A reader recently asked me by email, “Bike Noob, what do you carry in your seatbag?” Funny he should ask, because I’ve just gone through a switch to a new bag, and then a switch back to the old bag. Here’s why.
I bought my seatbag when I bought my bike. It’s made by a company called “Inertia Designs,” and is somewhat larger than many bags I see on road bikes. In fact, some other bikers have referred to it as a “trunk.” But it’s worked well for me, holding what I consider the necessary accessories for biking.
However, when I got my seat post-mounted water bottle cage, it seemed that I would need a smaller bag to fit between the seat and the water bottles. So I dug up a smaller, bullet-shaped bag we had lying around, and put it on. But it was barely large enough to carry a spare tube. I crammed my multi-tool in also, and that’s why, when I got my pinch flat two weeks ago, the spare was punctured, too. The edge of the multi-tool had apparently rubbed a hole in it.
So, I’m back to the bigger bag. I lowered the water bottle cage almost to the bottom of the seat post, and there’s room enough for bag and bottles. The picture is for comparison purposes — the small bag is propped on the top tube.
The size difference between the current bag, on the left, and the small bag, on the right, is evident.
Well, why is it so important for me to have a big bag? Plenty of folks use bags the size of the one on the right in the picture. Here’s why. A look at the stuff I must have on a bike ride.
When unzipped, the bag opens its maw to reveal a cornucopia of bike stuff.
Actually, only four different items are accounted for here. First, a spare tube. I like to carry it in its box, to avoid any more accidental punctures. Then, a patch kit. I do carry one, altho I haven’t used it in the field yet. Bet I do, some day. The blue thing is my multi-tool. Three Allen wrenches in 4, 5, and 6 mm size, plus two screwdrivers. I use it a lot. Finally, two tire levers.
There might be just a little room left in the bag for me to carry more stuff, but the only need I’ve found for that is when we drive to a ride. In that case, I’ll stick my car keys in the bag. But I carry my ID, a little cash, and my cell phone in my jersey pockets.
I’m happy with my seat bag. I suppose I could go to one like this:
“Medium” seatbag by Acorn Bags.
But I doubt it. What do you think? Am I carrying too much stuff? Is there an item that I ought to have in my bag, but don’t?
What’s in YOUR seat bag?
I don’t think you need the tube box or the patch kit. You can stick the tube into a sock or a plastic bag and slide it into seat-pouch. I have a pouch like your smaller one, and in there I have 2 tubes, 3 tire-levers, multi-tool similar to yours, and room for my keys.
unrelated: I enjoy reading this blog of yours, keep it up!
I carry basically the same gear you do, in a bag that looks the size of your smaller bag. 1 tube (in a sock), 3 tire levers, a multi-tool, a front light, a patch kit (about the size of a matchbook) and a couple of wet-ones or other wipes. The bag has some nice pockets and restraints that keep things somewhat organized. It’s packed, but there is room for my keys. I rode with a larger bag for a while, which fit all of the above, plus a phone and a couple of Clif bars or Newtons. Now those, plus ID/credit card/insurance/cash go in my jersey.
I don’t have a . I have a bag that fits in my jersey, and I carry two tubes (no boxes), 2 CO2 cartridges, a tiny C02 nozzle, 1 tire lever, and a Crank Bros multi tool. I carry this whether I’m riding 3 miles or 75. If I’m doing more than 75 miles UNACCOMPANIED, then I’ll add more stuff.
ooops. Weak XHTML skills, and no comment preview. But I think the idea made it across!
Nico & KK, I can’t for the life of me figure out how you get all that stuff in a small bag. I wish I could, because I think it looks better, too. 331miles, I liked your bag idea when I first read it on your blog. That could be worth me trying.
Hi Noob, I bought a small bag (between the size of your small and large bags) a while back. The clever thing about it is that it also folds out to a lightweight rucksack (really, but very thin material) if I find myself needing to take some groceries home 😉
In my bag is 2 tubes(in ziplock bag), 2 tire levers, 2 CO2 cartridges,MultiTool, cash, keys, Cliff shots and most important- Latex gloves. This way if I need to change a flat my hands don’t get greasy. My bag extends to the size of your larger one. It’s cramped but I’m never at a loss for anything.
I carry a tube (out of the box), an expired license, a couple bucks in cash, a CO2 cartridge with air chuck, and two tire levers, all neatly packed in a small prologo bag. Everything else (camera, phone, food) I carry in my jersey pocket.
One more thing you should carry is duct tape. Wrap about a foot of it around a tire lever or a pump. See my blog post for a list of 10 repairs where duct tape can save you.
I’m a tube-in-box guy as well. I fit that, iphone, 2 levers, bike tool, and a thin wallet in my bag. I also have a spare car key that I carry so I don’t have to worry about lugging my whole ring around if I drive to ride.
I have a couple of tour-y rides coming up this year and I have been looking hard at that Minnehaha bag. I think it would be perfect if I can ride without touching it.
I’ve got a two-level set of bags. There’s the seatbag which has multitool, tire irons, gauge, band-aids, one sports gel, duct tape, and a spare tube. And that’s in a smaller bag than you’ve got.
And then I’ve got a trunk bag for the rack with a leatherman-ish multitool, more first aid stuff, more sports gels, a second spare tube, some extra clothes, an extra tire iron, and a patch kit. I then stuff keys, wallet, phone, badge with transit pass, camera, and fresh food into the trunk bag before I head out.
happy in my bag~♥