While most bike photos on Instagram or other social media sites rarely have them installed, saddle bags are an essential accessory for most cyclists. It’s a great way to carry extra tubes, repair tools and even food on rides. In this review we’ll be looking at the latest SILCA saddle bag, the Mattone Grande. With “Mattone” being Italian for brick, the Mattone Grande is referred to as the “bigger brick” saddle bag. Even though the Mattone Grande offers 77cm3 which is double the capacity of the original Mattone, the retail price is only a few dollars more at $55. The Mattone Grande retains the same waterproof YKK zipper and high visibility red interior. What is unique about the Mattone bag is that it uses SILCA’s elastic Hypalon Strap w/ BOA dial ($30 separately) to secure it to the saddle rails rather than traditional velcro straps.
The SILCA Mattone Grande is a minimalist rectangular saddle bag that offers a waterproof exterior and secure Hypalon Strap w/ BOA mounting design.
|Rating||9.1 / 10|
|Weight (in g)||108|
|Likes||+ BOA dial closure system|
+ Premium construction with simple design
+ High visibility red interior lining makes it easy to spot items inside the bag
|Dislikes||– No color options|
– Lacks a strap for mounting tail light
|Where to Buy (US)||SILCA|
The SILCA Mattone Grande uses the Hypalon Strap to attach to a cardboard backing with product information printed on it. Removing it is as simple as releasing the tension from the BOA dial and sliding it off.
Rather than using common velcro straps to attach the saddlebag to the bike, SILCA has incorporated their elastic Hypalon Strap w/ BOA dial. The strap wraps around the saddle rails to keep the Mattone Grande tight against the saddle. Thanks to the wide strap and strength of the BOA dial the Mattone Grande doesn’t rattle or sway even though it only has a single attachment point. Attaching the bag to the saddle rails is as simple as sliding each side of the strap through the saddle rails and pulling the wire for the BOA dial through the plastic hook. That’s easier said than done though, as the clearance for the wire is minimal which means you need to carefully align the wire and pull it through. That means removing and installing the bag isn’t as convenient as you’d expect for a BOA closure system but may improve with use.
FIT & FINISH
Visually the SILCA Mattone Grande lives up to the “bigger brick” product name. The saddlebag has a rectangular profile with internal dimensions of 150mm x 90mm x 55mm which means it’s still relatively compact and tucks underneath saddles. The exterior of the Mattone Grande has a leather like exterior with a waterproof YKK zipper that wraps completely around. Diamond-like stitching on the bottom of the saddlebag provides a texture contrast to the otherwise smooth exterior as well as the SILCA logo. Branding is limited to that logo and “SILCA” printed on the Hypalon strap which gives the Mattone Grande an understated appearance.
The Hypalon strap itself can be removed from the bag and used separately as a minimal frame strap or EDC strap. SILCA actually offers the strap with BOA dial separately for $30 which means most of the cost of the Mattone is likely because of the BOA dial itself. As a frame strap, the Hypalon is priced similarly to the KOM Cycling Frame Strap and Lizard Skins Tube Strap we’ve previously reviewed. Although the KOM Cycling strap’s ATOP dial is visually similar to the SILCA Hypalon strap’s BOA dial, the BOA dial does feel slightly higher quality and has more support in terms of replacement parts. One downside to the Hypalon strap is the lack of an inner elastic sleeve to help keep things together. That means if you’re using the Hypalon strap by itself, you’ll need to remove the strap carefully from your bike to avoid anything falling off.
Inside the bag you’ll find a high-contrast red liner that makes it easy to spot items inside the bag. Not only is the red color commonly found in other SILCA products but it also ties into the BOA dial’s red cable for a little visual contrast to the otherwise all-black bag. On the inside of the door you’ll also find two pockets sewed on top of each other. The outer pocket is small and best suited for credit cards, cash or an id while the large inner pocket can hold tire levers or CO2 canisters. Otherwise, there are no dividers which allows you to use the space as you see fit. Compared to saddle roll bags like the Topeak Burrito Pack which offer separated compartments, that means it’s slightly harder to organize things inside the Mattone.
Overall, we found the SILCA Mattone Grande to be a well constructed and minimalist saddlebag. Even though the Mattone Grande is the larger version of the Mattone bag, it’s still small enough to tuck underneath saddles. What sets the Mattone Grande apparent from standard saddlebags is the use of their Hypalon Strap that uses a BOA dial closure. The wide strap and BOA dial provide a secure mount design that can be quickly tightened or loosened. Otherwise, the Mattone Grande offers waterproof storage with two small internal pockets and high visibility red interior. The main downsides of the bag is that it lacks a taillight clip or alternative color schemes. That said, if you’re looking for a compact saddle bag that mounts quickly with a BOA dial the Mattone Grande is a great option.
Disclaimer: The product for this review was provided by SILCA. The views expressed on this website are solely those of the authors and are here to help people make an informed choice before a purchase. The authors or the blog itself does not get any monetary compensation from the product manufacturer or third-party websites/vendor links that are posted here.