Muddymoles mountain biking in the Surrey Hills and Mole Valley

Re-thinking my luggage

Posted by Matt | January 26, 2018 | 8 comments so far

Alpkit Enduro Pod bike bag
For years now I’ve found myself carrying all my kit on my back thanks to a capacious Camelbak. But maybe there’s a better way?

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.

Filed under Mutterings, Trends in January 2018


About the author

Matt is one of the founding Molefathers of the Muddymoles, and is the designer and main administrator of the website.

Having ridden a 2007 Orange Five for many years then a 2016 YT Industries Jeffsy 29er, he now rocks a Bird Aether 9 and a Pace RC-627.

An early On-One Inbred still lurks in the back of the stable as a reminder of how things have moved on. You can even find him on road bikes - currently a 2019 Cannondale Topstone 105 SE, a much-used 2011 Specialized Secteur and very niche belt drive Trek District 1.

If you've ever wondered how we got into mountain biking and how the MuddyMoles started, well wonder no more.

There are 8 comments on ‘Re-thinking my luggage’

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  1. Elliot says:

    I have one of those Enduro Pods, in yellow as that’s what was in stock at the time. I usually stick my tools in a little storage bottle, but the pod useful for extra space, or to use the bottle cage for an actual drink, or for bikes that don’t have a bottle mount. I managed to squeeze in (force the zip closed) a pump, multi tool, tyre lever, tube and small pack of chain links/bolts.

    I got no end of grief for strapping it to the V10 in Morzine last year! 🙁

  2. Roy McNeill says:

    Try – local to the Surrey Hills, recycled, made from used inner tubes & malt sacks,& custom if required & lots of options ?

  3. Steven Dunn says:

    I have had no problems just using a backpack, I know what is in it, keep the basics and just add stuff as required. A new multi tool (because what I need changes, my most recent one has a T-30 bit much loved by Shimano these days) has helped reduce things. Elliot makes a good point, I have two friends who use a bottle to carry some spares and tools, which is an excellent idea. I thought bags on the bars were for keeping ride snacks in. 🙂

  4. Lloyd says:

    Best option for short rides is a hip pouch. It takes a bottle of water, small bag of essential tools, mini pump, and spare tube. If you get a good one with broad, padded waist straps it is comfortable and you hardly notice the weight sitting on the hips, and no weight on the back at all.

    I can also use it for walking – which could not do with a bike only bag

  5. Jemster says:

    I also use a hip bag in the summer months rather than a camelbac, as you can keep cooler with the air circulating through your top more effectively.
    Also have a triangular bag that sits on the hardtail for tools , provisions. Got it at the bike show last year.
    However Elliot’s yellow condom bag really looked wrong placed on the top tube of a 6k SC V10. I think the Santa Cruz police are still looking for him!

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