Do you know that more than 3.5 million Australians ride bikes for recreation and transport in a typical week? You read it right! A National Cycling Participation Survey revealed that more than 80% of this number use bicycles for recreation, while approximately one-third uses bicycles for commuting to and from work and schools/colleges. Meanwhile, they do this primarily to solve the traffic congestion problem prevalent in Australia.
Undoubtedly, cycling is a wonderful way to blow off steam or relax on a lovely sunny weekend. Statistics say that many people are keen to leave their car at home and prefer commuting via bicycle to the office every day. As such, they buy all kinds of fancy gear to make their ride better, faster, and more comfortable. But, one thing that often gets overlooked is the right kind of bag. Yes! How comfortably and efficiently you carry your workday necessities is essential for your riding experience.
Many options exist for bicycle bags in Australia, but which will suit you the best depends on your travel distance, load, style, and bicycle attachment. So, to find out the various options you have for bike-friendly bags, read on!
Different Types of Bicycle Bags
Bicycle backpacks are the most convenient and practical option, especially for those who carry a good number of things to and from work. With two shoulder straps and a chest or waist strap, bike backpacks are the best choice for riders and are multipurpose. Moreover, there are specific backpacks designed for bike riders, and they come with additional features like helmet holders, water bladders, etc.
Messenger bags are a good option for smaller loads. Bike couriers commonly use these as it enables them to get things in and out quickly. It is their ease and accessibility that have made these types of bags such a popular choice of bicycle commuters. Meanwhile, they come with a single strap that falls across one shoulder. Plus, they come equipped with plenty of pockets and shoulder pads that help the riders stay comfortable and organised while riding.
Panniers are the definitive solution to lugging loads on your bike. These are considered best for carrying everyday essentials for a bike commute. They offer roomy storage, easy installation and uninstallation, and protection from harsh weather conditions. Panniers are attached to a metal rack that is bolted to the bike’s frame (either to the rear triangle or the fork blades).
Frame bags are just like panniers but with lower carrying capacity. But unlike panniers, frame bags come with a direct attachment to your bike without the need for a rack. For this reason, it is slightly tricker to put on and to take off the frame bags.
Usually, frame bags are attached to the top tube. Hence they are the best type of bicycle bags for storing food, mobile phones, and tools you want within your easy reach.
Things to Look for When Buying Bicycle Bags
The four essential things you need to look for when buying bicycle bags in Australia are:
- Adjustability: Look for the one with either compression straps or expandable collars because they allow you to carry loads of varying sizes.
- Storage capacity: When selecting a bike bag, keep your everyday essentials in mind that you would need to carry. Apart from this, consider the number of pockets it provides you.
- Ease of access: Choose a bag that offers easy access to the items you frequently use (like your phone), such as frame bags.
- Waterproof: This is pretty obvious! Get a waterproof bag that keeps your belongings dry even in a downpour.