How to Select the Best Personal Bike Pack
Choosing the best personal bike pack can be an important decision. A personal bike pack is a valuable accessory to help keep you riding safely and enjoyably for a short or multi-day ride.
Depending on your ride length, your needs, and pack volume size, a personal bike pack can store many things. Items such as water, basic tools, spare inner tube, keys, snacks, cell phone, camera, and even a sleeping bag, tent and cooking utensils can fit. A personal bike pack is a self-support asset – especially in the event you have a break down or some other need to keep you riding.
In recent years, overnight bike camping and multiple day touring has increased in popularity and thus the need to store more items supporting your journey.
Choosing the best personal bike pack plays an important role by your planned riding activity. For example, are you riding to the store, commuting to school or work, climbing a mountain, riding several hours or multiple overnight stays? Each of these riding activities can require different necessities. These necessities will guide you to a variety of possible personal bike pack options to support your particular riding needs.
Here are some basic options for choosing the best personal bike pack for you:
Cycling Jersey – light ride.
Cycling jerseys, the shirt type you often see road cyclists wearing, typically have three sewn-in pockets located on the lower back of the jersey. These pockets can carry a lot – from water bottles, spare inner tube, tools, snacks, credit card, light windbreaker and even your cell phone. Your stuff is out of the way and easily within reach while you are riding.
Fanny & Waist Bike Pack – light ride
Fanny packs are common among skiers and have been adapted into other sport uses in recent years. It is a small pack worn around your waist. It too, can carry all the items mentioned in Cycling Jersey and have a little more storage space for cameras, etc. Fanny packs are convenient as they are lightweight, out of the way, and can carry many items on a day ride.
Daypack Bike Backpack – medium to heavy ride
A day backpack is a common accessory among hikers and mountain bikers. These versatile personal packs can carry a lot more that your jersey or fanny pack. Many daypacks also have hydration systems (biketahoe.org/choosing-the-best-hydration-system) built into them to add another valuable resource – water.
Saddle Bike Bag – light ride
A saddle is what cyclists call the seat. Using straps, the saddlebag attaches to the seat rails. These saddlebags come in a variety of sizes but are usually small. They too can carry a multi-tool, spare inner tube, car keys, tire irons, etc. They are lightweight, out of the way, and are ideal for day rides.
Bike Frame packs – light to medium rides
In recent years, there has been an upsurge in packs attached to the bike frame. These medium sized packs can fit in the frame triangle, on the handle bar, or on a front or rear tire racks.
Bike Panniers – multi-day rides
Pannier (French for breadbasket) packs are common among touring cyclists. These are medium to large packs that drape over the sides of metal racks mounted on the bicycles front and rear wheels. These front and rear packs can store many personal items. They can carry cooking utensils, camping gear, extra clothes, food supplies, tool kit, laptop, etc.
Bike Trailers – long heavy load ride
You may have seen families riding on bike paths pulling a covered-trailer with their children or pets inside. These can also be useful for hauling beach accessories like coolers, chairs, and umbrellas because they can store a lot. Bike trailer design and options have evolved along with the growing interest in bike touring.
You can see by the list above, that there are a variety of options in choosing the best personal bike pack for you. When choosing the best personal bike pack keep in mind the following:
• Length of ride (errands, commuting, hours, or days)
• Needed supplies to support your ride plans (from keys to camping equipment)
• And the basics – spare inner tube, patch kit, air pump, tire irons
When in doubt in choosing the best personal bike pack, consulate your experienced friends and the expertise from your local bike shop personnel.
Have fun and keep it rolling.