In any long-distance race or event, preparation is always a key aspect, from mindset and physical shape to material. The first is something personal that each one has to prepare individually, but for the second, we usually rely on third parties who specialize in designing products for these occasions. From some aerobars to be more aerodynamic, to some bags to carry all the tools, clothes, and food that we may need.
Hence, we would like to tell you about Miss Grape, an Italian brand that has been manufacturing all kinds of bikepacking bags for leisure or competitive use for many years. The brand, founded in 2014 by Michele Boschetti (Nure for friends) and based in Rovigo, was born thanks to his friend Marco who in 2005 was already bikepacking but stumbled upon the lack of specific bags. Since then, Nure developed the idea and it has grown to become a benchmark in the sector with specific bags for all cycling disciplines, from road, gravel, and MTB, to fat and urban bikes. Currently, Miss Grape is composed of a team of cycling enthusiasts who design and manufacture all their bags in Italy for the whole world. For them, the bicycle is a way of living and, therefore, they try to reflect their spirit in all the bags they make.
We recently had the opportunity to test their new Road Series equipment, which was specially designed for those who spend long days on the tarmac. On this occasion, our editor Toni de la Torre participated in the first edition of PedAlma, a long-distance race from Madrid to Barcelona in a single stage, 685 km and almost 7.000 m of elevation gain. The situation was perfect to put the new bags to the test.
Based on our experience, we can say that these bags are designed to be light, functional, and move as little as possible, three fundamental aspects for events of this type. First of all, the bags adapt perfectly and are well attached to the frame, which allows you to stand up, move the bike sideways, and not feel that you are unbalanced. Secondly, their size is ideal since they do not rub against your legs, but at the same time, they allow you to store everything you need. Toni brought his tools, a vest, food, an external battery, and at no time did he lack any space. In particular, the frame bag Internode 3 is interesting since its shape, being sharper at the end, allows you to put a 750 mL bottle in the frame and thus carry more water. Also, the top-tube bag Node Road allows you to quickly and easily access food or a camera. Thirdly, both bags are made out of waterproof fabric, which we tested during the first part of the race (almost 5 hours in the rain), but only the Internode 3 is 100% waterproof. However, the material remained perfectly dry at all times. Finally, the black color of the bags makes them discreet, but their texture gives them an original touch. In addition, they have a reflective print with the Miss Grape logo (some grape leaves) that will give you extra visibility.
The entire road collection consists of six different bags, which could have allowed us to expand the storage space for our adventure. However, given the characteristics of the event with both we chose we had more than enough. The complete Road Series catalog consists of one 7L saddle bag (Cluster 7), two 2L and 3L frame bags (Internal 2 and 3, respectively), two top tube bags (Node Road with straps and Node 2H Road with bolts), and a 6L handlebar bag (Tendril 6). Apart from those already mentioned, the rest of the bags are also made with especially light, durable, and waterproof materials that result almost imperceptible once attached to the bike and allow you to overcome any situation.
In addition to the quality of its products, something we especially like about Miss Grape is its philosophy. All of their products are guaranteed for life as they make products that are made to last. Thus, with this simple action, they provide us with a product that will be sustainable and that will respect the environment. You will have to really work hard to damage your bag and, if that happens, it will definitely be repairable.