Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Curtis Odom - RuthWorks SF Tool Roll

Maker of exquisite vintage-styled hubs, and friend of the Retrogrouch Blog, Curtis Odom is giving cyclists a sneak peek at a new item -- a tool roll designed by Curtis, and made by RuthWorks SF.

The fabric on the inside has almost a whimsical splash
of color and pattern -- though when rolled up, it has a more
neutral "goes-with-any-classic-bike" look.
"I really like this item," Curtis wrote me. "I wanted to make a tool roll and thought about it a long time. I wanted a Ghurka bag quality item." The new roll hangs from the seat rail and seat post by a stainless steel backbone bar. When unrolled, it stays attached to the bike, and everything is easily accessible.

Curtis told me the first prototypes were made by Eric Hjeltness, who restores vintage Mercedes cars in Escondido, CA. Hjeltness's shop is not set up for production work, however, so he suggested Curtis talk to Ely Ruth Rodriquez, of RuthWorks SF, who is building quite a reputation as a maker of beautiful and functional bike bags. I don't currently have any of the RuthWorks bags, but I've seen some really gorgeous work and been reading very good reviews. Go to the RuthWorks website to see a range of drool-worthy bike luggage. Curtis tells me that the bag, which is just about ready for production, will likely retail for about $125. That might be dear for some, though keep in mind it is a hand-made item, and I understand the quality, like other RuthWorks bags, should be outstanding.

One thing you'll notice about the tool roll is that it attaches very compactly, tucked in between the saddle rails and the seatpost -- keeping it very narrow and unobtrusive. In that way, it reminds me a little of the way we used to cinch a spare sew-up tire under the saddle. I might suggest, though, that the roll have two ways to mount. One, in this more vertical orientation as shown, which is great for saddles that don't have bag loops, but maybe another option where it would mount horizontally, with the straps passing through the saddle's bag loops. Just a thought -- not a criticism.

By the way, if you click on over to Curtis' facebook page, you can see some other projects he's working on, including a wine stopper and corkscrew set, which should also be ready for production very soon.
The rando bike shown, which is owned by Ely of RuthWorks, was built by Winter Bicycles in Oregon. The leather saddle is by Rivet Cycle Works -- a U.S.-based maker of leather saddles and other bike accessories.
The tool roll looks like a stylish, but useful accessory, particularly for those times when someone is riding light and not needing (or wanting) to carry a load. Check with Curtis Odom, or with RuthWorks for availability.


  1. Ely makes great bags. I use a few, which you've seen in some of the photos in my blog.

    He's a great guy, too.

    1. I have a link in there for your review. They do look very good.

    2. Brooks, you have one of the most informative, fun blogs on the internet. I visit often.The $125 tool bag is way too much and an unnecessary expenditure for such and item. I have two $20 TUFO tubular tire sack that accomplish the same thing. The Odom - Ruth bag is indeed beautiful but like the rest of Ruthworks beautiful bags they way to expensive for most people. They're only for people with deep pockets. I'd like to see creative people do something more useful with their wonderful talents. IMO.

  2. Don--The bags are indeed expensive. But, really, they cost about what other bag-makers' stuff costs. I'll admit that getting them was a splurge for me. At least I don't have other expensive hobbies.