PRODUCT REVIEWS: Note some of the reviews reflect earlier released products
The other main thing is that I got the repair kit off the back of the seat. I went with the Tallac Design Behold cage. Originally designed to go under a waterbottle cage on the down tube, I have an extra set of bottle cage bolts on the underside of the down tube, so there it is.
The bag slides out and holds everything but the pump. Again, time will tell on how I like the design and placement. It is low and out of the way, don't miss it under the seat, and except for how damp it gets after a rain, I don't see any issues on where it is at. Unless I forget to check the zipper and that opens up and drops everything on the road.....
I decided to install the Behold Tool Pouch with Cage on my single speed bike. Due to my bike’s minimalist design I was not carrying any tools or spare tube in case of a flat.
Installing the Behold is a bit of a challenge. I consider myself good with instructions and able to assemble just about anything, but it took some time to figure out how the mounting screws at the base of the cage fed through the straps that hold the bag in place.
The Behold also came with three bags. I tried each and found that the large bag would slide out of the cage and hit my front chain ring. The small bag just didn’t have enough volume for the C02 bike pump, tools and other random items that I carry around so I settled on the medium size bag which fit perfectly.Once the Behold with the Cage was installed, it felt like it had always been there.
The King Cage pouch is a great idea. It allows you to carry your tube and tools on the frame instead of in a seat bag. And it does this without forcing you to choose between the pouch or a water bottle cage. After the Behold Pouch is attached to one of the frame’s water bottle mounts, a water bottle cage fits on top of the cage for the Behold Pouch. All King Cage products are made in Durango, CO from USA sourced materials. The pouch is designed for road tubes and possibly cross tubes, but it will not fit a mountain bike tube. The King Cage Behold Pouch could be used for bikepacking if you wanted to carry some tools or other items on the frame. Again, it won’t hold a mountain bike tube, but it would hold repair tools or small items that you may want to store on the frame.
Back around Interbike time I wandered to the back of the convention center where King Cage, and a few other outcasts can always be found. All of my bikes have King cages on them and I like to buy a few new ones every year right from the source. As I was milling around waiting to make my purchase I was chatted up by Allen from Tallac Design. He showed me this project he was working on with King called the Behold and I decided to buy one and give it a shot.
This product is the result of an industrial designer spending a bunch of time bike commuting, and it shows. The design is both aesthetic and functional. Allen has come up with this product, plus a few others, in an effort to optimize the unused space on the bike and increase storage. I mounted it on my commuter and have been using it for about 6 months now.
I mounted mine on the seat tube because I didn’t have a bottle cage there to begin with. But it should be noted that it can also be mounted underneath any bottle cage and all necessary hardware is included. The bag itself carries all the essential tools and accessories that I would need for a successful commute.
Talking with Allen, the one thing that stood out was how genuinely excited and proud he was of his products. He sews every bag personally and all of his material is sourced 100% from the good old U. S. of A. That is pretty rare for a small parts producer in the bicycle industry these days. I dig it.
When cruising the Tallac web site, another statement caught my attention. At a time when logos are plastered everywhere and neon yellow is making a comeback, this is a refreshing perspective:
“Logos cost money that I would have to charge you for…we believe in the power of recommendations. If you like our product then you will tell a friend. Also bikes are so beautiful why would I want to ruin your bike with my crummy logo”
Well I guess here is my recommendation. This is a solid product that has stood up to the rigors of my commute and many a night to and from the pub. You really can’t go wrong when you combine the quality and reputation of King Cage with the enthusiasm and attention to detail of Tallac. Thanks to this little product I have recently stopped using a seat bag on all of my 700c bikes. I find that I just grab this little pouch off my commuter, throw it in my jersey pocket and head out the door. I find this product to be a stylish and creative way to carry my tools around. Is it something that everybody needs? No, but $35 seems like a good deal for a high quality, hand made in the USA product. I give it 2 thumbs up.
You can get one through the Tallac web site or through the King Cage site, along with a couple other cool things like the top cap water bottle holster that I can’t seem to live without these days. Allen and Ron are about as grassroots cycling as they come, give the Tallac a look and let us know what you think.
ROAD BIKE REVIEW
A Cool New Way to Carry Your Flat Repair Kit
When Tallac owner Allen Young, who invented the Behold cage and Kargo Bag, brought his clever new product to my attention, it caught me by surprise. I was expecting a pitch about a new way to carry your essentials. Instead, he mentioned my column on finding and fixing bicycle noises, and said, “Noises from seat bags and the contents in them drive me nuts, so I created the Behold cage and pouch. It provides a quiet/rattle-free ride.”
Allen may not have known it, but he was preaching to the choir. Seat bags have a tendency to shake the heaviest items to the bottom, where they can make a knocking or banging noise against the seatpost (or the hard plastic skeleton of certain bags). Also, the contents can make a racket against each other if they’re not secured or padded.
Tip: To prevent rattles and noises, wrap items in a rag and secure them with a rubber band. The rag will come in handy for cleaning. It also helps prevent sharp items from puncturing your seat bag or spare tube.
Even if you can keep things quiet, seat bags that wrap around the seatpost and seat rails can slowly wear those things, which is not very pleasing when you see the damage that was hiding beneath the straps. The seat bag itself can wear, too, leading to losing things that fall out of the hole worn in the bag (I’ve lost some nice mini-tools that way).
No more rattles or bag, seat and post wear and tear
The Behold system addresses all these concerns. It’s composed of the tig-welded stainless-steel Behold cage that is installed with the included stainless bolts beneath one of your bottle cages and then bolted to the frame. And it comes with the ballistic-nylon zippered Kargo bag that slips into the Behold cage and is secured by built-in straps and buckles.
The Behold cage is made by King Cage in Durango, Colorado. I’ve been using their titanium and stainless cages for years and love them. The Behold shows the same nice craftsmanship and durable construction. It also perfectly complements my King cages.
Tip: The screws provided with the Behold are just right for use with King bottle cages. You may need longer screws for other types. Also, you have to put the cage where it fits depending on your bicycle and bottle arrangement. On one of my bikes it only worked on the seat tube. When I put it on the down tube it prevented me from fully inserting my second bottle.
Sized just right
The Kargo bag measures 7 x 3.1 x 1.18 inches (180 x 80 x 30mm) and has a heavy duty nylon zipper down the center and adjustable straps with buckles on both ends. To secure the bag the buckles click into matching straps you mount beneath the Behold cage. There’s enough room inside the bag for a spare tube, tire levers and a CO2 inflator, patch kit, tire boot, cash and a small mini-tool.
If you try to overstuff the bag you may not be able to fit it back into the cage. I tried to insert my larger Crank Brothers mini-tool and that was enough to prevent the bag from fitting.
The other difference between the Behold and a standard seat bag is that you need to remove the bag in order to unzip it. The cage blocks the zipper so you can’t get at your tube or tools with the bag still on the bike. There’s a lot to be said, though, for holding your kit securely, eliminating noises and wear and tear.
Tip: When I saw the Behold it reminded me of an old idea, the bottle “bag.” Back before we knew how important proper hydration was, some of us rode with a single drinking bottle and used the other for stashing our spare tube, levers and other goodies. All you need is a wide-mouth bottle so you get everything in and out. It’s waterproof, too.
Might even improve the ride
Loaded with your spares and tools, some riders notice the weight of seat bags since they’re held high. When standing to climb you rock the bike, and that’s when you’re probably most likely to feel the contents, especially if you overstuff or simply like a larger seat bag.
If that’s you, the Behold eliminates that issue nicely (the cage with hardware weighs only 70 grams). Removing a seat bag also makes the seat and post area look cleaner, which you might like if you’d rather show off your fancy components than cover them up. Or you could move your tire repair kit to the Behold cage and then run a smaller, lighter seat bag for your other stuff.
Tip: Don’t forget that you can also carry your tire-repair kit in your jersey pocket if you’re really opposed to adding anything to your bicycle. That’s my approach when racing.
How you carry your gear is among the most personal choices we make. I think the Behold cage and Kargo bag offer a nice new option that will appeal to many riders.
Available through King Cage for $35, the Behold uses a tubular stainless steel construction with a ballistic nylon bag that’s been coated for water resistance. It’s designed to hold a road tube, two tire levers, mini tool, CO2 with adapter and a patch kit. The goal, according to Tallac, was to replace the saddle bag or give additional storage options for touring bike riders that want to fit more on the bike and less in a backpack or trailer. We can see it coming in handy for endurance racers, too.
It’s made in the USA of US-sourced materials. Additional sizes and options will be released at Interbike this year.The bag is held in place via two small hook-and-loop tabs on either end. They recommend placing it on the downtube only. To install, you attach the bottle cage of your choice first using the included nuts and bolts, then secure to your bike. Our test sample came with a SS King Cage pre-attached, which made installation on the bike impossible with a multitool…you’ll need a long allen wrench to reach through the bottle cage to tighten it to the frame.
For years, I've noticed people using their water bottle cages to carry tools and other miscellaneous gear on day rides, as well as on tours. The most common carrying technique I have seen is cutting off the narrow neck near the top of an old water bottle, cramming gear into it, and stuffing the top with something like an old sock to keep items from rattling out. This gets the job done, but it isn't super elegant and it knocks your water carrying capacity down by one bottle.
Tallac Design offers a pretty cool alternative with an item they call the Behold. It consists of a water-resistant nylon pouch that fits into a cage mounted between your frame and water bottle cage. The pouch attaches to the cage with Velcro, so you don't have to worry about it bouncing out on rough roads.
Installation is simple. Just bolt the cage to water bottle mounts, and then bolt your water bottle cage on top of the Behold cage. A warning: the Behold cage does lift your water bottle holder about 1.6 inches away from the frame, and about 0.6 inches up the frame. This might create some space issues if you have a small frame with two bottle cages. So, before you order a Behold, it's a good idea to check and see if your bottle cage can reach this far without bumping into your second cage.
Tallac Design claims that you can fit into the pouch a 700c road tube, 16 gram CO2 cartridge with refill head, and two tires levers. I was happy to learn that this is true, even when running a wide 700x32 touring tire. Properly organized, there's even a little space left over for a small patch kit and some road money, though it's a snug fit.
Going this route can either replace or complement a saddle bag. One nice thing is that the pouch can quickly be removed from its cage and tossed into your pocket for time away from the bike.
One Nifty Way To Carry Your Essential Tools
A few months ago, we received an email from Allen, who designs bicycle bags and sells them under the Tallac brand.
He offered to send us his Behold case for review. We gladly accepted and since that time it’s been carried all over the Netherlands on bike tours and for daily commuting. It also came along on our tour of Belgium and France.
What is it? Put simply, the Behold is a compact and robust case that sits in a cage between the frame and a water bottle holder. The case is made of ballistic water-resistant nylon and the cage that comes with the Behold is made of stainless steel. Fitting it to the bike was a breeze.
Here’s a better view of the case, out of its metal cage. When riding, the case is held in place by clips at either end. It’s easy to clip and unclip.
What can you fit inside? A basic puncture repair kit is no problem (you’ll need to also carry a pump, unless you take CO2 cartridges along). If you didn’t want to use a handlebar bag, you could also use this kit to carry some essentials like a bit of cash, a credit card and a mobile phone.
We like many things about the Behold. It’s well constructed and could be handy if you want a nifty place to store a few essential tools. Because the bag is stored on your frame, it can stay there and you never need to worry about leaving the tools behind.
People who are primarily bike touring, however, may find it redundant. If you’re carrying panniers then you probably already have a full tool kit in one of your bags so you don’t need to carry tools on your frame as well.
We think the Behold is best suited to commuting cyclists, who perhaps also do a bit of touring on the side. For that reason, we’ll be swapping it from Friedel’s touring bike to our primary commuting bike.
KARGO CAGE : REVIEWS
I have used King Cage stainless bottle cages for few years now. I had a pair of Iris cages on my commuter, and their standard stainless cage on my roadie. Their performance has always been nothing short of perfect. They even hold my Kleen Kanteen 20oz insulated bottle (full of coffee) with no issues, and only slight marring to the stainless bottle. At Interbike 2012, King Cage was showing a new Kargo Cage designed to hold a small bag with a minimalist flat pack contained inside. I ended up with one in the parts bin and it has found a welcome home on the Project Any Road rig. Roll through for the breakdown. The cage is the same as their stainless steel affair with the additional of two bands on the rear designed to snuggly constrain a nylon bag. The bag comes in either a road version, or a mountain version that will fit a 29er tube.
I have the mountain version here because that’s what they sent over. I prefer it however, as the option to move it to any bike in the stable is nice. I have it stuffed with a CO2 inflator and cartridge, one 700c road tube, two Park Tools tire levers, a patch kit and zip ties (not pictured), and there’s still room for something like a set of Fix It Sticks. Most regular multi tools won’t fit, however. (WE RECOMMEND COMPACT LEZYNE TOOLS)
In use, the bag has yet to eject on its own free will. It fits very snugly into the bands, but still manages to be easy to install and remove. Should you decide you don’t want to run the cage, there are two straps fitted with buckles and metal grommets that will allow you to bolt it directly to the bottle bosses (they buckle to the ends, and then fold behind the bag to hold it down). (THIS IS AN OLDER DESIGN WE USE BUTTON SNAPS)
The stainless steel Kargo is a collaboration between California-based Tallac Design and King Cage, the latter of which produces bidon carriers out of a garage in Durango, Colorado. The cage’s oversize mounting brackets accommodate a ballistic nylon storage bag—you can choose between the 7.5-inch Kargo Road, which is designed to hold a 700c tube, or the 9.5-inch Kargo Mountain, which has space for a 29-inch one. There’s also room for a mini tool or small flat-repair kit.
The installation process is slightly more complicated than for a traditional cage. Before screwing in each (included) bolt, you slide it through the mounting bracket and a small piece of webbing. For best results, you’ll want to have a hex wrench set on hand; your minitool might be too bulky. Load up your cargo bag, slide it behind the cage, and snap it into the webbing; this prevents it from shifting during your ride. Tallac recommends mounting the Kargo to the down tube, but depending on your frame size and configuration, you may be able to make it work on the seat tube, or even on the underside of the down tube.
Although the Kargo Cage is a bit harder to access than a seat pack (you need to remove your water bottle in order to unzip the bag), it offers several advantages: It won’t rattle or swing during hard pedaling, the bag easily slips into a jersey pocket when you’re off the bike, and it won’t chafe against your brand-new pair of bibs. Both the cage and bag are made in the US; there’s also a titanium version, which costs $90.—Emily Furia