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HQ Tour: Fierce Hazel is Designing New True Grit Bike Bags in LA

Frankie Holt owner Fierce HazelPhoto c. R. Frazelle Frankie Holt owner of Fierce Hazel
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When I first saw that Fierce Hazel was releasing their first line of on-the-bike bags, I looked up the company to learn more. It turns out that Frankie Holt, the founder of Fierce Hazel, has a real passion for everything she does whether it’s her art, sculpting, or cycling. Her passion extends to the environment and sustainability, which is one of the reasons, her new True Grit bike bags are sustainably made with repurposed fabric.

After reading her amazing story, and also finding out that she really dislikes kale, I was inspired. I also really liked the aesthetics of the Olefin fabric she was using, but more on that a little later.

The Fierce Hazel HQ Tour

Fierce Hazel sign
Photo c. R. Frazelle

Fierce Hazel is headquartered in Los Angeles, California. That’s only about a 40-minute drive for me, so I thought I’d pop over there and pay her a visit and get the scoop on how she operates. Up on the eighth floor of an old, early 1920s building on an eclectic block in the heart of downtown Los Angeles’s Garment District is where I met Frankie. She informed me that she had just moved (early in March) to this new space. It was neat and organized.

The artsy, loft-style space is surrounded by windows, looking kinda familiar, like something you’d see in a movie.

Frankie Holt's art
Frankie’s art…

Upon walking in, the space she shares with her photographer husband feels instantly welcoming while having a very palpable feeling of creativity to it.

Frankie seemed at home in a space like this, being an artist herself. Fierce Hazel runs its day-to-day operations out of this HQ, but it’s also the space where she designs and creates all of the Fierce Hazel pieces.

Frankie started Fierce Hazel by making the “lightest, most functional cycling wallet possible”, which then evolved into different pouches, specialty wallets, and bags of all types.

Fierce Hazel cycling wallets

The bags were clever in their design and sustainable in their construction.

The Urban Explorer Bag is my favorite of the “off-the-bike” type bags that she makes. You know I’m a big fan of versatility, and this bag is just that, as it can be worn as a backpack, sling, across-the-body, flight sack, or a “relaxed backpack”. Check it out if you get a chance.

The Urban Explorer Bag uses the same Olefin fabric as the True Grit Bike bag line. She tells me that, after taking a long time looking for an overseas manufacturer for the True Grit line, she decided on a shop in Vietnam that only deals in remnants (including the Olefin), or scraps that are left over from other manufacturers/brands.

Vietnam is easier for her to visit and do quality control check-ups, so she chose them to manufacture her True Grit line.

So, on to the True Grit bike bags.

As I mentioned earlier, I had already received the Saddlebag and Handlebar bag and had been testing the Handle Bar bag for a few weeks. So I will be giving some insight on that bag. I can’t touch on long-term durability, but will touch on all of the features in my review below.

But first, let me tell you a bit about the True Grit Saddle Bag.

Fierce Hazel True Grit Saddle Bag

The Fierce Hazel Saddle Bag is a good-sized, albeit compact saddle bag that tucks in nicely under your saddle. I didn’t get a chance to actually review this bag, although I did mount it up to see how it looked.

I mounted it on my Brooks B17 and on my wife’s ol’ WTB saddle for comparison. Fierce Hazel says it’s big enough to hold up to two tubes, as well as tools, and some snacks. In my wife’s case, it holds one 26″x 2.25″ tube, a Co2 cartridge, an inflator, tire levers, and an old (big) Topeak Alien Tool, still leaving room for a Gu packet or two…plus the space in the flap pocket.

Fierce Hazel True Grit Saddle Bag loaded
Photo c. Michael Higgins

It has a handy key clip and a pocket on the convenient, downward-opening flap that could hold an ID and/or some credit cards. On the inside of the saddle bag, on the side wall, there is a well-thought-out elastic strap to hold a tube, tire levers, or tools up out of the way, while keeping them from getting buried in the saddle bag causing a near-full unload to get to something you need.

Fierce Hazel True Grit Saddle Bag Brooks hero shot
Sitting a little more level on the Brooks Saddle rails.

The Saddle Bag is made from eco-friendly Olefin. Olefin is an extremely durable synthetic fiber, and it’s stain resistant. The True Grit Bike Bag collection is a very handsome and unique set of bags… classy looking.

Features

  • Rugged, weatherproof construction
  • Visibility features for added safety
  • Upcycled Olefin shell, with a waterproof nylon interior
  • Internal key fob, elastic strap, and pocket
  • Sustainably produced

Size: 7″ x 4.5″ x 4″

Weight: 3.8oz

Volume: 0.9 liters

Retail: $79

Fierce Hazel True Grit Handlebar Bag Review

Fierce Hazel Handlebar Bag front hero shot

I’ve been using the Fierce Hazel True Grit handlebar bag for a few weeks, grabbing rides between the rain that we’ve been getting here. I’ve had it long enough to get an idea of the quality and whether it’s for me or not. Right off the bat, I will tell you that the bag is extremely well-made. It’s a high-quality bag, with a top-notch fit and finish around the edges and seams.

At first, the bag seemed a little on the small-ish size, but after mounting it up, I found it tucked into the handlebars nicely.

Out of curiosity, thinking that my Roadrunner Burrito Supreme Bag was a lot bigger, I put the two side by side and the True Grit bag was the same width but only a little bit smaller in diameter, a difference of .6 liters in volume. That was surprising because the Burrito Bag looks so much bulkier.

Fierce Hazel Handlebar Bag side pouch
The tight, side mesh pocket

It has a handy, although very tight outside, mesh pocket that seems hard to put much in except for maybe a Gu pack or two. Also on the outside of the True Grit bike bags are external light mounts and a large reflective strip across the bag, which is a nice touch.

When mounting the bag to the bars, I noticed some little protective pads that are permanently sewn underneath the buckles. These served two purposes in my experience with the bag, 1) as a sort of grip to keep the bag from slipping, in case you don’t want to use the additional velcro headtube attachment, or 2) they’re simply there as a protection pad for your bars.

Fierce-Hazel-Handlebar-Bag-stem-fastening
Cinched a little tight…

Speaking of the velcro attachment strap, the “fuzzy” part of the velcro stops a few inches away from where it starts. This means that if you have it tightened as much as I did (like in the above photo) it leaves an untidy amount of strap danglin’. But, I feel that this was purely user error, as I didn’t need to tighten it as much as I did. If you don’t tighten it as I did, you are left with a clean application of that strap. Plus, it’s removable, so you don’t need to use it if you don’t want to.

The handy key fob tether came in well, handy. A quick pull of the tether (that is conveniently sewn right at the opening of the bag) makes for a quick grab of your car or house key when the bag is stuffed full.

Fierce Hazel Handlebar Bag loaded up

The handlebar bag was able to hold quite a bit when I started loading it up for a ride. I loaded the bag with a banana, my bandana, my keys, and Wolf Tooth multitool (it goes everywhere with me), my driver’s license, and bank card (tucked into the Fierce Hazel Super Uselful Card Holder), sunglasses, my Paul bottle opener (for beer), and my favorite fig bar.

Not shown in the picture are the Giro D&D gloves that I ended up taking off during my ride and shoving in there… leaving plenty of room to spare.

Features

  • Rugged, weatherproof construction
  • Visibility features for added safety
  • Upcycled Olefin shell, with a waterproof nylon interior
  • Internal key fob, elastic strap, and pocket
  • Sustainably produced

Size: 8″ x 4.5″

Weight: 6.4oz

Volume: 2 liters

Retail: $89

Fierce Hazel Handlebar Bag mounted from the top

In Conclusion

As I mentioned earlier, I can’t attest to the long-term durability yet, but I can’t see any glaring issues that would lead me to believe that the bag wouldn’t last a very long time.

The True Grit Handlebar bag did, however, live up to its handsome exterior and performed as well as it looks. It mounts quickly and easily, making it easy to remove from the bike. This makes it nice for someone (like me) that does a lot of shorter rides during the week where a handlebar bag isn’t really needed. That being said, it looks small and tidy and would be a bag that I could easily leave on the bike 24/7.

Fierce Hazel is a female-owned, small operation, that runs ethically, and eco-consciously. Their products are all designed in California and are well thought out, clever products that fit many needs throughout the whole line.

The True Grit on-the-bike bag line is a welcome addition to the choices we have for these types of bags. They are very reasonably priced for the quality of the bag you are receiving. I would recommend them.

Check out all of the Fierce Hazel Goodies by hitting the link below.

FierceHazel.com

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WannaBeSTi
WannaBeSTi
10 months ago

Frankie Holt looked oh so excited to have her picture taken.

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