Bike bags

I’ve finally managed to get round to doing something about storage on my bike (that’s *on* my bike, not *for* my bike). Here are the problems that I was facing:

1. I was arriving at work with a ferociously sweaty back. This is because I have to carry all my gear around in a rucksack. Fitting a pannier wasn’t an option, as it would get in the way of Bernard’s bike seat (unless I then purchased an additional pannier-mounted bike seat, or took the pannier off every time I wanted to attach the bike seat).
2. Slightly smaller gripe – I needed somewhere to keep my keys. Having to take off my rucksack and fish around in the small front pocket was getting tiring.

I now have solutions. The solution to problem #2 is quite simple – I’ve purchased a Topeak top tube bag ((J E James are now out of stock of these, but you can also get them here – there’s a better photo there too)). This has space in the main pocket for my wallet, keys and allen keys, and my phone fits in the side pocket. You can also get larger bags that go under the saddle, and in retrospect perhaps I should have bought one of those instead, as I would then have also had space in it for my diary. Maybe I’ll put that on my birthday list ((already on my birthday list – a decent battery charger. Life is too short for timer-based chargers)).

The solution to problem #1 is slightly more complex, and I’ve been mulling on it for a while. What I have done is to purchase a spare support bar for the child seat. This fits in the same mounting point as Bernard’s seat and provides me with a platform to strap the rucksack to. In the long run, I might replace the rucksack with a more suitable container.

Incidentally, you can consider this to be a endorsement of J E James. I ordered on Tuesday afternoon and the stuff arrived on Friday morning. Delivery was free (for all orders over £5), so the price on the site is what you pay (unlike the gits at X-Case who listed Karen’s new computer case at £32.50 on the site, but when it came to checkout they added £8.95 for P&P and then another £7.25 VAT, bringing the total to £48.70). I’ve done a bit of online inspectigation and found a forum thread where some people have been complainining about their tendency to misrepresent stock levels so that might be something to bear in mind.

3 replies on “Bike bags”

Re carrying stuff, could you not go the route of front panniers, rather than back ones? They’re an expense, sure, but they would cover your requirements, I would’ve thought.

Something like these (plus bags of course) but that’s probably Christmas Pressie list, or similar.

I did consider front panniers at one time. I can’t remember exactly why I dismissed them – possibly because they would be so expensive, possibly a balance thing (you have to balance the weight in front panniers, but the gear that I carry to work doesn’t lend itself to being evenly split into two piles).

I figure that there’s no point in spending £65 on a front rack when a £9 support bar on the back fits my requirements. But if I find myself needing more capacity than my current setup offers, then I guess front panniers would be the logical option.

Fair enough – I wasn’t sure what you were carrying to work on a regular basis, but figured it might be laptop etc., and spare clothing (re the sweaty back) and poss spare shoes (depending on what you use while riding).

I know that was pretty much what I was lugging around when using the bike between station and industrial estate, so that was where the assumption came from.

If your requirements are far less then yeah, front panniers would be excessive.

I did notice that the same place also does a handlebar bag as well, which might be more beneficial than panniers if your luggable-stuff limit is low.

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