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  1. #1
    Forum Member Perseffect's Avatar
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    Lockable Zipper Difficulties

    I ordered a new Tristar recently and was pleased to see lockable zippers added. Not that I ever lock them but nice to have the feature.

    However I've noticed that they are actually more difficult to pull closed.

    On a normal zip the metal 'pull' can sit completely flat (horizontally) which makes it very easy to open or close it:


    On the lockable zippers it can lie flat when opening:


    But when closing it the lockable part gets in the way and if you try and pull it horizontally, it actually twists/pushes the zip head downwards. This makes more friction and therefore harder to pull it closed:


    This is unfortunately creating a negative lever effect.

    The options I can see to stop this is either cutting the metal pull and replacing with just cord (which will go horizontally over/around the lockable part)
    Or
    Not using cord and pulling the metal pull directly (which will be slightly more vertical in your hand as you grip it).

    I could be overthinking this but it was a slight disappointment to an otherwise welcome feature upgrade.


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    Aeronaut 45 (Navy/NWS), A30 (Black/Island), Tristar (Steel/Island), Western Flyer (Steel/Island), Pilot (Steel/Island), Synapse 25 (Mars Red/NWS), Synapse 19 (Black/Island) & (Burnt Orange/Steel), Ristretto 11 (Navy/Steel), Small Cafe Bag (Navy/Steel) & (Mars Red/Dawn), Daylight Briefcase (Cloud/Dawn), Side Kick (Mars Red/Dawn), Travel Cubelet (Mars Red)

  2. #2
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    Is the cord pull preventing the metal pull from going all the way down?

  3. #3
    Forum Member Perseffect's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by pvn View Post
    Is the cord pull preventing the metal pull from going all the way down?
    I checked with the cord off. It still only goes to about 45 degrees.



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    Aeronaut 45 (Navy/NWS), A30 (Black/Island), Tristar (Steel/Island), Western Flyer (Steel/Island), Pilot (Steel/Island), Synapse 25 (Mars Red/NWS), Synapse 19 (Black/Island) & (Burnt Orange/Steel), Ristretto 11 (Navy/Steel), Small Cafe Bag (Navy/Steel) & (Mars Red/Dawn), Daylight Briefcase (Cloud/Dawn), Side Kick (Mars Red/Dawn), Travel Cubelet (Mars Red)

  4. #4
    Forum Member Rocks's Avatar
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    It almost looks like the zipper pull is on the wrong way.
    Ah, I get it. The lockable sections have to meet in the middle. That does seem slightly vexing.

  5. #5
    Volunteer Moderator Alumni Badger's Avatar
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    Hmmm, could it also be that you're still used to the pulls on your old Tri-Star, making the new zippers feel even more stubborn than they are? When I got an updated A30 with the lockable zippers, I know I thought they were hard to operate, with or without cord pulls. Then I took the bag on a trip, and by the end a combination of things happened: the main compartment zippers loosened up from use; the fabric relaxed, making the area around the zippers more supple; I developed muscle memory for the way the zippers worked.

    Until all that occurred I found it much easier to forgo cord pulls; if you can endure the jingle-jangle of the zippers, it may be worth it to try it for a spell. YMMV of course but I hope it helps.

  6. #6
    Forum Member Perseffect's Avatar
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    Thanks @Badger. I think it's something that I might get used to through using the bag for a few trips.

    And I might go without the cord for a while to see how that works out.


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    Aeronaut 45 (Navy/NWS), A30 (Black/Island), Tristar (Steel/Island), Western Flyer (Steel/Island), Pilot (Steel/Island), Synapse 25 (Mars Red/NWS), Synapse 19 (Black/Island) & (Burnt Orange/Steel), Ristretto 11 (Navy/Steel), Small Cafe Bag (Navy/Steel) & (Mars Red/Dawn), Daylight Briefcase (Cloud/Dawn), Side Kick (Mars Red/Dawn), Travel Cubelet (Mars Red)

  7. #7
    Volunteer Moderator Alumni Badger's Avatar
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    I hope it works out! Your TS/Cadet combo looks very sharp! Lockable Zipper Difficulties


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  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Perseffect View Post
    I ordered a new Tristar recently and was pleased to see lockable zippers added. Not that I ever lock them but nice to have the feature.

    However I've noticed that they are actually more difficult to pull closed.

    On a normal zip the metal 'pull' can sit completely flat (horizontally) which makes it very easy to open or close it:


    On the lockable zippers it can lie flat when opening:


    But when closing it the lockable part gets in the way and if you try and pull it horizontally, it actually twists/pushes the zip head downwards. This makes more friction and therefore harder to pull it closed:


    This is unfortunately creating a negative lever effect.

    The options I can see to stop this is either cutting the metal pull and replacing with just cord (which will go horizontally over/around the lockable part)
    Or
    Not using cord and pulling the metal pull directly (which will be slightly more vertical in your hand as you grip it).

    I could be overthinking this but it was a slight disappointment to an otherwise welcome feature upgrade.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    Personally, in cases where I wanted to use cord pulls, I've just cut the metal zipper pulls off. I don't really understand the reason for threading the cords thru the metal pulls, except for if one was not sure and wanted to go back to the metal pulls. I've seen lots of bags and other items where they come with no metal pulls anyways, and have cords instead as stock. I think corded pulls without the metal pulls are far superior. they weigh a little less, make less noise, and are easier to operate, especially when wearing gloves.

  9. #9
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    In the past, some TOM BIHN bags came with cord instead of metal pulls (Synapse 19 for example) but metal pulls are far less likely to fail than cord, and while a metal pull can be cut off, it's not easy to put one on. Regardless, if one cut off the lockable metal pulls from some of the current designs, the bags would no longer be lockable; this may not pose an issue for some people, but personally I would hate to lose functionality that I might require now or in the future.

  10. #10
    Forum Member Perseffect's Avatar
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    Thanks for the suggestion about removing the cord @dang. I did once own an older style Synapse 25 (like @badger stated) which had no metal pulls, just the cord.

    I recall them being really smooth but those zips were smaller. Not sure how that would work on these really large chunky zippers.

    Although I think removing the metal pulls can be a great idea, I just couldn't do it myself. Perhaps a little irrational, but some things I just can't bring myself to do in case I wanted to go back to not having cord pulls. (Funny, I have the same feeling about books, I just can't bring myself to write or make notes in them.)

    And the question was asked, why cord through the zip pulls? For me it's to reduce the jangle, add a splash of colour, make the pull easier to grab and lastly, being able to remove it if I want and go back to just the normal metal zip pull.

    Thanks for the ideas all.


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    Aeronaut 45 (Navy/NWS), A30 (Black/Island), Tristar (Steel/Island), Western Flyer (Steel/Island), Pilot (Steel/Island), Synapse 25 (Mars Red/NWS), Synapse 19 (Black/Island) & (Burnt Orange/Steel), Ristretto 11 (Navy/Steel), Small Cafe Bag (Navy/Steel) & (Mars Red/Dawn), Daylight Briefcase (Cloud/Dawn), Side Kick (Mars Red/Dawn), Travel Cubelet (Mars Red)

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Badger View Post
    . . . if one cut off the lockable metal pulls from some of the current designs, the bags would no longer be lockable . . .
    Yes, they would still be lockable. You don't cut off the locking loop. You cut off the pull tab (the bit the cord is threaded through). The locking loop is attached to the zipper mechanism itself.

    You don't thread your lock through the zipper pulls. You snug up the two zipper mechanisms and there are loops on each zipper mechanism that align when they are slid next to each other. You thread your lock through that hole.
    Last edited by BWeaves; 08-16-2017 at 06:22 AM.

  12. #12
    Forum Member Rocks's Avatar
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    I wonder if there are YKK pulls with larger bottom holes that could lay flat both ways. i.e. over the lockable part too.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by BWeaves View Post
    Yes, they would still be lockable. You don't cut off the locking loop. You cut off the pull tab (the bit the cord is threaded through). The locking loop is attached to the zipper mechanism itself.

    You don't thread your lock through the zipper pulls. You snug up the two zipper mechanisms and there are loops on each zipper mechanism that align when they are slid next to each other. You thread your lock through that hole.
    I still maintain that it wouldn't be as functional and I personally wouldn't do it. But thank you for clarifying.

  14. #14
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    I just got a new A30. I can see what you're saying about the zips. While I love the lockable function on them they are a bit strange to use. Comparing them to my pilot, WF and few years old A45. I don't think it's an issue though.

    The one strange thing I'm finding is that the halcyon bag is sometimes (somehow) getting stuck in the zipper for the main compartment!!! I just have to be careful to not let that happen I guess.


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  15. #15
    Forum Member Perseffect's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rocks View Post
    I wonder if there are YKK pulls with larger bottom holes that could lay flat both ways. i.e. over the lockable part too.
    This is exactly what I was thinking.


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    Aeronaut 45 (Navy/NWS), A30 (Black/Island), Tristar (Steel/Island), Western Flyer (Steel/Island), Pilot (Steel/Island), Synapse 25 (Mars Red/NWS), Synapse 19 (Black/Island) & (Burnt Orange/Steel), Ristretto 11 (Navy/Steel), Small Cafe Bag (Navy/Steel) & (Mars Red/Dawn), Daylight Briefcase (Cloud/Dawn), Side Kick (Mars Red/Dawn), Travel Cubelet (Mars Red)

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