Advertise on Bikeforums.net



User Tag List

Results 1 to 8 of 8
  1. #1
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Posts
    22
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)

    Weight distribution: Saddlebag vs Handlebar bag

    I've been commuting to work for the last year with a backpack weighing about 7 lbs. I recently bought a Carradice saddlebag to take the load off my back. I don't know if it's psychological or what, but I feel "weighed down" by the change in weight distribution. The saddlebag actually doesn't weigh anymore than my backpack, but the bike all of a sudden feels a bit sluggish and I'm required to use a lower gear.

    My question is, if I were to get a handlebar bag instead, would the weight (being more evenly distributed across the bike) make it easier to pedal? Or, again, is it simply psychological? How does having a handlebar bag affect steering? I weigh 137 lbs and ride a steel bike, if any of that matters.

  2. #2
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Posts
    1,273
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Psychological. The handlebar bag would probably feel worse. 7lbs will likely screw with the handling of your bike... Under your saddle is a pretty ideal place to carry some weight.

  3. #3
    Dumpster cyclist
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Durango, CO
    Posts
    237
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Extra weight on your bicycle takes a little bit of time to get used to. Eventually your pedaling pattern will change slightly and everything will be fine.

    I actually like the feeling of a loaded bike. You coast longer and go down hills faster!

  4. #4
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Location
    Missoula, MT
    My Bikes
    Giant TCX 1 touring conversion
    Posts
    130
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    My preference for weight on the front is to have it as low as possible. I have two front panniers on low-riders and keep the weight down as much as possible. The handlebar bag would drive me nuts as far as handling goes. One thing the saddlebag does add is some wind resistance, btw, b/c it isn't shielded from the wind by your body like the backpack was. This difference is very noticeable no matter what kind of luggage you strap to the bike. You do get used to it.

  5. #5
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Posts
    1,273
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    well, yes and no. one of the plusses of a saddlebag is that it sits behind your thighs, which are already cutting into the wind. it doesnt really stick out any more like panniers do... this is true even of the really big saddlebags.

  6. #6
    Senior Member rockdog's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    Kalamazoo, MI USA
    My Bikes
    Co-Motion Americano - LBS Build, 90something Fuji Sunfire hybrid
    Posts
    102
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    I'm kind of curious to know which Carradice it is and whether or not you are using any kind of a rack with it. When I started using my Carradice Pendle for commuting without a rack on the bike it always felt a bit awkward. The bike never felt quite right, a little unbalanced I guess I'd say. Once I put a rack on the bike for the bag to rest on it was more stable and I ddn't even notice it was there. With only 7 pounds you are probably using a Barley and I doubt if a rack would be necessary but I thought I'd mention it.

  7. #7
    Senior Member Road Fan's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Location
    Ann Arbor, MI
    My Bikes
    Terraferma 650b, Mondonico SL and ELOS, Masi Gran Criterium, Trek 610, Breezer Liberty, Georgena Terry Classic
    Posts
    10,766
    Mentioned
    3 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    A front load usually gets a bike/rider closer to the vaunted 55% rear 45% ideal, especially if you have short chainstays or lots of saddle setback.

  8. #8
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Posts
    22
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by rockdog View Post
    I'm kind of curious to know which Carradice it is and whether or not you are using any kind of a rack with it. When I started using my Carradice Pendle for commuting without a rack on the bike it always felt a bit awkward. The bike never felt quite right, a little unbalanced I guess I'd say. Once I put a rack on the bike for the bag to rest on it was more stable and I ddn't even notice it was there. With only 7 pounds you are probably using a Barley and I doubt if a rack would be necessary but I thought I'd mention it.
    I'm using the Nelson Long Flap saddlebag. I believe it's rated at 15 liters. I use Carradice's saddlebag support, the one that clamps to the Brooks saddle rails. Everything fits fine, and I don't experience any rubbing on the back thigh.

    I believe what the others have said about the weight being psychological is indeed true. I'm getting more used to this new setup, and I don't feel as "weighed down" as I did at the beginning. I've also changed tires from 28mm to 32mm, and the bike seems more stable and comfortable.

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •