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Backpack or not to backpack...that is the question?

bongofishbongofish Posts: 123
edited February 2019 in Road beginners
Apart from a sweaty back is there any real reason not to have a neat smallightweight backpack on?

I really don't like the way saddle bags look and the storage is very minimal.

Stuffing my jersey back pockets is just getting uncomfortable with multi tool and spare tube and nevermind wallet and house keys etc etc.

So any major reasons not to get a small back pack for my rides. All this would carry is small pump, inner tube and multi tool, keys and wallet.

Also if the wife wants a pint if milk in the way home it seems like it could be useful too?

Any specific reasons why you don't see many road riders with one but the. They have a stuffed ugly saddle bag?

Thanks all
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Posts

  • haydenmhaydenm Posts: 2,868
    You won't get many people in favour but I've worn one for hundreds of Km of mtb stuff with no issues. Maybe it's the body position on road bikes, but commuters seem to manage it. Not tried one on the road bike even for shopping (as bottles of wine fit in bottle cages) but I'm sure it would be fine, try it and see.
  • I put it all in a bottle cage tool carrier for the commute and most rides. For much longer rides in the summer I can stuff it all into a single jersey pocket and carry 2 bottles.

    Anything but a saddle bag.
  • MatthewfalleMatthewfalle Posts: 17,571
    so long as it can carry 40kg then all cool.
    Postby team47b » Sun Jun 28, 2015 11:53 am

    De Sisti wrote:
    This is one of the silliest threads I've come across. :lol:

    Recognition at last Matthew, well done!, a justified honour :D
    smithy21 wrote:

    He's right you know.
  • cougiecougie Posts: 22,512
    Why do you need a wallet ? Take a fiver for cake and save space. If you need a backpack you're taking too much.
  • slowbikeslowbike Posts: 8,490
    The little wedge I have as a saddlebag contains 2 tubes, multi-tool, 2 levers, boot & chain quicklinks. Pump is frame mounted. It could easily go in a bottle carrier.

    I do wear a backpack for the commute - but it's hotter (even at this time of year) and I prefer not to (sometimes just shuv the sandwhiches in a back pocket).

    Yes - you can wear a backpack - same as you can fit front/rear racks and mount filled panniers - but why would you?

    Spares & tools is just about risk mitigation - chances of a puncture are fairly high - breaking a cable is fairly low - so I don't carry one most of the time - nor do I carry spare spokes or spare tyres - too cumbersome and chance of needing them are so low that it doesn't warrant the effort required.
  • I sometimes wear a small rucksack for my commute when I need to carry clothes etc and it's ok for that. A bit sweaty in hot weather, a bit less comfortable than no rucksack and I believe they can wear the waterproof coating off jackets (my jerseys are a bit bubbled around the shoulder straps, probably as a result of the rucksack).

    For weekend rides, I have the pump fixed to the frame and tools/tubes in a saddle bag (I don't really care what it looks like, I can't see it anyway). The only things I stuff in the Jersey pockets are food.
    I'm not a fan of having anything hard in the Jersey pockets in case I fall off and land on it.
  • photonic69photonic69 Posts: 1,034
    Are you going for a bike ride or working for Deliveroo?

    nuff said
  • I just don't get the hate for saddle bags.

    I have a medium size Topeak Aerowedge, in it I can get 2 tubes, multitool, quick link, 2 CO2 canisters and an inflator. A Topeak Racerocket pump is attached to the seat tube bottle cage. All nice and compact and out the way. Leaves jersey pockets free for phone and whatever food I want to take.

    Just seems daft to stuff pockets full of censored when you don't need to.
  • haydenmhaydenm Posts: 2,868
    All the cool people have huge bikepacking saddle bags anyway, and as I say, they are cool. Maybe a touch over the top for a day ride but whatever bloats your goat.
  • crescentcrescent Posts: 1,087
    I think most people either carry too much or nothing at all when they start out, I was guilty of both on occasion. Not a fan of backpacks but can see the need for commuters etc. However, for recreational rides, over time and with experience, you should be able to whittle down what you carry to the bare essentials, by which I mean the "get you home" spares - tube, quick link, tyre boot, pump etc. Flexible clothing like arm warmers, gilet etc are usually pretty compact and can be carried in jersey pockets, likewise phone and cash. Not a fan of saddle packs but for longer rides I would use a small one and /or a bottle cage pack.
    Ribble Gran Fondo
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    “When I see an adult on a bicycle, I do not despair for the future of the human race. “ ~H.G. Wells
    Edit - "Unless it's a BMX"
  • Main reasons not to backpack on a road bike..

    - Sweaty back
    - Pack doesn't sit comfortably when you're hunched over
    - Can't use your rear jersey pockets for stuff you might want to access whilst moving e.g. gels, bars
    - Generally overkill for the amount of stuff you actually need

    My take is fine for commuting and short distances e.g. to the shops, when you need to carry a laptop, but not so much for 3+ hour leisure rides. I now use a bike packing bag for commuting, and it's a great solution for that job - because it's the Goldilocks size to carry a shirt and lunch - rather than being trendy. Mine is a £13 Planet X job so not even expensive.
  • N0bodyOfTheGoatN0bodyOfTheGoat Posts: 4,228
    edited February 2019
    My advice would be to really scrutinise everything you are taking with you on a ride, don't needlessly take extra clutter for a ride when you don't need it...

    Keys: Have a separate fob for your house/garage key and perhaps a bike lock, leave the rest at home
    Wallet: Don't need it, I take a fiver note wrapped around my British Cycling card with an elastic band, on a big ride maybe I'll add my debit card
    Puncture repair kit (my Weldtite came with two levers in box)
    Mini pump (I'm still using a cheapy ToysRus one from ~2000, must look out for a Topeak deal!)
    Small re-sealable bag containing Jelly Babies (1 every ~15mins after an hour of riding plus a few spares, so for me ~15)
    Mobile (mainly for Lezyne "live tracking" feature, like Strava's "beacon" )
    Multi-tool, or at least 5/6mm allen keys
    Spare tube?
    Cable lock, only if I know I'm going to stop, the portaloos at Butser Hill are big enough to take a bike in!

    In spring and autumn, I'll typically have a jersey and windproof jack on, both with rear pockets... So I can easily stow the above in those 7 pockets and have room for arm/leg warmers if gets too hot to wear them.

    In summer, I'll usually just use the jersey pockets, but I do have a third bottle cage I can add to stem/seatpost and then put some of above in old bottle... Unless it's so hot I want the extra bottle for fluid.

    I took a rucksack on my only century ride to date last May, yes it gave me extra storage space, but I found the lack of fresh air on my back really annoying and had to hold back on the climbs to prevent overheating.
    ================
    2020 Voodoo Marasa
    2017 Cube Attain GTC Pro Disc 2016
    2016 Voodoo Wazoo
  • slowbikeslowbike Posts: 8,490
    Wallet: Don't need it, I take a fiver note wrapped around my British Cycling card with an elastic band, on a big ride maybe I'll add my debit card
    I tend to carry a bit more than £5 - but don't bother with debit card - most phones can make contactless payments these days - up to £30 should be enough ... unless you've lost the cakestop sprint and have to pay for the whole club .... ;)
  • imposter2.0imposter2.0 Posts: 11,003
    so long as it can carry 40kg then all cool.

    needed to be said... ;)
  • bongofish wrote:
    I really don't like the way saddle bags look .

    This seems a strange reason to wear a backpack. Surely you don't like the way they look??
  • kingstoniankingstonian Posts: 2,150
    cougie wrote:
    Why do you need a wallet ? Take a fiver for cake and save space. If you need a backpack you're taking too much.


    Yeah - to be honest I now don't even bother to carry cash and just take a debit card.

    I do use a rucksack for the commute, but only once a week - now store clothes in the office so I don't need to be carrying loads of stuff back and forth all the time.
  • flasherflasher Posts: 1,626
    You need a couple of small pouches, one with phone/key/credit card/cash the other with inner tube/tyre levers/c02 canister/multitool. Works very well for me as it spreads the load in your jersey pockets.

    I use one each of these: https://www.mackworkshop.com/products/jersey-pouch
    https://www.rapha.cc/gb/en/shop/rainpro ... LEC05LRFUD

    No need for a backpack or saddle bag!
  • Each to their own, but all that goes in my pocket are things I know I'm likely to need access to/definitely wouldn't want to leave on the bike in case of emergency. Food, phone, money, keys basically. Everything else goes in the saddle bag.
  • I suppose the best person to ask would be Quasimodo.
  • I suppose the best person to ask would be Quasimodo.

    Last time I asked him something he just kept banging on about how my bike should have a bell.
  • oxomanoxoman Posts: 8,192
    Used rucksack for commuting and suffered the sweaty back until I noticed my jerseys getting frayed under the straps. Please note I was carrying lunch and workwear so quite bulky. Swapped to carradice sqr bag. Bit bigger than I need occasionally, but does the job.
    Too many bikes according to Mrs O.
  • Last time I asked him something he just kept banging on about how my bike should have a bell.
    Hat, etc.
  • navrig2navrig2 Posts: 1,556
    Go and ride 60 miles with a back pack then a week later do the same ride with the bare essentials in your jersey pockets.

    You wont use a back pack again.
  • As others have said, scrutinise what you take closely.
    For example, do you really need a wallet? Nowadays with nearly everywhere accepting them just a bank card and an emergency £5/10 note does the job and takes less space.
    Likewise keys, just take the garage/shed key and leave the others at home.
    I use a backpack for commuting but it's a pricey Osprey one with channels to try and avoid getting too sweaty a back. I certainly wouldn't use it on anything but the commute as it's just too uncomfortable.
  • TyresomeTyresome Posts: 113
    If I’m riding with a club, or in an organised event, I tend not to ride with a backpack, all my bases are covered by having the bare essentials in jersey pockets, and if I’ve missed something, chances are someone else hasn’t. If I’m riding as a leader, or going a long way solo, there’s no way I’d fit everything in a jersey, or saddle bag, and that’s just my kit, so I do use a back pack. I’ll also use a backpack if I know I need to get something on my way home after a ride, that won’t fit in a saddle bag / bar bag / frame bag.
  • imposter2.0imposter2.0 Posts: 11,003
    Tyresome wrote:
    If I’m riding with a club, or in an organised event, I tend not to ride with a backpack, all my bases are covered by having the bare essentials in jersey pockets, and if I’ve missed something, chances are someone else hasn’t. If I’m riding as a leader, or going a long way solo, there’s no way I’d fit everything in a jersey, or saddle bag, and that’s just my kit, so I do use a back pack. I’ll also use a backpack if I know I need to get something on my way home after a ride, that won’t fit in a saddle bag / bar bag / frame bag.

    This reminded me of the legendary 35kg backpack claim.
    Although, that said, I do run my bikes more heavily laden than most people I know. I often ride with a backpack of up to 35 Kgs in weight, and a couple of Kgs of kit in a bar / frame bag (s)

    Tyresome and Bottom Briquettes are both the same troll.
  • Need a spare wheel just in case.
  • TyresomeTyresome Posts: 113
    edited February 2019
    Need a spare wheel just in case.

    Many a true word spoken in jest. I was doing a 170 odd mile solo ride last year, and someone drove straight into the back of my bike whilst I was stopped in the ASL by Eel brook Common, down near Parson’s green ( 75 odd miles into the ride / from home ). I wish I had a spare wheel with me on that occasion. I did manage to get a new rear wheel, which I managed to find in a very handy LBS ( Chelsea Bikes ) which wasn’t too far up the road ( by the World’s End pub ). One of the things I take with me on a long solo ride, is a pair of trainers, in case I end up with a long walk, after just such a major issue, so it was a good job I had the rucksack on that day, as I had a bit of a walk to the cafe I waited for the bike to be fixed in.

    EsyZX9c.jpg

    That was the ride, it was 157 and a bit miles, but would have been 170 ish if I had been able to ride all the way up to Old Street, like I’d planned.
  • imposter2.0imposter2.0 Posts: 11,003
    Tyresome wrote:
    I did manage to get a new rear wheel, which I managed to find in a very handy LBS ( Chelsea Bikes ) which wasn’t too far up the road ( by the World’s End pub ).

    Cool story. Big-up to Chelsea Bikes for having in stock the only other rear wheel on the planet with 100mm OLN..
  • Tyresome wrote:
    Need a spare wheel just in case.

    Many a true word spoken in jest. I was doing a 170 odd mile solo ride last year, and someone drove straight into the back of my bike whilst I was stopped in the ASL by Eel brook Common, down near Parson’s green ( 75 odd miles into the ride / from home ). I wish I had a spare wheel with me on that occasion. I did manage to get a new rear wheel, which I managed to find in a very handy LBS ( Chelsea Bikes ) which wasn’t too far up the road ( by the World’s End pub ). One of the things I take with me on a long solo ride, is a pair of trainers, in case I end up with a long walk, after just such a major issue, so it was a good job I had the rucksack on that day, as I had a bit of a walk to the cafe I waited for the bike to be fixed in.

    What happens if you find yourself caught out in an electric storm, and need to shelter in a bar, and they have a dress code that doesn't allow people in wearing trainers? You need to carry another pair of shoes. Don't want to be caught out.
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