Thursday, October 24, 2013

DIY Bag Support for the Carradice Barley

During the refurbishment of the 1953 Raleigh Sports, I ordered a Carradice Barley saddle bag.  This is the first Carradice bag I've owned.  They have been made in England since 1930.  These bags have gained a very favorable reputation over the years. and are common equipment on many Classic Three Speeds.  Here is the bag mounted on the 1953 Sports.

It is intended to be mounted on the rear saddle loops, but you can see it touches the rear fender and rolls under the seat somewhat.  It is also difficult to fasten the rear straps and the contents of the bag will dump out if not careful.  There is a metal support available for this bag made by Bagman, but it is expensive and currently out of production.  Viewing pictures of the Bagman support on-line shows a rather simple device.

I decided to attempt and make my own to fit the Brooks B-66 saddle I have on this bike as well as several others.  I purchased some 3/16" steel rod from Home Depot.  These come in 3' lengths and can be had either unfinished (rusts easily), or with a zinc plated finish.  I got one of each for $2.77 and $2.93 respectively.  I took some measurements off the bag, bike, and saddle and started bending.  Since I anticipated some trail and error until I got the right fit, I used cheaper unfinished rod first as a prototype.

This is the prototype.  It rests on top of the B-66 rod that goes between the bottom of the springs, then hooks between the double rails.

This is the bag and support.  I used a Velcro strap to secure the bag to the seat post.  The strap goes through the leather attachment patch on the bag and around the support.

Bag is now supported off the fender, and the straps are more accessible.

This is bottom of bag showing Velcro seat post strap.

I want to make some minor adjustments to my measurements, then make another one, using the zinc plated rod. Total cost less than $3.00.

Please share your comments and experiences,



  1. Good luck, if you have questions let me know.

    1. Okay I will, thanks for the blog.

  2. This looks great! After you do your second run, I'd be interested if you posted a schematic of the actual measurements. FWIW, I too tried doing this, but used a completely different approach using aluminum flatbar and 1/4 plywood. Not too elegant. I tried to dress it up a bit with shellac and twine, but honestly, I like the bent steel one better. It seems to just disappear under the bag.

    Question: Does the support slip out of the grooves between the double rails? How do you keep it from slipping sideways? Is this even a problem? How would you use this with a B-67 (single rail)?

    Thanks- love your site

  3. For the final version of the support I used some stainless steel rod, it was $5.00 instead of $3.00, but it was springier that the regular steel, so some of the bends were not as sharp. If you're interested I can send you the earlier one for the price of shipping, let me know.

    The support fits between the rails from the tension created from the bends, the most important part that keeps it stable is the Velcro strap the goes from the Barley bag support patch to the seat post, this pulls the support forward and keeps it in place. On single rail saddle you would need a different method to secure the support. Study the pictures, if you have more questions let me know.