Sometimes you want to carry stuff, sometimes you must. More of us are using bikes for errands, camping, shopping, and going to work or school. If you do any of the previous, you need to be able to carry more than yourself.
Most of us started with a backpack, probably because we already had it. Backpacks carry the weight up high which raises your center of gravity. Putting the weight lower helps the bike handle better. Backpacks also can get hot and sweaty in the summer.
There are many more options than ever for packing things on your bike. Racks have been around since rims were wooden. Modern bike design has created challenges for mounting racks, but the bike industry has met the challenge. We have many designs of front and rear racks. We stock eight types of front racks and a myriad of rear ones.
Bags have also evolved and multiplied. Bags can mount to racks, seats, handlebars, top tubes (both top and bottom mounted), and on your back. Recently, there has been an explosion of styles and sizes of bags which mount in the main triangle of the bike frame. Magnetic closures are a neat and new feature available on some smaller bags.
Traditionally, touring cyclists use front and rear panniers. There are many experts who will advise different percent of weight on the front and rear. My experience and advice is to ignore them and experiment for yourself. The ideal ratio seems to be different on different bikes, and even on how the rider is positioned. On tour, I find it important to have a bag which is accessible while riding. This can be a handlebar bag, a bag behind the stem, or under the top tube.
Carrying a smart phone on the bike has spawned a whole bunch of different bags and devices. Some simply hold your phone, while others provide storage for additional items. Most commonly, they mount on the handlebar or top tube. We stock over twenty different products to carry your phone and be able to see it while riding.
Trailers are another option for taking gear with you. They are most commonly a touring accessory, although I had an inspiring conversation with a carpenter who carried over a hundred pounds of tools in a bicycle trailer. Now, that is commuting!
When you are ready to take it with you, come on in and we can show you many options for carrying whatever you want to take.