There are different ways in which you can transport cargo on the bicycle. A very comfortable and practical alternative is a saddlebag. A rack and a good saddlebag will provide your utility bike, whether for the city or for adventure.
The saddlebags are bags / suitcases that are held on the sides of the rack (front or rear) of the bicycle and can be found in a variety of designs according to their use. In general, it is possible to catalog the saddlebags into three groups:
- Urban saddlebags ( commuter )
- Saddlebags for purchases
- Saddlebags for travel ( touring )
Urban saddlebags are usually sold individually and can have different compartments and bags that make it easy to keep everything well organized and accessible. They also have handles and straps that will allow you a simple transition from the bike to your final destination (office, school, etc).
Saddlebags for purchases
These saddlebags can also be used as urban saddlebags, but unlike the previous ones they usually do not have compartments. They are simple and spacious to place shopping bags or products directly in them.
Saddlebags designed for travel are usually made of resistant materials and with fairly simple designs. They usually do not have compartments and their goal is to be able to transport everything necessary for a bicycle trip. Travel saddlebags are usually sold in pairs.
How to choose the saddlebags for your bike
There is no perfect saddlebag for every occasion. When looking for saddlebags for your bike you should evaluate between the durability of the material, load capacity (weight and volume), the weight of the same saddlebags, compartments, impermeability, among other characteristics.
1. What type of saddlebag do you need
The first step is to define the purpose you will give to the saddlebag. It is possible to use the same saddlebag for different things, but it is worth taking some time to think about the main use you will give it. Will you use it to transport the computer and other things of everyday use, do you want it to transport the errand or do you plan a bicycle trip?
2. What load capacity do you require
After having defined the type of saddlebag that best suits your needs, you must look for a saddlebag with adequate load capacity. We understand carrying capacity by the volume and weight they support. It is possible to find saddlebags of different materials, with different fastening systems and sizes that will determine their capacity.
3. Waterproof level you need
The saddlebags are made of different materials. In addition to durability, the material also determines the level of water resistance of the saddlebag. Some are completely waterproof, others have a certain level of splash resistance and others are not intended for use in water conditions. I know that ideally we would all like some waterproof saddlebags, however we must evaluate if it really is essential since the cost is generally higher. If the expense is not justified you always have the option to protect the saddlebags with a waterproof case on rainy days.
4. Proper clamping system
There are different fastening systems, ranging from simple hooks, to quick-release systems and others that are simply fastened with velcro straps. First of all you should consider the system that best suits the conditions of use. There are cases in which you need to remove and put on saddlebags constantly, in other cases this is not necessary. Whatever the case, it is necessary to ensure that the saddlebag system is compatible with your rack.