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What do you think of Framebags?

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What do you think of Framebags?

Old 09-10-16, 07:46 AM
  #1  
Coldhands
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What do you think of Framebags?

Hi all,

I'm going to do some touring with my LHT and after doing a quick 500 mile tour to get an idea of what I need, I am now planning for month+ tours. So far I've got two Ortlieb rear panniers and a M6 handlebar bag to keep things handy. However, I've often wondered about frame bags? They seem a good place to store tools, tubes, but are there any disadvantages? I see them often on 'bikepacking' setups but less so on 'traditional' tourers. Any reason why?

Would love to hear your experiences!
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Old 09-10-16, 08:10 AM
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The benefit of framebags is that panniers need more clearance if you are riding singletrack trails. I see no reason for frame bags on a proper touring rig where that doesn't matter. I would rather have easy access to my water bottles than a frame bag. Get lowriders and front panniers if you need more space.
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Old 09-10-16, 09:06 AM
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Not my way, but people use a frame bag for their tent poles and a bladder and hose rig for water..


Why ask why?





./.
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Old 09-10-16, 12:04 PM
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I don't use a frame bag, but I guess the bike handling is far better with a frame bag, compared to bike with panniers. with a full frame bag + handle bar bag or roll, you have the same volume as two front rollers.

Last edited by str; 09-11-16 at 09:24 AM.
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Old 09-10-16, 12:33 PM
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The big disadvantage for me is they aren't easily popped off and on. I like that panniers are mounted/removed in literally a second.
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Old 09-10-16, 12:40 PM
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I use a thin cuben fiber dry bag and bungees as a frame bag, much cheaper and easy to use. It does not get in the way of my knees. I use it to hold my extra clothes. I ride fairly ultralight so it works for me. I plan to get a longer one to go the entire length of my top bar.
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Old 09-10-16, 01:17 PM
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I guess theoretically frames bags might offer a little less air resistance vs. panniers when moving forward

but a question for those that have made use of larger frame bags, what about in decent cross winds, are they more, less, or about the same as a detriment to stability vs. panniers ?

Last edited by robow; 09-10-16 at 01:45 PM.
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Old 09-10-16, 01:28 PM
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i often thought that a good cross wind and your in serious trouble .maybe a carradice barley saddlebag along with the rear panniers and bobs your uncle.
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Old 09-10-16, 02:09 PM
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Originally Posted by balto charlie View Post
I use a thin cuben fiber dry bag and bungees as a frame bag, much cheaper and easy to use. It does not get in the way of my knees. I use it to hold my extra clothes. I ride fairly ultralight so it works for me. I plan to get a longer one to go the entire length of my top bar.
I'm going to have to give that a try... I have a Relevate frame bag but am not big on it as it only allows me to carry one large water bottle. The velcro straps also did a number on my paint if that kind of thing bothers you.
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Old 09-10-16, 02:58 PM
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Originally Posted by Coldhands View Post
Hi all,
..... So far I've got two Ortlieb rear panniers and a M6 handlebar bag to keep things handy. However, I've often wondered about frame bags? They seem a good place to store tools, tubes, but are there any disadvantages?....
The only disadvantage I can think of if you have enough room for your stuff already.
An additional bag is just an excuse for more stuff.

Last edited by boomhauer; 09-11-16 at 12:08 AM.
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Old 09-10-16, 03:30 PM
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No way for me. I ride knock-kneed--my knees barely clear the top tube as is. And I second the opinion they're for trail use.
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Old 09-10-16, 04:33 PM
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I recently started touring with a custom frame bag. I keep my rain gear and tools in it. It has allowed me to tour with only two front panniers, though I don't carry camping gear.

I wrote an article about buying a custom frame bag for those interested in details.

I don't find my knees hitting the bag, though, it does seem like side winds blow me a round a bit more.
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Old 09-10-16, 04:44 PM
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Originally Posted by Coldhands View Post
Hi all,

I'm going to do some touring with my LHT and after doing a quick 500 mile tour to get an idea of what I need, I am now planning for month+ tours. So far I've got two Ortlieb rear panniers and a M6 handlebar bag to keep things handy. However, I've often wondered about frame bags? They seem a good place to store tools, tubes, but are there any disadvantages? I see them often on 'bikepacking' setups but less so on 'traditional' tourers. Any reason why?

Would love to hear your experiences!
Depends on what size of frame bag you're thinking of. I have a 56cm LHT and CrossCheck with a medium sized Revelate frame bag that allows for regular sized water bottles below them. My use is entirely commutting but I like their utility. I occasionally carry a 4' chain and it fits fine with room for more.
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Old 09-10-16, 06:39 PM
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I am currently touring with a Revelate frame bag and water bottles below. I seem to want to take along more than fits in my two panniers and so a frame bag is a nice space to store tools, pump, etc. Also using a handle bar bag for my tent.

I've done one or two gravel sections of the Great Divide but mostly been on paved roads nearby so far.
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Old 09-11-16, 01:12 PM
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Seems like it would be difficult to get low riders to work with suspension forks, so a frame bag is a definite advantage over front panniers if you are touring on a mountain bike.
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Old 09-13-16, 09:09 AM
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If you are going to speed, aerodynamics, or distances covered per day, a framebag is a good choice. Assuming you drop one or both panniers in favor of more "bikepacking" bags

Check out cyclingabout's tests with wind resistance and panniers:

What's the Speed Difference Between Front/Rear Panniers and BikePacking Bags? Results - CyclingAbout CyclingAbout

The effects of aerodynamic drag turned out to be quite significant. Using two panniers on either the front or rear slowed my speed by about 6.5%, while running both sets at the same time stretched that out to 7.9%.
Aerodynamics have a very significant impact on your speed, especially when compared to my weight testing. On my hilly test course when carrying 20 extra kilograms it worked out to be 18 minutes slower over 100km. To put that into perspective, that time difference is essentially the same as the difference between bikepacking bags or four panniers with equal weight (17 minutes). That’s a lot!
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Old 09-13-16, 09:17 AM
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I filled the main Triangle space with 3 water bottles (2 above the down tube,1 on the seat tube)

and a coiled Armored cable lock down from the top tube ...
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Old 09-13-16, 09:23 AM
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Originally Posted by balto charlie View Post
I use a thin cuben fiber dry bag and bungees as a frame bag, much cheaper and easy to use. It does not get in the way of my knees. I use it to hold my extra clothes. I ride fairly ultralight so it works for me. I plan to get a longer one to go the entire length of my top bar.
I like this set up. I've been thinking of trying something similar.
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Old 09-13-16, 09:29 AM
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Does it have a great effect with crosswinds? I actually installed a Ortlieb M6 and kinda hate it - it looks clunky and affects steer (in fact given most people seem to tour with them I wasn't sure what the fuss was about but I suppose they are convenient).
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Old 09-13-16, 11:14 AM
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Originally Posted by Coldhands View Post
Hi all,

I'm going to do some touring with my LHT and after doing a quick 500 mile tour to get an idea of what I need, I am now planning for month+ tours. So far I've got two Ortlieb rear panniers and a M6 handlebar bag to keep things handy. However, I've often wondered about frame bags? They seem a good place to store tools, tubes, but are there any disadvantages? I see them often on 'bikepacking' setups but less so on 'traditional' tourers. Any reason why?

Would love to hear your experiences!
I've toured extensively with half-framebags, full size frame bags, and I've used them on-road and off-road.

I can say the following:

1. I personally do not have issues with my knees rubbing. It has never been a problem, and I've even gone so far as to ask for a custom framebag 1" wider than standard because I know it doesn't bother me. My knees are still parallel to the top tube, I just have enough clearance.

2. I have no empirical evidence whatsoever that the framebag affects the bike significantly during a cross-wind. I just biked across Iceland with 60mph gusts and headwinds and crosswinds and tailwinds... the bike never flew out from underneath me. Your body provides a lot more surface area than a framebag for wind, same with panniers. Maybe it's a theoretical issue but not a "real" issue.

3. I like framebags because they keep the weight centered close to the bike's center of gravity, which I did not see mentioned elsewhere in the thread. Having your tools, pump, tent poles, and spare water low and tight to the center of the bike improves handling, improves confidence on rough terrain or unexpected potholes, and helps counteract lazy packing elsewhere. I love my framebag for this quality, and I always put my heaviest stuff in it.

4. A custom-made framebag is very space-efficient. Rogue Panda Designs makes custom geometry framebags for a reasonable price.

5. I store water bottles on fork-mounted bottle cages, a top cap mounted bottle cage, and a downtube mounted bottle cage. 3/4 of them are accessible while riding. That's good enough for me. But, most of the time, I only use one water bottle and a big 6L bladder that goes - you guessed it - in the framebag.
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Old 09-13-16, 12:09 PM
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Options are a good thing. My most recent bike trip saw lot of dirt, dirt roads, paths and single track. Used a handlebar bag, a medium sized frame bag and 2 medium sized rear panniers. Room for 2 water bottles below the bag as well. use what works for you.
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Old 09-13-16, 06:17 PM
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Framebags are nice if you have a large triangle. With a small frame 2 water bottles will use up most of that space.
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