First Look at the Wizard Works Wiz Viz Collection

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Released to coincide with the end of daylight saving time, the new Wiz Viz collection from London-based Wizard Works features three bags designed with maximum visibility in mind. Find an overview and our first impressions of the Wiz Viz Lil Presto and Teeny Houdinis here…

Header image by Josh Meissner (@joshm.de)

With the days getting ever shorter here in the Northern Hemisphere, the team at Wizard Works just unveiled limited-time editions of several of their bags, all built to “reflect light at night and stay visible when it’s miserable.” The new Wizard Works Wiz Viz collection consists of three bags: the Lil Presto handlebar roll and two different sizes of the Teeny Houdini saddle bag. All three bags already exist in the Wizard Works catalog, but these unique bags make use of a combination of ultra-reflective and high-visibility fabrics. And they’re only available through the end of March, when daylight saving time begins again, at which point Wizard Works will stop selling them until the next Wiz Viz collection is launched with a fresh style next fall.

Wizard Works, Wiz Viz

Harry and Ve from Wizard Works sent me a full set of Wiz Viz bags to test here in Berlin, which, for better or worse, is an ideal proving ground for this collection, with its gloomy and often rainy autumn days. Find a quick overview of all three bags and my thoughts on each after a few weeks of daily use below.

  • Wizard Works, Wiz Viz
  • Wizard Works, Wiz Viz
  • Wizard Works, Wiz Viz

Wiz Viz Lil Presto!

I’ve been using a Lil Presto since I first picked one up in January (see it on the Curve Kevin of Steel I reviewed earlier this year). Mine rarely comes off my bike, unless I’m loading up a bigger bag for an extended trip. For my needs, it’s the perfect size for day rides and commutes. I’ll generally pack it with a lightweight lock, pump, wind/rain shell, gloves, lights, and a pouch containing my wallet and keys. Loaded up with those day-to-day essentials, there’s still plenty of room for a mid-ride pasty or bag of Haribos.

  • Wizard Works, Lil Presto, Wiz-Viz
  • Wizard Works, Lil Presto, Wiz-Viz

It seems almost every bag maker is producing some kind of barrel bag these days, so the Lil Presto concept is hardly unique. That said, it has all of the features I look for in this style of bag. The size is just right, the Voile Nano strap attachment is super quick and secure, the daisy chain for the headtube strap ensures a snug fit for bikes of different sizes, a bright inner lining helps you spot items inside, and dual external side pockets are great for stuffing wrappers or storing quick-access items.

As for the Wiz Viz special edition, it really pops. And it catches light from cars in all directions, whether they’re tailing, approaching, or perpendicular. It’s not blinding or distracting, but the reflective fabric ensures you’re seen. It’s a great complement to a headlight, and even picks up some reflections from my handlebar-mounted light for added visibility.

Lil Presto, Wizard Works, Wiz Viz

Unlike the Teeny Houdini bags (more on those below), the Wiz Viz Lil Presto is only available in one colorway, which combines Reflective and Fluro Orange VX-25 fabrics. It’s a clever design that helps motorists spot you day or night. That said, I’m not wild about orange, and would love it if Wizard Works offered a wider range of fluorescent accent colors. I’ve only run mine as a handlebar bag, but it’s worth noting that it can also be attached to any saddle with loops.

  • Volume: 2.15L
  • Size: 22cm wide x 14cm diameter
  • Weight: 250g
  • Color: Reflective / Fluro Orange VX-25
  • Price: £70 ($91)
  • More Details: Wizard.Works

Wiz Viz Teeny Houdini (Road)

Announced earlier this month, the Teeny Houdini is the newest bag in the Wizard Works lineup. As its name suggests, it’s a tiny saddlebag that’s designed to carry the bare necessities. The small “road” size Teeny Houdini has a capacity of just 0.3 to 0.4 liters, which is enough to carry a basic repair kit, but not much beyond that. Mine currently has a 650B tube, tire lever, multi-tool, Dynaplug tire plugger, and a patch kit inside. Even fitting in those items is something of a jigsaw puzzle. It’s far from spacious, but I was able to move everything over from my Outer Shell Mini Saddlebag and into the Teeny Houdini’s slightly sleeker package without having to give anything up.

  • Teeny Houdini, Wizard Works, Wiz Viz
  • Teeny Houdini, Wizard Works, Wiz Viz

Over the years, I’ve tried a wide variety of methods for mounting a saddle bag / tool roll under the rails, all with their own quirks and varying degrees of complexity. Although I think I’ve landed on the Voile strap as my all-time favorite, the magnetic Fidlock buckle used on the Teeny Houdini has really grown on me. It feels super secure once it (satisfyingly) clicks into place, the hardware looks and feels burly, and tightening up the strap to pull the bag against your saddle is a breeze.

Teeny Houdini, Wizard Works, Wiz Viz

The small Wiz Viz Teeny Houdini is available in either Reflective or Fluro Orange VX-25 fabric. What I’m really enjoying about the reflective version is that it almost disappears under my saddle during the day, owing to its slender shape and neutral color. At night, though, it has a deceptively large footprint. It packs a serious punch, gathering an impressive amount of light and offering 360-degree visibility. Turns out there’s a bit of magic to it, after all. It’s possible to open and close it without removing it from your bike (that said, it’ll naturally want to pop off as soon as you undo the magnetic buckle), and a bright yellow inner liner means you can easily see your patch kit and other little items once you’ve opened it up.

  • Volume: 0.3 – 0.4L
  • Size: 14 x 7 x 6cm
  • Weight: 65g
  • Colors: Reflective or Fluro Orange VX-25
  • Price: £43 ($56)
  • More Details: Wizard.Works

Wiz Viz Teeny Houdini (Gravel)

Alongside the small Teeny Houdini in the Wizard Works lineup is its bigger sibling, the medium “gravel” size Teeny Houdini. For an extra £2 (and just 10g of added weight), you get a slightly roomier bag that’s designed to carry a larger tube plus all the same accessories as the small version. It expands your carrying capacity just enough over the “road” size to fit that extra tool or accessory that might save your ass on a long ride, but is still an exceptionally compact bag. Between the two sizes, I’ve gravitated toward this larger one for most of my rides. It’s more versatile and thus more sensible for a wider range of riders. For scale, once everything I’d packed into the small Teeny Houdini is transferred into the gravel size, there’s enough extra space for a pair of gloves, a packable wind shell, or a couple of bars.

Wizard Works, Wiz Viz

Like the small Teeny Houdini, the medium version uses a magnetic Fidlock closure system, has a bright yellow interior lining, and can be accessed while it’s attached to the bike. It’s also available in Reflective or Fluro Orange VX-25 fabric. One nice feature that’s unique to the larger size is an optional velcro seatpost strap. A saddle bag this small isn’t going to sway or bounce around a noticeable amount, but the added loop helps keep everything firmly in place while you’re bouncing along trails or over potholes.

  • Teeny Houdini, Wizard Works, Wiz Viz
  • Teeny Houdini, Wizard Works, Wiz Viz

Among the two sizes and color options, my pick would be the medium Teeny Houdini built from reflective fabric. It’s the perfect size to carry an adaptable repair kit, whether you’re riding your all-roader or mountain bike, and the unique fully reflective construction is an impressively eye-catching way of ensuring you’re seen on the road through the dark days of winter ahead.

  • Volume: 0.4-0.5L
  • Size: 14 x 9 x 7
  • Weight: 75g
  • Colors: Reflective or Fluro Orange VX-25
  • Price: £45 ($58)
  • More Details: Wizard.Works
Wizard Works, Wiz Viz

Wrap Up

Although the bags in the new Wizard Works Wiz Viz collection are likely too small to make it into your rotation of bags for multi-day bikepacking trips, they’re worthy of a more detailed look from anyone who commutes by bike or regularly gets out for day rides. As with all of Wizard Works’ products, they’re exceptionally well made by a very small team of passionate folks, and they utilize clever touches like Voile strap attachment and magnetic Fidlock closure.

Speaking for myself, with the COVID-19 pandemic tethering me closer to home, I fully anticipate accumulating most of my winter miles on day trips that start and end from my front door this year, rather than on fully loaded bikepacking trips in sunny, far-flung destinations. That means lots of time sharing the road with cars in the dark (and probably the rain). And since I rarely ride my bike without some kind of bags attached these days, it seems fitting to have a bag that does double duty—helping keep me safe and seen while also hauling the essentials.

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