Everything about Carrying Things while Cycling - Cycling Luggage Complete guide
Your bike has many options when it comes to luggage. To name a few, you have luggage racks that mount above the rear tire, there are handlebar bags which mount to the center of your handlebars, there are under-saddle bags, panniers, frame bags, and even bottle cages that you can mount on the bottom part of the downtube. The downtube is the tube that extends from near your fork (IE, the headtube) all the way to your bottom bracket at the cranks.
What are Panniers?
Panniers are big bags you can mount on the sides of your bicycle. A good cross country bikes can handle 4 panniers total. A hardcore cross country bike will have mounting bolts in the front forks and rear seat stays. If you are doing big miles and cross state or cross country rides, these are great.
Where does the word Pannier come from?
Pannier means basket in french. So when you're saying "my panniers" youre actually saying my baskets! Now you know.
Whats the difference between a saddle bag and a pannier?
A pannier differs from a saddle bag in that panniers can handle much more luggage. What is typically considered a saddle bag will mount directly to the saddle. Whereas panniers mount much lower to the frame of the bike. There are some saddle bags that hold as much as 16 liters of stuff.
Are panniers slow?
Generally speaking, a pannier will be the least aerodynamic solution. Panniers mount on the sides of your bike and increase your overall frontal area. They will slow you down dramatically.
Can you wear a backpack while cycling?
Yes you can but remember you're putting extra weight up high so your handling will not be as good. Also, the backpack will keep heat in your back like a wet blanket.
What is a frame pack?
Usually a frame pack is a pack that straps to two mounting points on the top horizontal tube of your bike. They can be long cylinders that run the length of the top tub. Or they can be more triangular.
Are frame packs good?
If you're carrying cylindrical objects in them, then yes. If you like to carry sub sandwiches with you on the bike then definitely. As a plus, they carry the weight relatively low and centered on the bike so the handling is minimally effected.
Do I need a bicycle saddle bag?
I highly recommend a saddle bag. I personally do not like carrying my pump or tube in my pockets. I do not want to be sweating all over my stuff. For example, a metal pump will corrode and its just extra weight high up. Also, i feel like carrying things in my pockets makes more difficult to belly breathe. Think about it this way, if youre making your mid section tighter, it will be harder to breath properly.
Do bicycle handlebar bags effect your handling?
They 100% do effect your handling. The extent to which is dertermined by the weight you put in your bag.