How to travel light with your road bike. Part (I)
A few months ago, I met a group of Englishmen who came to spend a few days practicing cycle tourism on our roads. They had planned three days of cycling through the interior of Valencia and Castellon. My surprise was when I saw their luggage for those days. It was just a small bag which was anchored to the seatpost and to the saddle.
A few months later, during the weekend that my friend Angel and I went to see the Tour de France through the Pyrenees, I could see that it was very popular the use of such bags with the French who followed the race.
When I returned to Valencia I got to work and I started to research on this type of “saddlebag” and I realized that it was a new way of traveling with the road bike and light of luggage.
The first thing was to find out which manufacturer had them on its catalog and I found three interesting options:
- The first bag is manufactured by Apidura. It is a light and high quality bag. It also has two bike light attachment points for enhanced visibility.
- Then I found another one distributed by KTM. It is a more simple bag but depending on the use it can be a good choice.
- The third bag I found was the Ortlieb Seat-Pack 16´5L. Good saddlebags and good brand.
KTM´s is the cheapest one, the other two are more than €100 value. As I said before depending on the use it can be more than enough. In my case I had no choice. I just could find this one in Valencia in mid-August.
Placing it on the bike is quick and easy. From my own experience I recommend to set the bag on the road bike firstly. Once placed it on the bicycle we will put all the luggage and then we will adjust it. You should be careful when standing up on the bike while climbing since the swinging can be strange.
Although it is only 18 litres of capacity, that it could seem scarce, it is more than enough for traveling in summer in the East and South coast of Spain as long as you do not need stuff to sleep and cook.
This is the list of things I brought with me for my 5 days travel in my KTM 18L bag:
Inside the bag:
- 1 cycling shorts
- 1 jersey
- 1 pair of socks
- 2 underpants
- 2 light T-shirts
- 1 light bermuda shorts
- 1 swimsuit
- 1 microfibre towel
- 1 toothbrush
- 1 hair brush
- Battery charger
- Garmin 800 GPS
- 2 tubes
- 2 compressed air bottles
- 1 chain tool 11v
- 1 tools set
- Insulation tape
- Self-adhesive patches
In the next post I will tell you about anecdotes, advantages and inconvenients that I found with this kind of “cycling light”. Any questions that you may have please do not hesitate to ask us. I would love sharing our experience with you. Here you can watch a highly visual video with more possibilities:
Bikepacking lesson by PCR GRAVIER de Renaud Skyronka on Vimeo.
¡See you soon!