Rockgeist Spacelink: First Look
Rockgeist recently introduced the new Spacelink system, a steerer tube mounted accessory designed to anchor your top tube bag for better stability and to provide a velcro-free connection for your stem bags. We gave it a try on a couple trail rides, and here are our first impressions…
There are some gargantuan top tube bags out there these days. The JPaks SnakPak shown in the photos below is no exception. Virginia and I also used a pair of massive Oveja Negra Snack Pack XLs on our recent trip through Armenia. In addition, Revelate recently teased their MagTank XL. There’s a reason for this trend; having a little extra capacity in that position is particularly handy. However, one issue that arises with top tube bags is that that they tend to flop to the side if they aren’t secured toward the top of the bag. Enter Rockgeist, a bikepacking bag company out of Asheville, North Carolina, that aims to solve this issue with its new Spacelink System. We recently had a chance to give one a quick try. While this certainly isn’t a full bore review, here are some initial observations and photos.
In essence, the Rockgeist Spacelink System is a machined headset spacer with a U-shaped void that allows the top tube bag strap to thread the ring and slide independently as the steerer is turned. The system consists of three parts: a machined 6061 aluminum ring, a small orange spacer, and a stainless M2.5 hex screw that holds the spacer in place. The anodized plate/ring is 6mm thick and is designed to replace the 5mm spacer that normally sits above your stem. The Spacelink assembly weighs 36 grams, and as with all of Rockgeist’s offerings, is made in Asheville.
First off, the Spacelink might not work for everyone, or every bag. Or will it? On my Salsa Timberjack, I left a lot of spacers under the stem on the steerer (about 4cm). This positioned the daisy chain loop on my Oveja Negra Snack Pack XL too far down to use with the Spacelink in the above-the-stem position. Technically, I came to find out I could have used it, which I’ll get to later. But, for the sake of photography and cleanliness, we decided to install it on Gin’s Pivot to use with the JPaks SnackPak, which has a higher daisy chain. Once mounted just above a 2.5mm spacer at the stem cap, the top webbing strap on the bag slid through the ring and mounted, as expected.
In use, it functions really well as a top tube bag stabilizer. Given the large 1.5″ daisy chain on the JPaks SnakPak, it was already a tad more secure than other bags, even with the strap positioned below the stem. Regardless, the Spacelink bolstered its stability and kept the bag upright by providing a higher mount. When turning the steerer, it operates fluidly and only has a slight catch when turned all the way to the right, where the large strap overlaps the opening at the screw on the Spacelink.
What we didn’t try was using the Spacelink with multiple bags and stem bags. As shown in the photo above, provided by Rockgeist, the Spacelink allows their own Cache top tube bag as well as two Honeybox Feedbags to be attached within the system. A velcro-free feedbag attachment is most important for stems that are short (under 50mm) where space for velcro is scarce or non-existent around your stem.
Getting back to the potential to mount the Spacelink on my Timberjack, as Rockgeist later mentioned, “Don’t feel like you have to run it above your stem. While that position creates the best leverage for your top tube bag, running it below the stem is much more stealth and especially useful if you are just running two feedbags off it.” So, as shown below in two photos provided by Rockgeist, there are other mounting possibilities.
- Size 57mm long, 70mm wide, 6mm thick
- Weight 36 grams
- Material 6061 Aluminum
- Place of Manufacture Asheville, North Carolina
- Price $28
- Manufacturer’s Details Link
Again, this is just a first look. We haven’t tested the Spacelink enough to offer a full review just yet. That said, I felt it was impressive enough to get out there. I’m very impressed thus far. I love seeing small companies come up with inventive ways to push bikepacking gear in new directions. And, based on our first use, I don’t see the Spacelink causing any issues with wear and tear on the bags themselves. It has a nice beveled edge and seems to be well thought out in terms of spacing the straps away from the stem. However, only time will tell. I plan on using the Spacelink on several bikes with several bags and will report back before too long. UPDATE: According to Rockgeist, “More long term testing will be completed before the Spacelink is sold for brands that use a permanent bar tack connection. Currently it is only available for Rockgeist top tube bags/feedbags that are designed for the Spacelink.”