Bike bags for cycle-touring

Anything to consider


Bike bags for bikepacking are essential accessories that enhance the versatility and functionality of a bike during multi-day adventures. Unlike traditional touring setups, bikepacking bags are designed to be lightweight, streamlined, and capable of carrying gear efficiently on rough terrain. They include various types such as frame bags, handlebar rolls, seat packs, and top tube bags, each optimized for different storage needs and bike geometries. These bags allow cyclists to distribute weight evenly across the bike, maintaining balance and stability. This modern approach to cycling travel enables riders to explore off-road trails and remote destinations with greater freedom and agility.

1. Panniers:

  • Common Use Case: Carrying larger, bulkier items and distributing weight evenly on both sides of the bike.
  • Advantages: Provide ample storage capacity, keep weight low and centered for stability, easy access to gear while on the go.
  • Disadvantages: Can add width to the bike, affecting maneuverability in tight spaces or heavy traffic, may require a rack for mounting.
  • Recommended pannier

2. Frame Bags:

  • Common Use Case: Utilizing the empty space within the bike frame triangle for storing smaller items and keeping weight centered.
  • Advantages: Maximizes use of available space on the bike, improves aerodynamics by reducing wind resistance, accessible while riding.
  • Disadvantages: Limited capacity compared to panniers, may not fit all frame geometries or sizes.
  • Recommended frame bag

3. Handlebar Bags:

  • Common Use Case: Carrying frequently accessed items like snacks, maps, or a camera within easy reach.
  • Advantages: Offers quick access to essentials without dismounting, can be used as a makeshift front roll bag for additional gear.
  • Disadvantages: Can affect handling if overloaded or if weight is not distributed evenly, may obstruct view of bike computer or lights.
  • Recommended handlebar bag

4. Seat Packs/Saddlebags:

  • Common Use Case: Storing lightweight, compressible items like clothing or sleeping gear without affecting bike handling.
  • Advantages: Doesn’t interfere with pedaling motion, keeps weight centered and low for stability, minimal impact on bike aerodynamics.
  • Disadvantages: Limited capacity compared to panniers, may require a seatpost with sufficient clearance, can sway if not packed properly.
  • Recommended saddlebag

5. Top Tube Bags:

  • Common Use Case: Holding small, frequently accessed items like snacks, a phone, or a multi-tool.
  • Advantages: Easy access to essentials while riding, keeps items within sight and reach, doesn’t interfere with pedaling motion.
  • Disadvantages: Limited capacity for larger items, may affect access to water bottle cages, can interfere with knees if positioned too low.

6. Fork Bags:

  • Common Use Case: Adding extra storage capacity for lightweight gear or bulky items like a tent or sleeping pad.
  • Advantages: Utilizes unused space on the bike, keeps weight low and centered for stability, improves front-end handling.
  • Disadvantages: Limited capacity compared to other bags, may require fork mounts or adapters for attachment, can affect front wheel clearance.
  • Recommended fork bag

Each type of bike pack offers unique advantages and disadvantages, so the choice depends on factors such as the amount of gear to be carried, personal preferences for weight distribution and accessibility, and the specific requirements of the touring route.