric Blue and Celery


Large Saddlebag in Gray and International Orange with Reflective Mudflaps
Large Saddlebag in Gray and International Orange with Reflective Mudflaps


Handlebar Bag in "Classic Pickle" Navy and Gray
Handlebar Bag in "Classic Pickle" Navy and Gray


Tool Canisters in Black and Navy, Red and Black, and Wine and Black with White Lining
Tool Canisters in Black and Navy, Red and Black, and Wine and Black with White Lining


Handlebar Bag in Black and Orange with Orange lining. Handlebar Bag in Black and Orange with Orange lining. Handlebar Bag in Black and Orange with Orange lining. Handlebar Bag in Black and Orange with Orange lining.

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Another Assorted Gallery

 

I’ve been meaning to add more to the Gallery page and haven’t gotten around to it, so here’s some more stuff in no particular order:

gig_bag_1gig_bag_3gig_bag_2

 

 

 

 

 

 

Dill Pickle Gear Standard Recorder Gig Bag – 9 slots that fit soprano through tenor recorders, plus a separate compartment that can fit oversized scores, a folding stand, etc, including an internal zippered pocket plus pencil slots, and an accessory pocket on the outside as well. Please inquire about current availability.

 

flute_bag_2 flute_bagThis was a padded backpack gig bag for historical flutes.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Those two boxy handlebar bags lower down the page look like they’re the same size, but they’re not! Here’s the blue one, along with its matching Large Saddlebag. In case you are thrown off by the scale, that is NOT a small bike:

graydon1

 

Lastly, a photo of the most involved “custom project” I have ever undertaken. I’ve been meaning (well, for going on five years now…) to write a whole page about the process of making it, since other people’s blog posts about similar projects were absolutely invaluable to someone with plenty of experience making bike stuff, but not so much this: It was my sister’s wedding dress.

julie wedding dress1 julie wedding dress back

 

 

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Introducing the new Medium Saddlebag, and the Under-seat Tool Cannister

Some folks have been asking about a saddlebag sized in between the Large and the Small for quite some time… and the new Dill Pickle Medium Saddlebag is finally here!

Medium Saddlebag Front

And it’s not alone!

Tool Cannister Mounted         Medium Saddlebag With Cannister Side

First the basics: The Medium Saddlebag has a capacity of around 5 liters or 305 cubic inches when more or less full, but not over-stuffed. You could probably stuff another liter in there. And that doesn’t count any exterior pockets. Like the Large and the Small, you can buy one that’s in stock, or you can configure your own and choose from a variety of interior and exterior pockets. The Tool Canister holds about 0.7 liter or 43 cubic inches and you can configure your own colors.

Medium Saddlebag Sketch

I thought long and hard over the final design of the Medium. I considered just making a smaller version of the Large; but I really wanted it to be versatile and able to mount on as many bikes as possible. The Large, like most traditional transverse saddlebags, requires either a saddle with bag loops on the back, or any number of after-market bag mounts and supports. Personally, I don’t like leather saddles and none of my preferred saddles have bag loops. I use a quick-release mount with my Large bag, which is convenient, but for a smaller bag I’d prefer to avoid the rather substantial extra weight of any of the various saddlebag mounts and supports.

So the medium borrows the shorter dowel from the small, but instead of tapering to a wedge shape at the seatpost it flares out from the dowel. That allows the mounting point to stay tucked away under the saddle and not hit your legs if you mount it to the saddle rails.  It has two large grommets for the straps to pass through like the large does; but the spacing between them is about halfway between the spacing of the bag loops on a saddle that has them, and the rails of a saddle that doesn’t. That lets the straps reach either way.

Medium Saddlebag Both on Mounts

The Medium is also fairly squat in profile, and the buckles are positioned so that if you ride a small bike with a low saddle and don’t have much clearance above your rear wheel, you can cinch the bag tightly in the middle to keep it from sagging onto your tire.

Medium Saddlebag With Cannister Bottom

For many riders, that’s the end of the story. But some riders complain that with a transverse saddlebag mounted only to bag loops and seatpost, their thighs hit the bag when they pedal. Some of the Bagman support models only work with bag loops as well, and are intended in part to solve this problem. Sure, you can strap a spare tire behind your seatpost to offset your bag a bit, or you can even clamp a short stem to your seatpost to keep your bag back off your legs, or any number of other things. But I wanted a more elegant solution.

So I designed the Tool Canister. It actually solves several problems at once. It supports the back of a saddlebag to keep it off of your legs and keeps it angled up more, and it works with both the Medium and the Large (and probably with other brands as well, although I haven’t tried) and weighs only 4 oz, much less than any Bagman. Big enough for just the basics, it separates your tools from the rest of the stuff in your bag so that you can change a flat without pawing through all your clean clothes. And you can leave it in place when you take the bag off, which means that when you’re just going on a short ride and don’t need much, you don’t have to move your spare tube and stuff back and forth between different bags; it’s just always right there. When used alone, it’s just a compact, convenient, and extremely stable alternative to a small under-seat wedge pack. When paired with the Medium saddlebag, it allows you to carry all you’ll need on a 600k, without bag loops or any other extra hardware.

Medium Saddlebag with Open Cannister              Tool Cannister Main

Last of all comes the best part… product testing! :D

P1020595            Medium Saddlebag Testing

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