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If you’re going on a bike ride, and it doesn’t matter how long it is or for what purpose, you’re going to want an easy way to carry things with you. Most of us would default to something simple, like carrying items in our pockets, but that poses risks for all types of rides. Keeping small items like keys or your wallet in your pockets while biking can easily pose a risk of them dropping out of your pocket along the route, and it doesn’t make sense to keep these items in pockets on longer rides. For longer rides as well, you will want to carry more than just a few small items, which necessitates another method of carrying your gear.
Looking for a good way to keep your gear secure when biking? Here are a few of our top recommendations.
Go Traditional: Use A Messenger Bag Or Backpack
The traditional route for most people will be to use a messenger bag or backpack. This is a simple way of carrying a relatively large amount of gear, and you most likely already have a bag that would do the trick. If you don’t, then you can choose from among a number of bags that are purpose-built to be worn while biking.
There are some downsides of using both messenger bags and backpacks for a bike ride, namely the fact that you are carrying all of your gear on your body. This can make it more difficult to ride your bike, and backpacks, in particular, don’t have good ventilation, making them less comfortable for long rides. Additionally, the uneven weight distribution on some backpacks and all messenger bags make them less well suited to riding than you might think. There are much better options out there to choose from.
Add A Bike Basket
The bike basket is a somewhat ubiquitous piece of technology that allows you to easily carry both small and medium-sized items right up on the front of your bike. This allows for easy accessibility, and it enables you to keep track of items while you are riding as well.
One concern that many people have with bike baskets is the weather since most baskets are open. While this can be a concern, it’s less of one than you may think. Most of the time, you’ll be riding your bike when it’s nice outside, so you won’t have to worry about much more than a short rainstorm. If you are concerned about it, however, there are plenty of bike baskets that are sealable, which will help keep rain and other weather away from your gear.
Multiply Your Possibilities By Adding A Bike Rack
A bike rack is a great piece of gear that is useful for a variety of situations. The rack goes above the back wheel of your bike, and it allows you to carry bags, equipment, and even add bike attachments as well. The cost for these racks is relatively minimal, starting at around $25 and rarely exceeding $100. While the rack itself can be useful, one of the best additions to the rack can be found below.
Add Saddle Bags (Panniers) To Your Bike Rack
While the term ‘saddle bag’ comes from horseback riding, it’s equally appropriate for biking as well. Saddlebags (or panniers) are bags that hang off the rack on the back of your bike, and they can be filled with any number of different items. Think of them like backpacks, but without some of the negatives associated with carrying backpacks.
One of the best things about using saddlebags is that the load you are carrying is evenly distributed onto your bike, which is far easier to control and more comfortable than placing the same load into a backpack. The one concern that you should have with panniers is that they are easily stolen if you leave your bike, so you should make sure to carry them with you (or otherwise secure them) if you are going to be away from your bike for a long time.
Are you planning a long bike ride? If so, what would you consider using to carry the items that you need to take with you? Let us know in the comments.