Friday, 29 July 2016

Axiom Barkeep DLX 16 | Easy Access


A short while ago Fatbike Republic had the opportunity to test the Axiom fatbike specific cargo rack called the Fatliner.  Its is a tough and versatile way to carry extra cargo on your fattie.

In addition to bicycle cargo racks Axiom Cycling Gear also carry a multitude of bags and baskets to accentuate your riding experience. Fatbike Republic was given the opportunity to review the Paddywagon EXP 19 and the Barkeep DLX 16.

Click HERE to take a look at the Paddywagon EXP 19.

AXIOM

As mentioned in the Fatliner review, Axiom Cycling Gear not only design and develop cycling gear that works . . . they are also committed to the environment.

Whether the goal is daily commuting, granfondos or weekend recreation, we make bags that cover a lot of ground. Axiom panniers incorporate only the highest quality materials and are assembled using cutting edge manufacturing processes, so they're incredibly lightweight and last a lifetime. Every bag we make reflects the extraordinary attention to detail that is Axiom's hallmark. We sweat the details so riders can relish in the journey.

And Axiom stands behind their products with a guarantee warranted against manufacturing defects for the lifetime of the original purchaser.

BARKEEP DLX 16

The Barkeep DLX 16 is the most feature rich of the Axiom Handlebar Bag lineup. With a retail price of $129.99 this semi-insulated bag has multiple pockets, a clear touch compatible pouch and a quick release mounting system.

Additional details:

 - Constructed of 600D polyester with 3M reflective panels
 - Water resistant
 - Quick release bracket that fits 22.2 – 31.8 mm bars
 - 16L/490 cu in of storage
 - Branded rain cover included
 - Shoulder strap for carrying

Although the Barkeep DLX 16 has a smaller capacity than the Paddywagon EXP 19 it is quite larger, mainly because there are no expandable sections. What is does have is a water bottle bag (or feed bag) on the left, a dual chamber pocket with Velcro closure on the right and a mesh pocket on the front. A clear pouch graces the lid and it is suitable for a phone or gps as it is touch compatible. And finally, there are D-rings to attach the shoulder strap and a carrying strap under the cell phone pouch.


The Barkeep DLX 16 opens away from the rider so that you do not have to dismount to get at your stuff. The inside is insulated to keep things cool\warm with hidden rigid panels helping the bag maintain its shape. Inside the lid there is a zippered mesh pocket and a huge compartment (with Velcro divider) to store your goodies.



The Barkeep DLX 16 weighs in at 758g which is slightly lighter than the 860g as claimed.


The Barkeep DLX 16 gets a matching bright yellow rain cover for when things really get wet. It also has a reflective stripe on the front and four snap closures to secure the elasticized cover to the bag. I’m thinking nothing short of a typhoon will tear off this cover.



I ran into a little difficulty installing the bar mount . . . until I found the instructions on the Axiom site.  I had initially popped the bar mount over my 31.8mm bars and the clamps would not fit. This was quite odd until I discovered that there were two positions for the lower jaw.  Pushing out the pins and relocating the jaw to the hidden lower position, the mount installed as expected.  And with that the bag snapped into place very easily.


IN USE

The Barkeep DLX 16 was strapped to the nose of a street based Norco Bigfoot (Fatrod) and an off-trail Norco Sasquatch 6.1 for testing.

Scooting around on the blacktop and city trails on the Fatrod (with rigid fork) the Barkeep was barely noticeable.  Although it did obstruct the view of the front tire, the higher center of gravity of the packed bag did not have much of an effect on the smooth trails.


Heading off the beaten track the Barkeep DLX 16 became more noticeable on the bluto equipped Sasquatch.  The additional weight on the bars caused the bluto to engage more often when negotiating the humps and bumps.  Adding more air to the fork tempered the bluto’s reaction.  The higher centre of gravity does require a change in riding style when approaching twisty bits in the trail.  The Barkeep did bounce when going over rough sections, however its internal bracing/support allowed it to maintain its shape and the bracket mounted to the bar did not even think about moving or twisting.



Whether running the Barkeep DLX 16 on smooth trails or in the back country, it was super convenient to have the extra storage literally at your fingertips. When riding it was actually more convenient to reach for the water bottle attached to the Barkeep than the one attached to the bike frame.  It was also much easier to access camera gear instead of trying to wrestle it out of a backpack or shorts pocket.  The touch screen friendly pocket on top is great for those who need to be connected.

I did encounter heavy drizzle while testing, and while the outside of the bag did get wet, the contents inside (and the phone in the pouch) stayed dry.  And the quick release bracket allows you to remove the bag from the bar in mere seconds.

While not tested in winter conditions, the insulation in the Barkeep DLX 16 does indeed keep water from freezing.  I placed a bottle of water into the bag and placed it in a chest freezer for three hours.  The water did not freeze . . . it was just cool.  By that token it should also keep other goodies from freezing during winter rides.



When closed the lid of the Barkeep fits snugly over the bag opening, extending down the sides about an inch.  This will keep out any snow during blustery conditions or winter tumbles.

FINAL THOUGHTS

While not a specifically dedicated fatbike product, the Barkeep DLX 16 does have applications in the fat world.

While riding in technical twisty and uneven surfaces, especially with front suspension, the Barkeep DLX 16 will require changes to your normal riding style.  On smoother trails . . . and undoubtedly during the winter months . . . this is not a concern.

Either way the Barkeep DLX 16 does offer fingertip access to a huge amount of storage.  The shoulder strap can be attached while mounted to the bike so it can be easily remove and carried on your person. 

Like its Paddywagon EXP 19 brother, Barkeep DLX 16 is extremely well constructed and the insulating properties of the bag will keep stuff cool during the summer and more importantly . . . from freezing solid during the winter. 

If you want quick access to goodies or gear, head on over to the Axiom site to take a closer look at the Barkeep DLX 16 or visit your favorite on-line retailer or local bike shoppe.

Ride on !

2 comments:

  1. Thank you! Any ideas if an iPad in a sleeve would fit inside this bag? I've found no data about inside measures on Axiom's site

    ReplyDelete
  2. There is a tonne of room. The center divider can be moved as well. What are the dimensions and I'll take some measurements.

    ReplyDelete