Riding a bike is a great way to get some exercise and it’s a lot of fun too. When you are out in the park or even on the trail, you’ll want to be able to carry all the things you need for both you and your bike. If you want to make it easy, and be able to forget about using a backpack, have a look at the best bike bags.
Having to carry everything on your back when you go out biking can be a real pain, and your bike is strong enough to carry a lot more than your weight. It is also much better for your balance to load your bike up as low to the ground as possible, so getting your gear off of your back and putting it on your bike makes a lot of sense.
There are a few different kinds of bags that you can choose from, and your bike is easy to load down. Bike bags are easy to mount, and at most you may need an Allan wrench, but many require no tools at all to use. You will love not having to worry about where you are going to put your things when you are riding, and it makes it a lot easier for you to have the simple things that can make your life a lot easier out on the trail.
Styles Of Bags
There are three kinds of bags that are the most common, and every style of bike bag is going to have advantages and disadvantages, so the next time you go out for a ride, look in your backpack and see what sort of things you like to carry with you. This will help you to figure out what style of bag is right for you.
Also keep in mind that you can easily strap more than one bag to your bike because they are usually pretty easy to mount. If you find that you need more space for a certain thing, you can just strap one on your bike quickly before you hit the road, and you won’t need to worry about cramming everything into one bag.
Seat post/Saddle Bags
A seat post bag will generally use the rails from your saddle and the seat post to make the connection to your bike. They are shaped well for most things, and because they are sort of boxy, can handle rotund objects without issue. The upside to these bags is that they are very easy to mount, and they don’t really cause much additional wind resistance.
They are pretty versatile in terms of what you can load in them, however they are generally no more than 7 or inches across so long objects are not going to fit in a saddle bag. One really nice thing about a saddle bag is that when you aren’t using it, most models have straps or zippers that let you compress them, and there is really no need to mount and remove them when not in use.
Saddle bags don’t really have much of a downside. They are hard to access when you are riding, but with any kind of bag it is a good idea to stop before you rummage through you bags for obvious safety reasons.
Some of the mounting systems don’t make a fully looped connection to the seat rails or post, so if you are going to do a lot of riding over rough terrain or you want to put valuables in them, it is good to make sure that the connection system can’t come loose. They are generally an inexpensive option as well, and really are quite convenient for smaller objects that aren’t too long.
A frame bag is sort of the opposite of a saddle bag. While the saddle bag is good for rotund objects, a frame bag is better for longer, thin objects. This style of bag fits into the front triangle of your frame, usually attaching with velcro straps. Different kinds are made, though most of them fit into the front or top of the triangle, where the head-tube is. This allows you to use your water bottle cages.
There are other types that use the part of the frame near the seat tube, but these are rarer. Because they fit between the frame tubes, they are quite thin; the upside to this is that they do not create much wind-resistance. Additionally they are usually mounted with velcro straps, so they are very secure.
The major downside to frame bags is that they do not really have much volume, and they are made in a very specific shape. As a result of this, frame bags are fairly limited in what they can carry, and really are suited to small items, like a tire patching kit or some valuables. Overall, frame bags are great if you have some small things that you want to carry, but just be aware that they are usually pretty small, and that really does limit their utility.
A handlebar bag is probably the best choice of the first three types of bags if you are looking for volume. This style of bag will mount to your handlebars and offers you a convenient solution for more things that you want to carry with you. They are usually very boxy, so they are really the most “normal” in terms of shape.
Unlike the saddle and frame bags, there is room to mount accessories on the outside so you can carry more gear. Of all the types they are the easiest to access but remember to be careful when fiddling around with anything while in motion!
Unfortunately for handlebar bags they do have one big drawback, and that is the added wind-resistance. For many people this is not an issue, and really, if you are just going to use your bike as a commuter or for rides in the park then having a super low aerodynamic profile is not a concern. Another thing handlebar bags are criticized for is that they change the steering balance of your bike, much in the same way a basket would.
This means that when you go to steer, the extra weight from the handlebar bag will change how the steering feels, and combined with the wind-resistance that it creates, the handling profile of your bike will be a lot different than stock. You have to offset this downside with the rather major benefits that handlebar bags offer, namely that they are a normally shaped and relatively voluminous option for hauling stuff on your bike.
Bags, Bags, Bags!
There are so many different kinds of bike bags to choose from, but now that you know what’s out there and the different benefits they can bring to your riding experience, it’s time to take a look at some of the top rated products to see what’s best for your needs.
BV Bicycle: Strap-On Saddle Bag
Features: Secure mounting via velcro, 3M reflective tape and taillight hanger. Durable synthetic construction. Medium and Large sizes are expandable, key clip.
BV Bicycle seat bag overcomes one of the biggest drawbacks of seat bag design and has a strong velcro strap that lashes it securely to the seat-rails. You should have no worries about this bag falling off, and also features 3M reflective tape. For even more safety, a neat little loop where you can put a tail light has been added.
It is offered in three sizes, and the larger of the two sizes are expandable so that you can fit as much as possible into these convenient bags. Made from a durable nylon, and with a limited warranty, this saddle bag is a nice choice for people who need some extra room on their bike.
The large size can accommodate 1.5 liters when fully expanded, and that is not so shabby for a saddle bag. The velcro mounting system is really a nice feature which will make it easy to mount, and it has an internal key clip.
New Cycling Bicycle Bike Bag Top Tube Triangle Bag
Features: 600D Nylon construction, one zipper pocket. Easy velcro mounting system. 1.5 liter capacity.
Cycling Bicycle Bike Bag is a very simple frame bag that fits into the front of the frame near the head tube. It is made from a durable nylon, and has one zippered pocket. The mounting system of this bag is a big plus, as it connects quickly and securely with velcro loops.
It is made with one zippered pocket, so this is going to be a very secure little bag that you can feel same about putting your valuables in. It has an impressive 1.5 liter carrying capacity, but remember, it can’t be a very bulbous object. This is a great little pack for a first aid kit, flashlight or any medium sized, valuable thing you might need to securely carry.
Ibera Bicycle Triangle Frame Bag
Features: Large frame bag, made from 420D Nylon. Velcro loops for rapid mounting, one zippered pocket. Offered in two sizes.
This Ibera Bicycle Triangle Bag is a frame bag that attaches to the top tube and seat tube, at the rear of the triangle. It is a bit larger than the style that attaches near the front to the frame, and this bag will take up the space that the vertical water bottle cage would normally occupy.
This bag will attach in seconds, and the three velcro loops will hold it tightly to your frame and out of the way of things it might catch on. It has one big zippered pocket, so if you have long objects that you need to store, or don’t mind the bag bulging out, this is a nice option to consider.
Bell STOWAWAY Handlebar Bag for Bicycle
Features: Easy velcro mounting, zipper. Water Resistant, durable synthetic construction. Reflective Stripe and padded handle.
Bell STOWAWAY Handlebar Bag is a small form handlebar bag that is offered in three sizes. It features a straightforward mounting system that consists of two velcro loops. You can have this bag on and off in a second, and it closes securely with one zipper.
It is made from a durable water-resistant synthetic fabric, and is perfect for someone who needs just a little bit of extra space for storage on their bike. It also has a nicely padded handle on top, so if you want to grab it to go into a shop, it is really easy. Overall this bag is a great little option, and is priced right.
Bicycle Roswheel Rear Seat Trunk Bag
Features: Large multi purpose bag, many exterior pockets. One large internal pocket, strong nylon construction. Secure velcro attachment system, multiple rings for carry straps.
Bicycle Roswheel Seat Trunk Bag is a very interesting product, but please be aware that it will only work if you already have a rear rack installed on your bike. It has a bunch of exterior pockets, some with zippers, and one large internal pocket. It is also made with lots of D-rings to attach carry straps, so that when you park your bike it can act as a utility bag. This bag uses strong velcro straps to attach to your rack, and will be easy to mount. The whole bag is made from good quality water resistant nylon, and will last you a long time.
If you have a rear rack on your bike, and want to have a safe and convenient way to haul things around, this is a really great option for you.
TOPEAK Large Areo Wedge Pack With Straps
Features: 1000D Nylon Construction, Near 2 liter capacity. Reflective stripe, secure velcro mounting system.
TOPEAK Areo Wedge Pack is a really nice option if you want a big saddle bag for your bike. It features a nearly 2 liter carrying capacity, and is also able to be smaller if you don’t need all of that space. This saddle bag is also made from 1000D nylon, so it will be tough and last for years.
The mounting system is pretty good, although it relies on a “T” that fits between the seat-rails to hold itself in. The seat post mount is a full wrap of velcro, so you never have to worry about this bag falling off, but under a lot of vibration, the seat mount may fall out of the seat-rails.
The upside to this mounting system is that attaching and removing this bag is really fast, so if you live in an urban area where a snatch-and-go might be a problem, this bag is really easy to keep with you. Overall this is a lot of bag for the money, and has an awesome carrying capacity.
Mountain Road MTB Bike Front Frame Handlebar Bag
Features: Water resistant synthetic material with map or smartphone pocket on top of bag. Easy velcro mounting. Reflective stripes, U-zip closure and mesh exterior pockets. Shoulder strap included.
Mountain Road Bike Front Frame Bag is a all-weather handlebar bag that is made to go with you anywhere. It has a transparent pocket on the top of the bag that would be perfect for a map or smartphone, and the entire bag is highly water-resistant.
The mounting system is fast, and a shoulder strap is built into this bag so you can easily carry it once you have locked your bike up. This is a great affordable option for anyone who needs a good little go anywhere bag. It would be equally at home in the city or on the trail, and will easily store most small things that you might find helpful.
Allnice 1l Outdoor Bicycle Frame Bag
Features: Durable synthetic construction, water-resistant. Velcro mounting straps, single zipper opening.
Allnice 1l Outdoor Bicycle Frame Bags are not the most common system that you will encounter, but they do have the advantage of not taking up any room in the triangle. This bag attaches via two velcro loops, and has an easy-access zipper on top of the bag. It is water-resistant and one of the big advantages of this style of bag is that you can easily access its contents whenever you want.
The downside is that there is very little keeping it “up” on the tube, and it may shift, especially if there is something heavy inside. But if you feel like having extremely easy access to a zippered compartment that is always going to be right in front of you would be a benefit, this is the bag for you.
With So Many Choices…
There is one thing that is certain about bike bags: there are a mountain of choices of both styles and sizes. Everyone has different needs, and we want to know how you like the bike bag you chose. It can really help others decide what to buy, so please leave comments below.