Monday, February 23, 2015

REVIEW: Fi'zi:k ICS Saddle PA:K

Thank you Bear Pope for writing on our blog!

Fi'zi:k ICS Saddle PA:K

MSRP: 20 Euros ($22.76)

Amazon Price (2/22/15): $23.86

Manufacturer Details:
· Water Resistant Bag
· Integrated Clip System

Last March, I decided it was time to step up my saddle game and move from a usedSpecialized saddle from a friend’s bike to a Fi’zi:k Arione Versus. This review is not about the saddle, but about the saddle bag I decided to try with it.

Fi’zi:k saddles are made with an ICS or Integrated Clip System. Fi’zi:k offers a few accessories that clip into the system including, two rear light options and two saddle bag options. With my push towards more miles last year it became apparent that I needed to have a number of items on me at all times for various situations that my occur during longer rides. Adding a saddle bag to my ride made complete sense and the ICS seemed like a good option to check out.

When I first took to Amazon (Love my Prime account), I checked out some the strap on options (that’s what she said). While there were plenty of nice options, I had already set my sites on a Fi’zi:k saddle, and in turn, the PA:K. I was nervous at first. The Amazon reviews were not very positive for the ICS Saddle PA:K. There were many tales of bags being lost due to clips popping out. I decided that I would give it a shot since the price point, along with my income at that time, made it reasonable to take the chance. In the end taking the chance has been worth it.

My first Fi’zi:k ICS Saddle PA:K made it well over 700 miles with me. My loss of that first bag was not due to a failure in the ICS clip, but in my own misjudgment of a space between vehicles and subsequent bouncing between the trailer of a Semi and the hood a van. Unfortunately, the plastic at the hinge gave way to my weight on the bike against the van hood. The ICS clip easily took on many other unfortunate obstacles. One of my main mashing grounds back in Duval, the Baldwin Trail, included a gnarly railroad track crossing that I often hit at an average of 18 mph. Tooling around Jacksonville would often lead to other track crossings as well as rough pavement sections. Not once did the clip fail me. The same held true here in New York. Massive pot holes, railroad crossings, and other unforeseen bumps and divots never caused a loss in bad. Once clipped in, this bag holds true.

The bag boasts a number of other great features including space, water resistance, and straps for other purposes. During all my miles, including a rather nasty storm, I never noticed a thing inside the bag becoming wet or even remotely damp. In the same respect, the ICS and using this bag deters me from using my Ass Saver’s fender. I would have to pick up a more permanent fender for rear end protection while riding with this bag. While the bag may not be large, it has plenty of room for my necessities. Currently, my bag includes a Park Tools AWS-11 Folding Hex Key set, a pair of Pedros Tire Levers, spare 700c tube, CO2 cartridge and inflation valve, Albuterol Inhaler, spare light batteries, antacid pills, and an Amex Charge card. If I needed much more and I might as well have on my Burro Bag Messenger bag. Lastly, there are two side loops and a rear loop for either additional retention, or I supposed if you needed to strap some other item to the bag. I, for one, have used the rear strap to hang the bag on my carabiner when I have made stops during leisure rides where it was not smart to leave the bag clipped into my saddle.

Over all, I have been extremely pleased with my Fi’zi:k ICS Saddle PA:K. It keep my necessities safely stowed, dry, and has had no clip failures. I know had I not smacked that van, I would still have my original a year and another 500 miles later. I would recommend the bag to anyone with or interested in the Fi’zi:k Saddle lineup.

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