We feature and review products from many brands on Wheelsuckers, from famous marques with an enviable heritage to new start-ups offering an innovative accessory. Falling into the latter category, the nicnacpac, conceived by two experienced North Yorkshire based cyclists, is a neat solution to carrying your ride essentials.
The duo, Tim Brayshaw and Rob Carr, recently launched the nicnacpac on Kickstarter and within a fortnight had hit their target figure of £3k, which suggests that there were a fair number of cyclists out there who shared their irritation with the lack of an affordable and practical way to carry their tyre levers and gels! Dave Nash takes a closer look and having gathered up his ride essentials from the floor, road tests one of these natty little pouches.
I’m rather envious of cyclists I ride with who never appear to keep anything in their rear pockets, whilst I adhere to the ‘all but the kitchen sink’ mentality. Even on a perfect summer day, both my pockets and my saddlebag are crammed full of all the accoutrements I feel are necessary to ensure I am prepared for every possible eventuality, be it changing weather conditions, my fuelling needs or mechanical issues that may arise.
Many champion saddlebags over crammed rear pockets, though I have a club mate who, being a man who takes his cycling style very seriously indeed, will not sully the clean lines of his bike and cycling jersey with unsightly lumps and bumps. His own solution was to ingeniously disguise a bidon to carry his tools, tyre levers and tubes.
We all have our own systems, but earlier this month, cycling mates Rob Carr and Tim Brayshaw, who ride both off-road and on in their native North Yorkshire, launched a new product on Kickstarter, which they claim is a practical way to carry all your ride essentials, without fear of losing them or forgetting to take them with you.
The aptly-named nicnacpac is a lightweight, washable and waterproof draw-string bag that fits snugly into a standard cycle jersey rear pocket. For what is essentially quite a simple product, Carr and Brayshaw have invested some rigorous R&D. The emphasis was always on quality and robustness, plus they’ve even factored in a couple of neat safety features too – an ID-tag to record ICE details and a whistle, aimed primarily at cyclists who are likely to head off-road.
Simple, natty design coupled with quality construction and components.
I admit I had a few initial misgivings when they dropped Wheelsuckers a line about their forthcoming Kickstarter campaign. I carry cash, keys and cards in a zipped case and have a saddlebag for inner tubes and gas canisters. I’m habitual – I keep fuel in one pocket, case/phone in another and ‘any outstanding items’ in the third. Did I really need to add a pouch to my armoury and was the nicnacpac, I pondered, a solution for a problem that didn’t actually exist?
Having used a nicnacpac for a few weeks, however, I have become a convert. I’m liking the fact that all my ride essentials for potential mechanicals are contained in one single bag. I know what is in it, so now before each ride, I can grab it, stuff it in a rear pocket (where it sits snug and secure) safe in the knowledge that I have all tools necessary should I suffer some misfortune on the road.
Measuring 15cm by 20cm, the nicnacpac has a large aperture, which makes it easy to access all the items inside. I’ve found it especially good for keeping all those small, but vital accessories in one place – self-adhesive patches, a split-link, spare cleat bolt, my Di2 cable plug are all neatly contained in the pouch with a gas canister, multi-tool and tyre levers. In short, all those items you can inadvertently dislodge as you pull out a gel or gilet, never to be seen again! (And on that note, I would argue that the nicnacpac is particularly useful in spring and autumn, when you are more likely to have a pair of arm-warmers/gilet stashed away in a rear pocket.)
So long as you don't over-fill, the nicnacpac fits securely in even the most constrictive of rear pockets.
OK, there are inevitably going to be the detractors out there and one could argue that a saddlebag or a sealable bag or even the pocket itself will accommodate the same items for which the nicnacpac was designed to contain. Brayshaw and Carr concede that if you are happy using a freezer bag, then that’s fine, but they claim the nicnacpac offers a secure, weatherproof and affordable bag that keeps all your bits and bobs in one place – easily accessible when needed and reducing the possibility of losing any of your ride essentials on bumpy roads or terrain, plus the addition of a couple of safety features too! So yes, a 2p freezer bag may be significantly cheaper, but . . . well, it is just a plastic bag.
There are other products on the market for carrying ride essentials, but the simplicity of the design and the price point of the nicnacpac – when they go on general sale they will retail at a very affordable £7.50 – will make it an attractive option for many, especially if the quality of the materials and construction that Brayshaw and Carr were very keen to ensure from the outset, makes the nicnacpac an accessory that will see you through a few seasons and some!
The ICE label is a great feature and will provide valuable information to first responders.
At the moment the nicnacpac only comes in a black version, but now that the Kickstarter target has been reached, the colour options will be extended and, in response to feedback, they have quickly introduced the nicnacpac lite, which features all the above, excluding the whistle – catering for the dedicated road cycling weight-weenies out there!
You can check out the nicnacpac and make a pledge on Kickstarter (at time of writing there is still an opportunity to invest a minimum of £5.50 for which you will receive a nicnacpac) or visit the nicnacpac website where they will go on general sale in the very near future.
Enthused by the positive response to the nicnacpac from both fellow riders and the cycling industry, Brayshaw and Carr are already working on their next product. Once again it is a storage solution, but like the nicnacpac, one that looks to deviate from the other options on the market.
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