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In praise of the Musette

Discussion in 'Bikes and Buying Advice - What Bike?' started by John the Monkey, 16 Jun 2008.

  1. John the Monkey

    John the Monkey Frivolous Cyclist


    Small lightweight cotton shoulder bag, used for containing food and drink given to riders in a feed zone during a cycle race. The bag is designed so that it can be easily grabbed by a moving rider. The shoulder strap is placed over the head and one shoulder, the contents are then removed and placed into jersey pockets or bottles (bidons) are placed into bottle cages. The bag is then discarded.

    I'm quite sure this is old news to those of you who've been riding for a while, but the musette (bonk bag, feed bag) is a great piece of kit for when you have things to carry that are just too much to stuff in jersey pockets, yet not quite enough to warrant grabbing a messenger bag/backpack or panniers.

    One of the things I quite often do on my Sunday ride is taking the post for the people who used to live in our house up to their new place. I can stuff the envelopes, catalogues etc into the musette, drop it all off, then the musette rolls up small for the journey home. The musette is also small enough and light enough to take along on a ride where you might decide to stop off at the bakery on the way home, or similar, very handy for someone whose saddle bag and top tube bag are full of tools etc. (And I'd never get a loaf in either...)

    The musette itself can be the simple cotton bag described above, and there is, somewhere on the web, a guide to making them from old sheets - I couldn't find that for the purposes of this post, but did turn up this rather lovely page in which a lady had made one for her husband. If you're not up to making one yourself, the excellent Prendas Ciclismo sell a couple of traditional cotton musettes for £6, whilst for slightly more, Urban Hunter offer a Banjo Bros modern styled nylon musette for £6.95, through to traditional styled musettes emblazoned with manufacturer logos for £12.95.

    The ne plus ultra of musettes is probably the Rapha Ultimate musette, which retails for a heady £60, and is as far from the simple cotton musette as today's carbon superbikes are from the bikes of cycling's early years. If you can afford to discard this one after emptying it, you probably have a team car to carry your stuff for you anyway.

    In case you're interested, my musette is an LPR brakes team feedbag, obtained for a mere £3.50 from the well known auction site.
  2. walker

    walker New Member

    Bromley, Kent
    I think the Musette is left for racing really myself. I've never raced Long enough to need one and only ever needed the Mrs to hand me a bottle on passing.
    In your situation I'd rather just use a bag and throw it away
  3. John the Monkey

    John the Monkey Frivolous Cyclist

    I've done that - I found the bag a bit of a pain to carry, tbh (the people whose post I'm carrying don't get heavy stuff, but they get a disproportionate amount of A4 letters, it seems to me...) The feedbag works like a bag for life but with a super long strap (imo) in that it can go over head and shoulder for an easier carry on the bike. I guess those drawsting shoebags would be another alternative, although I've not seen them as cheap as I've seen musettes...

    I'll be taking one next time i go to France to do the morning bakery run for sure ;)
  4. ChrisKH

    ChrisKH Shorts Adjustment Expert

    The Prendas Ciclismo French national team musette is now £3.95, so something of a bargain IMO. Would go down well with the locals whilst in "La Belle France". ;)
  5. walker

    walker New Member

    Bromley, Kent
    in that case tell the tight arses to get their post redirected and just throw everything in the bin
  6. John the Monkey

    John the Monkey Frivolous Cyclist

    You reckon without my having one "job" to do each week that means at least 16 miles on the bike - carrying their post up is a small price to pay :biggrin:

    (It's a nice ride up to Sandbach, and lots of pleasant detours for 20, 25 and 30 mile rides on the way back too)
  7. fossyant

    fossyant Ride It Like You Stole It!

    South Manchester
    I used to use a 'waterproof' one on a regular basis - I'd cycle the 20 mile round trips to one of my favourite bike shops, then head home, after picking up a few 'bits'....
  8. Chuffy

    Chuffy Veteran

    I've heard rumours that there are sniper squads setting up positions around London to take out anyone wearing the Rapha version. Entirely justifiable IMHO. :laugh::biggrin:
  9. PeteinLadywell

    PeteinLadywell New Member

    I've got the Rapha one... More as a "man bag" than actually to wear when I ride my bike though.
  10. mr_hippo

    mr_hippo Living Legend & Old Fart

    I have one musete that I never use - I got it free! I picked it up just after the Basingstoke feed station in the 1994 TdF.
  11. tony_s

    tony_s New Member

    I too have a rapha one but its a basic cotton musette, not the sixty quid jobbie (it probably cost £59.95, i dont really remember:laugh:). very useful for carrying OS maps and for apple or mushroom gathering at this time of year around the quiet lanes of darkest essex