ransom UberDork
9/10/13 5:53 p.m.

Most of my riding is recreational/training. Usually 1-2 hours, but could vary longer or, if I run out of time, shorter.

My decade-or-so-old aftermarket Camelbak bag expired recently, its zipper threatening to drop my wallet, keys, bike tools, etc on the road without warning.

Now, with the exception of a century a couple of years ago (which was a Big Deal for me), I almost never actually used the bladder; especially since the old one tasted awful and the new one didn't really fit the old bag. So I mostly used this bag to carry a tube, a basic bike tool, a pump, wallet, keys, phone (in a location it has GPS signal for Strava), and any sort of light jacket I either wanted to bring or to stop wearing mid-ride.

I went to look at "modern" hydration packs, and they either seem to be super-minimalist units which have no room whatsoever for anything other than a bladder, or giant monstrosities with elaborate systems to allow airflow under the pack (which is admittedly neat) designed to carry enough crap to spend all day in the woods with temperatures from freezing to roasting and back.

I figure I'll wind up with something like a Cambelbak M.U.L.E. or an Osprey Raptor or Viper or something, but I don't want to have to wear that for a two-hour road ride where all my hydration can be had from bottles, and everything but a jacket fits in jersey pockets and/or an under-seat pack.

Am I missing something? I must be; there's no way that carrying basic repair tools, water, energy bars, and a light jacket should require anything terribly complicated, but the jacket just seems to push us out of the realm of jersey pockets and underseat packs.

And before anybody says anything about what a dumb question this is, I'm sick and plead insanity by fevers, both cabin and regular...

joephilly New Reader
9/10/13 6:01 p.m.

I have a Camelbak Lobo (or whatever they called it at the time). It's somewhere in between a MULE and a minimalist pack. 200 cu in of storage vs the MULE at 600+. Just enough room for a tube, tools, snack, cellphone, keys and wallet. Plus it's got the 3L bladder, which i really prefer over the 2L.

Though like you said, on the road, even a smaller pack feels excessive on your back. There, I ride with a saddle pack + jersey pockets + 2x water bottles. I'm still searching for the perfect saddle bag...

Ian F
Ian F UltimaDork
9/10/13 6:11 p.m.

On mtn bike rides I use a pack - one of minimalist versions for short rides when I don't carry much and a suspended version that holds a ton (and often weighs that much) for longer rides. Of course, I use the bladder and rarely carry a bottle on the bike. If it tastes funny, it's probably gone moldy and needs to be cleaned and/or replaced. Like water bottles, they don't last forever - even less if anything other than water was ever put in them.

On the road, I carry everything in my jersey pockets: food in one side, wallet/phone/key in the other side, 3rd water bottle in the middle pocket. Two bottles on the bike. Tube & levers live in a small saddle bag (a 10+ year old Schwinn "pro" model, NLA) and I have a large Zefel pump strapped under the top tube. I don't carry much on the way of tools on road rides, unless I've made a recent change to the bike and on the road adjustments may be necessary. Generally, if something goes that wrong where I need tools to make the bike rideable, I'm probably calling for a ride home anyway... or the EMT's will take care of it...

oldopelguy Dork
9/10/13 6:13 p.m.

Get a frame bag and get the stuff off your back.

There are also some nice dummy bottle options (or just use a spare bottle) for things like the tube, tools, and keys and mount an extra bottle holder somewhere out of the way.

1988RedT2 UberDork
9/10/13 6:17 p.m.

Just trade money for drinks at a convenience store. They're putting the damn things everywhere these days.

Beer Baron
Beer Baron UltimaDork
9/10/13 7:40 p.m.
oldopelguy wrote: Get a frame bag and get the stuff off your back.

That's the first thing I thought of too.

fritzsch HalfDork
9/10/13 7:51 p.m.

Well I don't know what sort of roads your ride on, but for 1-2 hour rides, I would personally ditch the bag and stuff. If you want, take a phone, an ID card, and a house key. You could stick it in a pocket or I have just duct taped my id and a key/few bucks to the frame. If you brake, call a ride?

motomoron Dork
9/10/13 9:19 p.m.

I haven't done over about 3 hours in ages, but all I've carried in forever is a ziplock bacg w/ emergency contact info printed in boldface, phone, ID, insurance card, credit card, house key, cash and change.

If it's long enough to eat I stick 1 pack of Gu per 45 mins in a different jersey pocket.

I bring one large bottle of Cytomax and 1 large bottle of water, long rides get a third bottle in the jersey pocket.

A small Fizik seat bag has a tube, patches, a couple CO2 cartridges and inflator, bike multi tool.

When I ride my Sunny Sunday bike I put that stuff minus the tube in the jersey pocket. The spare tubular is strapped under the seat w/ an old Alfredo Binda Extra toe strap

SyntheticBlinkerFluid PowerDork
9/10/13 9:19 p.m.

I have a Camelbak Rouge. It's halfway between a minimalist bag and a backpack. I've carried everything I've needed. I don't mind carrying stuff in a backpack while I ride for a few hours.

Have you thought about a seat bag or frame bag? It could easily carry everything you need and it's out of the way.

I'm looking at the Topeak MTX seatpost rack and Trunkbag that work with each other.



nicksta43 SuperDork
9/10/13 9:29 p.m.

Step 1. Accept the fact that you need to sell that bicycle, buy a pickup truck so you can haul your big macs and french fries around in air conditioned comfort, like the rest of us, and stop being such a hippie.

novaderrik PowerDork
9/10/13 10:12 p.m.

wear clothes with pockets..

Tom Suddard
Tom Suddard Event Marketing
9/10/13 11:40 p.m.

I use an underseat bag and jersey pockets on the road, and can carry everything except the jacket (it doesn't get cold here).

When I'm mountain biking, I carry a Maxpedition Falcon II that I picked up on craigslist. It's not perfect, but it holds a bladder nicely, as well as appropriate tools, food, and clothing. I carry much much more when I'm in the woods than I do when I'm on the road, and I don't like to have crap on my mountain bike frame. The Maxpedition has tons of straps to keep everything from squirming around, is comfortable, and seems to be completely indestructible.

Back when I was commuting on my road bike, I either used a rear rack or a Timbuk2 Messenger bag, depending on the load. I found the small size to be very comfortable.

donalson PowerDork
9/10/13 11:44 p.m.

I have a huge 3l lezyne hydration pack that I use for MTBing... but on the road i've gone to a saddle bag and a few things in my jersey pockets

two water bottles on the frame... I did have the pump/co2 (combo device) on the frame but moved that to the jersey pocket (long slender one) after knocking it off on a ride the other day... might go back to the frame once I pull out a velcro tie or something like that...

saddle bag holds my spare tube, patch kit, co2 cartridge or two, multi tool and $10 "just in case"... I also slip my ID and debit card into the bag.

phone is carried on my bars with a nice mount and works as my cycle computer thanks to a snazzy app and an ant+ stick (so it reads my HRM and speed/cadence sensor)

don't need much more and I much prefer stopping to fill water bottles occasionally then all that weight on my back... especially in TX heat

mad_machine MegaDork
9/11/13 6:39 a.m.

my mountain bike has several bags on it. An underseat bag for tools and repair items (tubes and such) and a rear rack with an expandable bag that can haul about two bags of groceries in it.

Yes, I use my bike for going to the store. As long as I am not picking up eggs or anything fragile, it works great. Sometimes I need to remove stuff from it's packaging to fit it all into the bag.

1988RedT2 UberDork
9/11/13 8:49 a.m.
mad_machine wrote: Yes, I use my bike for going to the store. As long as I am not picking up eggs or anything fragile, it works great. Sometimes I need to remove stuff from it's packaging to fit it all into the bag.

As a college student, I often carried a case of beer back to the dorm on my bike.

PeterAK Dork
9/11/13 11:02 a.m.

On the road, two tubes and CO2's with tire irons, a few bucks, and a multi allen wrench stay in the saddle bag all the time. Money clip and cell phone in a zip lock in the jersey pocket. Shouldn't need more than that for a couple hours, but plenty of room for snacks in the jersey pockets if you do!

ransom UberDork
9/11/13 11:13 a.m.

Thanks for the tips, guys!

It's really the need for a light jacket that throws things off kilter. Everything but that really can be split between jersey pockets and an underseat bag.

Maybe rather than a change to how I carry stuff, what I really need is an epically stuffable rain jacket that really fits nicely in a jersey pocket for those tweenery days. Of course, it gets even wackier when I add arm warmers.

Layering is brilliant, but you've got to have somewhere to store the layers!

My uncle gave me a set of tubulars once, but I never trusted my gluing skills. There's a part of me that wants a tubie slung under the seat with a leather strap just like my cycling heroes, but I'm more likely to try tubeless than to try tubulars again...

92dxman HalfDork
9/11/13 1:21 p.m.

I have something similar to this on my bike under the back of the seat: http://www.nashbar.com/bikes/Product_10053_10052_167563_-1___202379

It can hold quite a bit of stuff if you cram it in there. If you have a hand pump, i'd recommend getting some mounts and attaching it to the frame. One way to carry your cell phone, wallet, keys is to put everything into a zip lock bag and store it in one of your jersey pockets. I did that for a long time but got tired of wasting bags. I ended up going with this: http://www.walmart.com/ip/Sterilite-Pencil-Box/17355912

They make a smaller and thinner version that will hold my wallet, phone, pocket knife. They are under 50 cents each so not much of a loss if you break one. It has held up well so far. Made in the US also.

I have always used some sort of messenger bag or knap sack (tied the strings around me) with good results.

There are many options for panniers, racks, bags, etc. Visit Nashbar.com or a related website to get some ideas.

donalson PowerDork
9/11/13 2:58 p.m.

depending on how much stuff you carry this is another neat option for toting stuff around... it's just not an option for me as I NEED both water bottles full


Ashyukun HalfDork
9/11/13 3:25 p.m.

I haven't touched my bike in far too long, and granted I primarily use mine for commuting but I have a fairly minimalistic CamelBak that has just enough pocket space for my iPhone and everything else goes in the two waterproof panniers that hook onto the rack in back. I can carry a stupid amount in those things, and more if I strap things to the top of the rack. When I lived downtown and when I was a bit more energetic after moving into the house I would go grocery shopping on the bike and stuff a few days worth of groceries into the panniers with ease.

gamby UltimaDork
9/14/13 9:50 p.m.

I use my camelbak for MTB and road time trials. Can't remember the model, but it has a couple of zipper pockets and it's maybe 1.5 years old.

That said, I have a large seat pack for longer rides (MS150) and a smaller seat pack for the rest of the time on my main bike. Backup bike and singlespeed have big bags.

I keep a tube, tire levers, patch kit and multi tool in the pack and will stuff Clif Bars in there. The ones I use have a carabiner for car keys, too.

The rest of my stuff (phone, small wallet and mp3 player) goes in my jersey pocket.

PeterAK Dork
9/14/13 11:22 p.m.

A cycling shell will compress down small enough to put in a jersey pocket. Go to a bike shop to check them out.

ahutson03 Reader
9/14/13 11:31 p.m.

I commute most of my biking miles so I carry a fairly large messenger bag that can take tubes, tool kits, clothes and food for work. Maybe I'm just a fatty but I have rarely felt the need for a jacket while riding, if I push a little harder it usually makes me too hot for a jacket anyway.

asterisk New Reader
9/15/13 10:41 a.m.

Three bag options... either frame bag: https://www.revelatedesigns.com/index.cfm/store.catalog/Frame-Bags/CoBranded-Frame-Bags

Or larger seat bag: http://banjobrothers.shptron.com/c/canvas-and-leather-bags

Or finally, a handlebar bag: http://www.wallbike.com/catalog/bags/handlebar-bags

Depending on your bike, handle bar bags can cause handling issues (usually on bikes with race geometry,) frame bags can be ugly, and seat bags might get in the way so consider the trade-offs. All of which are preferable to having something on your back.

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