I’m likely not alone in having had grandiose mountain bike plans for the summer and fall that turned more local as the pandemic continued to grown in size and complexity. The lofty two-week tour through the Alps near Monte Rossa will have to wait. That didn’t stop me from testing some of the gear I collected, including this Small Discover Frame Bag from PRO.
Originally designed to fit the larger front triangles of gravel frames, this pouch nests better than most inside the tight angles of a modern trail bike. With top tubes and seat tubes sliding as low as possible, the front end of front triangles is increasingly tight. It’s difficult to find a bag that sits precisely between those three tubes, made even harder if you add a shock. But if you have a hardtail mountain bike, there’s a good chance you can find a home for the waterproof Discovery Frame Bag from PRO.
The bag’s edges that rest against the down tube and top tube have slots cut into their tough fabric to loop the included velcro straps through. I oped to zip tie most of the loops to my bike’s cables since the bag will live on this frame throughout most of the season. By passing zip ties through the cable-guides and around a few cables I was able to forego some of the inevitable paint sanding that straps often create, though the included velcro ribbons are reasonably soft and keep the bag quickly swappable from one bike to the next.
The main cabin on the waterproof bag’s right-hand side is spacious enough to pack a large multi-tool, Muc-Off puncture plugging kit, Schwalbe’s new Aerothan lightweight tube, a day’s worth of calories, a wad of zip ties, and a packable extra layer. One could certainly cram more in there, but that’s all I really need.
The bag’s forward location also makes this larger pocket a prime spot for night-riding floodlight batteries. Folks who enjoy overnight rides and 24hr races likely have an amusing list of things they might store inside.
Along the rider’s left side there’s a flat slot to keep your cellphone and keys safely out of your shorts. Any massive modern cellphone will fit inside, with room to spare for an extra granola bar or emergency first-aid kit. If your phone is stored elsewhere, or — gasp — left at home, this pocket is a nice place to carry your current paperback. You never know when the sunlight might strike just right in the woods, begging you to sit in it and read a chapter or three. We gotta come prepared.
Tough polyester and nylon materials throughout this little satchel are undoubtedly woven to last through several seasons, and the neutral colorway won’t clash with your next bike build. The sealed zippers use large finger loops, making it easy to access your goods with numb and gloved hands. Reflective tabs at either end add a touch of safety to the pouch, and for all-black frames like this one, a little light reflection is welcome.
The Small PRO Discover Frame Bag retails for €44.90 at your local PRO dealer.