Review: Silca Mattone Large Pack
The Silca Mattone Grande Pack is a great way to carry your riding essentials, although using the wire system with full gloves is a bit of a hassle.
The Mattone Grande pack is basically a larger version of the Mattone pack that Neil reviewed a few years ago. One of his points was that he could have been a bit taller, and Silca agreed.
The most unusual thing about this saddle bag is the Boa dial that sits proudly on the front. It might seem like a bit of a flashy and pointless way to secure a saddle bag, but when you actually use it, this Boa Dial really comes into its own.
Firstly, this means the bag can effectively be shrunk to take up as little space as possible by squeezing the dial, as it connects to a strap that wraps around the bag – you squeeze 360 degrees to get everything close together and wasted space is minimized. This allows it to sit tighter against the saddle rails so that you can, for example, fit a larger lamp underneath. I normally need to put my light under my seat post clamp, but wearing the same amount as usual in the Mattone Grande pack, the light fits easily on the seat post itself.
Second, the tightening not only makes the bag smaller, but also secures things more snugly, which means less rattling. So even when I have a loose link and a metal patch container, nothing moves.
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The bag itself has a capacity of 70cc. Silca says you can install three tubes, two CO2 cartridges, a regulator, tire levers and a multi-tool. I tried to incorporate all of this and it really is. As I race tubeless, I normally only take one tube for doomsday scenarios, so there was more than enough room for my other riding stuff in this pack.
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It also has some useful compartments on the lid and a main compartment in the other half. This is particularly useful not only for organizing your things, but also for reducing the risk of rattles.
In terms of protection from the elements, I’ve taken this bag with only an Ass Saver (which sat on top of the bag) out in the rain a few times, and although the bag ended up looking like a painting of Jackson Pollock, nothing came through.
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Attaching it to the bike is done by passing the strap through the saddle rails and a loop at the top of the bag, and wrapping it around. You then hook the Boa wire to the plastic hook and tighten. This part can be a little tricky and isn’t ideal when you’ve just done a repair in the middle of a freezing February morning, although it does get a little easier once you get used to it. Doing this with full gloves is not ideal, however.
With an RRP of £51 this is one of the most expensive saddle bags we have reviewed on road.cc. That said, it’s only a penny more than the Fidlock Push I looked at in 2020, which is now £49.99; it’s much easier to use on the go, but it tended to vibrate which could get annoying. The Brooks Scape Saddle Pocket Bag has also gone up since Hollis tested it last year, and is now £45; it’s still a £6 saving over the Silca, but it doesn’t have the compartments or the Boa closure system.
All in all a very good saddle bag, big enough to hold everything you might need for a ride. It offers good weather protection, and the Boa closure system works well for tightening, although snagging the wire can be fiddly. The price is quite high for a saddle bag, but so is the quality.
Aside from a little issue with the wire, this is a great saddle bag
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Brand and model : Silca Mattone Large Pack
Tell us what the product is for and who it is for. What are the builders saying? How does that compare to your own feelings about it?
Silca says: “Use the power of BOA® to keep all your spares in one compact, rattle-free pack. The Grande can hold up to 3 road tubes and everything else you might need on the roadside or the path.”
Tell us a bit more about the technical aspects of the product?
* 77cc capacity
* Internal dimensions 150mm x 90mm x 55mm
* Contains 3 tubes, 2 CO2, regulator, tire levers and multi-tool
* BOA® closure system
* YKK waterproof zipper
* Hypalon webbing for security
Rate the product for build quality:
Very well done; he feels secure both in the saddle and in the hand.
Rate the product for its performance:
Does exactly what is expected of it, although closing the wire can be a little tricky at times, especially with full gloves.
Rate the product for durability:
Early days but feels like it was built to last – one advantage of boa dials and wire is that they are replaceable so even if the main component breaks you can still fix it.
Evaluate the product for its value:
It’s not a cheap saddle bag, but when you compare it to others in the same category, it does pretty well.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used as intended
It performed well, offering a good amount of storage space, no rattles, and compresses to take up as little space on the seatpost as possible.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
The Boa system.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
Putting the thread back on can be a bit tricky.
How does the price compare to similar products on the market, including those recently tested on road.cc?
The Brooks Scape Saddle Pocket is £6 cheaper but doesn’t have the compartments or the Boa closure system, and the Fidlock Push I looked at in 2020 is now just a bit cheaper, and although it was much easier to use on the go, it had a rattle that could get annoying at times.
Did you enjoy using the product? Yes
Would you consider purchasing the product? Yes
Would you recommend the product to a friend? Yes
Use this box to explain your overall score
It’s a great saddle bag that’s well made, holds your riding essentials securely and protects them from the elements, and packs down small when you need them.
I usually ride: CAAD13 My best bike is: Cannondale Supersix Evo
I have been riding since: 10-20 years old I ride: Everyday I would classify myself as: Expert
I regularly practice the following types of riding: commuting, club rides, sportsmen, general fitness riding, fixed/single gear,