The bike is one of the most affordable and eco-friendly means of transport we can count on. Whether you’re using it daily for commuting, recreation, or travel, it’s a fact that you can have fun and at the same time improve your health and physique when cycling. But despite being such a simple means of transportation, travelling by bike has its own set of problems. Unlike cars, motorbikes and similar vehicles, bikes don’t offer much in terms of storage. And sometimes, you need to take some things with you whether that’s a laptop, work documents or some sports equipment.
If this is your excuse not to use a bicycle and just get in the car, there’s, in fact, a simple solution you can resort to: a stylish and practical bike bag! Along with convenient prices, there are a variety of bike bag designs you can choose from. They are available in different styles and with different features – all created for the different storage needs and lifestyles of people who cycle. That being said, I’m going to talk about each of the types of bags so you can decide which one is suitable for you.
Seat Bags and Packs
Bike seat bags and backs are small capacity options. They are ideal for those short and sweet adventures when you don’t want to be weighed down by your load and need only to bring along some essentials such as small repair kit and protein snacks to keep you on track. In other words, they are perfect for so-called “bikepacking” They’re also great for any other kind of riding because of their compactness, and can serve as extra storage along with other options.
As can be guessed by their name, these are designed to be attached to the handlebar. Whether you have drop-style or straight-style bars, there’s the bag made for them, so be sure to pay attention to this when shopping. Since this type of bike bag is handy for keeping the essentials at hand, allowing for easy access, it’s useful for any ride, be it commuting, recreation or going on trips. A word of caution though is to avoid overloading otherwise you risk interfering your steering.
Created to use up the space between the top tube, downtube and seat tube, they’re among the most basic and functional bike luggage pieces. Perfect for long rides, as well as bikepacking and touring, they’re handy for any of your essentials, including gear like gloves, water bottles, GPS and camera.
Whether you’re a fan of urban cycling or use your bike to commute every day, bike messenger bags are certainly practical thanks to their various compartments and storage options. Allowing have flexibility to choose how to wear them, be it as backpacks, or stabilising them on the waist, they provide the right amount of space for clothing and other belongings. Since you don’t have to take them off to unload them, they’re also great for easy access on the go.
Suitable for any rides, pannier bags offer plenty of storage and are available in both rear and front rack designs. What’s helpful is you can carry one on either rack or both for balance depending on how much luggage it is you need to have with you. You can fit in anything you require to bring along, from your laptop or drone you use for fun and business to bike gear essentials. With their comfort, they’re perfect for use even once you’ve arrived at your destination.
If you’re after the classic type of bike storage, then look no further than baskets. Easy to attach and remove, they’re useful for picking up groceries or even carrying a smaller bag inside, so for these reasons I’d say they’re the suggested option for benefitting urban cycling. Available in plastic, wood and metal designs, you’ve got a choice to make depending on the durability and style you’re after.
When you’re looking for an option that can store a great deal of load on longer trips, that’s what trailers are for. Depending on what you plan on carrying, there are different models to choose from, including those meant for taking your kids or pets along on a ride. The downside is many avoid them because of how difficult they make it sometimes to make your way through the streets, for example.
Considering the Bag Features
Now that you know the various types of bicycle bags, it’s time to look into the features that can also help you make an easier shopping decision.
Capacity – As mentioned, there are bags suitable for all sorts of luggage. The best way to make up your mind is to decide how much capacity would be good for you, depending on your rides and load weight. For light loads, you’d do with saddle, handlebar and frame bags, whereas for the heavier you’d do better opting for the panniers or even trailers.
Size – Same as with capacity, it all comes down to the kind of load you have. Still, if you can’t choose between the different types I’ve talked about, why not find one that allows you to adjust it to a smaller or bigger size based on the load you’re carrying with the help of roll closures in the design.
Material – Though you’re going to find versatile material options, you’d make the most use of those that are waterproof, dust-proof and abrasion-resistant if you care about the protection of your belongings no matter the weather.