Why don't roadies use rucksacks?

02walkerj
02walkerj Posts: 80
edited November 2008 in Road beginners
I going to buy myself a road bike sometime soon, and was wondering why I always see roadies without rucksacks.

When ever I ride my mountain bike a take a fairly large rucksack with a load of food, drink, spare inner tubes, tools and on long rides I take a Camelbak with me.

Is there somethink I don't know like: riding with a rucksack weighs you down too much, or you can fit a lunch box inside a road jersey?
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Comments

  • whyamihere
    whyamihere Posts: 7,702
    Sweaty Back Syndrome.
  • redddraggon
    redddraggon Posts: 10,862
    What would I need a rucksack for anyway?
    I like bikes...

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  • fto-si
    fto-si Posts: 402
    As Redddragon says, why?
    Everything I need can be carried in jersey pockets or on the bike.
    exercise.png
  • What would I need a rucksack for anyway?

    Quite. Tools, tubes, money and phone in the saddle pack, food in pockets, water in bottles. What else do you need?
  • chuckcork
    chuckcork Posts: 1,471
    Bottles on bike, tools etc in saddle bag, pump on frame, food in shirt rear pockets. If I need more drink I have a bottle bracket on the rear of my saddle and can take an extra 2 bottles to give me 4, after which a €10 note comes in handy particularly since after 4 hours or so I've probably eaten my food.

    I only wear a rucksack when going to and from work to carry work clothing etc.

    How far are you riding though? The above is a combination I have done on an Audax ride of 200km, sportives of 160 and 170km and plenty of other rides in the 100+km range, all of which were over 4 hours riding.

    Maybe you are just taking too much?
    'Twas Mulga Bill, from Eaglehawk, that caught the cycling craze....
  • redvee
    redvee Posts: 11,922
    Aerodynamics.
    I've added a signature to prove it is still possible.
  • Nick6891
    Nick6891 Posts: 274
    i stopped with rucksack after getting fed up with having a sweaty back, now just use pannier, you can fit most stuff on bike if your not going to work, i just use my pannier as it stays on the bike as i need a change of cloths for my commute
  • e999sam
    e999sam Posts: 426
    All I take with me is spare inner tube, 2 tyre levers, 2 allen keys (3&4mm),gilet, 2 bottles, in winter I replace one of the bottles with a racing cape, money. Not forgetting the most important item a mobile phone so I can ring the wife to come and fetch me if I break down and can't get home.
  • When mountain biking you need to be much more self sufficient, you need to take enough to get youself off the mountain safely. Out on the road bike you can generally stop in a house for help, or a shop for supplies, or ring a taxi to get you back if you have real problems, so you don't need to carry so much.

    Saying that though, I bought a camelback slipstream for my wife as she is not happy drinking out of a bottle whilst riding.

    I occasionally borrow it for longer rides. I do get a sweaty back, but I get that anyway.
    --
    Burls Ti Tourer for Tarmac, Saracen aluminium full suss for trails
  • I ride MTB and road bikes.
    If I am out on my MTB I carry shedloads of kit so that if anything happens up here in the mountains we can get home again or at least to a road where our service car can pick us up. On the road bikes however a rucksack would be the worst thing to carry. As already stated we need to only carry the absolute basics and this can be carried on the bike. Not only that but if you are on the drops or hoods the rucksack gets caught on the back of your helmet and tends to slide forwards onto your neck. Add sweaty back and it becomes thoroughly unpleasant. On longer road rides or if you want to carry more kit a simple bar bag or saddle bag does the trick.
    Also on any bike the lower you keep the centre of gravity the more stable the bike. This becomes more significant on lightweight road bikes that can get a bit "twitchy". MTBs tend to be more forgiving and elastic and this twitchyness is hardly noticeable.
    My playground is the Alps, come and join me!
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  • on the road
    on the road Posts: 5,631
    I actually carried a rucksack not so long ago, but that was just to put all me camera gear in, normally I don't carry a rucksack because all that I need to carry, I carry in my saddle pack and in my back pockets. You don't really want anything heavy on your back unless you have no alternative.
  • just to be totally contradictory, I use a small rucksack and can see no obvious disadvantage. It doesn't give me a sweaty back and I find it much more convenient that sticking things in numerous different places a over the shop. As for aerodynamics, come on, it can only really be an issue for the most serious riders. '
  • ColinJ
    ColinJ Posts: 2,218
    I have ridden with a full size rucksack and it did give me a very sweaty back. I also found that it impeded my vision every time I looked over my shoulder.

    For road use, I've actually started using my Camelbak as a small rucksack (I leave the bladder at home). It holds enough stuff for even a 200 km ride and doesn't cause an unberable level of SBS except on very hot days. I can also look over my shoulder without it being in the way. I started doing that after trying to cram too much stuff into a small saddlebag which then burst open on a descent. I don't like carrying much stuff in my rear pockets.
  • I use a small "courier" style bag. Seems comfortable and easy to get at.
  • knedlicky
    knedlicky Posts: 3,097
    What would I need a rucksack for anyway?
    fto-si wrote:
    As Redddragon says, why? Everything I need can be carried in jersey pockets or on the bike.
    GeorgeShaw wrote:
    Quite. Tools, tubes, money and phone in the saddle pack, food in pockets, water in bottles. What else do you need?
    Fairweather cyclists! Never done a competitive ride of 100-150 miles without support, where underway the temperature varied from 20 deg C to 0 deg C, and within 8 hours the weather varied from sunshine to snow-showers?
    I find a double-shouldered, lightweight rucksack very useful for such occasions, to carry the extra clothing possibly required. Like a musette but for wearing on your back.
    At some european cyclosportives, they are given away for free – I now have three, one cotton for dry warm weather, two nylon for other weather.
  • chuckcork
    chuckcork Posts: 1,471
    knedlicky wrote:
    What would I need a rucksack for anyway?
    fto-si wrote:
    As Redddragon says, why? Everything I need can be carried in jersey pockets or on the bike.
    GeorgeShaw wrote:
    Quite. Tools, tubes, money and phone in the saddle pack, food in pockets, water in bottles. What else do you need?
    Fairweather cyclists! Never done a competitive ride of 100-150 miles without support, where underway the temperature varied from 20 deg C to 0 deg C, and within 8 hours the weather varied from sunshine to snow-showers?
    I find a double-shouldered, lightweight rucksack very useful for such occasions, to carry the extra clothing possibly required. Like a musette but for wearing on your back.
    At some european cyclosportives, they are given away for free – I now have three, one cotton for dry warm weather, two nylon for other weather.

    Kned, I doubt every road cyclist you see is doing what you describe. On the 200km Audax I did earlier in the year, the 'Audax' riders there were distinctive by the kitchen sink approach they took. Fair enough if doing what you describe but for a good day with fair weather and plenty of time to finish the ride, probably the most important 2 thing are cash and a mobile.

    Hillwalking yes, the better to be prepared for all eventualities (I'd be embarrassed to be rescued myself) but road cycling? Possibly better selection of gear that can be removed and stowed would solve some of the weather protection issues you raise?

    Saying that I have a Vaude backpack....
    'Twas Mulga Bill, from Eaglehawk, that caught the cycling craze....
  • redddraggon
    redddraggon Posts: 10,862
    knedlicky wrote:
    What would I need a rucksack for anyway?
    fto-si wrote:
    As Redddragon says, why? Everything I need can be carried in jersey pockets or on the bike.
    GeorgeShaw wrote:
    Quite. Tools, tubes, money and phone in the saddle pack, food in pockets, water in bottles. What else do you need?
    Fairweather cyclists! Never done a competitive ride of 100-150 miles without support, where underway the temperature varied from 20 deg C to 0 deg C, and within 8 hours the weather varied from sunshine to snow-showers?

    I'd use a large saddlebag and a bar bag if I needed to carry that much - but 150miles isn't that much.

    And anyway the question was directed towards "Roadies" rather than "Audaxers" (if I'm allowed to make such a distinction)
    I like bikes...

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  • Nick6891
    Nick6891 Posts: 274
    i think you can fit everything you need in a saddle bag, inatube, ture leavers, phone and money, pump and water on bike, eat before you go and if you get hungry put something in you jersey pockets
  • steerpike wrote:
    just to be totally contradictory, I use a small rucksack and can see no obvious disadvantage. It doesn't give me a sweaty back and I find it much more convenient that sticking things in numerous different places a over the shop. As for aerodynamics, come on, it can only really be an issue for the most serious riders. '

    Agreed. I use a camelbak for longer rides and don't really see how it could cause a problem, I mean, a sweaty back? It's supposed to be exercise innit - shouldn't you be sweating anyway?! I'm also big on the self-sufficiency thing; I just don't like relying on shops being open in remoter parts - been caught out a few times by doing that! But I guess if you know you're going to be able to get food/drink on the way and don't mind stopping then there's not much point in a camelbak.
  • knedlicky wrote:
    What would I need a rucksack for anyway?
    fto-si wrote:
    As Redddragon says, why? Everything I need can be carried in jersey pockets or on the bike.
    GeorgeShaw wrote:
    Quite. Tools, tubes, money and phone in the saddle pack, food in pockets, water in bottles. What else do you need?
    Fairweather cyclists! Never done a competitive ride of 100-150 miles without support, where underway the temperature varied from 20 deg C to 0 deg C, and within 8 hours the weather varied from sunshine to snow-showers?
    I find a double-shouldered, lightweight rucksack very useful for such occasions, to carry the extra clothing possibly required. Like a musette but for wearing on your back.
    At some european cyclosportives, they are given away for free – I now have three, one cotton for dry warm weather, two nylon for other weather.

    Well the 100km ride I did in April through snow in the Forest of Bowland and a hailstorm north of Ingleton came close. But it's not so much of a problem with modern lightweight materials.
  • OT, but cycling on small marbles (aka hailstones) is "interesting" and not to be recommended.
  • chuckcork
    chuckcork Posts: 1,471
    And anyway the question was directed towards "Roadies" rather than "Audaxers" (if I'm allowed to make such a distinction)

    Fair enough distinction though maybe not for the OP? I've asked the question of Audaxers myself as to why they might bring so much stuff for a single days ride, and the answer is experience of longer rides.

    To reverse the question, what does the OP think the average road cyclist (as opposed to Audax cyclist) would be carrying that would require a backpack with its possibly greater stowage but increased back sweat and inability to reach anything while riding?



    PS, If I was expecting highly variable conditions I'd use a saddle bag to bring extra kit I think I might need.
    'Twas Mulga Bill, from Eaglehawk, that caught the cycling craze....
  • On long rides (mountain biking of course) I take alot of food to replace all of the energy used up. And I need my 2 litre Camelbak to replace all the water lost, especially in summer when I get more than a 'sweaty back'.

    Does the same not apply when road cycling?
    Or those does road cycling use up less engery and a power bar in your pocket is sufficient enough?

    Also, when I go mountain biking I get covered in mud, so the feared 'sweaty back' would not discourage me from using a rucksack.
  • chuckcork
    chuckcork Posts: 1,471
    Personally I like to eat before I go out, a good breakfast loaded with carbs, say a large bowl of cereal and then 4 slices of toast kind of thing, and after having pasta for dinner the night before (or rice etc). On the road there is drinking where I go through a 700ml bottle of isotonic drink every hour or so, slightly less when cool and more on hotter days, today I only had 2 in 3 hours.

    If I believe my HRM todays run of 50 miles I burned 2100 calories, with replacement being the drink being steadily consumed on the way, a banana at the 1/3rd point and an oat bar near the end.

    How many hours are you riding though? I'd certainly need more than 2 bottles for a highly energetic ride of 5-6 hours and would as noted previously simply carry more and then replenish from a shop if/when I find I can. 4 bottles at an hour each is a ride of 100km+ which is plenty of time to find a shop when on the road.
    'Twas Mulga Bill, from Eaglehawk, that caught the cycling craze....
  • What chuckcork said.

    Porridge for breakfast, Torq bars (and gels for emergencies) and extra energy drink powder (portioned) in the pockets. 2x750ml bottles of energy drink. That will do do 3 hours at a push. Then, as a previous poster mentioned, you're on the road, not a trail. So there's almost always a cafe, shop or petrol station to top-up at. In emergencies, then knock on somebody's door.
  • jam1e
    jam1e Posts: 1,068
    Have any of you seen the wingnut hyper pack? It sits really low on your back so doesn't ride up and bang your helmet (stop sniggering at the back...) and lets your shoulders feel "free". It's quite small and light as well so is ideal for a bladder, paclite and pump. I'd imagine it's much more aerodynamically efficient than normal packs as well, unless your back is literally parallel to the ground.

    The main reason I prefer a pack over loading the bike up and pockets is to have everything in one place. Pick it up when leaving the house, take it into the pub without unclipping stuff and so on.
  • chuckcork
    chuckcork Posts: 1,471
    jam1e wrote:
    Have any of you seen the wingnut hyper pack? It sits really low on your back so doesn't ride up and bang your helmet (stop sniggering at the back...) and lets your shoulders feel "free". It's quite small and light as well so is ideal for a bladder, paclite and pump. I'd imagine it's much more aerodynamically efficient than normal packs as well, unless your back is literally parallel to the ground.

    The main reason I prefer a pack over loading the bike up and pockets is to have everything in one place. Pick it up when leaving the house, take it into the pub without unclipping stuff and so on.

    The roadies wouldn't stop at the pub, and wouldn't want to stop for anything in any case (red lights included it seems :? )

    Not at all happy about that yesterday, just as well none of us had club kit on display and the traffic was light.
    'Twas Mulga Bill, from Eaglehawk, that caught the cycling craze....
  • jedster
    jedster Posts: 1,717
    Personally I dislike wearing a backpack on any kind of bike. I've carried a lot of rucsacs of all sizes a when walking, climing, mountaineering and skiiing so I'm not backpack averse in general.

    The thing is that rucsacs are designed to load your frame (body not bike!) in line with it's strength, i.e. load shoulders and (for bigger packs) hips with weight falling down a vertical spine and through your legs.

    On any bike, but particularly a road bike with an aero position, the weight of a rucsac falls across your spine and loads through all your contact points (arse and hands as well as feet). Much more comfortable to hang the weight on your bike frame instead.

    The stuff about sweaty backs and falling onto your helmet is also true.

    J
  • vorsprung
    vorsprung Posts: 1,953
    I use a 23 litre super C carradice saddlebag all the time. Yes I am an ancien of PBP etc etc

    It has 1/2 a kilo of tools in it , 2 tubes and various bits of clothing. I think wearing a rucksack is bizarre if you have a perfectly good bike to fix any amount of stuff too. Any weight in a rucksack ( for example ) is being honked up and down when you are out of the saddle

    It's just easier to leave it on the bike all the time than to swap stuff on and off for longer and shorter rides

    Only time I take it off is when I go out with the local road club. Cos they take the p1ss
    Then I put a subsection of tools and one tube in a spare bottle cage
  • I use an Orlieb rucksack for the commute. Out for fun though, I don't think about putting on the Camelbak I use for MTBing. I find the Camelback more of a necessity off road to carry water (full sus = bad for bottle mounts) & prefer to keep the weight off the bike. I find the latter doesn't matter so much on road.
    Cheers :)

    Spiny
    FCN 4