Home > Gear, ultralight bicycle touring > Nitto Saddlebag Grip First Impressions

Nitto Saddlebag Grip First Impressions

Arriving wrapped in a Japanese newspaper, I immediately tossed the saddlebag grip aside and spent the next hour trying to decipher this wonderful treasure from an exotic and foreign land.  Apparently Sumo wrestling season is coinciding with baseball season in the land of rising sun.  The Tokyo Dome City Giants are the team to beat this year.

In other news, an extremely off Broadway production of Hairspray is playing at 6.2 Tuesday and 14 Sunday. Tickets only cost 10,000 somethings.  The Mizuho Corporation is celebrating Happy Bank Day! And the must have luxury car this year is a Mitsuoka Viewt.  It looks something like a stretched out VW Beatle.

When I finally notice the saddlebag grip, I’m overwhelmed by a feeling of not being ripped off; a feeling I seldom get when ordering an American made product over the internet.  This thing is very well made, solid, sturdy, and in no way flimsy.  This is to be expected from a nation who has given the bicycling world the Ostrich handlebar bag and the Nitto Mini-front rack (not to mention Shimano bicycle parts). 

The Nitto Saddlebag Grip mounts on your saddle’s rails, which seems a more secure attaching point than the bendable tab loops on the rear of your saddle. The saddlebag, a Carradice Camper Long flap in my case, attaches via a quick release skewer (a Shimano no less).  Easy on, easy off.


I’m pairing the Nitto Saddlebag Grip (from Rivendell Bicycle Works) with the Viva Saddlebag support (from Velo-Orange) and leaving my rear rack at home for my upcoming Blue Ridge Parkway tour.  I’ll do a more complete review of both after putting a few hundred mountain-miles on them.

Thanks for reading, Jack

  1. August 19, 2010 at 9:02 pm

    Nice! Beautiful gear, I can’t wait to hear about the trip.

  2. velohobo
    August 20, 2010 at 3:50 pm

    Thanks Chuck,

    Only a few weeks left. I’ll be sure to post a few pictures.


  3. August 26, 2010 at 7:04 pm

    Looks like a beautifully made and neat solution to that vexed ‘faffing with the straps’ moment. I use a Carradice SQR system, which is really handy, yet butt ugly compared with Nitto’s offering. I do like the Carradice Bagman QR though, which integrates the saddle support and the QR feature in one elegant item. Both can be found here: http://www.carradice.co.uk (and no I’m not on commission) Superb blog by the way – now added to my ‘blogs I read’ section. http://theeverydaycyclist.blogspot.com

  4. velohobo
    August 26, 2010 at 7:43 pm

    Thanks Eddie,
    The ViVa support seems a bit flimsy, but I’m withholding judgment until I’ve tour with it.


    • michael
      November 19, 2010 at 10:40 pm

      So, have you continued to use the Viva bag support with a positive review? My concern (but no experience) with the Bagman is that it supports the bag further back than the center of gravity. I already struggle with some wobble when my top, rear is loaded. I’d hoped the Viva support gave the bag what it needed against sway; held it just enough away from your thighs against rubbing; and kept the weight closer to center.

  5. The Velo Hobo
    November 20, 2010 at 6:59 am

    The Viva did not work so well with the camperlong flap and nitto quick release. The distance from the grip to the support was a bit too short leaving the entire load to be carried by the support…and the Viva was not up to the 18 pound load I was carrying on a recent tour. The viva bent until the bag was resting on my back fender.

    It may work well with a lighter load, a taller seat post or a smaller bag. I’ve gone back to using a rear rack for touring…but I’m keeping the Nitto quick release. I may still use the Viva for shorter trips and lighter loads.

    Thanks, Jack

  6. DoubleD
    July 26, 2013 at 11:18 am

    Just found this review. I like the Saddlebag grip and wonder if it is not the perfect way to carry a lighter load when riding a brevet – another one of my aspirations. Thanks for the review and sources. I’m shopping!

  1. September 23, 2010 at 5:31 pm

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