While browsing around a popular online clothing retailer here in Germany the other day, I was surprised to happen upon a selection of unique bikepacking bags in the sportswear section, and from a brand I’d never heard of. Based in Rostock, on the German Baltic coast, Gusti Leder is a brand that has a wide variety of affordable leather goods in its catalog, including saddles, bags, and other accessories for bikes. Although a good number of their products—retro leather helmets among them—look to be somewhat impractical, it’s interesting to see a brand from outside the bikepacking space taking a slightly different approach to designing this type of kit.
Skimming through their online catalog, I noticed a number of interesting and occasionally bizarre items. Though they’re far from cutting edge, Gusti Leder’s bikepacking bags are relatively budget-friendly and certainly stand out from most of the bags on the market in terms of their aesthetics. Find a quick overview of a few of their most relevant bags below.
Romain M. Saddlebag
Built from buffalo leather and canvas, the Romain M. is a sizeable saddlebag that features a waterproof liner and weighs in at .48kg (1 lb). It attaches to the bike via loops around the seat post and the saddle rails and has a roll-top buckle closure. Reflective panels on the sides add a bit of visibility. Pricing for the Romain M. is €79.95 with optional personalized engraving at no extra cost.
Jan U. Framebag
One of several framebag variations offered by Gusti Leder, the Jan U. is made out of buffalo leather and is designed around a single zippered compartment with a waterproof lining. There are seven points of attachment, including a daisy chain along the lower edge. The Jan U. weighs .54kg (1.2lbs) and sells for €59.95 with optional personalized engraving at no extra cost.
Jan J. Top Tube Bag
The Jan J. is a top tube bag made out of buffalo leather that has two inner compartments lined with waterproof fabric (though the zippers aren’t weather-sealed). It attaches to the bike by way of four chunky leather straps and weighs in at .16kg (.5.6oz). Pricing for the Jan J. is €22.95 with optional personalized engraving at no extra cost.
Pedro D. Handlebar Bag
Made from buffalo leather and canvas, the Pedro D. is Gusti Leder’s take on the classic handlebar roll. It has a single compartment with dual-roll closure and waterproof lining. Two bulky straps with provided spacers attach to your handlebars and a third strap can be used to secure the bag to your headtube. The Pedro D. weighs in at .6kg (1.3lbs) and it retails for €49.95 with optional personalized engraving at no extra cost.
Gusti Leder’s products are manufactured in India and the brand has committed to transparent production. You can find several articles on their site (in German) dedicated to the topic, with detailed posts on sustainability, child labor, cattle slaughter, and more.
Beyond bikepacking bags, saddles, and accessories, Gusti Leder makes a wide variety of other items, including backpacks, all kinds of miscellaneous bags, belts, and lots more. See their whole product line at Gusti-Leder.de.
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