Which type of bike bag is right for you?

Which type of bike bag is right for you?

You’ve got the bike, helmet and perhaps an item of clothing or two, and now you’re ready to saddle up. But where to put your multitool, spare tyre, pump, drink, keys, phone, gels, or snack? There may even be occasions where you want to take spare clothing.


Yes you can use your pockets, but it’s not always comfortable and adds direct weight to your body, which can be tiring. 

Ideally, you need a bike bag. If you’ve not had one before, the choice can be overwhelming. Here’s a few pointers to help you decide which type of bag is for you. It may be that you need more than one, depending on the cycling you do (for example, if you both commute and go out for fun).



Having a bike bag also means all your necessary bits are ready to go whenever you are.

What are the different options available and what are the pros and cons of each style?

Pannier / rack bags

Deluxe pannier bag


Pannier or rack bags are ideal for when you have more to carry, as they tend to be larger in size than, say, handlebar bags or seat packs. This makes pannier bags a good choice for anyone commuting, as you can take spare clothing, for example.

Many people also like that pannier bags prevent you getting a sweaty back, unlike back packs or any other bag you carry on your body. 

Don’t forget that with a pannier bag you will need a rear rack for it to fit to.

There are lots of pannier bags to choose from, so do make sure you get the right one for your needs. 

Handlebar bags



Handlebar bags are ideal for keeping things to hand that you need quick and easy access to. Many also come with specific phone holders which makes navigation simpler when out and about. You might also want to take photos without stopping, so a handlebar bag means efficient access to either your phone or camera.

If you simply want something to mount your phone in, there are also options for that. 

For some people, handlebar bags are preferable to crossbar bags as they find that the latter get in the way of their knees when stand-up cycling. Handlebar bags might not be suitable for you if you have lights or brake cables that are likely to get in the way of the bag.

As with any type of bike bag, there's a lot to choose from. BTR has a wide range of handlebar bags.


Phone bags



If your priority in a bag is to specifically hold your phone, then you can choose from one mounted either on the handlebars (as detailed above) or one mounted to the crossbar (details below).

Frame bags



Frame - or crossbar - bags are attached to your bike either on top of the frame or hanging underneath. This type of bag tends to be smaller than handlebar or pannier bags, and is often used as a supplement to other bags. Being smaller in size means less capacity but also less intrusive, so decide which is more important to you. 

If having a phone to hand or in sight is key, this gives another option on where it can be located.
Frame bags are a good choice if you have brake cables or lights that prevent you from having a handlebar bag.

Think about your priorities for your bike bag and base your choice on those.

There’s a good choice of BTR frame bags to choose from.

Seat packs / bags



Want to really travel light but still keep things in a bag, rather than in a pocket? Choose a seat pack. They’re compact, lightweight and streamlined yet provide useful storage for a spare inner tube and tools, or keys and cash.

There are two BTR seat packs to choose from.

Still got questions about which type or particular bike bag is for you? Feel free to drop us a line with any queries you might have. We’ll help you choose the best bike bag for your needs.

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