Rixen & Kaul KLICKfix Cargo

Rixen Kaul
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Grocery Panniers
We’ve mentioned before that we’re big fans of “grocery” style panniers. These ubiquitous bags for utility bicyclists are designed to carry one large grocery bag, then fold flat when not in use. They also make excellent catch-alls for those times when you’re headed from here-to-there and you unexpectedly end up needing to carry something. We almost always keep one on our errand bikes. Most are quite simple, with a single, open compartment that folds flat when not in use, though a few companies make deluxe models with extra pockets, robust mounting systems, shoulder straps, and zippered tops. The Rixen & Kaul Cargo fits into the latter category.

Rixen Kaul
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Rixen & Kaul
Rixen & Kaul are well-known for their excellent KLICKfix series of quick-release mounts and adapters; many of you will be familiar with their mounts as supplied on Carradice and Gilles Berthoud bags. What a lot of people don’t know is that they also make some really nice bags and baskets. Some of their bags are integrated into their quick release system, and others (like the Cargo featured in this review) are designed for use on standard touring racks.

The Cargo
The Cargo inhabits a place somewhere between a simple grocery pannier and a full-fledged urban briefcase such as those we’ve reviewed from Arkel and Ortlieb. It meets the basic requirements of a grocery pannier (flat bottom, square sides, folds flat), but it also features internal and external pockets, interior liner, zippered top, alloy carrying handle and internal frame, collapsible stiffener panels, rain fly, shoulder strap, and the excellent KLICKfix mounting hardware.

Rixen Kaul
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Construction
The Cargo is constructed of heavy duty nylon. The stitching is clean and straight and the edges are neatly finished. The inside of the bag is fully lined and water-resistant. The hardware and supports are made of aluminum and injection-molded nylon. The internal, foldable frame is made of tubular aluminum. Internal stiffeners are sown into the bag on three sides and the bottom. The overall impression is of a refined bag, finished to high standards.

Details
The Cargo features two external pockets on the front; a larger internal pocket for a wallet, keys, bus pass, etc.; and a small, cell-phone-specific internal pocket. There are two internal stiffeners that snap into place when the bag is unfolded. The “Modul-rail” mounting hardware is easy to use, and unlike the simple clips and straps found on less expensive bags, it securely locks the bag onto the rack, allowing no possibility of bouncing off. The mounts can be adjusted fore-and-aft to provide just the right amount of heel clearance on your particular bike/rack combination. The top is zippered, and the bottom has four feet to prevent scuffing. A clip-on shoulder strap and rain fly are included.

Rixen Kaul
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Conclusion
The Cargo is perhaps the ultimate hybrid grocery pannier/bike briefcase if you have the need for something more than a basic grocery pannier, but you still want to be able to carry a standard bag of groceries in the same bag. It works well as an everyday carry-all, but it can also be successfully used for multi-modal commuting and even light touring. It’s a well-made, versatile bag, that should provide many years of use for the full- or part-time utility bicyclist.

Specifications
Size: 14.9″W x 11.8″H x 6.3″D
Weight: 3.5 lbs.
Capacity: 18 liters
Maximum load: 22 lbs.
Price: $146
Made in Germany

Disclaimer: Velofred supplied the bag used in this review.

Velofred
Rixen & Kaul

17 Responses to “Rixen & Kaul KLICKfix Cargo”

  • Pete says:

    These look great if you need a top-of-the line bag.
    I recently bought a Rixen Kaul “Office” bag for commuting and can say the construction is first rate, and the “Modul-rail” hardware is very secure.

  • Andy says:

    Why are double kickstands always so high? Is there a purpose to lifting up the bike that high? I would think as long as the back wheel is off the ground (1/8″ would do), than the purpose is served. That thing looks 3-4″ high in the picture.

  • Alan says:

    Hi Andy,

    With less than an inch of clearance, you’re likely to find yourself with a kickstand that doesn’t reach the ground anytime you’re on uneven terrain. Also, with less than 3″-3.5″ clearance under the rear wheel, the weight bias shifts rearward and most bikes will tip back onto the rear wheel which causes the front wheel to flop to the side. So yes, for most bikes, 3″-4″ of clearance under the rear wheel works best.

    Alan

  • Adam says:

    You had me sold until I saw the price tag! Which do you prefer: this or the Bontrager interchange pannier?

  • BB says:

    The red mounting clips look the same as on my Carradice Bike Bureau (you mentioned they supply Carradice). If so, I can say they are the sturdiest, simplest mounting clips I have ever used! I’ve never had them fail me even when carrying more groceries (weight wise) than I would pack in a touring pannier. They never rattle, there seems to be no problem with rack tube diameter (within reason I guess), I love them. I really wish Ortleib would use something along the same lines.

  • Alan says:

    @Adam

    “Which do you prefer: this or the Bontrager interchange pannier?”

    They’re different animals. The Bontrager is simply a huge single compartment bag designed to swallow a large quantity of whatever. The Rixen & Kaul is smaller, more refined, with pockets, inserts, shoulder strap etc. It’s half way to a briefcase. They’re both nice bags and which you’ll prefer depends upon how you’ll use it.

    Alan

  • Alan says:

    @BB

    I agree; the R&K mounting system is super.

    Alan

  • Pete says:

    @ Adam
    The RK stuff is expensive for sure. If one really needs the added functionality, it may well be worth it. If you just need a simple grocery bag, obviously there are less expensive options.
    I looked at every commuter briefcase out there (unfortunately, not in person, which would have been nice) before I bought the RK “Office” – the most expensive one by far. It was the one that best fit my particular requirements.

  • kanishka new england says:

    i’ve looked long and hard, at models from klickfix to basil to ortlieb to arkel, and a lot of others, for an office type bag (and glanced at their grocery lines). finally settling on a carradice bag, because i can eliminate the need for a rear rack or crossrack. and skipping a rack on a folding bike is really useful with respect to folding and carrying.

    i still use klickfix on my front mount with a klickfix backpack. really well thought out and put together.

  • Adam says:

    @Pete

    Yes, and this tells me I should consider something else since I’m mostly looking for something to haul groceries. The Banjo Brothers Market Pannier is at the top of my list right now, but I’d like to find something not made in China, possibly with a good attachment system (other than bungees and clips), and less than $100 since I might buy two.

    Guess that’s asking too much :)

  • Alan says:

    @Adam

    Let me know if you find that bag you’re describing! :-D

    Alan

  • Pete says:

    @Adam-
    One option to consider, if you find a bag that meets your other criteria, is adding a high-end attachment system yourself. I’ve seen both the Ortlieb and Klick-Fix hardware sold separately.
    For example:
    http://www.velofred.com/product_info.php?cPath=135_141&products_id=498

  • Adam says:

    @Alan – :P

    @Pete – Not a bad idea! I’ve never seen the Inertia Designs bag in person, but that plus the replacement hardware you reference might not be a bad idea…
    http://inertiadesigns.com/catalog/product_info.php?cPath=3&products_id=315

  • kanishka new england says:

    @Adam-

    detours juicy line? though don’t know about their quality reputation, it is made by a cool project (though not in the usa)

  • Darren Braun says:

    The bag seems very large (which is a bonus) but since it’s breadth is very horizontal have you had heel clearance issues at all?

  • Alan says:

    Hi Darren,

    I didn’t experience any heel clearance issues with this bag. If you take a close look at the first photo, you’ll notice the bag is tipped forward. The hardware comes from the factory mounted at a slight angle to create more heel clearance. This is fairly common among commuter briefcases and bags designed for mounting on city bikes with their shorter chainstays.

    Alan

  • Judd says:

    how about the Wald folding basket?

 
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