BARBICAN Shoulder Bag

BARBICAN Shoulder Bag

Volume    13 l          

Width       39 cm     

Height      28 cm      

Depth      12 cm      

Weight     1450 g     




In 1910 John Boultbee and his son Wilfred Mason Brooks filed two patents related to improvements in satchels, knapsacks and the like. Both these patents guaranteed more equal distribution of the load over the straps and more stability of the bag whilst cycling. With this in mind we developed our new BARBICAN Shoulder Bag, featuring a shoulder belt which can be easily secured around the waist during the ride.

The belt is the innovative part of this bag. Once adjusted to the desired length, depending on the height and waist of the cyclist, the belt can be kept loose to carry the bag over or across the shoulder while walking. For increased stability during the ride, the belt can be easily fastened around the waist simply pulling the two ends of the belt and locking them at the center with the “Sam Browne” fixing.

Water Resistant Cotton Fabric and Vegetable Tanned Leather from Europe



*290.00 €
221.89 £

*Free Delivery, Read More


Re-establishing an old Brooks tradition

Written by David Bryan Portillo from USA 10/19/2012

I've owned my Barbican for a little under a year now. As a commuting college student I was tired of using a traditional backback with two shoulder straps which would slide around as I rode. This was unacceptable. After fine adjustments to the strap and using the "Sam Brown" fixing, I have found that not only does the bag stay put as I ride (mind you, I tend to ride with much speed) but it also provides a fine balance, even under a heavy load. I have the smaller of the two offerings and was at first somewhat pessimistic about the amount of belongings that would fit in the bag, but I have come to realize that it is quite impressive to be able to fit a MacBook Pro with a hardshell case, notebook, water bottle, a Kryptonite U-Lock, over-ear headphones, laptop charger, sunglasses case, pens, pencils, and even a little room left over for a cardigan and bike lights. I feel that I may be the one pushing this bag to it's limits, but it never gives. As long as the the magnetic flap closes, it stays put. I must say I was tempted to purchase another Barbican after realizing the new offering without the brooks logo. It may have been due to the fact that these new models were made in Italy rather than China. Without a doubt, I feel a sense of pride still owning an older model. It a distinct accessory which has become part of my everyday life, and my everyday fashion as well.

Written by bricaud florian from France 6/16/2010

hello, where then I to find the straps of replacement of my barbican?
mine are damaged and I would like to replace them. thank you

answer- please visit the "spare parts" section of this website!

Written by Wilfried Esser from Germany 9/21/2009

I have seen it first time on the eurobike fair in Friedrichshafen. Just great! My Barbican arrived today and i think, i´ll get a lot of fun whíth it.

Written by Stefan Ehgartner from Germany 6/9/2009

My Barbican got part of my life. When I leave home or my office it is my permanent companion. All bags which I used before are dispelled into the wardrobe and won´t see light soon again. Since my Barbican got my one and only it accommodates my lucky stone, a black shiest from Lausitz. I love this bag because it is so special and stands out from the crowd of bags. I enjoy the wearing comfort in all circumstances. The belt is genial. Especially for riding my bike and at the airport it is very convenient to carry the bag close to the body. Also when I´m out with my little son it is just perfect that the bag doesn´t shift and I have free hands for Julius.

Written by Dirk Kaprad from Germany 6/9/2009

Primarily I use my Barbican when I ride my bike. The Barbican is a space miracle: sportswear, beach towel or shopping – everything fits in. Even if I buy lots of vegetables and fruits at the Viktualienmarkt there is still room in the bag. The zipper pocket at the outside of the bag is very convenient for not loosing important things. I always store my cell phone, money and keys in it.

Written by Ted Young-Ing from UK 6/9/2009

I bike pretty much everywhere I go – I can’t even remember the last time I had to use the Tube. I like Brooks stuff because it always works and it always looks great. The bike I’m riding in these photos is my 1952 Holdsworth Zephyr (an old English track bike), and of course I bought a Brooks saddle for it.
When the Barbican bags came out, I thought, “I gotta get one of those!” I like that it’s a modern design that’s also really in tune with the Brooks heritage. It looks cool without being too fussy or technical. And like a saddle, the leather bits take a while to wear in and get comfortable.
It doesn’t quite have enough functionality to be my everyday bag – for that, I use a proper courier bag – but I keep my Barbican bag as my second ‘dressy’ bag. I use it when I need to go somewhere and don’t want to look like such a scrub when I arrive. It comes to a lot of client meetings with me, and because it’s so well-padded, it has also become my default laptop bag. I love it.

Written by Jacqui Shannon from UK 6/9/2009

My name is Jacqui and I am partner in an events company. Our clients are people who are accustom to the very best and expect quality. That’s something I can relate to. I chose a Brooks Professional for my Mercian because of its legendary lifespan, I kept meeting people who’d had had their saddles for 20, 30 even 40 years and who swore that it was the most comfortable saddle they owned. It didn’t hurt that Brooks is a quintessentially English brand that complimented the heritage aesthetic of my Mercian.
The Brooks Barbican bag filled a gap in my accessory collection; it’s smart enough to take into meetings and thanks to the strapping system I can ride with it. When a very fashion conscious non-cycling client commented how much he liked my bag I knew I had chosen wisely!

Written by Tom Marriage from UK 6/9/2009

I've been cycling since I was about 8 years old. When I was a kid it was how I explored the area around my house, it gave me real freedom to roam and discover new things on my own terms. That never changed and that's still what I love about cycling now. Nothing beats getting on my bike with no real idea of where I'm going to end up, just that I am going to have a great time finding out. it's still just as exciting as it always was, just that now older, wiser and with bigger calf muscles I can get a lot further and see a lot more. 

I first came across Brooks when my wife and I decided to do a grand tour of South America by bike. We knew that we'd be going along some pretty rough roads, heavily loaded and miles away from the closest LBS so we put out own bikes together. We spent a lot of time planning an trying to get the most appropriate components, stuff that was reliable, easy to work on and that we had some chance of fixing or replacing in the smallest Bolivian pueblo. When it came to the saddles, it seemed that Brooks were the only real option: tough, comfortable and the only saddle I'd want to be sitting on for that length of time. While other cyclists we met had problems with their gel or padded saddles, we rode from Ushuia to Cusco without a chaff or blister.
In London, daily cycling is more restricted to the commute to work but Brooks stuff works just as well: comfortable, practical, hard wearing and (more importantly in London) good looking as well! The Millbrook bar bag and Barbican courier bag have both received a lot of attention... especially the bar bag: people stop me just so that they can touch it and see if it is real (seriously, this has happened 3 or 4 times now).

Written by Gerald Francis from UK 6/9/2009

On a daily basis I carry 'stuff' but I also like to look good when I do it. The more stuff you put in a Barbican they better they look, and the more you appreciate the micro adjustment available on the shoulder strap. The leather pads which comes into contact with your back remind me of a bespoke performance detail that you devise with your favourite tailor, occasionally others might get to see it but its there essentially to make your life that much more comfortable and… luxurious. Having a bag that performs as well as it looks is a win, win situation for me.

Written by Max Knight from UK 6/9/2009

My name is Max Knight. I'm a 23 year old artist from London. Bicycles and art are passions of mine and it’s nice to find a way to combine them. I've been making strange bicycles for a few years now and there is nothing I love doing more. I welded together my tallbike from a couple of scrapped bikes. It’s good fun to ride around London. I think Brooks saddles are cool, and my girlfriend’s bum looks great sitting on one! The Barbican Bag that they make is great, it fits my angle grinder in it with some other tools!

Written by Alberto Levorato from Italy 6/7/2009

This bag is absolutely brilliant. I use it every day to go to work by bike. It wears a bit like like the saddles, becoming more beautiful and comfortable with time. The shoulder pad in fact was a bit hard for a couple of months. Then it got softer and shaped to my soulders.
Differently than my previous "messenger bag", a Freitag "Rex", the Barbican can be worn on both shoulders, as it is symmetrical. Many cycle bags in fact are designed for messengers, and can be worn only on one of the shoulders, either right or left, which in my case is a limit. Commuting for 20-30 minutes with my laptop and other heavy stuff in the bag, I like to switch shoulder after a while, as I stop at one of the many traffic lights.
It took me a while to figure out how the belf works, as it needs quite some adjustment. You should provide some technical explanations. What I particularly appreciate about the belt is that it both prevents the bag from moving while cycling and it also truely distributes some of the weight around the waist, relieving the shoulder.
One improvement I would recommend is the closing system. The small magnets don't hold when the bag is full. Maybe some stronger magnets?
Thanks for a great product.

Written by C. Moroz 3/22/2009

Having read the comments on this board I wonder why people even left them they seem bitter and vindictive without justification. That's one of the problems with the internet. I am an actual owner of a BARBICAN bag. I was able to purchase it at cost from a dealer due to the the exchange rates, here in Canada the bag costs over $640 in stores. The dealer sat on 3 of them for over a year. Took one home and sold the other two at his cost. Even at cost it was a debated purchase. I agree I would like to see more leather mostly the front flap. I love the bag it is functional, rugged and damn smart looking, seriously the jabs at the size of the is not that much of an issue. Why does it bother so much? It is smooth and classy. Maybe an embossed leather tag would do the trick but it is a nice contemporary touch. I sincerely think the people that complain like that are in no way prospective customers. The padding at the back and the way the bag cinches at the waist are brilliant. Functional and well made and about the same price or less than a comparable bag (which there are very few of).

Written by Eugene 3/12/2009

Of course these bags are expensive. Quality always is. You can always find someone who makes things cheaper. But sheer quality and beauty - gently improving as the item gets older - is still appreciated by the buyer long, long after the cost has been forgotten.

Written by D.Beau 2/23/2009

Q > I'm loving this bag - the idea behind the strap and the design is illy. Will you be releasing anymore messenger bags of this type with same/similar strap concept but perhaps with another base design? Why? I want one, but in a different base design perhaps...

A > More bags will come in 2010 and 2011.

Written by Jose 7/7/2008

This is the best and unique bag I ever had: no compromise

Written by Joris Pacqué from Belgium 2/23/2011

I've had this bag for over 2 years now and use it daily. I'm very pleased with it.
Top notch stitching,great fabric, easy to carry around. I fall in love every time I see it. Also it's very water and dirt resistant so easy to keep clean. The only thing that wears out is the shoulder strap by buckling in and out.

Its mostly designed for carrying flat objects other wise it may look like a balloon and you can't strap up.

Thanks for this awesome bag BROOKS!


Written by Konrad Taukert from Germany 6/9/2009

I always use my Barbican when I drive my bike to my studio. The bag is huge but when I fix the belly belt I don´t even feel the bag because it perfectly adapts to my body. Everything gently fits into the bag: my casebook, power book and writing case. I put my cell phone in the little side bag with zipper. The bag is very functional and enormous convenient. Honestly I have to say that I wear the Barbican even if I´m not by bike or Vespa on the road but by foot. Because everything fits into it Barbican is my lovely indispensable companion.

Written by Andi Schweiger from Germany 6/9/2009

I use my Barbican for almost everything and carried lots of different things in it: laptop, spices and champagne for example. I'm a chef after all. I wear my Barbican when I drive my motorbike and also when I just take the car. Unfortunately the lap of the bag opens when I drive faster than 100km/h with my motorbike because there are only magnets to close the bag. Anyhow I love my Barbican because it offers me to travel 40 years back in time which is very worthy. I´m the person who loves special things not everybody has. And the Barbican is one of those things.

Written by Andrea Bürkle from Germany 6/9/2009

I don´t need much words to describe why I love my Barbican: It is very tough and indestructible, has a unique nostalgia design and is perfect to carry a Laptop. But it is also proper to do grocery shopping with it.

Written by Guy Hills from UK 6/9/2009

I am the cofounder, along with Kirsty McDougall, of Dashing Tweeds a weave based design, clothing and fabric label. Dashing Tweeds came about because I was unable to find the type of fabrics and clothes I wished to wear while cycling around London on my way to meetings and photo shoots.
We have designed urban tweeds to fit with the colours of London and created a reflective tweed we call Lumatwill. A major part of the business is selling suit lengths of cloth to tailors around London from Savile Row to The City. By far the best way to get around is by bike. I love my kronan, every morning I carry two kids 4 and 6 years old to school. Hector the 4 year old sits on the back and Amelia 6 on a cross bar seat. Their home work fits perfectly in the Barbican Bag and the straps stop it swinging around while cycling the heavy load.
On a typical day I change from my more colourful school run tweed cycle outfit to one which looks more elegant in the West End. I detach the rear kids seat and the paniers fit quickly and securely to the back of the bike. I can fit enough tweed for over 4 suits in them and then with the shoulder bag containing a camera and sample bunch I head off to town.

Written by Ingo Kruse from Germany 5/25/2009

Q > Hello, is your BARBICAN Messenger Bag produced in England or somewhere else? Regards, Ingo

A > No, it is not. Brooks have not been producing bags for many decades, therefore we have not the skills and machinery to produce them in Smethwick, England. Brooks are doing their best to keep production in the UK and in Europe, but nowadays some products are hardly manufactured in the old continent with the quality standards required to be Brooks products and at the price most cyclists are willing to accept for their equipment. We still make all our saddles in England and many other products in Europe. Regarding our bags some, including the Barbican and Brick Lane, are made in China. We wish to inform you that we are still lookin for possible partners in the UK or Europe, as this seem to be a popular concern.

Written by Marko 4/22/2009

Q > It's a shame the color combination featured in your catalogue - asphalt bag with brown leather - is not available for purchase. Why is that?

A > Why don't we make any with honey leather, then? We simply can't make all possible colour combinations, can we? :)

Written by uwe kasten from germany 4/28/2014

i was alwas looking for an alternative when doing business travel. this is it. very comfortable to wear, and the additional pocket with the zipper is very useful. great piece. really great. all fits in - what more do i need?

Written by Jürgen Jakobi from Germany 9/24/2009

Q > Hello, i have a question, can you send me a adress from a shop in Germany where can look all the cycle bags before i buy this produkt.

A > Please find a dealer list under the section "OUR STOCKISTS". Not many dealers are listed, but those who are rated 5 or 6 rivets should have the bags. Please call the one closest to your hometown and ask if they stock the BARBICAN.

Written by Massimiliano Testa from Italy 5/20/2009

Q > I would like to have one. It looks fancy and solid. Anyone knows where I can purchase it in The Netherlands?

A > Our dealer database will be online soon. For the moment please ask our distributor, AGU bv.

Written by Leah 4/19/2009

Q > Will you be making the your selection of large bags and panniers in additional colours? I have a honey saddle, and would like something to match that has an actual capacity to transport things.  Thank you!

A > For the moment we have no plan in making more colours. Maybe one more, but not with honey leather.

Written by Jeroen Speak 7/11/2008

COMMENT > I think if you are seriously going to charge £230 for a bag, the very LEAST you can do is offer a variety of views of the item. Lets face it the high street bike shops arent really stocking these so given that VERY simple fact why not push the boat out guys and do something a bit crazy ! Lets try to actually SELL EM ! Good idea ? Thought so

REPLY > We actually selling them, as you may read in the left column :)

Written by Kody 6/7/2008

Q > Is the bag weatherproof?

A > Water-resistant!

Written by Andrew Spencer from England 1/17/2014

An update to my previous update (in the interests of fairness) regrading my bag. The folks at Brooks picked up on my problem very quickly and sent me spares at no cost. Well done and thanks.

Written by Zach Pennington from USA 8/26/2009

Q > Very interested in getting this bag but I need to know which size to get. I plan on carrying a 15" macbook along with some college books and papers. Can i get away with a M or do I need to get a L?

A > I am using both sizes of the bag. I also carry a 15'' MacBookPro and it fits in both along with other stuff. The large is slightly more comfortable to have extra books and papers.

Written by James 5/20/2008

Q > Is it possible to see inside the bag? Are there compartments?

A > The bag has 2 compartments. Soon we will upload more views and some slides to show the bag better.

Written by Randy E. 5/17/2009

I looks like a beautiful, well made bag. But why the big Brooks logo? I really like your products, but refuse to ride about town looking like an advertising billboard. Is there a chance this design 'oversigh' might be corrected in newer models?

Written by William Rideout 10/2/2008

Q - I'm in sales and carry a laptop computer. Which bag is suited for me - M or L? What padding, if any, accommodates a laptop computer? Many thanks. Gorgeous product!

A - Both the Medium and the Large fit a 15-inch PC. If you have a 17-inch PC we recommend the Large BARBICAN.

Written by GiBi 9/23/2008

Q > Hello, how is it closed ?

A > The flap closes with magnets, but there is a little leather strap with "Sam Brown" fixing to secure the 2 big compartments.

Written by Jacqueline Bakhai 8/29/2008

Q > Is this bag designed to carry a computer and if so, which size is most suitable-M or L?

A > It depends on the size of your computer. My MacBook fits in both, but it is a 15-inch. If you have a 17-inch, I would choose the L size. Andrea

Written by Wolfgang Fierek 5/31/2008

Q > What is inside the Bag, Compartments for Handy or so ?

A > The interior is devided in two parts, although the design will change soon. The bag is padded both on the bottom and on the rear side. On the front under the flap there are some pockets for your mobile phone, pens, business cards, etc. There is also a pocket with zip fastener for documents. Soon we will upload more pictures with detail views.

Written by chad dawe 4/14/2008

Q > Hi, Is the body of this bag leather or fabric?
A > The body of the bag is made of fabric. Leather would make the bag far too heavy!

Written by Łukasz W from Poland 6/27/2009

Q > I already have a Brooks swift saddle and a leather bar tape on my bicycle. They're both great products. Now i'm thinking about buing the Barbican Messenger Bag i think it look's wonderful. Is the bag made in England as yours saddles?

A > The standard Barbican messenger bags are made in China. In a few weeks we will release a few leather versions of the Barbican which are made in Italy.

Written by Simon Martin from United Kingdom 5/23/2009

Q> How about making a trouser WAIST belt? Yes, I know it's not strictly a cycling item but with all that expertise with leather I bet that it would be a winner.........size 34" please!

A> Maybe as a gadget...

Written by Free 11/22/2008

Q > How is the interior divided? Is there a sleeve for a laptop?

A > The interior is devided in two parts, although the design will change soon. The bag is padded both on the bottom and on the rear side. Soon we will upload more pictures with detail views.

Written by vincent seufert 9/9/2008

Q > Is the bag waterproof?

A > Not properly waterproof, but water resistant.

Written by Gabriel Wernig from Austria 10/2/2013

A perfect bag for every day use!

Written by Colin Stewart from Germany 4/16/2013

There are two metal plugs on the waist belt, also one inside the bag on a leather strap to close the opening. Only after a couple of days of walking and cycling around, one of the plugs on the waist belt fell off in the street and, the next day, the one inside fell off too. It seems they are screwed in place but not very tightly or securely. These plugs should really lock down so that they do not fall off. It's a great bag but for the price I paid for it I do not expect these issues in the first week of ownership nor do I want the inconvenience of having to go back to the dealer to try and get spares.

A> The mushroom fasteners are designed to be removed in the event of strap replacement or to clean the strap.  They will stay tightly secured once screwed together securely using a flat head screwdriver.  That your bag was sold to you with them a bit loose is not normal and we are sorry for the inconvenience!

Written by Eric 8/30/2008

Q > Sure is nice on the OUTSIDE, but what about inside? Pockets? Compartments? What's "under the hood"?

A > See the other replies we posted.

Written by arnaud 8/25/2008

Q > Do you have the address of shops who stock barbican messenger bag, I would like to look at one before I buy it.

A > Please visit "OUR STOCKISTS" section.


We accept all constructive criticism

Written by Christian Zeman from Switzerland 3/11/2014

After one year of use I was having the same issues with the strap as many others, so I made a warranty claim and Brooks England sent me a new strap in no time. Thank you for this fast and uncomplicated customer service! Now I've sandpapered the guide piece a bit and I'm hoping that the new strap will last.
Another (although smaller) issue is the magnet closing mechanism that doesn't allow you to put too much stuff in it. I think a leather strap that allows some adjustment would be a better solution here.
Besides these two issues, I love the bag! Since I go almost everywhere by bicycle I wanted to have a bag that will not limit me on the bike and stay where it's supposed to be. The Barbican does exactly that while still having a very classy look.

Written by Sascha Tittmann from switzerland 12/5/2013

... as i allready asked for: it's a pitty that the strap - which gets really fast old-looking - can not be replaced by a new one i'd like to simply order online. so as resumee: the bag looks the older the better, but the strap the older the unsightlier. if its possible to get a new one, just let me know. thank you. best, sascha tittmann

Written by JJM Ter Balkt from Netherlands 11/11/2015

Hi People at Brooks,

I am a big fan of your products! Today the blue barbican arrived. Already was using the brown leather version for some years; but liked the idea of having laptop compartment and zipper pocket inside. Also the leather version has no padding; so could not just throw in my laptop. The color seems to be better compared to the barley pickwick backpack I have. Not fading anywhere and I like that! Great your company listens to customers and does so very well, it seems to me. Next thing you could still improve seems to be the strap. The edges of the strap do not like contact with the metal. Edges become fluffy rather quickly. Either polish the metal on the inside or reinforce the edges of the strap somehow. The blue color is really great and besides the strap? It is a pleasure to use your products every day! Wish you the best! Do try to make these products available at lower pricepoint also, please! You make nicest bags already!

Written by Gary Morris from Canada 12/2/2014

I purchased this bag in 2010 from an online US merchant. I was initially very happy with the bag, but after about 6 months the strap started to fray and deteriorated from there. I continued to use it until the strap looked pretty beat up and tried contacting the merchant at the time for a replacement strap without success. Subsequently, I followed up with some retailers in Toronto in 2012, who began to carry Brooks products, again without success. I would like to replace the strap, but think that 79 pounds is a very steep price, factoring in shipping costs, and the likelihood that the strap will fray once again. I have also noticed on your website that the strap issue was a common problem with the bag and think it is unacceptable that a product recall was not issued to address the problem.

Gary M


A> we have changed the manufacturing of the strap to address the problems that were had previously.  

Written by J S from USA 2/2/2015

I was initially quite happy with the bag, purchased a year ago from my local bike shop. I had been waiting for the new release of the logo-less bag and this one does look nice riding and walking to and from the college courses I teach. However, I too have had problems with the strap fraying apart in the first few months. Even the replacement strap sent by Brooks (thank you!) is fraying now too. I will attempt a modification to the metal plates using a rotary tool to see if that helps. Now another problem has manifest, this time with the single zipper on the front pocket. It became stiff and often split behind the zipper pull. This was ameliorated for a while by applying lip balm to the metal zipper teeth to lubricate, but finally several teeth just fell out and now the zipper will not stay closed for anything. It will cost me quite a bit to get it fixed at my local cobbler. For what this bag cost, these kinds of issues are very disappointing.

Written by Valentina C. from Italy 6/14/2014

Although this bag is clearly made with great love and care as Brooks always does, it seems to me the designer lacks of experience about bags and their functionality.

1) Such a bag should have a partition, to keep papers or laptop or clothes in good order, and not mix them all up. (Even a cheap Eastpack messenger has it!)

2) The pad over the shoulder strap... is so thick and hard it seems to be made of the same leather of the saddles, which makes it resistant but also very uncomfortable over your shoulder.

3) The above mentioned shoulder pad is made of thick smooth leather (as the saddles), which makes it super SLIPPERY over your shoulder: it does not stay still on top of your shoulder, and after a few minutes it will be either in front or behind it, or even worse the strap will fall off the shoulder.

On the other hand, other details of the bag are super:
- soft pads on the back of the bag, so it does not hurt your bones even when heavy
- nicely made phone and pens pockets
- passport pocket

I'm sorry to say it, at the time being I would NOT reccomend this product to a friend, because it lacks of functionality.
I'm sure you'll improve it and make it as great as all your products.

Written by Andrew Spencer from England 1/8/2014

Had this bag bought for me as a Christmas present, after just one ride the belt buckle mushroom faster cam loose and dropped off and was lost. Considering the cost and advertised quaility of this product this is very dissapointing.

Written by Nick Lindsey from USA 2/11/2013

I'm having the exact same experience described by Jon Schwarz from USA, posted on 11/7/2012. I love the bag, but I'm having some serious issues with the strap. The spot on the strap that pulls through the metal when I pull the strap around me waist is becoming frayed. I'm in my 6th month of use, and the fraying is to the point that I'm afraid it will start to tear. This seems to be the one design flaw and it's a pretty big design flaw since it's a little crazy to have to replace the strap once or twice a year because it rubs on its own guide. If the bag is designed to allow me to pull the strap around my waist, this shouldn't be the very thing that brings about the demise of the strap. Besides that, I love the bag!

A> The bag is covered under warranty, please make a claim to: and a new strap will be sent which is easily replaced.  Some of the older guide pieces were too sharp and giving trouble to the strap, this has since been corrected and we are sorry for the inconvenience!

Written by Jakub Velikovsky from austria 1/19/2013

Hi there,

I got your Barbican Bag for christmas, and I am not sure, if I will keep it. It is very well made, like I expect from everything Brooks, that's not the problem. Even that it is slightly too small for my needs, that means carrying my biketools and small pump with me, together with spare clothing, a map, my 15" laptop powersupply mouse, a notebook a occasionally a few beers, even that is nothing i would criticize, since this bag clearly isn't made for messenger work but for commuting.
But what I think really has a lot of potential for improvement and what i really don't like, is the magnet-closing mechanism. I guess it is supposed to look "clean", which it does, but this system is far more design over function than needed. when the bag is too full.. you can't close it. when you want to put your jacket under the sleeve, the magnet will not be strong enough to keep it there. When you put a roll (poster) there, you just don't feel safe. This sounds like a minor thing, but to me, this would come up for the relative small size. On a bike, my bag is basically my trunk, and every detail that makes it "bigger" is an argument. I am not feeling that confident to stitch around a 290€ bag.
The strap system is quite creative and works well, nevertheless, and I have a TeamPro saddle in use for 5 years now, and am very happy with it ;)

Written by Jon Schwarz from USA 11/7/2012

This product is well made and of quality material but poorly designed. I loved it at first, but after about three months, the section of the straps that passes through the metal when adjusting it to ride began to show signs of wear. After six months, the straps are completely tattered. While Brooks sells replacements, at $360 this bag was an investment in itself and should not require an additional $200 per year in maintenance costs to replace the straps every six months. Avoid purchasing this product unless you are willing to make continued investments in it.

A> We are terribly sorry to hear of the problem with your strap.  However, it is covered under warranty and we will gladly replace it.  We will contact you by email.

Written by Andrew Wade from Canada 8/2/2012

Hi there,

I really like the design and construction of your bag, and was very happy when you announced you were producing a Barbican bag without the massive logo in 2012.
I live in Toronto Canada and still cannot get one though. I have been informed by suppliers (I work in the bike industry) that the new no logo bags are widely available in Europe.

People would buy these bags if you could just get them out on the street here, and I think the big logo on the outside flap was a deterrent for many in the past.

Any word of when I might be able to get one here in Toronto?


A. Wade




Written by Samuel Moffatt from England 7/10/2012

Is the Large version going to be available in sand colour?

A> No, not currently we're afraid.

Written by Ben Stephan from Germany 1/11/2012

I am a bit confused whether the current model of the Barbican carries the big Brooks logo or not. In recent answers on this blog you said that the 2012 model would not have the logo. However the retailers I have spoken to have no idea. Now which version of the bag does not have a logo and since when have you been shipping it? Cheers, Ben

A> The Barbicans currently shipping are without the logo, though some old stock with the logo may still be found at a retailer or distributor. Cheers, Brooks Team

Written by Nigel Houghton-Allen from Austraia 12/26/2011

Very well made, solid and substanial. A most pleasant surprise.
The photos are poor and don't really show the fabric and I was surprised to see the finish. I was expecting a solid colour, not the distressed look, so I feel its not as classy as it could be.
Also no photo of the inside. I am surprised how poor the marketing is and the lack of clear detailed photos. If you expect purchases over the internet because no dealers stock the bag , Australia being the back water it is, then do buyers a favour and add a few picks.
A lap top divider would be most usefull as everything gets mixed up. You can't put the laptop back in easily as the other items that are floating around freely get in the way.
It cetainly can pack a lot in. I recently went to Sydney overnight and it caried all my clothes etc., about 7kg
However the strap is too slippery and kept sliding off the shoulder, I was wearing a tailored jacket and didn't want to cross it over the shoulder.
Also the magnets upset security, the bag went through the x-ray four times, perhaps it needs to be open.
So, better photos, and a non slip shoulder pad, maybe a removable laptop divider, and a simple colour, even a plain black perhaps, black being the Melbourne colour!
I am sure the bag will last forever and my 6yo son will love using it. I also use a Brooks saddle on my MTB.

Written by Marko Hamalainen from Finland 12/9/2011

I just received a replacement for my old Barbican. Compared to the old bag there are some changes in the design that i'd like to comment.

The old design featured two magnets on both sides of the front flap, so you could close the flap in lower or higher position depending on your load and the size of the items in your bag. The new design features just one magnet in the middle. Then again, the front flap is quite heavy so maybe you don't need to close it with magnets in case you happen to have some larger items in your bag. (-)

The metal buckles used to adjust the length of the shoulder belt seem to have more precise design, and they don't slip anymore.

The fabric used in the lining is thicker and nicely woven compared to the old.

The old design had an internal divider, whereas the new design features just one large compartment. Even if the old one was not perfect with two same sized compartments, I still preferred it to the new one. I really miss a smaller compartment for papers, smaller items etc. ---

What I really liked about the old design was the heftiness of the shoulder pad, and now you have replaced it with a thin slab of leather. And what more, gone are the metal inserts that guided the shoulder belt through the the shoulder pad! The old shoulder pad gave balance for the heavy appearance of the bag, and also gave it a robust, yet elegant feel. (you can still see this in the promo pics). Quite frankly, the new shoulder pad is a huge letdown. Please send me the old one. -----

A> We received many complaints that the old shoulder pad was too thick.  We agree with the feedback that the new strap pad is more comfortable.  Thanks for taking the time to send us your feedback!

Written by Hendrik Schäfer from Germany 12/2/2011

Does the bag have an upholstered compartment to hold a notebook more safely? If not, I guess this would be a pretty cool update to the product.

A> Actually the original version did have an upholstered pocket, but enough customer feedback convinced us it was better without.  Therefore we suggest a laptop sleeve!

Written by Beni Djohan from Indonesia 10/29/2011

wonder why this is heavier than brixton

A> the Barbican is larger than the Brixton and uses more leather.

Written by Marko Hamalainen from Finland 8/2/2011

The Barbican Shoulder Bag looks great, but sadly the design and build quality is far from what you would expect from a EUR 275 bag.

From early on I noticed that the metal buckles used to adjust the length of the shoulder belt slip already under a modest weight (e.g. daily groceries) making the bag hang lower than desired, if you don't fix the ends of the belt. This is very annoying, and clearly a design flaw on part of the buckles. Do I have to sew in some stoppers to make end to the slipping?

Recently I noticed that a seam on the lining on the bottom of the bag has ripped for no apparent reason revealing some plastic material used as a cushion. The seam seems impossible to fix neatly without removing the lining, which is a huge work. I had to use some gaffer tape to close the gaping hole. You shouldn't have to do this even to a bag that cost a fraction of the price of the Barbican. I am disappointed.

A> We have never received the feedback about the slipping ends. Likewise the lining would be covered under warranty.  Please return your bag to us for a replacement!

Written by Toby Koby from Austria 5/4/2011

Got my new Barbican Shoulderbag yesterday! Great piece - really! Thank you for making these bags!
Just in case it gets really dirty some day: Would you recommend to hand wash it or can I put it into the washing machine? Or would you recommend not to wash it at all? How can I make it shiny again?

A> We do not recommend the washing machine due to the leather parts!  Like our saddles, they become less shiny with age and assume a natural patina.

Written by Daniel Schramm from Deutschland 3/13/2011

Usually my clothes and bags don't have a life longer than one year. My Barbican is still okay after three years. Only my shoulder strap is loosing his substance. I work even in a bike shop, but even our wholesaler can not supply spare parts. I hope you can tell me, where I can find spare parts

A> Please check the SPARE PARTS section of this website for a replacement strap, thanks!

Written by Kevin Brown from France 2/17/2011

My Barbican shoulder bag is now 1 year old and the daily use it gets is starting to ware the water proof coating away. What can I apply to maintain it.

Great bag by the way.

A> You could try a wax or oil-based waterproof coating, though the treated cotton has been impregnated such that after some of the coating a work off, the material itself remains water resistant.

Written by peter holler from Germany 2/3/2011

can you please tell me what colour the barbican shoulder bag of "gerald from the uk" is? is it sand or moos?
thank you, peter

A > That would be moss, which is once again available for the upcoming season.