Why the bike sacks...
All started when I saw by random some of these Crosso bags while looking for something else inside a polish outdoor shop (the famous Księgarnia Podróżnika, unavoidable maps shop...)
I told myself these bags were really cool, and the price more than affordable, despite I had no plans in the short term to use them for... But they placed the idea into my mind, and during during the few months later, I thought about cycling all around the Tatras range for 3 days. My project didn't take form for many various reasons amongst them time, but I gave myself the childish pretext for purchasing them...
The dry waterproof sacks in particular had focused my attention. They seemed really tough and waterproof, and the rolling system to close them amazingly simple. Since I am an indefectible commuter, and tend to transport occasionally few things like clothes, books and paper stuff, fruits from the market, or even once a laptop, that would certainly be useful not only for tourism... And, as I had in my mind some bike and hike plans in the Tatras as well, like cycling the approach for a mountain hike, a good way to put the hiking boots and heavy gear in.
The Crosso Dry sacks which I bought were not the rear sacks, which I found excessively large. I chose to buy the front sacks which have their own designed frame, which are slightly smaller. I just didn't want to look like crossing Tibet while commuting to work !
After three years the bags are still in the same excellent state as when I purchased them, except the reflective strips (you tend sometimes to touch the bags with heels when not pedaling in proper position...)
On the hardtail
I mounted the Crosso sacks for the very first time on the old Red Specialized hardtail, just to test it. I added my Coleman Cobra 2 hiking tent, also with its own dry bag, to the load just to see.
A couple of days later, I swapped it for the Blue semi-amortized Specialized, which I had in Poland for some time, and with which I rode in Gorce as well as all the 2008 year.
However, the only ride I did during which the sacks really came handy was the ride into Tatra's Dolina Suchej Wody. I had packed my boots and all load into the pockets, carrying the almost empty rucksack on my shoulders, and made it this way to the Murowaniec hut, in which I left the bike during the time of the Via-Ferrata trip to Orla Perc, which thanks to this approach, I accomplished in a record time.
Back home, the Crosso system went back to the old hardtail, and so it was for a couple of years until I was given the baby-sit. Despite a sack-frame is not mandatory, I thought this would make an extra security under the sit. However, this forced me to place the sit higher than it would be without, and elevate the center of gravity. Besides, I started to avoid using the sacks just because of the hassle of having them under the sit, with which I couldn't use them simultaneously.
On the Sussie
The idea of mounting the sacks frame to the newly rebuilt suspended Qbikes, now a multipurpose XC-cyclotouring bike, was in my mind for some time, but here we are, suspended bikes do not own the standard attaches neither are not designed to welcome a sack frame, due to the mobile structure.
However the rear amortizing structure of my QBikes is by chance full of features that would allow blocking some screws, thanks to a multi-beam structure that my Tomac for example doesn't have.
One morning of experiments, messing with screws and nuts of all possible sizes and lengths, made the trick. Not to damage the paint, I placed some inner tube fragments. The main issue I had to deal with was the sacks structure being too close to the sit tube, which makes them touch when passing bumps in soft mode. I had to find a system to add additional length to the arms, which I temporarily made with a set of spare derailleur holders... I hope to find something better. Currently it works except the deepest holes...
The main difference with my bike and the few other suspended bikes owning such sacks-frame I have ever seen, is that the weight of sacks is not supported by the amortization on mine. Pity if we transport eggs or strawberries... but I must say it works quite well, and even fully loaded, the bike remains as comfortable to ride as before on rugged surface. And, by some coincidence, all green, including the little gear sit-bag. Great for camouflage, if I ever need go illegally offtrails in the Tatras :)
A good multipurpose cyclotouring bike ! I just have to find now where to go far with it... and, the most difficult, when...