Bike bags come in a variety of options to suit the cycling you do. See our guide at the bottom of this page to help narrow down your options and find what type of bag is best for you.
When it comes to bike bags, there are two types: the ones you put ON your bike and the ones you put your bike IN. When you’re doing long-distance riding, it can be useful to have some storage space. That’s when a bike bag mounted on your handlebars or frame can be useful. You might also want to consider a cycling backpack.
Then there’s the bag in which you put your bike. If you travel a lot and like to take your bike with you, a protective and secure bike travel bag is essential.
This simple guide includes what you need to consider when you’re buying any bike bag.
When considering bike bags, there are two main considerations: storage space and weight distribution.
Space - Think about what you plan to carry. If you’re doing competitive biking, you don’t want to load yourself down too much. You might just need a small pack for a couple of items. Several handlebar packs on the market are easy to install, and you can remove them when you don’t need them.
If you’re doing long-distance riding, you may need to pack a lot of gear. Larger rear rack or frame-mount pannier bags and cases allow you to store a lot more while offering greater wind resistance. If you’re more of a casual around-town biker, a good old-fashioned basket might fit the bill for when you run errands or go to work.
Weight distribution - Depending on the type of riding you’re doing, the weight distribution of your bike bag might be an issue. For hard, technical off-road mountain biking, having a heavy pack shifting weight can throw off your ride. Bike bags and cases that mount low to the frame or you carry on your back often give you the best compromise between carrying volume and weight distribution.
If you travel often with your bike, you know it’s not always easy. It can be a hassle to fit it in your car, on the train or on a plane. When you take it apart, you want to make sure it’s protected, and you don’t lose any pieces. There is a great selection of soft and hard bike carrying cases on the market. Some are designed for specific bike models, while others are more generic (and typically more affordable). In all cases, think about:
Material - A hard case gives you the best protection. With a hard case, however, you’ll lose the benefit of flexibility. You might realize this when loading your bike in a car, where a soft case might be easier to fit other objects around.
Weight - Some travel cases provide storage room for additional items. While additional storage may be a bonus, it makes it difficult if you have to haul your bike case often.
Ease of use - Features such as handles, wheels, straps, padding and individual compartments can make your travel case easier to pack and handle.
Thanks to the growing popularity of biking in the U.S., suppliers offer tons of different bike bags and bike travel bags. Just like with bikes, there are affordable bags and cases for the everyday bike rider, medium-priced choices for more frequent bikers and top-end equipment for serious bikers. Check out all of the different options available to you on BikeExchange. Then, head on over to our editorial section where you’ll find the latest reviews, news, interviews and more.