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Saddlebag Alternatives

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Saddlebag Alternatives

Old 09-30-18, 01:40 PM
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IchbinJay
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Saddlebag Alternatives

Does anyone carry their tubes, tools, etc. in something other than a saddlebag on their road bike? I'm looking into trying something different because the rear blinky that I use won't mount properly with a saddlebag in the way. Any pictures or suggestions would be much appreciated!

P.S. I'm a very casual roadie--probably riding about 30-50 miles a week.
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Old 09-30-18, 01:56 PM
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Handlebar bag, or saw off the top of a water bottle and throw your stuff in there to look super pro.
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Old 09-30-18, 01:57 PM
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Many saddlebags have a fabric loop onto which your tail light can clip. What light and saddlebag do you have?
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Old 09-30-18, 02:18 PM
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Originally Posted by JohnDThompson View Post
Many saddlebags have a fabric loop onto which your tail light can clip. What light and saddlebag do you have?
I've always found those loops useless. The light flops around and/or doesn't even aim anywhere but down at the road and not at cars behind.
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Old 09-30-18, 02:24 PM
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Got rid of all my saddle bags a couple years ago. Now I use small frame bags. Lil' Dude from Ellum Bag Works is a good one and I like the revelate jerry can for mtb.

https://ellumbagworks.com/product/lil-dude/

https://www.revelatedesigns.com/index.cfm/store.catalog/Cockpit/Jerrycan
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Old 09-30-18, 03:21 PM
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Originally Posted by Marcus_Ti View Post
I've always found those loops useless. The light flops around and/or doesn't even aim anywhere but down at the road and not at cars behind.
Yes! That's the same problem I'm having. An LED light really only works if it's at the right angle.
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Old 09-30-18, 03:22 PM
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Originally Posted by Spoonrobot View Post
Got rid of all my saddle bags a couple years ago. Now I use small frame bags. Lil' Dude from Ellum Bag Works is a good one and I like the revelate jerry can for mtb.

https://ellumbagworks.com/product/lil-dude/

https://www.revelatedesigns.com/inde...ckpit/Jerrycan
I like the looks of the Ellum bag. Does it flop around much? I ride on a lot of bumpy roads.
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Old 09-30-18, 03:50 PM
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jersey pockets
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Old 09-30-18, 04:04 PM
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Originally Posted by rubiksoval View Post
jersey pockets
This. The stuff I used to keep in a saddlebag goes into a ziploc bag and in the middle jersey pocket. Easy peasy.
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Old 09-30-18, 04:11 PM
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Many lights will also mount on the seat stays. Some even come with the necessary hardware.

Also, while i do use a saddle bag, my pump is secured beloe the down tube. Depending on frame geometry that may be an option for you. There are bottle storage containers. Could you zip-tie a bottle cage below your downtube? I even used to have a bike with water bottle bosses below the downtube. I miss that bike.
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Old 09-30-18, 04:41 PM
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Originally Posted by rubiksoval View Post
jersey pockets
This. I have tube, mini pump, tire levers, multi tool, phone and keys in my jersey pocket .
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Old 09-30-18, 06:04 PM
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WolfTooth B-RAD. Allows you to mount accessories behind your downtube water bottle. I'm still using a saddlebag (a little one from Castelli in this case) but it's nowhere near the saddle. I run an Arundel Tubi in the same position on my CX bike.

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Old 09-30-18, 06:05 PM
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Originally Posted by daoswald View Post
Many lights will also mount on the seat stays. Some even come with the necessary hardware.

Also, while i do use a saddle bag, my pump is secured beloe the down tube. Depending on frame geometry that may be an option for you. There are bottle storage containers. Could you zip-tie a bottle cage below your downtube? I even used to have a bike with water bottle bosses below the downtube. I miss that bike.
Unfortunately, I only have the two bottle mounts (seat tube and down tube), and to make matters worse, I don't have enough clearance between my second bottle and top tube to mount a bag. I've also tried different types of lights, but they really don't have quite the same effect as seatpost mounted lights, at least in my opinion.
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Old 09-30-18, 06:08 PM
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Originally Posted by DrIsotope View Post
WolfTooth B-RAD. Allows you to mount accessories behind your downtube water bottle. I'm still using a saddlebag (a little one from Castelli in this case) but it's nowhere near the saddle. I run an Arundel Tubi in the same position on my CX bike.

Thanks! I'm going to look into this.
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Old 09-30-18, 06:21 PM
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I have one of those little dudes mounted on the rear of the seat post for my little tools and patch kit. The hand pump is on the top bar. I have 2 blinking lights mounted facing rearward, 1 on the rear of my rack and one mounted directly beneath the seat with a custom bracket that fastens to the seat mount. I should mention that the light under the seat is obscured frequently when hauling extra gear, hence the second one on the end of the rack.
When I outfitted a couple of bikes for patrolling mountain trails I included the little dude style packs and all anyone ever used them for was snacks.
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Old 09-30-18, 06:31 PM
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Originally Posted by IchbinJay View Post
Yes! That's the same problem I'm having. An LED light really only works if it's at the right angle.
Take a standard Bontrager FlareR rear light (fairly popular from what I've read), they supposedly have 270 degrees of visibility. Is it really a thing that if it's not firmly pointing in a single direction (which is where?) it's not effective?
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Old 09-30-18, 07:47 PM
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Originally Posted by IchbinJay View Post
I like the looks of the Ellum bag. Does it flop around much? I ride on a lot of bumpy roads.
It's very stable. I use it on my gravel racer.
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Old 09-30-18, 08:26 PM
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Originally Posted by IchbinJay View Post
Unfortunately, I only have the two bottle mounts (seat tube and down tube), and to make matters worse, I don't have enough clearance between my second bottle and top tube to mount a bag. I've also tried different types of lights, but they really don't have quite the same effect as seatpost mounted lights, at least in my opinion.
Unless you have a specific medical condition why in the world are you taking two water bottles with you when you are only doing 30-50 miles per week?
Plenty of clearance if you drop the second bottle.

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Old 10-01-18, 12:29 AM
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Originally Posted by Marcus_Ti View Post
I've always found those loops useless. The light flops around and/or doesn't even aim anywhere but down at the road and not at cars behind.
I've lost 2 expensive usb taillights off them when they rattled off on bumpy descents. Nowadays I mount my taillight under my saddlebag. All my bikes have enough seatpost showing that there's room for both.
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Old 10-01-18, 04:23 AM
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Old 10-01-18, 04:23 AM
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No problems with my Cygolite Hotshot or Blackburn 2'Fer taillights sagging or popping off my small and medium Serfas Speed bag under-saddle bags. The lights don't weigh much and have snug clips. The 2'Fer has a retaining nibs so it's more secure than most, and more versatile -- it has red and white, steady and blinking modes in a single unit.

I've loaned my lights to other folks during group rides and so far my lights haven't popped off anyone else's bags either. So far all of the stray taillights I've retrieved on group rides had the smooth metal clips without any retaining nibs, or the rider tried to clip lights to their shorts, jerseys or some makeshift thing that didn't work and endangered riders behind them. Same with those makeshift flashlights with rubber bands that always pop loose on rough roads and railroad crossings.

I also have seat post mounts so there's another option for securely mounting lights. I've never had a light pop loose from those.

Usually I mount the Blackburn 2'Fer on the back of my helmet. I prefer having two lights, front and rear -- gives drivers a little more help in determining distance, direction and relative speed. I use the original Blackburn strap mount on one helmet and a generic rubber strap on the other helmet. Both are secure.

The only taillight that's popped off my Serfas bag was a Planet Bike Rack Blinky 5. It's larger, heavier with two AAA batteries, and the plastic clip doesn't close tightly. But it's fine on the two mounts provided for a rear rack or seat post.
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Old 10-01-18, 05:10 AM
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Depending on the type of ride: try the hiker's bag, the waist pack or also known as the lumbar bag.

The back pocket of the typical bike jersey, when filled with contents, resembles the lumbar bag.

There are different sizes of lumbar bags/waist packs. Whatever you need to pack your items.

Its a reasonable alternative, but for the fashion conscience, maybe not that much.

The pros: holds more stuff than a saddle bag; anti-theft because its on you, unless you get mugged; frees up your bike frame because you're wearing it; jersey pockets not primary space; on hot humid days, lumbar region doesn't feel the heat.

The cons: not fit for racing; access to energy bars, cell phone, keys become cumbersome; not fashionable.

This is something you at least may try out. You can always use the hiking bag for hiking anyways. REI has an assortment. Again, it depends on the type of ride for that day. For most recreational riders, its not about racing.

Last edited by Garfield Cat; 10-01-18 at 05:13 AM.
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Old 10-01-18, 05:44 AM
  #23  
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If you can't fit your flat/mechanical kit in your jersey pocket, you might want to reconsider your kit (if you don't have a jersey pocket, you might want to reconsider your attire). And, as has been mentioned above, you should also be able to get by with one bottle, opening up the other bottle cage as another storage option (during one-bottle weather, I use an REI/Co-op-branded container).
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Old 10-01-18, 06:05 AM
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I use a fanny pack. Works for me.
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Old 10-01-18, 02:42 PM
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Thanks for all the suggestions so far (except the one about not drinking water)! Looks like I have a little product research to do. I really like that LG bag with the light built in. I think that's a front runner for me.
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