What do cyclists want?
When we set out developing BlackFish we knew our end goal – to produce a pannier that works as well in the workplace as it does on the bike – but we still had an abundance of questions to answer along the way.
Should we make a bag big enough to hold a full range of paraphernalia or should we focus on a streamlined aesthetic?
Do cyclists prefer something cheap and easy or would they rather spend more for good quality?
Should we cover the bag in bright reflective strips or should we priorities style and subtlety?
Being keen cyclists ourselves we already thought that we knew the right answers to a lot of these questions, but nevertheless we set out on a mission to ask as many of you as possible for your opinions.
We scoured the roads, the coffee shops, the pubs, and of course the internet, for cycle-commuters. This is what we found:
- We don’t always agree on much. Apart from our shared passion for life on two wheels we are a very diverse group, with very different opinions.
Substance over style. Style is great (in fact we are a pretty stylish bunch) but it cannot be at the expense of functionality and durability.
Waterproofing is key. We ride in all weathers and we don’t want our kit to be wet when we arrive.
With this information in mind we have gone through countless hours of development and worked through half a dozen prototypes to bring you the best on offer, at the lowest cost.
This has definitely slowed us down, a lot. For example after tipping three full watering cans over our last prototype we found out that a tiny amount of water tipped from a certain angle could still trickle into the bag - and this isn't good enough for us. We are currently working with a factory that supplies North Face to develop a stowable waterproof cover.
Good things are worth waiting for.
What is most important to you in a commuting pannier?