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What kind of bicycle bags, handlebar bags, saddlebags or bicycle packs and
racks do you need?
Good bicycle bags (aka: bike bags, trunk bags, bike panniers, packs
and racks...) are essential for bike trails, distance rides, touring and utility
riding and are very handy for almost any cycling style.
A handlebar bag, behind the seat bike bag or under the seat pack are easy to access and work very well for most rides but for touring or larger loads, you'll probably want a bike pannier (aka: bicycle saddlebags) or a bike trunk style bag.
Although many bike bag styles have been around for years, there have also been many new bike bag innovations in recent years. Aside from pda phone packs and the Cage Rocket (below), some manufacturers (Topeak for example) also have Trunk Bags with Fold-Out Panniers which can be very handy in some cases.
Below are some good online sources for the most popular style bike bags for different carrying capacities, some helpful information on the different types of bike bags available and what they are commonly called (for example: many people refer to "bike saddlebags" while the bike shops and merchants refer to them as "panniers").
Recommended Bicycle Bag Brands and Online Suppliers
See REI Bike Bags for an excellent selection of Bike bags and Panniers from Topeak, Novara (house brand), Ortlieb, Timbuk2 and plenty of Trunk Bags from Topeak... www.REI.com
For a great selection of bike bags of all sizes (handlebar bags, saddlebags/panniers, trunk bags from Topeak, Avenir, Sunlite and more... See Bike Bags at Amazon
Popular Types of Bike Bags
There is quite a large selection of different types of bike bags out there. Everything from tiny handlebar stem, cell phone and frame bags to seat bags, to bike trunk and panniers and even full size bike trailer packs for maximum storage capacity.
Most bike bags will attach to your bike in some way and many are designed to be easily removable. There are also a number of backpacks, duffel bags, etc. that are sold as bike bags, since they are designed for cycling, but can really be used for multiple purposes.
If you are getting a bike trunk bag or a bike pannier (saddlebag) you are also going to need a compatible rack for your bike. There are quite a few fairly universal racks but not all racks will fit every bike or every style of bike bag.
Note: Topeak has an excellent selection of bike bags (including the Topeak Trunk Bag, which I can easily recommend) and has the patented QuickTrack™ system, which makes attaching and removing their bike bags very easy, but you must have a compatible Topeak bike rack (with QuickTrack™) to attach their bags. I can also recommend the Topeak bike racks, with the QuickTrack™ system since they are no more expensive than other brands and can also be used with bike bags from other manufacturers.
Below is a summary and description of many of the common types of bicycle bags available.
- Frame bags - These are the bags or packs that attach to your bike frame. A sample of this bag would be the triangular "Frame Pump Bag". There are also various types and sizes that attach to other parts of the bike frame.
- Seat Bags and Wedges - These are the bike bags that are attached behind or under your seat. Many of these bags have multiple compartments, expand and contract and are very convenient for small to medium sized items that you would usually need on a typical bike ride.
- Handlebar bags - These are the bike bags that attach to the front of your handlebars. Handlebar bags are great for easy access and small to medium sized items.
- Bike baskets - You can get quite a variety different kinds of bike baskets. There are front baskets, rear (pannier style) baskets, permanent or removable.
- Bike Trunks or Trunk Bags - are great for larger loads, easy access and portability. You will need to have a compatible rack on your bike for the trunk bag. Some Trunk Bags now come with fold-out panniers.
- Bike Saddlebags or Panniers - These bike bags are available for front or rear and provide large storage capacity. You will also need a compatible rack on your bike for bike panniers.
- Backpacks, Duffel bags and Messenger bags - This category of bike bags are typically worn or strapped on to an existing rack. There is usually a good amount of storage capacity but it depends on the size and style.
- Bike Trailer Packs - For the motherload of them all... or maximum
capacity check out the bike trailer storage packs below. This can be used for completely self-contained trips on or off the road. Actually
if you have, or can get, a child carrier trailer, these can be rigged up for supplies for
long trips also, but they are not specifically made for the job and will not work quite as
well. The bike trailers made specifically for supplies have only one wheel, good clearance
work on well single track paths and off the main road.
Whether you are looking for a simple behind
the seat bicycle bag, for quick trips, or full size panniers for distance riding, About-Bicycles has researched and selected the best online resources for bicycle
bags (cycle bags), panniers (bicycle saddle bags) and bicycle packs and racks to help you find the right bicycle bag online fast, easy and at great prices.
You can get a typical seat/handlebar pack at
Wal-Mart or K-mart or your local bike shop but often times the selection is pretty picked
over and it is sometimes difficult to find "exactly" want you want. With the
huge selection online, you have a much better chance of finding what you want (and at a
If you intend to carry a little more than some
small items or if you do a lot of long distance riding, the detachable bike rack mounted
trunk packs and front and/or rear panniers (ie. bicycle saddle bags) are very nice for this purpose.
The Ride is the Destination