Earlier this week, I saw an interesting bag support circulating on Instagram and reached out to Swood Cycles to learn more. It turns out the Swood Cycles T-Bar is based on an original design by Tom Robinson of Hesson Labs (@hessonlabs) in the UK, which Lucas looked at last year in his Dyed in the Wool XL Bar Bag review. With restrictions on where Tom can ship the support, Swood Cycles stepped in to take over US production, and here we are. Before we get into that, here’s a little introduction from Stephen, the owner and operator of Swood Cycles.
“I’m Stephen Wood, I’m 30, and I’ve been ‘running’ Swood Cycles for two years now out of Richmond, Virginia. I make steel, fillet brazed frames and at the moment, I pretty much make whatever a customer wants, barring trikes and tandems and silly things. I got into cycling in college, started working at bike shops, and down the rabbit hole I went. I learned to braze and build frames from Geoff Adams of Dogwood Frameworks (@dogwood.eng) back in 2013. When I moved to Richmond in 2018, I started collecting my own frame building tools.
I’m a software engineer by day and a dirtbag by night. With that, frame building is not my primary source of income, and although I’m trying to dedicate more time, I am not spending 40 hours a week in the shop. On a good streak, I build a frame a month. But when the weather is prime, I’m out riding. Right now, my queue is about 12 deep, which I would say is over a year’s work for me. The good thing is, at the moment, I’m not taking deposits, you want on the waitlist? Sure. Don’t want it by the time I get to you? No worries.”
The T-Bar is a stainless steel rack/bag support that is designed to provide some extra stability forr handlebar-mounted bag setups, as well as provide clearance for your tire and head tube. The stock design is based around a 100mm 8 degree stem. It will work with +- 20mm if you’ve got some extra spacers to move around. Swood offers custom sizing at no extra cost, all you need to provide is your stem length and angle, and what size/kind of bag it’s intended for. Each T-Bar is made by hand to order in the Swood Cycles workshop.
The T-Bar is rated for about 12 pounds and is backed with a two-year warranty. They are currently shipped with a brushed finish, but Stephen is looking into local powder coating options, which will likely tack on an additional $25 to $50. The T-Bar costs $50 shipped in the Continental US and is available now through SwoodCycles.BigCartel.com.
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