Saddle bag or frame bag

Tripster

Über Member
Location
North West
Looking at purrrrchasing a new saddle or frame bag.
I have a Topeak saddle bag on one bike but considering a frame bag, top tube for Tubeless repair kit, Co2 cartridges, multi tool and that.
Any advantages of frame bag or disadvantages over a saddle bag. Will be for my new road bike. Would probably opt for a topeak dry bag for saddle but if going frame bag route I am open to brand suggestions 👍

Thanks as always for anyone’s help
 

Dan77

Well-Known Member
Location
Worcester
I have a Topeak saddle bag and a Topeak top tube bag. The top tube bag is really because I didn't have room under the saddle for a bag and light on my hybrid.

I much prefer the saddle bag. Let's face it, most rides you're not going to be opening it up so it's better tucked away out of sight and out of the way. They can sometimes interfere with pedal stroke as well if you catch it with your knees, especially when out of the saddle.
 

CanucksTraveller

Macho Business Donkey Wrestler
Location
Hertfordshire
The top tube bags I've had tended to be much smaller than saddle packs, my wife had a Bontrager one that she could only get her phone in. I got her a bigger Blackburn one eventually so she can carry all her bits, even then it's me carrying her repair kit, and even on a hybrid it looks clumsy. Once you go to the bigger end they don't suit a road bike at all.

I'd put a larger saddle pack on, it's the more graceful and capacious solution on a road bike in my opinion.
 

Spiderweb

Not So Special One
Location
North Yorkshire
I’ve never used a frame bag, I either use a small seatpack style saddle bag or if I’m only carrying what you mentioned above then I use a bike tool storage bottle, fits in one of your bottle cages. Lots available, even ones that zip and open like a book.
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Dan77

Well-Known Member
Location
Worcester
I've got a storage bottle too but I can't be bothered to move things out of my saddle bag and put them in the storage bottle and then have to move them back when I go on a longer ride and need 2 bottles. Easier to leave things in the saddle bag and be done with it.
 

Low Gear Guy

Über Member
Location
Surrey
When I looked at a frame bag it got in the way of the water bottle holders. Where will you put your water?
 
OP
Tripster

Tripster

Über Member
Location
North West
When I looked at a frame bag it got in the way of the water bottle holders. Where will you put your water?
Yeah that’s another good point. Definitely go with saddle bag again. Thinking longer term I want to do more longer rides so may invest in a apidura race or expedition pack.... plenty of time to decide
 

si_c

Veteran
Location
Wirral
I've got a frame bag - Restrap Large - which works very well for long day rides. I ride a large frame size and haven't had any problems fitting water bottles to the bike with it fully loaded, but you can mitigate this a little by using side loading bottle cages if you want. I went for the frame bag in part because it wouldn't foul the light positions on the bike which a larger saddlebag would.

I find it really useful as I have standard pack in my saddlebag - tools, tubes etc - and it's easy to just leave that in place and add the frame bag for bits I wouldn't be able to fit. I usually fit a full rain jacket, gloves, arm/leg warmers, battery pack and charge cables, lights, extra tube/CO2 and have some space for extra bits of food too. I've even been able to fit a couple of Double Sausage and Egg McMuffins in there too on occasion :laugh: Definitely worth it for rides 200km+ but it can be a faff to keep fitted otherwise.

That being said I'm probably going to replace it in the near future as it is an older version and doesn't fit the frame of my new bike very well - it uses a single large velcro retaining strap which fouls the brake line as it goes into the downtube on this bike which it didn't on the previous one. The new one shouldn't have a similar problem as it uses two narrower straps.
 
I currently use all of the above!

I have an Ortleib Saddle bag, which is really robust and rolls shut like a drybag. The mounting bracket can also be bought separately, so I have one on my Bamboo bike as well. It's just a matter of minutes then to put the bag on which ever bike I'm using. It's a really nice saddle bag which can fit a surprising amount in.

In the frame I have a 6 litre Topeak frame bag, which I use for a spare fleece, food or waterproofs. On top of the frame I have a 1½ litre fuel tank, in which I place keys, wallet etc. It's quite tiny, so not a lot will go in there. One problem I have, is because I have a steel framed bike, the tubes are round and so the fuel tank is always slipping off to one side or another as I ride. The flatter profile of top tubes more commonly found on Aluminium and Carbon bikes, would stop this.

Because of the frame bag, I have to use 500ml water bottles in the frame and one cage has been relocated further down the frame using the topeak alt-position bottle mounts. I'm lucky to have bottle mounts on the fork legs, so in the summer, I'll carry an extra litre sized bottle on a fork leg. Under the down tube, I also have a bottle cage mount under the downtube in which I store a tool caddy for all of my tools, this stays on the bike permanently and frees up room in my bags.

To be honest it's all a little overkill and most of the time the bags are half empty, but they weigh very little and it's no hassle to have it all on there.

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gcogger

Regular
I use a saddle bag but, as si_c mentioned, the larger ones can interfere with rear lights. I tried a good sized top tube bag, but returned it immediately because when I stand over the top tube when stopped, the bag is in the way and gets squashed!
I guess it depends on things like the bike's geometry and size, saddle position, your own size etc. It should be easy enough to check, though - just stand over the bar and see how much room there is for a bag.
 

Fab Foodie

hanging-on in quiet desperation ...
I use the bottle storage for my permenent toolage (and am well prepared!) and have a teeny Decathlon underseat pack for 2 tubes.
For longer rides I then add saddlebags according to need from A Carradice Zip Roll, Barley, Camper Longflap according to need :-)
 
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