There is a wide variety of luggage carriers on the market – find out which one will suit your bike. Before purchasing anything, it is important to consider how you are going to use it.
PANNIERS, BAGS AND RACKS
FACTORS TO CONSIDER INCLUDE:
- How far is the average journey?
- What will you usually be carrying?
- Will it need to be able to protect belongings from harsh weather conditions?
BEFORE PURCHASING, ENSURE THE LUGGAGE CARRIER;
- is sturdy,
- is made of lightweight materials,
- has refelctive and illuminated material,
- has strong fasteners
- is waterproof and
- will suit your needs.
- If using cloth panniers in heavy rain, line them with plastic shopping bags to keep things dry.
- On longer trips, use front and rear panniers to distribute the weight evenly over both wheels.
- Avoid overloading handlebar bags, which can impair steering.
TYPES OF CARRIERS
There are special backpacks on the market designed specifically for cycling. They range from small single-strap bags to large ones for carrying heavier loads. Some are even specifically designed to carry laptop computers.
These are aluminium frames that are attached to the back of the bike frame and hang over the rear wheel. They support panniers: cloth bags popular for carrying luggage and accessories.
Cloth bags that hang over the sides of the rear wheel. They come in various designs, and are often waterproof. Keep heavy loads low and centred on your wheels. Panniers are usually sold in pairs and are designed for either front or rear racks (although some models will work on both).
Small capacity bags that attach under your saddle. Great for out-of-the-way key storage, a small repair kit, spare tube, snacks or wallet.
Attach directly to your handlebars and are available for both drop- and straight-style bars. Popular with bike tourers, they keep gloves, maps and snacks within easy reach.
Attach to the shelf of your rack. Moderate storage capacity without much wind resistance.
Worn like backpacks and hold water on your back so you can drink without taking your hands off the handlebars. Some models offer limited storage capacity.
Big with couriers. Practical for protecting and carrying paper documents on your way to work.
Wire frames that attach to front handlebars. Light-weight, often described as daggy and kitch – but loved by those who use them.