Frame bags may come in many different shapes and sizes, but they all follow the same principle: integrated straps mean these bags can be mounted directly on the frame without any extra fuss. The possibility to create some luggage storage space is relatively light and places extra weight in the middle of the bike. However, depending on your bike’s frame shape and frame size, differently sized or shaped frame bags are ideal. The small triangular bag between seat tube and top tube fits almost any classic diamond frame, but only offers a little extra storage space. If you’re interested in larger solutions – such as a bag that runs along the entire top tube or a bag that fills the entire front frame triangle – you should measure your own bike beforehand to order the right sized version.
As the name suggests, a bike frame bag is, by definition, a bag that you can attach onto your bicycle frame. Design-related or gender-specific differences between women's and men's bicycles must be considered as well as different tube thicknesses and frame designs. In other words, not every frame bag will fit every bike frame!
Safely Stow Important Bits
Nobody wants to spend hours digging around in their bike panniers for the little essentials they need whilst they’re on a bike tour. Bikepacking frame bags are perfect for stashing items that you’ll want to be able to quickly get your hands on – like your house keys, wallet/purse, medication, smartphone, energy bars and repair kit.
Which Frame Bag Should I Choose?
Nowadays, the classic bicycle saddle tool bag that used to come with nearly all bikes is a thing of the past. But you still need somewhere to stash your most important tool. Enter the frame bag – but which one to pick? Depending on the type of equipment etc you want to take along with you, either a triangular "Triangle Bag" or an elongated "Cruiser Bag" may be the most suitable. You can also choose from a range of models that attach to the top tube.
You’ll also need to consider whether the shape of the frame bag you have your eye on is compatible with your bicycle frame. Frame bags are usually attached with Velcro straps and if you pair an incompatible model with your bike frame the Velcro straps will usually be too short. For e.g. if you try to attach a triangular frame bag to a beach cruiser bike with a curved double top tube you’ll soon run into problems. You’ll also find there are differences between where you can attach your frame bag on men’s bike frames and women’s bike frames. If you’d like some advice on whether your frame bag will fit your bike, feel free to give us a call.
Frame Bag Features
Map pockets: Some frame bags will offer a transparent map pocket. If you don’t use a GPS device, you might find this feature very useful
Smartphone pockets: Some top tube bags feature a transparent cover for your smartphone (which will then replace a GPS device). But you’ll have to make sure this cover is compatible with your phone model. You should be able to still use your phone’s touchscreen through the cover
Padding: For some equipment you’ll want some form of protective padding in your frame bag - for example, when you’re taking your digital camera with you on rides
Visibility features: Extra-visible reflector strips or sewn reflector films provide better visibility and safety in traffic
Zip position and external zip pockets: Outside zip pockets aren’t found on every bicycle frame bag. Generally speaking, it’s more important where the zipper is located. It may be safer for you to remove your frame bag before opening it but it’s a lot more practical if you can open it with one hand to get your energy bar whilst riding
Material: Most frame bags today are made of plastics to make them waterproof
Acepak, Topeak, XLAB, Red Cycling Products and Vaude are just a few of the trustworthy brands creating high-quality frame bags with these types of features on the market today.