- Uniquely cool product that works
- Frees up seat post space for lights, etc.
- High-quality materials featuring waxed canvas and Boa Closure System
- Fits snugly to saddle, ensuring no rattles
- Easy on and off, with rail guard to protect and grip saddle rails
- Can be switched from one bike to another in seconds
- Center strap locks folded seat roll in place
- 3 pockets, ideal for a basic repair kit (2 CO2 canisters, air chuck, 1 tube up to 700x45mm, multitool, tire lever(s)) and a bit more
- Must remove entire seat roll to access what’s inside
- Not as large as many seat bags, limiting carrying space
- My 2nd tube and house key now reside in a jersey pocket
Colors/Material: Black waxed canvas with cross-stitch quilting; Boa Closure System
Availability: company website, online
How Obtained: sample from company
RBR Sponsor: no
Tested: 60+ hours
A Seat Bag Alternative That is Stylish and Functional
I’ve long been a fan of the Topeak Aero Wedge (I sung its praises in an RBR Favorites on Seat Bags earlier this year). But as much as I like its ability to carry all of the stuff I wanted to tote on my rides, it took up a lot of real estate under my saddle, which always made mounting rear lights and accessories difficult.
Silca’s Seat Roll Premio is a stylish alternative to any seat bag, and it overcomes such issues as taking up too much space, “dangling” and swaying, rattles from loose items, etc.
It is, effectively, a 3-pocket tool apron made from high-quality, good-looking materials: waxed canvas with cross-stitch quilting, with the industry-standard Boa Closure System uniquely employed to fasten the packed roll to your saddle rails – snugly and securely.
It’s not a perfect solution for every roadie, but for any rider who carries not much more than a basic repair kit, it’s as close to ideal as any product I’m aware of.
What Goes Inside
The three internal pockets, arrayed like jersey pockets, will easily accommodate one tube (up to 700x45mm), a couple of CO2 canisters and air chuck, a fairly sizable multitool (mine is a model that includes a chain tool), and a few other items of your choosing. I also carry one tire lever (I’ve never used 2), a “temporary spoke” and master link, a couple bandages, some Ibuprofen and Benadryl. You can see how it’s all arrayed in the photo, below.
With all your gear pushed snugly down into the deep pockets, you simply fold the top of the apron down, then fold each outside pocket over the middle pocket and fasten the “roll” with the center strap. Then you feed the Boa cables (inside the “rail guard”) through your saddle rails and fasten the closure system on the underside of the roll. Finally, you twist the Boa dial (exactly like the one on innumerable cycling shoe models) to snug the roll tightly to your saddle.
The Seat Roll’s Pros
The Seat Roll has numerous advantages over many traditional seat bags. The primary advantages, to me, are based on how the system works. Because the roll is folded up into a compact, tight package, it takes up a minimal amount of space. That is further accentuated by the Boa Closure System that snugs it as tightly as possible to your saddle rails. All of this results in a system that totally eliminates any possibility of a rattle.
In the past, with my old saddle bag, I always had to finesse the way I attached my rear flasher and any other accessories (which at times have included a rear camera, as well). Now, because of the compact nature of the roll, I have ample space (and clearance) below it on my seat post for my for my rear light. See the photo.
Another pro is that it is the Seat Roll is quick and easy to remove and place on a different bike, or because of its compact nature, carry along with other ride gear in your backpack or case to any event.
Finally, and this is a minor one to some riders, I know, but the Seat Roll makes for a cleaner, minimalist look to your bike, compared to the sometimes ungainly profile of a seat bag hanging off the saddle.
The Seat Roll’s Cons
It does have a couple of shortcomings, however, neither of which is a deal-breaker for me. One of them is that, to access anything inside, you must remove the entire roll from your bike, unroll it and lay it out.
That’s not a serious issue, to be sure. I almost never need to access the repair kit on the road, but the Seat Roll is not as user-friendly as simply unzipping a back pocket and removing whatever you need (as on my old bag). I used to store my house key, stuck to a piece of Velcro, on the inside of that zippered pocket, so I could easily access it.
Now, along with the second tube I like to carry, the key goes into one of my jersey pockets. That points up the second, and to some riders, more serious shortcoming: the Seat Roll may not accommodate all the stuff you’re used to carrying. In my case, I also had to weed out one other “just in case” item that, granted, I actually never used on the road. And though I don’t like to have to carry the second tube and key in a pocket, really, it’s not that big a deal – and I’ve already gotten used to it.
The Last Word
Silca’s Seat Roll Premio is a stylish alternative to any seat bag. It’s a 3-pocket tool apron made from high-quality, good-looking materials: waxed canvas with cross-stitch quilting, with the industry-standard Boa Closure System uniquely employed to fasten the packed roll to your saddle rails – snugly and securely. It’s not a perfect solution for every roadie, but for any rider who carries not much more than a basic repair kit, it’s as close to ideal as any product I’m aware of.
John Marsh is the editor and publisher of RBR Newsletter and RoadBikeRider.com. A rider of “less than podium” talent, he sees himself as RBR’s Ringmaster, guiding the real talent (RBR’s great coaches, contributors and authors) in bringing our readers consistently useful, informative, entertaining info that helps make them better road cyclists. That’s what we’re all about here—always have been, always will be. Click to read John’s full bio.