Quick to reach bags to attach to your bike frame

If you are heading out on a bike ride, it’s nice to be without a bag on your back.

Depending on how much you are carrying, you may be able to get away with just a frame bag. You’d be surprised how much some of them can carry.

Not only can you relieve your back but you can also get quicker access to the items you need.  

The right frame bag should be made from a durable material that is weather-resistant to handle all the elements, fixes firmly to your bicycle at several attachment points and have enough space to hold your extra gear.

When searching for frame bags there are 3 from which you can choose: rear frame bags, full frame bags and front frame bags. The style you choose is based solely on your needs and your cycle.

We’ve handpicked a few bags we’d recommend..

Topeak Aero Wedge Pack

Topeak Aero Wedge frame bag

This lightweight (just 130g!) frame bag by Topeak sits neatly under the back of the seat for easy access and it has an expandable compartment for those times when you need more than a few items to carry. With reflective strips and durable polyester, this rear frame bag could be just what you need to store your goodies on the go. It’s available in a number of different sizes.

M-Wave Frame Corner Bag

m-wave-corner-bag

For quick access, this £3 triangle frame bag is a great option. The fixings are Velcro and adjustable so you can make it as snug as possible in the frame triangle. The reflective trim will heighten your visibility while also keeping your precious cargo safe.

Available from Amazon for £3.29.

Topeak Tribag All-Weather Handlebar Bag

Topeak tribag attached to your frame

Keep your valuables close to you with an internally weather-proofed handlebar bag. The Topeak Tribag is out of the way of your legs and knees (no chafing) and you can always look down and know your money, iPhone and other important items haven’t fallen off. The included rain cover keeps everything dry on the outside, and the sturdy build means it doesn’t sway as you ride.

Available from Amazon for £12.84.

Carradice Barley Saddle Bag

Carradice frame bag

If you’re looking for a heavy duty frame bag—550 grams to be exact—to carry tyre pumps, spare inner tubes, cycle tools and essentials then the Carradice Barley Saddle Bag is worth a second look. It’s big, but with two additional side pockets you’ll never suffer for storage space.

If space is what you crave rather than a lighter load, this saddle bag can get the job done.

Available from Wiggle for £49.50.

Bontrager Seat Pack Pro

Bontrager seat pack pro frame bag

This slick looking seat pack by Bontrager provides cyclists with an ‘outta sight, outta mind’ method of storage. It’s secure safely under the seat with a Velcro fixing with an extra elastic strap for bike pump storage. This seat pack by Bontrager comes in several sizes ranging from extra small to extra large with a maximum capacity of 1,966 cc’s.

The one glaring problem with the Bontrager Seat Pack Pro is that it doesn’t appear to be constructed of weather-proof materials.

Available in different size for £15.99 from Evans Cycles.

Topeak TourGuide Handlebar Bag

topeak_tour_guide_handlebar_bag

Keep your bag front and centre with the handlebar bag from Topeak. With a click mounting system you can be sure your cargo is secure and right where you can keep an eye on it. This TourGuide bag comes with a rain jacket and Teflon coating to protect it from the elements, and features reflector stripes so you’re seen during night time cycling.

This frame bag may be a bit bulkier but it provides the perfect alternative to carrying a heavyweight rucksack on your person.

Available from Wiggle for £49.49.

Raleigh Avenir Handle Bar Bag

Raleigh Avenir Handlebar Bag

The Raleigh handlebar bag has lots of bells and whistles that may scare new cyclists, but with reflective details, shoulder straps and map & GPS holder this is a serious bag for the serious cyclist. The quick-release fitting system uses a clip to keep it affixed to the cycle, but it is on the flimsy side so you may need a secondary clip to put your mind at ease.

The bag Raleigh handlebar bag also comes with a rain cover and tons of storage pockets so you don’t have to leave any essentials behind.

See also: What’s in a typical cyclists backpack

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16 Responses to Quick to reach bags to attach to your bike frame

  1. GMBasix 18/04/2013 at 4:13 pm #

    It might go without saying, but before buying check if…
    …if seat pack interferes with tail-lights (some have a light loop but will it shake around when empty?);
    …if Tribag (or similar) interferes with cables running above the crossbar;
    …if bar bag conflicts with STI cables

  2. Tom 18/04/2013 at 6:03 pm #

    For a less ‘vintage’ style and far more practical saddlebag from Carradice have a look at this one: http://www.carradice.co.uk/products/range/sqrtrax doubles as a mudguard too.

  3. Adam Edwards 18/04/2013 at 10:43 pm #

    This is where the Brompton has a superb design luggage block on the front on to which my 3 different bags clip and release instantly. Shopping or work or touring. Even better my Circe Helios tandem has the Brompton block to enable me to use the same bags.

    I wonder if anyone has fitted the Brompton block to a conventional bike?

    Adam

  4. Dave 19/04/2013 at 9:57 am #

    I have a C bag for my Brompton, Carradice for my hybrid, and a pair of Ortlieb bike packers for my Gt Recumbent

    Also a small toolbag that migrates between

  5. Andrew Wilcox 19/04/2013 at 10:21 am #

    I like this handlebar bag. Its smaller than most and leaves room for your hands! Plus it doubles as a bum bag. Topeak Tourguide Compact

    http://www.evanscycles.com/products/topeak/tourguide-compact-handlebar-bag-ec033766

  6. SteveP 19/04/2013 at 1:51 pm #

    I prefer an underseat bag on all my bikes with a spare tube plus a patch kit and levers. Then, for touring, I add both a Carradice Barley and a small handlebar bag. Valuables go in the handlebar bag and are taken off at all stops. A problem with most handlebar bags in the UK is that they are made for “normal” maps and Ordinance Survey maps are some extra-large size difficult to fit into anything. Not sure why they have to be so large but it’s a pain and another reason to use a GPS (or app) instead. OS just continues to become an irrelevance.

    • Alan Southern 23/04/2013 at 12:28 am #

      In reply to SteveP I have a basic mobile so it does not come with GPS and cannot use apps. O/S maps have been ‘normal’ for as long as I can remember (and that is since I bought my first one for six shillings and fourpence some 50 years ago). In addition any paper (or plastic) map can show a far, far greater area than any computer screen and that in turn is far greater than a mobile screen. Do you fancy carrying a mobile with a screen with the same dimensions as an O/S map?

      • SteveP 23/04/2013 at 12:48 am #

        Well, yes, OS maps are just their huge size. But if you travel outside the UK, you will find the standard size for a road map is about 2/3rds the OS size. You know, those feelthy foreign French Michelin maps, AAA in the USA, etc. And since the US market tends to drive consumer products, the clear map pockets you get on Asian-made handlebar bags are sized for rest-of-the-world maps – not OS size. And scissors are so final. I’ve taken to photocopying the relevant bits of my OS maps and leaving the things home. It’s tough even getting an OS map ito the Carradice Barley without mangling it.

        Not sure if I understand how a paper map can have more detail than a “screen”. It certainly is bigger when folded out, but there is no zoom function on my paper maps, nor will they snap to a post code entry. Each medium has its benefits (maps don’t get dead batteries) but having spoken with the OS folks about their products, it seems to me they are sailing down the road to obscurity. Their best product (IMHO) is their “personalised” map service, where you can centre a map on a specific spot and they will print it for you. You can even have your own title and a photo of your choice, which is cool. But the process of deciding what is on the map is done through a horrible web interface that leaves you guessing just what you will receive. It’s too bad, because they obviously have the rights to some very useful info.

        I did pick up some handy cycling maps from Sustrans a while ago. They fold up to about 1/3rd the size of OS maps and fit in a shirt pocket.

  7. Chris W 19/04/2013 at 4:09 pm #

    I’ve got the Topeak Aero Wedge Pack mentioned at the top of the article. There’s plenty or room for a small pump, tools, wallet, phone and a light or two. Would definitely recommend it.

    • Jon 16/05/2013 at 9:39 am #

      I too have the Topeak Aero Wedge but I’m not a massive fan! For me, it has never felt like a good fit – I always have to end up shoving it against the seat post in order to actually attach it to the saddle, and by that point it’s a strange banana shape which squishes everything inside. I don’t have my saddle especially low, but by the time it’s on, there is no usable room on the seat post for lights etc. I wish I’d gone for the more standard shaped saddle bag one, that would hopefully hang a bit more gracefully.

  8. Robert Mayers 19/04/2013 at 6:50 pm #

    Here is my leather satchel bag solution: https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=10151041953050329&l=cfd2c820f8

    Too perfect.

  9. James R Grinter 22/04/2013 at 7:39 pm #

    Will the corner bag fit in the “front” position of a diamond-frame, at the handlebar end? All the pictures I can see out there show it being fitted close to the saddle.

  10. Kellyman17 25/04/2013 at 12:46 pm #

    I’ve got an Arkel Handlebar bag. a bit pricey… you’ll pay about £100 for everything including delivery from Canada, but its AMAZING, guaranteed water proof, aluminium brackets which are 100 times better than that plastic ones.

  11. Dimitris 26/04/2013 at 7:12 pm #

    Does anyone have a recommendation for a bag that would fit the frame triangle of the Brompton?

  12. Liz 12/05/2013 at 8:43 pm #

    I just have a basic saddle bag on my touring bike (under a fiver from Decathlon); it’s not very big but I can fit a multitool, spare tube, tyre levers and some backup lights in there (the small Lezyne ones). It stays on my bike at all times so I can be sure that I’ve got the basics covered before I set out on a ride. I’ve been wondering about something like the Carradice bag which would be big enough for a waterproof and some snacks, but I don’t think I’ve got enough seatpost clearance for it. A pannier feels like overkill for a day ride and I wonder whether a square handlebar bag would move around if I didn’t have a mini-rack on the front. What I’d really like is something like one of the Velo Orange bags – any suggestions?

    • SteveP 12/05/2013 at 9:32 pm #

      Topeak make some nice handlebar bags with a quick release system so you can pop the bag off when you leave the bike. I’ve also been using a cheap “eBay special” from China that simply folds over the handlebars and has two QR buckles (plus some Velcro). It has two small pockets on the back (perfect for a phone) a big front flap with a clear map pocket inside and a larg-ish pocket beneath that. It comes with a small strap and it has a handgrip, so pretty good for the £10 or so I (think) I paid for it.

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