To saddle bag or not to saddle bag08 Mar. 2019
BBB Cycling saddle bags by Jack Thompson
To saddle bag or not to saddle bag, that is the age-old question for those of us that are serious about riding their bike. Saddle bags offer a practical solution for any rider looking to carry just that little bit extra in addition to the standard dual bidons and rear pocket ride nutrition. In saying this, there seems to be somewhat of a stigma attached to fastening a practical solution to the rear of one’s saddle. Some would say it adds extra weight and others would say it ruins the natural lines and curves of a bikes natural appearance.
I personally, am somewhat ‘old-school’ in my approach to cycling, and although looking good is of huge importance (as I’m sure all who read this would agree) I am also passionate about practicality, especially given the kilometres I cover on a yearly basis (a touch over 50,000km in 2017) and the remote nature that my riding takes me. You won’t catch me leaving home without a saddle bag, due mainly to the fact that my pockets are stuffed with ride nutrition and I need a practical solution to carrying a spare tube and tyre levers amongst other goodies.
I am fortunate enough to be working with Dutch cycling powerhouse, BBB in the testing and development of various products in their ever-growing range. BBB now offer 18 different saddle bag configurations, ranging from the minimalist ‘Combi Pack,’ just large enough to house a spare tube and tyre levers, to the now popular Bike-packing ‘Sidekick,’ which is large enough to house sleeping equipment, spare clothing and the necessities required to get out and explore the unknown for days on end, whilst remaining self-sufficient.
The Curve Pack
Let’s talk about BBB’s ‘Curve Pack’ range of saddle bags. There are three options to choose from and BBB have simplified the decision-making process by naming each bag based on its size (S, M or L.) My personal favourite is the smallest size and I have one installed on each and every bike, ensuring I’m never left out on the road without the tools I require to fix a puncture or charge my electronics.
So, what exactly do I carry in my Curve Pack? Outlined below are the essentials for any of my training rides:
- Spare Tube
- Tire Levers
- Chain Link
- Puncture Repair Patches
- Small Multi Tool
- Small Cache Battery (I always ensure its charged!)
- Small IPhone Charger Cord
- Small USB-C Charging Cord
You’re probably asking how I fit ALL of the above into such a small bag? At 360cm3 in volume and 90x67x130mm in size, it’s amazing at what can be safely secured inside, leaving my rear pockets for housing nothing but my ride fuel and phone.
So, while a saddle bag may never ooze ‘cool,’ in the same way as a set of deep dish wheels hum in the wind and a slammed stem will do at the local coffee shop, BBB have done a fantastic job of creating a range that ticks all boxes.
As I’ve mentioned above, looking good is important (and the BBB design aids in this), but practicality is just as important and if completing a training session well fuelled and being able to repair a puncture whilst on the back roads of town allows you to further enhance your fitness, then the sacrifice a few 100 grams attached to the rear of your seat will make is well worth it.
The Curve Pack will remain a pivotal piece of equipment in my ever-growing desire to be recognised as the most extreme cyclist on earth and for this, I thank BBB.