Bicycle bags: what and why?

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Bicycle bag

When choosing a bike, beginners are the last to think that in addition to all the basic attributes of cycling, they may also need a bicycle bag. But experienced cyclists know this very well: whether you need to carry a lot of personal items with you, going for small purchases in the city, or you are going on a tourist trip – a backpack on your back will not be an ideal solution. The bike bag is designed to free your arms, back and the ability to maneuver. Let’s take a look at its functionality and purpose.


Types of bicycle bags

Such wonderful sports equipment can be categorized based on several criteria:

    • The size;
    • Purpose;
    • Mounting type;
    • Fastener type;
    • Location.
    Types of bicycle bags

    Thus, bike bags differ markedly in size – it’s one thing to have a bike bag for your phone and maybe bottles of water, but it’s completely different if you need to attach a whole bag to your bike (a more classic use of bike bags). Bicycle bags can be intended for urban purchases and transporting sports equipment and tools, they can be attached to buttons, harnesses, and zippers, Velcro and the compartments can be fastened, respectively, it can also be done in different ways, depending on the goals. The location of the bag can be anywhere, perhaps the only type of bike bags that definitely do not exist are those that are mounted on wheels. Let’s take a closer look at each type of the bag.
    We also describe the types of children’s bicycles and types of hoverboards as clearly as possible.

    Bike bag on the frame

    Bags of this type differ from each other immediately in size and type of fastening. Among them are:

    Small peripheral bags near the stem
    1. Small peripheral bags near the stem;
    On-frame feedbag
    3. On-frame feedbag;
    Small bicycle bags for a smartphone at the helm
    2. Small bicycle bags for a smartphone at the helm;
    Classic underframe bulk bag
    4. Classic underframe bulk bag.

    The first ones are for the most part bags of a small size, which, however, have different modifications: for example, in the classic version, for bikepacking, there is a whole set of bags an integral part of which is a frame bag. It attaches to the top tube near the stem. It is convenient to store various little things in such a bag, such as flashlights, spare batteries or accumulators, you can keep a first aid kit in there too. Usually such a bag has a main compartment and a small compartment for the phone, which is especially true if you use it as your GPS. Thus, it can be perfectly used as a bicycle bag for the phone on the frame. Such bags can be mounted on a bicycle with any design and are also called peripheral bags – due to their small size and the fact that they are not included in the general luggage system. On the other hand, if you have a classic hardtail frame, you can use a front frame bike bag in combination with two side feedbags. These are “feeder bags”, invented for horse riders, placed at the very base of the handlebars on both sides for easy access to water or snacks. Usually they have rope puffs, as this provides the fastest access to the compartments.

    As for the much larger bike bags under the frame, for classic cycling they suggest the possibility of installing a rack. So, for example, a frame bike bag is designed to carry the most massive and heavy things and has the largest internal size among all possible bags. This bag is attached to the frame of the bike, inside the front triangle of the frame in such a way as to provide the lowest possible center of gravity. It is usually attached with Velcro. In addition to the main compartment, it often also has a side compartment for small things: keys, documents, or glasses. Bags of this type come in completely different models and shapes, but due to the placement in the front triangle of the frame for classic bicycles, a triangular bag on the bicycle frame is convenient – it is ergonomic, takes up all the free space under the frame, and if you wish, you can put at least a tent there, or maybe the entrance to the Narnia.


    Bicycle saddlebags

    And these are key bags specifically for cycling. They allow you to transport quite voluminous things, and therefore are attached in such a way that there is no instant access to them. They are divided into several subspecies, which are sometimes placed in separate groups:

    Bicycle saddlebag

    Bicycle saddlebags are shaped like an elongated cone and look like a rocket. The advantage of such bags is that, with a rigid mount, they do not have a large windage in a side wind. They often have a rigid frame that contributes to stability and serves as good aerodynamics. In the classic versions of bike bags, saddlebags are closed with a twist and have only one compartment, which can be adjusted by twisting depending on the level of fullness, which further reduces the “sailing” effect. Attached to the bike with a seatpost and saddle rails, such a bag must be fixed as firmly as possible to avoid swinging it while driving.

    Bicycle trunk bag

    Bicycle trunk bag. These are the so-called bike bags, some compromise between a backpack on a bike rack, which is attached to a special twist and cycling pants. It differs from backpacks by its strictly rectangular shape and the provided universal mounts, and from cycling pants by the absence of a dividing recess to reduce windage. The advantage of this bag is obvious – it is actually a rectangular trunk, which can reach up to 90 liters in volume, and its disadvantages lie in the not having an aerodynamic shape. Large dips rock it great when driving. For greater comfort when riding, you should pay attention to cycling pants.

    Double pannier bike bag on the trunk

    Double pannier bike bag on the trunk. Pants differ from a large bicycle bag by a feature of their shape: they are U-shaped and fixed on the rear stationary trunk, lowering two more compartments on the sides of the wheel. This improves the rigidity of the mount, but even with this shape, windage cannot be completely avoided. Such a bicycle bag for the trunk is chosen by an experienced cyclist precisely due to its spaciousness, but such a bag must be filled completely, even when mounted on tripods: if it is unevenly full, it will behave unpredictably when cornering. The disadvantages can also include poor cross-country ability with bringing such a unit on the trunk through a wooded and artisanal area.

    Bicycle handlebar bag

     Handlebar bags, like all others, are divided into several types, based on their purpose and size:

    Small urban bags for personal items

    Small bags are most commonly used in urban environments and are often used in place of a shopping cart. Here you can recall the funny baskets on children’s walking bikes, although the modern world offers more reliable options. The main thing about them is that they close successfully and when you fall, all your belongings do not crumble along the way, so a bag for a children’s bike is a great alternative to cute baskets. After all, as you know, children fall off bicycles more frequently.

    Handlebar bags as a bikepacking section

    But it is worth noting that a bicycle bag on the handlebar can be useful not only for urban conditions, but also for a hike or a long trip. In a bikepacking steering bag, you can conveniently place a change of clothes, any light load (otherwise it will be extremely difficult to steer), this model can also be used as a tool bag for a bicycle, because it is more convenient to get a repair kit at the steering wheel.

    hermetic bag

    Modern handlebar-mounted bicycle bags often have side discharge and are twisted closed so that you do not have to stop to retrieve the necessary item. Although there are models with zippers, for more reliable safety of things. For bikes with straight handlebars, you can choose bags that are wide enough and use them as a fastener for a sleeping bag or even a small tent, but we strongly advise against overloading the handlebars. If the handlebar of a bicycle has the shape of a “ram”, then it is worth picking up a bag no wider than the handlebar, otherwise it will be virtually impossible to steer. In this case, you can use a bag made of luggage braid and an accordion, which is quickly removed.

    Bags for the cyclist

    Not only a bicycle can be turned into a small cargo tool. You can also wear something on yourself. Of course, we are talking about a bike bag on a belt. It is clear that these are handbags of small sizes, their shape is often called “fanny pack” and a bicycle waist bag is intended, for the same purpose as the usual “fanny pack” for storing money and personal items. It just so happens that you can’t go to the supermarket with a bicycle, and leaving personal belongings in a bicycle parking lot is a bad idea. Therefore, it is better to shift the most expensive things and documents into waist bags for safety. Also, these bags are good if you basically don’t take anything on the road except documents, a phone, and a bank card.

    Bag for the cyclist

    Important notes:

    1. Not all bags listed are suitable for folding bikes. This is especially true for underframe and underseat bike bags. But for folding bikes, there are covers that turn the bike itself into luggage.
    2. For urban travel with personal items in the bag, choose models with a quick release.
    3. Choose bags with good fittings. The weakest point is the zippers that love to jam. But Velcro is worth checking for strength.
    4. Prefer waterproof fabrics, even if you don’t plan to ride in the rain: weather forecasters are not only wrong once, but every day.
    5. Patch pockets on bags are great, they help with luggage sorting.
    6. The price of bike bags is not always equal to the quality. Focus on the reviews and reliability of the manufacturer.

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