How to Safely Carry a Bag When Cycling
Carrying items on a bike can be dangerous, unless you follow these guidelines to minimise the risk as much as possible
Riding a bicycle has many physical and mental health benefits. For one, there’s no petrol costs. Cycling is environmentally friendly and does not increase your carbon footprint. Cyclists can also move easily through traffic.
For some, biking is a recreational hobby and a form of exercise, for others it is their mode of transport to and from work. Many office workers take their bikes to work, which will means having to bring some gear with them. Whether for the commute or for recreation, cyclists will probably need to bring some belongings in a bag.
What is the best bag to use when cycling?
The best cycling bags do not compromise your safety – here are some of the best bags to bring when biking around the city or even off-road.
The ever-versatile and dependable backpack is one of the quickest solutions when a cyclist needs to carry gears while biking. To get the best and most comfortable experience, cycling-specific backpacks are available in the market.
Cycling backpacks are more lightweight and waterproof, with a roll-top so that the cyclist can easily open them. They also have a mesh back and straps so that the cyclist’s back and shoulders do not get too hot. To ensure the rider’s stability, they come with waist and chest straps to keep it in place even on a bumpy ride.
For smaller loads, cyclists can go for a messenger bag. Bike couriers use these bags and they come with a sling over the shoulder for easy access. Unlike backpacks, messenger bags are a little less stable. The cyclist can push it to rest on their back, but it can slip to the side, so it is only recommended for lighter and flat gears.
Bikepacking bags can be fitted to any bike and are usually used as seat packs. It can carry up to 16.5 litres, extending way beyond the saddle’s back. These bags are held in place by straps attached to the seat post and saddle rails of the bike. They are available in different sizes to accommodate different needs. Like cycling backpacks, they have roll tops and are also waterproof. They are rugged but may not be sufficient for office paraphernalia.
For more oversized loads when biking, pannier bags are recommended. Cyclists who wish to use pannier bags must install a metal rack to the frame of the bike where they can clip their bags.
One of the drawbacks of installing metal racks on a bike is that they add to its weight. Pannier bags have clips that prevent them from bouncing when the bike is in motion.
These bags must be waterproof to protect their contents from the sprays the wheel makes. There are pannier bags with a 40-L capacity. Some bags can also carry computers and papers, making them versatile.
How to safely carry things around with a bicycle
Buying a bag suited for cycling is not enough. Using a bag safely around when biking is more than that.
The choice of a biking bag starts with the luggage. Some loads are not suited for some types of bags. For instance, bikepacking bags are more suited for flexible luggage, such as extra shirts and towels.
Manage the load
Unlike cars, cyclists cannot dump their belongings in the backseat. Stuffing bags is easy, but how much is too much? Besides, how will a cyclist judge whether a load is safe or not?
Cyclists who are just starting to carry loads should start with light weights, no matter the bag to be used. Beginners can start with backpacks. Since the bag is on the back of the cyclist, he can easily judge whether the load is too heavy.
If the bike has metal racks at the back, then pannier bags can also be an option for beginners. However, it is crucial not to go beyond the weight capacity of the metal racks.
Keep both hands on the handle
Cycling while carrying a bag or bags can affect the balance of the cyclist. Always make sure to keep both hands on the bike’s handles. While it is possible to carry a bag in one hand with the other hand on one handle, it is not safe. A sudden bump on the road can easily throw the cyclist off balance. The cyclist needs to have their hands free to hold the bike handles in case there are sudden surprises along the way.
Park with a kickstand
While some parking facilities may have racks to hold a bike safely, there are some places where there are none. Using a kickstand for loaded bikes when parking will help prevent the bike from falling to the ground. Leaning against a wall is not enough to secure the bike’s balance.
Bike bag alternatives
Aside from bags, people who always carry loads ion a bike could look at other options beyond bike bags. Baskets and trailers can also make loading the bike more manageable and convenient, for example.
Baskets come in different capacities, and some baskets can carry up to 17.5 litres. Some baskets can also be taken off the bike, and they can double as shopping baskets. They are suitable for cargo that won’t fit in a bag. To protect the load, cargo netting can be used to keep them from falling off.
Of course, the choice depends on the type of load that the cyclist carries and where he will ride the bike.
Gear up your bike with Stead Cycles
Founded in the 1920s, Stead Cycles has been serving the cycling needs of Australians for a century! We carry more than just your next bike. We also offer high-quality bike accessories that will make cycling more enjoyable and a versatile form of transportation. For your bike packing needs, visit us at our Beresfield shop today! You can also call us on (02)49662141 or email your enquiries to firstname.lastname@example.org. Alternatively, click here to send us an online message and we will get back to you as soon as possible.