Reverence: Lezyne Rule 31 Sack

Simplicity is its middle name.

Rule #31 was conceived out of necessity, aesthetics and plain good taste.  Seeing an oversized saddle bag hanging limply by velcro under a Flite, Arione or Regal just isn’t right.  Frame pumps, while they undoubtedly do the finest job of inflating a tube, add nothing but bulk and clutter to the lines of a frame (and aren’t compatible with the majority of curvy, plastic frames prominent today).  While a folded tubular held under the seat with a Christophe toe-strap may have been de riguer and kinda cool back in the day, running tubs nowadays is not only uncommon, but an exercise in futility should one ride on any road less smooth and glass-free than a baby’s bum.  So you see, Rule #31 was a no-brainer.

But even this most important of Rules has its drawbacks;  stuffing the three pockets of your jersey can leave you looking like the Hunchback of Notre Dame, albeit with the hunch on the lower back, and more akin to a series of tumours across the hips and lower spine.  Not a pretty sight.  My usual pocket-stuffing routine would entail a tube and tyre levers bundled together with a rubber band, stuffed in the middle pocket, with a mini pump accompanying it. The phone would go in the right hip pocket, along with a camera (if there were to be some photo ops along the route, or blatant bike porn shots) and gels and bars in the left.  Any extraneous clothing shed en route (arm warmers, cap, gloves) would then be forced in wherever they would fit.  If a jacket was required, then all hell would break loose.

But recently I happened by chance upon an item that has made my life, and my riding experience all the easier and clutter-free. Lezyne products were having a season launch of their new, cool gear, and everyone attending received a free gift;  in my case, I was handed the Caddy Sack, a simple PVC pouch.  Inside was a metal patch kit with glueless patches, and a pair of mini tyre levers.  I took it with a degree of dismissal, thinking it would just end up in the pile of superfluous bike crap scattered around my house. But I decided I’d see how much I could load it up, and was surprised to find that it holds a veritable shitload of gear.  There’s room aplenty for a tube, levers, patch kit, multi tool, card wallet and phone.  But if I want to, I can easily ft in another tube, a bar or two and a couple of gels.  And it fits with ease into the middle pocket of all my jerseys, especially the sweet V jersey which is always the go-to garment of choice.  This leaves the two outside pockets with more room than ever for whatever the ride requires from the aforementioned list-of-crap-one-may-carry.

Sitting alongside the 31 Sack is always the best mini pump I’ve ever used, the Lezyne Pressure Drive M (for medium).  Why is it the best?  Just look at it!  It’s sexy, yeah, but for such a small unit it packs plenty of air into each stroke, and I can get a geniune 100PSI into my tubes during any roadside repair.  But the best feature is the flexible screw-in hose, which eliminates the chance of breaking off the screw-on end of Presta valves, as has happened to the best of us when vigourously hacking away with a fixed-head pump.  C’mon, admit it, you’ve done it.  No more chance of that with this little beauty.  Quite simply, it rules (31 especially).

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244 Replies to “Reverence: Lezyne Rule 31 Sack”

  1. I just like that what started as an innocent Reverence post has erupted into a catharsis for Rule-Breakers. We all sit hit here checking over our shoulders with our helmet mirrors as we type, hoping the Rule Police don’t show up. Next thing you know, we’re frolicking in a field together, clearing our souls of our transgressions.

  2. @Collin
    The shortening days make us regretful and we feel the need to repent.

    For those of us in the Northern Hemisphere, at any rate. I can’t explain why some of our antipodean friends are sharing in the collective unburdening of souls. @Mr. Haven seems to have a healthy outlook, however.

  3. I’ll weigh in on the discussion as I have actual field experience in carrying loads in both panniers and on my back. Now this is an extreme example of load carrying but maybe since I’ve actually done it, I can actually speak about it. I was a messenger for about 3 years and half of that time I had panniers and half I had your typical messenger bag.

    With panniers, I hated the uncontrollable swaying of the bike due to shifting load, the extra pounding of the potholes and the sluggish way the bike shifted while in a standing climb.

    With the messenger bag, most of the issues above were remedied but the weight of the bag hurt my shoulder (I’m thinking that my right shoulder bothers me to this day because of this), made it difficult to breath, and hurt my ass because the weight was carried on my body the load shift at that height is more unpredictable and can be more disastrous.

    Despite these two major differences in handling and physical abuse I can’t say that either method seemed any better as far as performance goes. With panniers, the bike was heavy and cumbersome and sluggish, but you adjust your climbing and it all works out, your body feels light, svelte and you ride and climb with a magnificent stroke because you aren’t bearing any extra weight on your body. With a messenger bag you climb somewhat normally, and your bike feels light and quick but you feel heavy, it does affect your climbing as the weight is high on your body.

    Stuffed pockets have the benefit of following the Rules as they are currently written but the drawbacks that they can snag on your saddle when sitting on the top tube on a descent, leave you more likely to lose something or crash as you try to juggle your pocket contents, accentuate your gut by pulling your jersey tight over it, over time, pop the seams or tear holes in the fabric of your beloved kit where the pockets attach.

    Saddle bags have the benefit of counteracting all the drawbacks above with the added drawback of not following the Rules as they are currently written. Saddle bags must be cinched down as tightly as humanly possible to prevent any kind of sway.

    I guess if I read that over it looks like a saddle bag might actually be a better idea, but I still carry my tool kit and mini pump in my back pocket for now.

  4. Just to be clear, I have extensively field tested weight-distribution on my bicycles and on my body – currently I’m testing an extreme amount of the latter!

    And in the spirit of full disclosure, while I am arguing strenuously for the humble saddle bag, I will generally opt for the jersey pockets for blatantly aesthetic reasons – aesthetic for the bike, that is, not me – that would be a lost cause…

  5. @Marcus
    Jeez, Louise. Coming from the country that has recently made bestiality a requirement for sporting excellence, that question is almost a compliment. (Residents of the Northern Hemisphere who fail to follow that can, if they wish, enlighten themselves by Googling ‘Joel Monaghan’ + ‘dog’ + ‘sex act’.)

    @frank
    To be clear, I do not wear my lumisash during the day (i.e. when I could be recognized).

    @Collin
    +1

  6. @Marcus
    Jeez, Louise. Coming from the country that has recently made bestiality a requirement for sporting excellence, that question is almost a compliment. (Residents of the Northern Hemisphere who fail to follow that can, if they wish, enlighten themselves by Googling ‘Joel Monaghan’ + ‘dog’ + ‘sex act’.)

    @frank
    To be clear, I do not wear my lumisash during the day (i.e. when I could be recognized).

    @Collin
    +1

  7. Over 100 posts on, as Collin said, an innocent Reverence article on a sack! I think we need to go back to the very first line of the article, and revisit the issue at hand. It’s not about weight distribution etc;

    “Rule 31 was conceived out of necessity, aesthetics and plain good taste.”

    I rest my case.

  8. Brett :
    Over 100 posts on, as Collin said, an innocent Reverence article on a sack! I think we need to go back to the very first line of the article, and revisit the issue at hand. It’s not about weight distribution etc;
    “Rule 31 was conceived out of necessity, aesthetics and plain good taste.”
    I rest my case.

    As a relative new-comer to the site, I am glad to see the above post. Rule #31 is not so hard to understand and pretty straight forward. And as always, we need to refer to Rule #1 and if in doubt, Rule #5. Now everyone, HTFU and Good Roads! I shoudl be home from Iraq tomorrow and look forward to riding with my back pockets stuffed full of gear and without any pussy bag on my bike!!!

  9. It is only by exploring the heretical that we can truly understand our faith. A-Merckx, brothers and sisters. Moving on …

  10. I can’t fucking believe how long a discussion about the merits of saddlebags could be. It’s simple, anyone using a European Posterior Man-bag, is a twat (or a douche in American).

    Also anyone suggesting that if you don’t fill your pockets with food for each ride isn’t riding enough is also a twat. If anything pockets should be empty on every ride, Rule #5 fuckers. You’ll never get anywhere near climbing weight if you take food with you all the time.

    As for Lezyne, I quite like this:

  11. Jarvis :
    If anything pockets should be empty on every ride, Rule #5 fuckers. You’ll never get anywhere near climbing weight if you take food with you all the time.

  12. @george
    why would you put a phone on a bike? You don’t need a Rule for that

  13. This whole article is bullshit. You said you can’t get all of your stuff inside your jersey pockets … How is wrapping it inside yet another bag and stuffing it back inside your pockets going to help you get it in? That just doesnt make sense.

  14. Lol, I think the Rules are just the way to express frustation to not being a pro, because pro’s really dont care about them. Example of Carlos Barredo from Rabobank past weekend

  15. Still dont belive me? Look a 3m 20s of this video from Team Sky http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0-aUbsX_2lI#t=3m20s they even go with a GoPro HD in the handlebar :D

    They are the real men, not because of their fantastic performance… because they really enjoy cycling and don’t waste soo much time wondering about the lookings, but yes about training.

    PS: The photo is low quality, but Carlos Barredo has saddlebag and rear fender.

  16. @Bertocq
    Maybe this is why I feel so empty. I’m glad we’ve got that cleared up. What you’re saying is less lookings and more trainings. I’ll try that. I still think I’ll go faster without the saddlebag.

  17. I’ve sworn off my saddle bag. At least whilst riding #1. My Lezyne pressure drive pump arrived the other day. Elegant little bugger. I’m swearing off C02 as well and will start riding lower tyre pressures this year. It’s a sea-change.

  18. @Marko
    I read somewhere recently that the difference between 90psi and 120psi in terms of performance (additional rolling resistance) is essentially nil – and that, for many, to the extent lower pressure results in greater comfort it is likely to increase performance.

    I confess, though, that I have relapsed back to carrying a European Posterior Man Satchel, after heading out for several rides with a pump but no spare tires (though its chief benefit is psychological – when I hear people laughing at me as they pass me on climbs, I can tell myself that it is because of my EPMS rather than the obvious gulf between me and Peaking World). I made sure I removed it before taking the bike into the store this morning, though, lest Brett saw it and burnt it on the spot.

  19. @G’phant
    Can we get some clarification on the EPMS? Is it a purse or is it a musette? A musette is always OK, it takes panache to ride with one. It always has to be in exactly the right position, which looks good, or else it is flapping in the wind, which looks bad.
    Personally I find musettes a little fussy. I am not sure why your spare can not be folded properly and attached with a toestrap to your seat rails? The rest of your necessities in your jersey pockets?

    On tire pressure, I agree that low psi is not necessarily bad. A great English racer who ended up in the states, Alric Gayfer, used to put in 85psi at a time when money was tight. He rode with such skill that others behind him would puncture in pot holes he flicked around but his tires lasted and he suffered no loss in results.

  20. At the races is not a good idea touch the pro’s bikes, nevertheless one time I checked the pressure of one, it was hard like a stone…

  21. @Marko
    I’ve gradually reduced tire pressure over the last couple of years too and now run 85-95 or 90-100 or thereabouts in dry conditions and about 10 lbs less in the wet. The ride comfort is better, as is the cornering, and I can’t complain (knock on wood) of any pinch flats.

  22. Pedale.Forchetta:
    At the races is not a good idea touch the pro’s bikes, nevertheless one time I checked the pressure of one, it was hard like a stone…

    In my experience, pros do dumb things just like regular folks. I worked with a National Champion who truly believed they were faster with 180psi in their tyres…until I tricked them and only put 120psi in there, that is. After that they were convinced that the bike handled better and they were fresher longer.

  23. @Rob
    Thanks, Rob, for forcing me to be completely explicit about my Rule breach – it is a standard issue (though relatively small) saddle bag which requires no dexterity and involves even less panache. But there it is.

  24. @Oli Brooke-White
    Correct, they do this in the conviction of compensating the minimal (if any) leak of air of the first hours into the race to have a perfect(?) pressure at the end of it.
    Me as a rouleur, I’m contemplating the possibility to pass to a 24mm clincher…

  25. @Marko
    I think that pressure and dimentions of the tyres are some of the most personal decisions of the whole set up of a bike.

  26. @Marko

    @Pedale.Forchetta

    God, there are so many forums online where people argue tire width and PSI to no end.

    Personally, I’d love to to try out some 25’s instead of the typical 23, but when a good set runs you $100 you don’t want to buy something you aren’t sure about… I’m going to get a new set of GP 4000 S tires soon, but I think those only come in a 23.

  27. @mcsqueak
    Which is exactly why we have Velominati. So the gentleman or lady cyclist can come discuss the finer subtleties of the sport without being dragged into the trenches. Unless, of course, those trenches line a cobbled road in northern France or Belgium.

  28. From the conversations about tyre pressures I’ve had it’s nothing to do with air loss, it’s all to do with the erroneous perception that the more air in a tyre the faster they are.

  29. @Oli Brooke-White
    Way back when I raced, it was always 23’s at 110-120psi. When I started riding again, the bike came stock with 25’s. They looked really bad to me, so I put on 23’s and pumped up to 110psi just like always. When I wore out the tires, I grabbed the 25’s out of laziness, and started messing with pressures. I now run about 75-80 up front and 90 on the back. I weigh 63.5 kilos, so I’m not stressing the tires. I came to the current pressures by looking for the almost imperceptable deflection of the sidewalls when I was on the bike. Because I’m not getting beat up, I am actually faster over a long ride and I can go harder.

  30. @Juan Palomo
    Who’s loved? I don’t love L____. I’m so tired of seeing his name in the press that I can’t bring myself to type it.

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