Everything in the frame: My new Gramm Custom Full Frame Bag

Alles im Rahmen: Meine neue Gramm Customer Full Frame Bag // Everything in the frame: My new Gramm Customer Full Frame Bag

Sometime comes the moment when it becomes personal and you flirt with an individual and adapted to the bike frame bag. And I have long thought about a custom frame bag.

In favor of such spoke space optimization in the frame, individual features on the bag and a better attachment with regard to given frame properties.

Against a custom bag spoke the price and the fact that I already have frame bags. And that one can use this bag then probably not (or only with restrictions) on other bikes.

First tour with the gram // Photo: Nils Thomsen

Until I can bring myself to a bike-related purchase decision, I always need a long time. But in December, after months of thinking about it, the time had come and Christmas served as my excuse. And the fact that my Revelate Ripio frame bag has become leaky and inside also already experienced the one or other abrasion. My Ortlieb Rahmentaschen are great, but they do not use all the space in the frame triangle.

Now there are many small manufactures that can tailor wonderful bags individually. Benubags, for example. Or Reisefix, Rusjan, Bikepack, 7Roads or even the partly customizable bags from Alpkit. And sewing your own bags is also becoming more and more popular. But I know very well that sewing is not one of my talents, which is why I looked for a manufacturer for the new bag.

Honestly, I did not have to think long, because for many years I have been watching the development of Gramm Tourpacking from Berlin. Here Kristin Heil manufactures since 2013 together with three other women wonderful bags for bikepacking and bike travel. She can draw on their expertise and knows very well what “the outdoors” is all about. Also helpful is certainly the collaboration with Fern Fahrräder, a fine bicycle manufactory from Berlin. Among other things, Flo and Paul build bikes like the Chuck Explorer (Ultra Distance), which has a very good chance of becoming a bike for me when I do more bike tours again. And the team around Kristin always builds great bag solutions for these bikes, which I find very inspiring.

Personally, I do not know Kristin Heil, founder of Gramm. We had contact only via email, where she advised me very well in my bag desire.

And of course I am also influenced by others in my search. For example, from Stefan Haehnel and Bengt Stiller, who are both experienced bikepackers, very talented photographers and long-distance athletes and also rely on bags from Gramm. Bengt, for example, has ridden these on his Silk Road Mountain Race rides. And that was another reason for me to go with Gramm, because if they can build bags for these demands, then I’m in the right place.


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Ein Beitrag geteilt von Bengt Stiller (@bengtstillerphotography)


The Features

I also already had concrete ideas for the frame bag. It should be built in the style of the Ripio: on the drive side two pockets under each other, which can also be connected to one if necessary.

In the lower triangle I usually stow heavier things, such as oil, pharmacy, spare tube, CO2 cartridge, powerbank, spare parts. Both pockets have covered zippers.

The upper bag is with the most space. That’s where the bivy sack, rain jacket, gloves and snacks usually go in.

On the non-drive side there should also be a pocket. A waterproof zipper should be installed here. Here I usually transport flatter things, such as wallet, knife, documents, gels and bars, toilet paper.

In addition, this time I wanted to have two mesh pockets on this side, in which I can pack, for example, hat, gloves, bars, arm warmers and generally things that you do not need right now, but access needed during the ride. This has also absolutely proven itself on my first tour with it, where I could so react to temperature differences with arm warmers and gloves quickly and during the ride.

Daisy chain attachment over bottle cage eyelets

The attachment should be a mixture of daisy chain ( via the existing eyelets for the bottle cages), as well as via classic Velcro straps.


The material

As for the material, waterproofness was important to me, with a relatively low weight. Gramm offers a very wide range of possible materials, colors and patterns, giving detailed information about properties and weight.

I opted for the X 21 RC Black Expedition outer material. According to Gramm, this is a laminated fabric that is waterproof, tear resistant and offers low stretch, making it an ideal combination between weight and durability. The water column is from 140,000mm and the material is made in the USA and Germany. It has a weight of 210g per square meter. The lining material is nylon ripstop gray.


The manufacturing

On Gramm’s website, there are detailed step-by-step instructions on how to make your own bag.

The first step should be the overview of what kind of bags you would like to have. In my case there are 1/3, 2/3, Full and Dual Frame Bags. Dual is a combination solution, where you can put together a half frame to a full frame. This variant I had first in mind, also to be variable for normal everyday life, where it does not necessarily need a full frame bag.

Screenshot @ gramm-tourpacking.com

Ultimately, I decided against it, because I have some half frame or 1/3 frame bags and the gram then only comes into use when it matters. So at my next Races and longer tours.

The next stop is to make a stencil that you fit into your frame triangle and mark accordingly. For this there is a good template of Gramm, which you should follow.

Then you send this stencil to Gramm as a photo (and then by mail) along with your color, material, pattern and special requests.

Usually there are then a few more queries and suggestions and if everything fits, then it can start.


The frame bag

According to Gramm, the production process can take 6-8 weeks. In my case, the bag was ready after 4 weeks. And then it took a few more weeks until I could try it out in practice. In essence, there were no surprises: it sits as it should, the pockets are as I wanted them to have, the net fulfills its purpose and the processing is tiptop. I honestly did not expect any problems.

It is nice to see how the bag fits seamlessly into the frame and then optimally uses the space there. With the Velcro straps on the top tube I’m still experimenting. Since I would possibly be able to use another. However, the space to the top tube closes even more when the load increases.

And on the zipper of the non-drive side I have attached a cable tie to be able to operate this better even with gloves and while driving. Maybe Gramm could put a strap on there right from the “factory” like they do on the Drive side.

It has a width of 5.5cm and is thus similar in width to the Ripio. However, the gram is more dimensionally stable and can then not be expanded as the Ripio.

The capacity of the frame bag is about 7L. It weighs about 400g.

The price is currently 279 euros for the Full Frame. I have paid 299 euros including extras.

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