How to equip your bike to travel
Cycling and bikepacking are increasingly popular disciplines. Nature and outdoor enthusiasts enjoy to travel by bike to regain complete freedom, a return to their roots. To help you find the most convenient and lightest way to transport your belongings, here is a short guide that will help you choose from a variety of packing options, depending on the length of your trip and what you want to carry .
Whether you are going bikepacking for the day, 2-3 days or a week, several solutions are available to you.
Equipment for a day trip
For a day trip, two saddlebags are enough: a small saddlebag of 4 liters where to keep your repair tools if you have a flat tire and a small frame bag to put your personal belongings (wallet, telephone etc.). ) as well as some snacks.
Equipment for bikepacking
There are several types of saddlebags that can be attached to different parts of the bike and allow you to take anything from clothing to camping equipment. Lightweight, space-saving and compact, they are made of resistant and waterproof materials such as nylon or Cordura to protect your belongings. Practical, they are easily fixed with velcros on your bike and don't weigh down your luggage.
Equipment for a 2-3 day trip
For a long weekend or 2-3 days of cycling, and according to your needs, you have the choice between:
- A saddle bag from 8 to 13 litres fixed on the seat tube where you can put your "casual" and/or spare clothes and a sleeping bag.
- A frame bag with a 4 to 6 litres capacity to store heavy equipment such as tools, a stove, or provisions. This type of bag is attached to the bike's top tube and is placed in the triangle formed by the frame of the bicycle.
- A bag on the bike's top tube to carry provisions, a smartphone and everything that could come in handy.
- A 4 to 8 liter handlebar bag attached to the bike's hanger to carry a sleeping bag, an insulating mat or a tent. Some models are designed to accommodate a road map thanks to a plastic pocket on top to protect the map from the elements.
Equipment for long-distance travel
For a one-week trip or more, you'll need a larger carrying capacity, and even more if you opt for camping. Complete equipment is essential:
- A frame bag with a larger litre capacity (8 litres) and/or a bag on the top tube.
- A pair of bagage pouches to replace the saddle bag. With volumes ranging from 12 to 68 litres and designed with waterproof materials, they can contain loads of items: clothes, provisions... With the help of straps, you can also attach a sleeping bag, an insulating mat or a tent. The Ortlieb brand offers many saddlebag models for the adepts of long journeys.
- A handlebar bag from 8 to 15 litres to which can be added a second bag thanks to straps which can carry a sleeping bag for example.
Finally, waterproof covers can be added to the saddlebags for even more protection if climatic conditions become difficult.