QUESTION: What kind of bike bag is best for carrying my stuff on a ride? I see seatbags of all different sizes when I’m out riding, but I also have started to see people riding with bags on their front handlebars, which seems more convenient. Some people even have bags on their top tube. What’s the right choice? —John R.
RBR’S STAN PURDUM REPLIES: What bag to use to carry your “stuff” leads to the question of how much stuff you want to have with you on the bike. And the answer to that depends on what your riding goal is. Cyclists whose primary goal is high performance and speed are probably riding a higher-end carbon fiber steed. They are going to want very little stuff with them so as not to add much weight to their bike. For them, a small under-the-seat containing a multi-tool and the minimum needed items to deal with a flat tire is sufficient.
At the other extreme, cycle tourists who wish to travel self-supported are usually mounted on study steel or aluminum rides and are likely to want several large bags — and the racks to attach them to — to carry everything they need. Their “stuff” may include a tent, sleeping bag, cooking equipment, food, clothing changes, a larger selection of tools, possibly some spare parts and more.
But assuming you are talking about day rides and carrying enough items to be prepared for minor mechanical problems and enough clothing to deal with weather […]