Carradice of Nelson

Carradice have been manufacturing cycling bags in Nelson, Lancashire since 1932.

 The Carradice works in Nelson, Lancashire.

The Carradice works in Nelson, Lancashire.

Carradice are the obvious choice when it comes to choosing which cycling bags to sell at The Traditional Cycle Shop. They are a brand with a glorious heritage in the bicycle world and have been supplying premium quality, traditionally styled, cotton duck saddle bags to cyclists for over 85 years. Carradice and Pashley also have some shared history - Carradice made the Royal Mail panniers that were carried on the Pashley Mailstar cycles. Carradice also make the current Moulton Day Bag, Touring Bag and Transport Sleeves.

Carradice make the perfect saddle bag for your Pashley or Moulton, from the sunny Sunday afternoon ride to the pub or the daily commute, to the epic 100 mile Audax ride, there’s a bag that’ll take all your cycling essentials including your Kendal Mint Cake.

On a personal level, when I look for products to fulfil a particular need, cycling or otherwise, I have a checklist I use: Is it classic rather than fashion? Is it made locally? Is it made from natural materials? Is it long lasting? Does it improve with age? Is it repairable? Is it a product for life? Carradice scores near perfect on my list.

Carradice bags are both beautiful and functional. Cotton duck is the original 200 year old performance fabric. When rain hits the cotton, the outer filaments swell which closes any gaps in the weave and around the stitching. This is combined with a coating of Parrafin wax to effectively stop the rain getting through. There’s no coating to rub off and the fabric can breath. Carradice’s cotton duck comes from Halley Stephensons who have been manufacturing it in Dundee for 150 years and of course the Harris Tweed on the Limited Edition bags comes from the Outer Hebrides.

Cotton duck is very tough and can be reproofed and repaired, the straps are chromed leather and the buckles are metal. With a little care, a Carradice bag should last the owner a lifetime. Each bag is hand-crafted and signed by its highly-skilled maker.

 Master-craftswoman Sue putting the finishing touches on a Super C Courier Bag.

Master-craftswoman Sue putting the finishing touches on a Super C Courier Bag.

David Chadwick is the current custodian of the family business and is very hands-on when it comes to testing new products. He takes all the prototypes out on test rides which are then modified and tested again until the new product is perfect. David is also passionate about manufacturing in Britain:

“It’s so important for me to keep investing in manufacturing in Nelson, rather than selling out to the Far East. Sewing cotton duck is highly skilled work and our team here take such pride in their work. The bags evolve over time as we regularly review, tweak and improve the designs, and it’s all driven by real feedback from real cyclists. In fact, the close integration of R&D is a real benefit and gives us a fast turnaround on new product development.

“We’re constantly amazed by the passion for Carradice bags, so are very careful not tarnish the heritage of the Carradice brand. I promise we’ll be keeping the classic, traditional look of the cotton duck bags, for the growing number of appreciative cyclists around the world, for years to come.”

 Carradice Zip Roll LE Munro

Carradice Zip Roll LE Munro

We’ve been selling a range of Carradice bags in our shop for the last two years and we thought it’s about time we put them online too. We’ve selected three Limited Edition tweed versions of the classic Barley saddlebag and two versions of the new Zip Roll. We also have a selection of Super C bags - these bags are bombproof. I used a Super C Handlebar Bag and Front Panniers with a Moulton Touring Bag on a tour of Scotland during extreme weather the locals dubbed “horizontal stair rods”.

The Limited Edition products will change depending on what Carradice are offering but if there’s a Carradice product you’d like to see us selling then please do get in touch and let us know.

Shop Carradice accessories here.