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.
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:
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?