Bike bag

To go to work by bike in the best conditions, the use of a bike bag is one of the essential accessories to transport your belongings easily. Let's discover our tips for choosing it and the different types useful for moving around during the week.

Vélotaf: how to choose your bag?

A computer, a meal, rain gear, sportswear: on a daily basis, we have many things to carry by bike. To find the model you need, here are the five things to know:

volume

Make an inventory of the objects necessary during a day (it is also an opportunity to sort through everything that is useless?). Nevertheless, between the keys, the phone, the PC and its charger, an anti-theft, the list can quickly be long.

Do you need a simple bag of a few liters to get rid of the pockets?

ZEFAL Z FRAME bag

Or a larger model with a minimum capacity of 20 liters ? see 50 liters for double models like the Basil Urban Dry ?

Basil Urban Dry Double MIK 50L Grey Luggage Bag

Keep in mind that as part of the daily use of your bike, you only need your belongings for a maximum of 24 hours. Anything that is not used to be stored the same evening. Unless you also want to use your luggage in cycle touring mode during your free time. For travel and bikepacking, the goal is not the same as for a utilitarian and daily use of your bicycle.

My advice:

Provide room for "bike" equipment for the night (vest, lighting), cold (hat, gloves) and rain (rain cape/jacket, overpants) and a repair kit.

It may be interesting to keep a main bag, for the whole year. As well as a second for the more specific conditions just mentioned. This way, your winter/rain pack is ready at any time.

Type of fastener (removable or not)

For small volumes, a simple Velcro attachment may be sufficient. Nevertheless, a majority of bikers adopt the panniers that attach to the luggage rack.

In this case, there are two main families of fasteners.

The first, rather elementary, are found on the most economical double saddlebags. We immediately forget the low-end straps that will end up one day or another in your shelves or sprockets.

The second, more sophisticated, use hooks designed to facilitate the installation and extraction of the bag. Two hooks located on the top of the bag are positioned on the luggage rack. With the habit, the operation is carried out in a few seconds, both for installation and removal.

This is what we find in:

  • Vaude: QMR 2.0
  • Ortlieb: versions of the Quick Lock system: QL1, QL2 and QL3. This third generation is the one recommended for urban use / city bike, whether electric or not.

Vaude QMR Fixing System
Vaude QMR

This fixation is an essential element.

Indeed, it must ensure quality maintenance for several reasons:

  • The bag must remain stable to preserve the balance of the cyclist. With a few pounds on the back, a good
  • The forces exerted on the fastener are important when you are loaded: you do not want the computer and the contents of the bag to end up on the road at the first speed bump you take.

My advice: do you need, especially for theft issues, to systematically remove your bag? If this is your case, it is essential to choose a fastening system that is easy to use.

Design

When you travel by bike, your bag should not remind your loved ones and office colleagues that you have adopted the bicycle.

So, treat yourself with a model that fits your professional environment or your personality: manufacturers offer a wide range of styles so that you are not the service cyclist for the rest of your career. Especially when your goal is simply to arrive on time and not to do the Tour de France.

My advice: tastes and colors, it's up to you!

Impermeability

Do you ride even when the rain is there? Congratulations, you are helping to demonstrate that life goes on when there is a downpour. The quality of the waterproofing fabric of your bag is to be studied in your choice of bag. Depending on the manufacturer, this water resistance is expressed in Schmerber or with the IP standard (as on mobile phones for example).

My advice: even if you do not ride in the rain on a bike, keep in mind that you are not immune to a surprise rush …

Eco-construction

There are a multitude of good reasons to start cycling with a little green side. So to go to the end of your approach, some models are now designed in the most ecological way possible.

My advice: To have an ecological bag: Why not build a bag yourself (many online tutorials)? With the limits to be expected concerning the waterproofing, the pro aspect and the practicality of use (homemade hook system …)

For others, brands, especially in northern Europe, are already aware of this subject: absence of PFC, recycled material while combining the advantages of a quality bag.

The 5 benefits of a bag for the velotaf

  • Large models replace your car trunk 95% of the time
  • No sweating in the back (unlike the bike backpack)
  • Avoids pain for sensitive people of the back
  • Volume adjustable according to needs: simply remove or add one depending on the day
  • Versatility of convertible backpack bag models: ideal for combining cycling, walking and work

The different types of bike bags

Single bag rack

The best known solution, a simple bag is easily installed on the luggage rack. With a capacity of 15 to 30 liters for the largest versions, it is the most common accessory to help you shop or sell at the office.

Luggage Rack Bag Brooks Scape Large 18-22L Brown Kaki Mud
View on Alltricks

Advantages and disadvantages of a luggage bag

  • Replaces a backpack to stop sweating in the back
  • Capacity adapted to the majority of daily bicycle journeys
  • Often plastic appearance that may denote in your professional environment
  • Pay attention to balance when all the weight is on one side

Double luggage rack bag

The same but on each side of your luggage rack. So necessarily more volume and a better distribution of the masses.

Basil Mara double 35 liter black XL bike bag

Advantages and disadvantages of a double luggage rack bag

  • Practicality thanks to volume
  • Allows good weight distribution
  • Attention to quality, resistance and impermeability of the most economical models
  • Fixation often more complicated remove them several times a day

Convertible bag backpack

Hybrid between the luggage bag and the backpack, this 2-in-1 bag can be worn thanks to the shoulder straps over longer distances.

For the professional world, some even have the appearance of a classic bag.

Discover our article on these convertible backpack bags.

Frame bag

Widely used in bikepacking, they have a rather different vocation to go to work by bike. In this case, a frame bag, with a volume of a few liters maximum, offers the advantage of being easily accessible, even when driving for some models. Enough to replace the pocket tray of your car!

Bicycle bag that attaches to the frame
View on Alltricks

If you also ride on weekends, it is ideal to take with you a phone, small repair equipment, a cereal bar, etc.

Advantages and disadvantages of a frame bag (for the velotaf)

  • Accessible without stopping
  • Some models can also be used as a card holder or phone holder
  • lightness
  • Limited capacity
  • Beware of models that are too wide that can hinder pedaling
  • Fastener less suitable to be removed/put back several times a day

Handlebar bag

Close to the frame bag, the volumes potentially go up to 5 to 7 liters, sometimes with a holder for a card or your smartphone.

Velitaf handlebar bag
Handlebar bag for the city

They are most often used in travel and bikepacking.

Bag or backpack?

No luggage rack? Have you sworn never to ride a bike with a satchel? Aesthetics irreconcilable with your ultra-stylish fixie?

Then check out our guide to the best backpacks for cycling.

Saddlebags for electric bikes

For e-bikes, installing a bag can be more difficult for different reasons:

  • Battery that interferes with the installation of a double bag on the luggage rack
  • Wider frame not compatible with a frame bag
  • Non-regulatory luggage rack. I saw it on entry-level bikes: the diameter of the luggage rack tubes did not meet the standards. Therefore, it is impossible to attach a bag designed for MIK standards for example.

Nevertheless, the vast majority of electric bikes on the market can receive a bag. You will notice on the street that many users are equipped with it.

What is the price of a bag?

The frame and handlebar bags are the affordable: you will find them for about ten euros for entry-level products.

At this price, no miracle: they will not be waterproof. They are reserved for occasional use given the absence of impermeability and the minimum volume (more or less one litre).

On these types of bag, count rather forty euros for a quality model: better fixation, water resistance, durability.

The observation is the same for cheap luggage rack bags : prices start at less than 30 €. In this budget, the products are not inherently bad. The service is basic: fabric that will not protect your computer, no storage pouch, nothing for the internal organization, painful fixation to handle. They are not necessarily defective, it's up to you to see if it really corresponds to your use.

You drive in the rain, you remove your bag several times a day, with many items to store?

Plan a minimum of 70 € to invest in a quality bag to go to work daily by bike in comfortable conditions.

The strongest and most waterproof bike bags can exceed 100 to 150 €. It is also on high-end brands that you will find spare parts. And yes, durability also involves repairability.

Bonus: They will have no trouble accompanying you also for a week of cycling tourism. Think about it, you might be surprised to want to go on holiday with your bike!

The major brands of bike bags

  • Vaude
  • Decathlon (Btwin or Elops)
  • Ortlieb
  • Zefal
  • Basil
  • Brooks
  • Topeak
  • Chrome

The word of the end

An essential accessory to carry your luggage, the bag has evolved to adapt to our lives. No more basic black bag. Whether you are mountain biking, vtc or city bike, whether to go to work or do some shopping, get some fresh air on weekends, it brings a real comfort to use your cycle in all circumstances.
And to avoid seeing your favorite bag disappear, discover our article to know how to secure it.

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