Product Review / Travelogue by PBE Squad member, Luly Kaye
What started as a stem sack purchase for a new mountain bike in 2019 turned into hip sacks, frame bags, backpacks, pierogi bags and so much more. My first Nittany Mountain Works bag was gifted to me in 2019 to grace my brand new Surly Karate Monkey and in the past three years it has become my top choice of biking bags for any discipline. This solar powered company makes on- and off- the bike goods for all conditions.
Most recently I had the opportunity to go on a bikepacking trip through France and Spain on the rugged European Divide Trail. With me I took a Nittany Mountain Works Stem Sack and Fastpack Lite Frame Bag in Neon Orange (great for hunting season). I used them to store my valuables and electronics like my phone, earbuds, lights, wallet, passport etc. I was worried, as anyone would be, that my valuables would be damaged over the course of the three weeks, but I also wanted easy access to these items. We experienced sun, rain, dust and everything in between and my valuables stayed clean and dry. On top of that I could grab anything I needed while on the bike, reducing the need to stop to get things out.
For day-to-day biking, the pierogi pack is hands-down my favorite bag. It allows me to go on long gravel and mountain bike rides without a backpack. I often struggled on my mountain bike to have space for food, lights, layers and other things when going out for five or six hour rides. The pierogi pack allowed me to carry the extra material tools needed to safely go out for long rides while maintaining full bike dexterity.
Daisy chains on many of their bags allow for Velcro placement adjustments meaning that you can customize the straps to your bike. As a smaller person with less space in my frame, this flexibility allows me to put bags on my bike in a way that fits comfortably. The frame bags are short enough to fit in a smaller frame and give me room for two water bottles as well as ample space in the frame bag (instead of the bottles pushing into the frame bag). The solar sewn bags are also durable and last multiple seasons of daily use.
As someone who loves colors, Nittany Mountain Works makes it easy for me to customize my bike in the best ways. In biking and everyday life I am always searching for things with bright colors. The wide range of colors and customizable combos allowed me to be creative with my bikes and bring my own touch. Many of their color options are also neon, which adds an element of safety. For years I used a Nittany backpack for school with a large neon green strip down the back and reflective patches. On my commute to and from school this made me feel much more visible, especially when I stayed later for clubs or sports and ended up riding home in the dark! Of course, if you prefer not to be seen, there is a camo option too.
On top of having long lasting and convenient productions, NMW gives back to their community, donating to local events, supporting other local businesses and groups like the PBE squad. I am a member of the National Youth Bike Council(NYBC), a group that encourages youth leadership and bicycle safety. This past spring Nittany Mountain Works graciously made and donated several bags for council members. Even after the first batch was lost in the mail they remade the bags for us. When I see another cyclist with a Nittany Mountain Works bag it is such an easy way to start up a conversation because so many people support the company and Nittany Mountain Works support their community. Check out NMW bags for Central Penn (and everywhere else) shredding!