When I say all my kit, at various times I really do mean all. As in, I’ll never live down the South Downs Way in a Day epic that saw me travelling with both a spare tyre and my chainwhip!
Now, that’s an extreme, but even so my Camelbak carries a reasonable amount of ‘just-in-case’ stuff (which I’ll itemise one day). I just think that for a lot of the time it’s just overkill, especially if we’re talking short 1-1.5 hour rides. On those occasions I just want to get out and blast round without having to overthink anything.
Not only do I think it’s overkill to carry all that kit, but for a lot of the time it’s also unnecessary to carry more than a litre or so of water, unless you are out for a long day in the saddle.
So, I’ve been having a think and have come to the conclusion that my essentials could easily be carried on a suitable bag on the bike itself, taking the strain off my poor back. This let’s me use a smaller and lighter back pack for water duties while at the same time putting the items I need most often within easy reach.
One product which caught my eye that might cover this rather well is the Alpkit Enduro pod, a top tube bag that sits just behind the handlebars. In there I reckon I can get a multi-tool, my magic Tyre Treatment Box along with a spare inner tube. Any other space could easily be taken up with an energy bar and emergency Haribos, plus my rarely seen spare cash. This would mean a back pack need only carry water, a pump and my house keys.
There are many companies getting into the bike bag scene, in large part because the Adventure bike thing is encouraging bikepacking as a way of getting out on the hills. Camping of any kind is not really my thing but it does mean there’s a lot more options to choose from.
With the London Bike Show just a month away now, I shall be looking at these sort of bags more closely.