Beginner's Guide to Cycling Luggage
Unlike hikers and walkers, cyclists don't have to carry everything in bags on their backs - where it can become uncomfortable and make us sweaty. So long as we know how to pack a bike properly, our trusty two-wheeled friend will do the work for us. But if you've not used bike luggage before then here is short review of bike bags that should help.
Firstly, what sort of bicycle bags are available and for what types of bike;
1. Commuting / day bike riding. There are of course lots of bikes that you might commute with or just ride about on, but the folding Brompton Bicycle is fast becoming not only a very convenient folding machine, but it's also a very cool conveyance. The bike bags for these bikes are quite specific and offer a lot of flexibility with regards to capacity. Most of those available fix to the front of the bike beneath the handlebars and range from small bike packs for keeping keys and wallets safe, to 25 litre capacity bags with lots of extra compartments, shoulder straps, and quick release mountings.The folding ability of the Brompton Bike means that there are also folding bike bags available on your bike accessory shop that take the hassle out of transportation on planes and trains.
Finally, a few 'rules' about packing your bike;
3. Load your bike evenly. If you have matching bike panniers (one on each side), then try to make sure that the weight in each is roughly even - especially if they are on the front of the bike where an uneven load can badly affect your steering.
4. Make sure your bags are properly secured. It sounds obvious, but we're all guilty of rushing things occasionally. Never rush the fixing of your bags to your bike; if one jumps off because it isn't secure then it could very easily fall into the wheel and cause you to crash
5. Do them up! Yes, again, it is easy to simply put 'stuff' into a bag and not do it up properly….but something will drop out and you'll lose it - which is not OK if it is you purse.
6. Keep the weight low down. The nearer the ground you can get the weight in your bags then the more stable you bike will be. Keeping heavier items nearer the ground is the key.
So if you enjoy riding your bike and want to venture further afield, then decide what sort of riding you want to do and check out the most useful of bicycle accessories - bike bags. The best bike bags are the ones that do the job you want them to.