Carrying things around on your back is a pain. Especially in the summer months where it leads to a sweaty back. Therefore, when I’m heading out for a leisurely ride, it’s a good convenience to throw the essentials, such as a puncture repair kit and my keys, out of the way in a saddle bag.
This week I’m taking a quick look at some of the best saddle bags. You can also store things on a handlebar bag which can be quicker to access. I’ll be covering 3 of the best handlebar bags next week.
What to look for in a cycling saddle bag
Quick to remove: If you are leaving your bike in a populated area where an opportunistic thief may pinch your saddle bag then you’ll want one that is quick to add and remove from your bike.
Size: Take a look at what you’ll be storing in there. The chances are your bike pump won’t fit so you’ll probably want to attach that to the bike or instead carry a Co2 pump. Ideally, pick the small or medium bag size as that has less chance of interfering with your pedal stroke.
Mounting: Some of the bags come with a clip design and others with straps. Straps will fit all saddles and clips some of the saddles. A clip design is generally slightly lighter and quicker to release.
Waterproof: If you will be storing your mobile phone in there then check for waterproofing on the saddle bag.
3 of the best saddle bags
Here is a hand picked selection of some of the most recommended saddle bags that you can trust.
Topeak Aero Wedge
The Aero Wedge is easily one of the most popular saddle bags. It comes in mini, small, medium and large and costs just £12.59. The small size should fit a tube, repair kit, multi-tool and key. Switching to the medium will give you enough room to also carry your mobile phone, cash and credit cards.
The Topeak Aero Wedge saddle bag has a reflective strip at the back as well as a space to attach a light. Unclipping is quick and easy. While attached the bag sits firmly in place and doesn’t interfere with pedalling. It is weather-proof.
Topeak Wedge II
A new cycling saddle bag from Topeak that improves on from the popular Wedge design. It includes a rain cover, reflective strip that goes all around the design and expanding main compartment for storage (in medium and large version).
There is a more expensive version that also includes a multi-tool which can be purchased from here for £29.99.
Fizik Saddle Bags
If you have a Fizik saddle then this accompanying saddle bag will be an excellent choice. It uses a clip mounting system making it quick to remove. The water resistant design has an well positioned zip opening and will fit the basics. It is of a particularly light design. The bag also includes a bike light mount.
I’ve had a lot of comments about the Carradice bags (See comments below). These are larger than the “under-saddle” bags I mention above but useful for longer rides.
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As seen on The Guardian, BBC and The Independent.