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.

Silca Seat Capsule Premio Review

I will admit it: I own too many saddle bags. Perhaps due to a propensity to overpack for training rides I am constantly on the hunt for the best on bike storage options. I spent a good chunk of the winter training with the Oru Saddle Roll and came away impressed by the build quality and durability. However going back to that overpacking point: with weather improving and rides getting longer I recently went on the hunt for a larger volume saddle bag option. Enter the new Silca Seat Capsule Premio

Generally speaking I take a skeptical eye toward much of the Silca marketing around watts saved with their Speed Shield Tubeless valves and their product naming. But when it comes to their tools and pumps I have been extremely impressed by the built quality, particularly the T-Handle Folio. This build quality didn't translate as well as I hoped to the Silca Seat Roll where I frankly much preferred the Oru Saddle Roll. However the Silca Seat Capsule Premio has changed my mind on Silca packs: the Seat Capsule fits tons of gear in a form factor that mounts solidly to the saddle rails and has yet to budge in several weeks of riding - including a very dirty day at Rasputitsa that left the bag caked in Vermont mud. The Silca Seat Capsule isn't cheap at $46 but if it proves to be durable over time then it will likely be the best saddle bag I have found - at least in the high capacity realm. 

The good

  • Huge capacity with good organization - I currently have two tubes, two co2 cartridges, an inflator, tire levers, two batteries (for Powertap P1 pedals), valve extenders, a multi-tool and a few loose ends shoved into the Seat Capsule. It all fits and with the internal pockets none of it rattles.

  • Finally a BOA Closure system that works - I was never particularly impressed by the BOA system on the Silca Saddle Rolls - it was a bit over the top for such a small pack. But on the Seat Capsule Premio the BOA system makes for a super simple and effective attachment point.

  • No shake, rattle or roll - with traditional strap-based saddle bags and my tendency to overpack I would get a fair bit of movement out of the saddle bags. Despite stuffing the Seat Capsule Premio to the gills thus far the saddle bag has stayed put throughout. No shaking, no rattling and certainly no rolling.

The Bad

  • Zipper seized up - Rasputitsa isn't exactly a reasonable testing ground, especially the 2018 edition. But it is worth nothing that the zipper on the Seat Capsule Premio seized up quite firmly after the mud and snow of Rasputitsa, requiring some hot water and quite a bit of force to get open.

  • BOA durability - on a similar point the BOA dial on the Silca Seat Capsule locked up in the first few weeks that I owned it (pre-Rasputitsa so mud wasn't an issue). I was able to force it free and it has been working fine ever since but I am intrigued to see how the BOA connection system holds up over time.

The Ugly

  • It is a bit ugly as far as bike accessories go. But saddle bags are all about practicality rather than aesthetics.

The Silca Seat Capsule adapted for bike packing purposes