It has taken way too long to update the Cadence backpack, and we are the first to acknowledge that this has been unacceptable.
In 2018, we faced a series of challenges growing up as a start-up. The biggest one was when our original manufacturing partner abandoned us. It has taken us 6 months to rebuild our relationships and to find a new manufacturing partner that can produce our designs. A blessing in disguise is that our new partner has impressed us immensely with their attention to detail and quality of outputs, and all our of new customers will benefit from this.
The first set of bags will arrive in our warehouse in the first week of January 2019. To be 100% sure, orders will start when we have physically inspected the products ourselves at the warehouse. For early adopters that emailed firstname.lastname@example.org, they will receive early access to the backpacks as well as an early bird discount. If you want to join the list, it’s not too late. Get in touch!
Below is long overdue breakdown of the design changes of the new Cadence backpack compared to the previous version. Unless otherwise stated, the first picture is the first bag, and the second picture is the new version.
As you can see, the general ethos of the design has remained the same, but there are some subtle changes in the new version. We received feedback from users that the Cadence was a little too wide, sometimes causing it to bump into doorways or making contact with people in busy areas such as subways. We have taken that advice on board and have reduced the top maximum width of the bag from 48cm to 43cm. To maintain the same capacity, we have widened the bag at the bottom from the original 23cm to 25cm. The result is a bag that does not slant out to the side as much as the previous version, while also keeping the aesthetics of the bag that our customers love.
The back has undergone the biggest change since the first version, as it is the area which we worked the most to improve the experience of the backpack. Afterall, a backpack is bought to be worn and the most directly experience will be how the bag feels on your back.
Starting with the shoulder strap, in the previous version, we adopted a single piece bridged strap made from EVA foam. Although the single piece designs looks great, it does have its flaws. One, it reduces the ability of the user to adjust how high the backpack sits on your back. Secondly, the width between the two shoulder straps is fixed, thus reducing the freedom of the user to adjust. In the new version we have moved to separated shoulder straps, with thicker and softer EVA padding than the previous version. Whereas the shape of the previous shoulder straps were designed quite straight, we have taken care in the new version to create contoured shaped shoulder straps that curves like an S around your body, creating a more snug fit. We have kept the same chest harness as the previous version and added elastic banding on both sides of the harness to increase flexibility.
One significant visual difference is the all important back panel. In the previous version, we had six pieces of EVA foam covered by mesh. Although it looked great and in the most part performed admirably, we did receive a couple of constructive criticism on the back panel, especially in their function versus form. In the new version we have created two separate EVA panels that run down both sides of your infraspinatous muscles at the back (commonly known as shoulder blade). Breathability is improved by having a complete gap in the middle where air can pass through interrupted, especially if you are riding in an aero position on a road bike. The two EVA panels are also thicker than the previous version and are covered by mesh. There are also 4 cut outs within the two separated back panels to aid air flow. Overall, we think the new design is an absolute upgrade on the previous version both in comfort and functionality, and we hope you will like it.
Although indistinguishable from the previous version, we have worked really hard to improve our zipper design so that they will not fail you. First, to clarify, the zippers in our front pockets are not intended, nor are they IPX5 waterproof. The IPX5 waterproofing certification that we received is for the main compartment. Any pockets with zippers will let some liquid if it is subjected to constant spraying or showering. However, our zippers will prevent your small items from getting wet under light showers.
The noticeable change you can see here is that the zip pull tag has been removed in the new version. If yanked quite hard, the fabric of the zip pull was not as robust as having actual metal zipper heads to pull, and we decided that durability was more important than appearance so have removed the fabric zip pull. We have also completely remanufactured our zippers, using a different mechanism that provides a smoother closing and opening, and which is more robust and durable compared to the first version.
We received plenty of feedback from users that they would like to see more reflective features in the new version, and we have answered that request. Whereas the previous version had all black sides, the new version has added reflective strips on both sides of the bag to aid visibility in night riding.
As mentioned above, we have reduced the top width of the bag. In order to ensure the same capacity, we have increased the side width of the bag from 16cm in the previous version of 19cm at the bottom, giving our customers the same 30 litres capacity as the first version. The capacity makes for a great day pack as well as for weekend trips and the weekly shop.
The inside compartmentalisation is a loved customer feature of the previous bag and we have continued with the same design, paying attention to detail on improving the general quality of the sleeves and materials used, as well as applying our new zipper design on the inside as well.
The design ethos of the attachment method of the Cadence is that it should be as simple as possible, to save the consumer time. When the bag is rolled, it is being attached at the same time by the placement of velcro pads that meet on both sides of the bag. If the attachment needs to be enforced, there are buckles on either side that can tighten the roll at the top of the bag, making it watertight and secure. Helmets or locks can also be attached to the straps at the top of the bag for easy carry.
In the new version, we have listened to customer feedback and adjusted the positioning of the velcro pads so that they meet on the first, second and third rolls. To further tighten, roll a 4th time and secure with the buckles.
The buckles themselves do not need to be opened and closed every time you want to open and close the bag. You simply adjust the looseness and tightness of the straps where necessary, wrapping them over the top of the bag and tightening when closing, and loosening and removing them out of the way when opening.
To give you the overall flavour of the new Cadence, here are some more photos.
As our early adopters we are especially grateful for your faith and interest in the Cadence backpack. Please feel free to reply back at email@example.com and let us know whether the new design met your expectations.
The new retail price of the Cadence will be £79.99, reflecting the upgrades to the bag as detailed above. It was also unavoidable as we are a small startup which is yet to manufacture at significant scale, the weakening of the pound (making inputs more expensive) and that we are trying to grow up as a company and to serve customers around the world.
Early adopters will all receive discount vouchers which will ensure that you will not pay any more than the previous version of the Cadence.
If you have made it all the way to the end of the blogpost – thank you. It is definitely people like yourselves that drives us to do our best and to offer customers genuine solutions and alternatives in the cycle commuting bags niche.