What are the best bike bags?
In the search for bike bags, the overview can quickly get lost. Many consumers therefore rely on test results to guide them before choosing their bike bag. Accordingly, the bicycle bag Back-Roller High Visibility from Ortlieb was able to grab pole position. This bag was the only one to receive the rating “very good” in the test. It continues with the luggage bags from Ortlieb, because place 2 occupies the Back-Roller Classic with the grade 1.6. Differences between the two panniers are basically not. While the High Visibility is more visible in the dark, the Back-Roller Classic is easier to clean. Both panniers have a volume of 23 liters. All tested panniers and their results can be viewed at the following link: https://utopia.de/ratgeber/fahrradtaschen-test-das-sind-die-testsieger-2019/.
Bike bag types: which models are available?
In principle, panniers are differentiated between three different types. The classic is the bicycle bag for the luggage rack. It allows even more efficient use of the storage space provided by the carrier. Who decides here for a suitcase or double bag, thus uses even more space to transport his utensils.
Among the popular bike bags are also the handlebar bags, which are used as an alternative to the bicycle basket. These are often equipped with a slot that holds the smartphone or cell phone, so that this is safely stowed, but still always within reach. On the market are also offered bike bags for the handlebars, which can be converted into a shopping bag.
And then there is the third variant. These are bike bags, which are suitable for the frame and the saddle. These models also offer their own unique advantages. These are usually very compact panniers, which fit tightly to the bike and offer the greatest possible flexibility when driving. They also provide good protection against splashing and rain water. They are ideal for stowing tools and flick accessories.
What size should bike bags have?
Basically, of course, it depends on where and how long you are traveling with the bike. A bike tour of several weeks with camping equipment definitely represents the supreme discipline and is considered extremely popular among enthusiastic cyclists. So that the main luggage can be stowed well and safely, at least four bike bags should be used. Two panniers on the front wheel and two bicycle panniers on the luggage rack. In this way, the luggage can be sensibly sorted and its weight distributed in a balanced manner.
A classic volume for the rear panniers is 2 x 20 liters. If you need more, it is best to choose the “Pro-Plus” variant with a volume of 2 x 35 liters. Classic panniers for the front wheel usually have a volume of between 10 and 15 liters per bag. In addition, a saddle bag for tools and a handlebar bag for important utensils should be on board. For example, for maps, money, smartphone, camera, etc. On long tours, it makes sense to generate as much storage space as possible, which is why an additional cross-body bag for the rear carrier is useful.
How are panniers fixed to the bike?
If the panniers are for the rear wheel, a carrier is required for attachment. These bags are therefore not suitable for mountain bikes and road bikes (except for gravel bikes with a luggage rack). Trekking and city bikes, on the other hand, benefit from the ease of installation, as these panniers are simply placed over the luggage carrier and fastened with a Velcro strap if necessary. Simple panniers for the rear wheel are attached to the rear axle by means of two struts to withstand a maximum weight of 25 kilograms.
If a bicycle bag is to be attached to the front wheel, the so-called lowrider is suitable for installation. This bag is the ideal companion on longer bike rides, because it allows luggage to be stowed on both the front and rear wheel, which ensures better weight distribution. The lowrider is also equipped with an extra stand, so that the bike can still be parked stable. However, the lowrider is only suitable for bikes whose fork has a thread halfway up and on each side.
Panniers for the handlebars are attached with a Klickfix handlebar adapter. This is usually loadable with a weight of up to 7 kilograms. The adapter proves to be flexible, as it adapts to the different conditions of the bike. The adapter can also be mounted firmly and twist-proof on the handlebar. Here, different clamp sizes, mounting bases and spacers are used, so that really every bike can be equipped with this adapter and a pannier on the handlebar. If the adapter was successfully installed, the bike bag is only clicked in. This bracket is also ideal for mounting dog baskets.
Use bike bag: which side is better?
There is no ultimate recommendation, because both sides have their advantages and disadvantages. Since cyclists also follow the right-hand rule, there is more space between your own bike and the oncoming bike if the bag is on the right side. However, the chain and the gears are also present there, which can prove annoying. However, this does not necessarily have to be the case.
The bike bag on the left side ensures that motorists coming from behind can overtake better, because they can better estimate the distance thanks to reflectors. However, if the bike is parked using a stand, the weight puts a lot of strain on it and the bike could tip over at the slightest touch.
How do I secure panniers?
To secure against theft, manufacturers offer special bike locks. However, these are very heavy and also very expensive. Alternatively, the security can be implemented well with a rope lock.