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How does everyone use saddle bags?

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How does everyone use saddle bags?

Old 02-04-17, 09:21 AM
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Dave Cutter
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How does everyone use saddle bags?

I've seen plenty of posts about what do you keep in your saddle bag. But I am wondering do you have one bag that you move from bike to bike depending on which bike you decide to ride? Or do you have a particular style or brand of bag that you permanently mount on more than one bike? Or do you carry different supplies for different bikes? Do you re-pack the saddle bag when switching bikes?

Maybe I am wrong to even assume everyone uses a saddle bag at all. Seems to me I've seen bicycles on streets and paths without a saddle (or seat) bag. But I feel compelled to have a flat repair kit and a tool or two along when I ride. And... I've tried sticking everything in my jersey pocket... but I prefer the old school saddle bag.

I just bought a new bike and selected and ordered a new bag for it.... along with a CO2 inflation device... and wondering, thinking, maybe I can get by with just three saddle bags. And have one bare-minimum small size bag... that I can move around on my lesser used bikes.

What is everyone else doing?
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Old 02-04-17, 09:33 AM
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I have,a frame pump so no need for canisters. I have a large Cardiff saddle bag that usually has waaaaaay too much stuff in it. I figure its my way of improving my strength.
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Old 02-04-17, 09:33 AM
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People riding without saddle bags fall into two classes ... those with full jersey pockets and those that push their bikes when they get flats.

I have a saddle bag on each of my bikes (actually, two have the same clack-on mount system so i Could use the same bag) but I have collected a lot of bags over the years ... and I don't like to have to stop and check more than tire pressure before a ride. I want to know I always have what I need to do minor repairs, fix a couple flats, and scarf a few calories if I bonk ... so each bike is set up with at least the minimum.

I figure saddle bags are cheap, and they are always on some ridiculous sale somewhere ... lots of close-outs as there always seem to be new models. So every now and then one will catch my eye, and for $7 or $14 it seems like a good investment.
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Old 02-04-17, 09:34 AM
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When I had but one bike I had a large-ish saddlebag that carried a spare tube, flat kit, mini tool kit, rain poncho and bungies for the back rack. I carried a mini pump on the frame. When I got a second bike, I did the same (excepting the bungie cords...no rack), and with the third bike, ditto.

I mostly commute I find I never ride without a backpack. To and from work I carry street clothes plus headlight, extra batteries for lights, reflective vest for night riding, spoke wrench, pliers, another patch kit (don't need it) sunglasses, extra gloves, extra layers of clothing,balaclava (even in the summer...why?) emergency bus/taxi fare, USB charging equipment, a clean shirt and emergency underwear and socks, plus mini deoderant in case I have to be presentable and smell good.

I have often wondered about putting one saddlebag's contents in the back pack and be done with it, but I don't, and I don't know why. I have carried a spare tube and patch kit in a saddle bag since 1978 and I guess I'm a creatue of habit.
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Old 02-04-17, 09:39 AM
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One for my touring bike and one for my road bike. The former uses fatter tubes so the bag for it needs to be a bit larger. I have more than one C02 system, so one for each bag except when I am actually touring. When I am, I carry a Topeak Rod Morph G in one of my panniers and leave the C02 at home. Found myself forgetting to move the tire levers between bags so I simply bought a second set.
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Old 02-04-17, 09:41 AM
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Every one of my bikes has a bag of some sort. Road bikes get the typical under the saddle type of bad with a spare tube, patch kit and CO2 inflator.
My mtb's only have the top tube bag with a spare tube for that bike. Everything else that I might need when mtb riding is in my Camelback and that includes tools, pump, parts and hydration. I think that I could completely rebuild a bike trail side, haha
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Old 02-04-17, 09:44 AM
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Nowadays I use both a saddle bag and a handlebar bag. I carry all kinds of stuff: two tubes, three CO2 cans, a mini pump, chain tool, multi tool, extra chain link, tire levers, extra gloves, latex gloves, chemical hand warmers, bananas, patch kit. Probably forgetting some stuff. If anything, I prefer the handlebar bag over the saddle one. Can still hang with the cool kids.
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Old 02-04-17, 09:46 AM
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I have 4 bags for 5 bikes.
1 of the bikes isnt ridden much so i just swap the bike/ride specific stuff in and out.

I have one classic looking saddle bag on an ips spirt touring bike. Its a few liters big and hold plenty for a day ride.
The other 3 bags are expandable wedge bags. Same brand, bv, which in pretty sure is some generic cycling brand from Asia which sells online. They hold all i need for a ride, expand to hold a little more, were cheap, and are durable. Good zippers and securing clip.

I dobt use co2 pumps. I have pumps which are 12" or so and mount on the frames. Have 2 of them and mounts on each bike so its a fast swap.
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Old 02-04-17, 09:50 AM
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Each one of my bikes has it's own saddle bag. And each one of my bikes has it's own pump.
That way, all I have to do is pump up the tires and ride.
Things can get a bit more complicated when you switch out wheelsets.
For example one time when I switched out wheelsets, to some Zipps 303s, and I forgot to switch out the tubes, to the ones with the longer valve stems,
I got a flat and was forced to patch.
I think that was the last time I actually patched a tube.
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Old 02-04-17, 09:57 AM
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Originally Posted by Dave Cutter View Post
What is everyone else doing?
With tire sizes ranging from 23-32mm, different rim depths and QR or track axle nuts each machine has it's dedicated flats kit/seatbag and pump.
Air tires, fill bottles and go without wondering what you forgot.

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Old 02-04-17, 10:09 AM
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I have a Camelbak Blowfish that I use for most bike rides. Wearing a backpack is not my favorite but it's easy to keep stocked for all occasions.
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Old 02-04-17, 10:15 AM
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I go back to the days of the rolled tubular strapped to the saddle and a Campy T wrench in my pocket.

I still often ride tubulars. And on bikes with clinchers I put a spare tube, tire lever, a wrench or two in an old sock and strap it to my saddle with an old toestrap (Binda of course). The idea of a bag just doesnt jive with my cycling tenue.
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Old 02-04-17, 10:38 AM
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I use the Topeak 1/2 liter micro bag that clips in. I use 1 bag for all bikes, I just clip it out of one and onto the other. The only thing I need different is the quick connect links 910 vs 11 speed), so I carry both. I use the same tire size on both of my bikes, so would have to swap the tube if that changes. I also have a larger Topeak bag if I need it, but I haven't used it in a long time.
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Old 02-04-17, 10:55 AM
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Originally Posted by GeneO View Post
I use the Topeak 1/2 liter micro bag that clips in. I use 1 bag for all bikes, I just clip it out of one and onto the other. The only thing I need different is the quick connect links 910 vs 11 speed), so I carry both. I use the same tire size on both of my bikes, so would have to swap the tube if that changes. I also have a larger Topeak bag if I need it, but I haven't used it in a long time.
I wanted to do a system like this but couldn't find (at the time) anyone who was selling just the mounts, aside from buying the whole bag.
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Old 02-04-17, 11:06 AM
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Originally Posted by Maelochs View Post
... I have a saddle bag on each of my bikes (actually, two have the same clack-on mount system so i Could use the same bag) but I have collected a lot of bags over the years ... and I don't like to have to stop and check more than tire pressure before a ride.
Originally Posted by NYMXer View Post
Every one of my bikes has a bag of some sort. Road bikes get the typical under the saddle type of bad with a spare tube, patch kit and CO2 inflator.
Originally Posted by mstateglfr View Post
I have 4 bags for 5 bikes.
1 of the bikes isnt ridden much so i just swap the bike/ride specific stuff in and out.
Originally Posted by Nachoman View Post
Each one of my bikes has it's own saddle bag. And each one of my bikes has it's own pump....
Thank you so much guys! I was starting to wonder if I was a little excessive compulsive with the cycling equipment. Or if each bike having it's own bag made as much sense to other people... as it does to me.

I am at N+2 with bikes right now (and don't even have a winter project bike). So I will be selling at least 1 bike come spring. That along with the new bag I just ordered should have me in pretty decent shape with equipment.

Thinking about what gear is in the saddle bag.... won't be something I'll have to think about. I will be able to just pump-check the tire pressure, and fill-up a water bottle or two.

Of course.... each bike also has it's own color matched (two each) water bottles as well. But... that would be a completely different thread,
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Old 02-04-17, 11:13 AM
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I have two bags for one bike, an Axiom Fondo H2O, and a Lezyne Medium Pod Caddy. I modded the Axiom to use the same QR mechanism as the Lezyne, so I can switch between bags in seconds. The Axiom will hold a 25oz bottle, as well as having about 3X the internal capacity of the Pod Caddy. Both bags are always fully stocked, so no swapping of items. For most rides the Pod Caddy is fitted, for longer/hotter rides, the Axiom gets clipped on.
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Old 02-04-17, 11:47 AM
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Originally Posted by Maelochs View Post
I wanted to do a system like this but couldn't find (at the time) anyone who was selling just the mounts, aside from buying the whole bag.
I bought one for the second bike last year and last month while digging through one of my cycling bins, found two still attached the cardboard they were sold on.

So now to convince my better half that those two need bikes.
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Old 02-04-17, 12:11 PM
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5 bikes, so 5 bags

I got tired of forgetting to transfer a bag from my hardtail mt. bike to my full suspension so duplicated the tools, tires, CO2, etc...into a separate bag.

My 3 road bikes have 25mm, 28mm and 32mm tires so I keep separate bags on them, again not wanting to have to remember to transfer bags.

I also have a Rivendell canvas saddlebag thing that's on my "fast" commuter road bike (Soma Smoothie) and where I can stash my wallet, phone, keys, plus the tool pouch. It's a nice size and shows me as a complete Fred.
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Old 02-04-17, 01:06 PM
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Through some effort, I've managed to get a Vaude saddle bag and three mounting brackets. So I can easily transfer one bag between my three main rides.
I find it strange that not more of the manufacturers of bracket-mounted bags don't sell loose brackets.
Summers, I don't need to restock anything when I transfer between road bikes. For the MTB, I swap tubes (and for important rides, CO2 cartridges) and I'm done.
The small bike-specific stuff, quicklinks, disc brake pads etc gets to stay.
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Old 02-04-17, 05:06 PM
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Originally Posted by Bandera View Post
With tire sizes ranging from 23-32mm, different rim depths and QR or track axle nuts each machine has it's dedicated flats kit/seatbag and pump.

-Bandera
What got me thinking/started on this was the Gravel Bike I just got. 700 X 35 tires.... so the same old tubes I keep in stock for my road bike won't work. Then I got to thinking.... well this bag for that bike and another bag for that other bike.....
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Old 02-04-17, 05:20 PM
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Originally Posted by Dave Cutter View Post
What got me thinking/started on this was the Gravel Bike I just got. 700 X 35 tires.... so the same old tubes I keep in stock for my road bike won't work. Then I got to thinking.... well this bag for that bike and another bag for that other bike.....
Yep, fat lot of good the old fashioned stubbly valve stems for box section rims used on the winter/wet bike will do w/ a flat on modern deep rims on the CF Merckx or not having the Campag "peanut butter" wrench w/ a puncture on the FG.

The Call of Shame for mommy-van rescue can be simply, reliably and cost-effectively avoided w/ a bit of thought and a few $ well spent.

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Old 02-04-17, 06:03 PM
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Some of my bikes would have identical bag contents, so they share a saddle bag. Others are unique, so they get their own bag. I don't mind swapping a bag from bike to bike, but I don't want to have to pack and repack bags for every ride.

My two 'go-fast' road bikes have compatible tire/tube sizes, I use CO2 for both, and they're mostly serviceable with Allen wrenches, so they share a bag.

My gravel bike and touring bike have compatible tire/tube sizes, they both have frame pumps, and they're serviceable with Allen wrenches, so they share a bag.

The ol' Peugeot UO-8 has 27" tires and zero Allen fasteners, so it gets its own bag -- a WWII surplus British gas mask bag that looks pretty darn similar in size and color to the bag on Steve B's Soma.
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Old 02-04-17, 06:09 PM
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I have a fat tire wedge bag for bikes like that, and a skinny tire wedge bag for those bikes, and these are to be moved from bike to bike as required. Each has the appropriate tube, inflators, patch kit (you never know), tire boot material, multitool, rag. I always carry a full-size pump on each bike.
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Old 02-04-17, 06:31 PM
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I have topeak racks on three bikes I have a zippered bag with patch kit, inflator w/3 co2 cartridges a bike multi tool light 1/4 ratchet with 15 mm socket open end wrench 8/10 mm and a small pump . One bike has seat bag with tools for it patch kit inflator and small pump . One has mini pannier for top tube tools patch kit pump bungied to the beam type rack
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Old 02-04-17, 06:36 PM
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Originally Posted by 52telecaster View Post
I have,a frame pump so no need for canisters. I have a large Cardiff saddle bag that usually has waaaaaay too much stuff in it. I figure its my way of improving my strength.
Good thing for you it's pretty flat in Illinois,

Now when riding in the mountains of Iowa, well that's a whole other story.
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