Review: CycleChic Urban Proof Recycled Shopper Pannier Bag
Few panniers are stylish enough to carry off the bike discreetly. This single-pannier shopping bag from CycleChic aims to combine cycling practicality with a look that doesn’t scream ‘cyclist’. Off the bike, it’s like a tote bag.
It’s made from 47 recycled plastic bottles, and the resulting material is thick and sturdy. It’s also waterproof. In heavy rain it kept the contents dry when folded over, although the straps became unpleasantly wet.
It’s easy to attach to your rack with two hooks and a Velcro strap. The hooks feel flimsier than those of a standard touring pannier. They held firm when fully loaded but I managed to kick the pannier off my rack by one hook when I dismounted. Off the bike, the hooks and strap can be concealed with a zip, which is neater and stops them digging in if you shoulder the bag.
The shoulder strap is a little short for me. I couldn’t wear it across my body and instead had to carry it over one shoulder. The handles are useful to lift the bag off your pannier rack, as well as when walking.
I’d have liked a clip on the front of the bag to hold the straps down on the bike as they’re quite flappy. This would also help to keep the bag closed in transit – the magnets on the handles aren’t very powerful and don’t stay together if you fill the bag to the brim.
I used this bag for shopping, carrying butter, milk, cheese, fruit and veg, plus my bike lock and cable. I also used the bag for commuting but had to forgo a change of shoes and a jacket as the bag isn’t big enough for those in addition to a laptop and other work essentials.
It would be suitable for cycle commuters who ride to work in ‘normal’ clothes and who don’t need to shower at the office. There is a separate zip pocket on the front of the bag, which is handy for items you need to access quickly – keys, purse, phone, etc – plus a small inner pocket.
It comes in two colour options: granite grey and gold; and the imaginatively named blue and green. I prefer the contrasting grey and gold colours but imagine that any dirt wouldn’t show up as obviously on the blue and green pannier. Nominal capacity is 20 litres.
A good compromise between off-bike style and on-bike performance. It’s handy to be able to use it like any other high street bag when you’re on foot but it doesn’t hold as much as you’d think. Its environmental credentials are great and it comes in lovely colours.
Designed for day tripping, shopping and commuting, this pannier bag is made from heavy-duty water-resistant cotton and comes in three colours.