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To Be Determined Journal

To Be Determined is a journal of cycling, adventure and photography, curated by a NYC-based cycling team known as TBD Racing or Team TBD. From criteriums to cyclocross to product reviews and travel diaries, it is all part of the TBD Journal.

Oru Saddle Roll Review

A few months ago we wrote about our excitement at the launch of Oru’s second ever product: the Oru Saddle Roll. As longtime users of the Oru Airport Ninja bike bag, aka the bag that has saved us hundreds of dollars worth of baggage fees, we eagerly placed an order and immediately started putting the roll to use. Our experience with the Oru Saddle Roll after several months of use follows below:

The Oru Saddle Roll Strap System

The key differentiator between the Oru Saddle roll and competitors is the Voile ski-strap attachment system. Relative to the BOA-based Silca Saddle Roll I had been using the Oru is both more flexible, which is helpful anytime you are attempting to overstuff your saddle roll, and more durable which should pay dividends and we plod through a long winter in New York City. Plain and simple: the ski-strap system works so well I am kind of shocked it hasn’t been done before. Kudos to Oru for being the first to make this connection. 

Oru Saddle Roll Build Quality

The other differentiator with the Oru is the overall build quality. I will acknowledge being a bit apprehensive about the premium $49 price point (the Silca Seat Roll Premio goes for $48). But after extensive use the Oru Saddle Roll has yet to show any sign of wear and tear - it remains in nearly new condition - and the added touches like the Dyneema waterproof zippered pocket remain helpful for storing a patch kit and some emergency cash. Each of the internal pockets is sized with a specific product in mind (e.g. tubes on the sides, levers in the middle). And to top it all off the Oru Saddle Roll comes in a variety of colors and is all made right here in in the USA.

Where Could the Oru Saddle Roll Improve?

As for areas of improvement there really haven’t been any areas where the Oru Saddle Roll has fallen short. During the winter months I have a tendency to overstuff the roll so a bit of extra space would always be nice but with capacity to hold two tubes, levers, a small multi-tool, and a Co2 cartridge the Oru Saddle Roll can fit just about everything you may need on a training ride. This time of year I often ride with an oversized multi-tool that takes up the space that is designed for a Co2 cartridge but a frame pump negates this concern in my riding. We’ll see if any faults develop in the coming months and will report back with any updates. 

The Oru Saddle Roll: Conclusions

Several hundred miles of use later, both on road and off road, I can definitively say that the Oru is the best saddle roll I have ever used. And I love supporting a small business giving it a go in the bike industry. In fact the biggest challenger to the Oru Saddle Roll may not be a competitor's saddle roll but rather the new Oru Saddle Bag. Coming in with less capacity but a price tag $20 lower the Oru Saddle Bag may be a worthy alternative to the Oru Saddle Roll. We just placed an order for the Saddle Bag and will follow-up with a comparison between the two. 

Where to buy the Oru Saddle Roll

Head over to the Oru website and pick one up: Oru Saddle Roll ($49). While you're there make sure to check out their Airlines and Cities guides for information that may be relevant for your next bike-based getaway. 

Note: all photographs from the Oru website.