Apidura Racing Long Top Tube Pack alias “Sausage dog”
I love top tube bags! They’re so handy and I had so many interactions with them as I ride. They don’t have excessive aerodynamic drag, they’re close to the centre of gravity and it’s so easy to pick an item from them. After several failures with an Apidura’s magnetic closure I wanted to try a regular zipper.
The golden standard for this kind of bag is usually a length of around 20 centimetres. The “Sausage dog” has created its own category. It has 44cm in length and volume of 2 litres. Based on the frame size it covers nearly all the length of the top tube. You won’t get this space for free! Not counting the price itself, your bike will be 200g heavier.
The bag is attached to the frame using 4 velcros - 1 in front and 3 in the bottom. The first velcro is not as close to a fork as in classical Top Tube Pack, so you will be able to use it on a mountain bike frame. The last velcro has a variable position, the others are sewn into the bag. For the seatpost, you will have to use a buckle which is kind of a pain in the ass. It makes (re)moving the bag much more difficult. Or I’m too lazy.
Since the bag is so long it has two zipper sliders and you can open it from two directions. That’s handy. I would love to see the zipper more robust as I already damaged it in a lower part. I know it’s “my fault” because in the heat of the race I tried really hard to close the bag which was just too full.
Inside the bag, there is a velcro-powered divider. You can adjust it as you want. The divider doesn’t hold when you’re trying too hard to find something. Otherwise, it’s a standard Apidura construction where the sides are reinforced by plastic. It created a “secret pocket” where you can hide valuable and small items if they’re narrow enough. The bag is of course fully waterproof.
The height of the bag is 10cm in the front and 4.5cm in the rear. It’s because when you stand over the bike you need more space towards the saddle. The exact fit will depend on the proportions of the rider and the bike. In my case, I have a hard time picking items from a lower part when I’m standing. That can be a little frustrating as I can do it only when riding or when I put both my legs out of the bike. In the lower part of the bag, there is a kind of pocket which can be hard to reach and some small items can travel there.
The bag is relatively stable when you ride, but it tends to lose a little bit as you ride. From time to time I have to use my knees to centre the bag. When I stop and lay the bike on my bike, it will turn the bag on the side and I have to adjust it as I get back to riding. During the pedalling, I don’t touch the bag.
With a smaller version of this bag, I had so many items that the inside was too messy. It was hard to find items and other things were falling off. I thought a bigger bag will be a solution. The reality is that I end up with the same mess. As I had more space I simply took more things and it was actually messier.
The long version of the bag is great for utilizing the top part of the frame. It has its downsides and it depends on the size of your bike and how you’ll cope together.