Get Carried Away

The recent flush of warm weather has served as a perfect reminder that carrying things on your bicycle is a sure way to keep cool. Wear natural fibres, let the natural breeze from cycling cool you down, and get your bicycle do the lifting work.

Whether commuting, shopping, travelling or exploring, tokyobike design bicycles to be ridden and enjoyed. As practical, serviceable machines that are used everyday its important they are set up to function for life in the city. That often means carrying things and so we are always on the lookout for accessories, from racks to bags, that will help riders to haul their gear from place to place.

Here are a few different approaches to carrying things around.

FAIRWEATHER BAGS

Japanese brand Fairweather is based in Tokyo, and are closely associated with the Blue Lug cycle store, a firm favourite with cycle messengers in the city, so they know a thing or two about the technicalities of carrying things.

MULTI BAG

This is an all purpose bag that can be used in three different ways. As a classic pannier bag attached to a rear rack, as a handlebar bag, or over the shoulder with a strap. It’s a good size at 8.5 to 12 litres and is made from a heavyweight cordura fabric with a waterproof inner liner. This is for the rider who wants real flexibility, perfect for taking stuff to and from work, but also great on an overnight stay somewhere after a long ride. It works very well as a handlebar bag on small wheeled bikes too – the tokyobike Mini Velo for example or if your not yet a convert to tokyobike a Brompton or similar.

STEM BAG

This is a useful bag to carry small things like a camera, phone, wallet, or a water bottle. It has been designed for the rider who wants quick and easy access to their things, and is opened with a simple drawcord. It’s made from waxed cotton canvas which both retains shape and looks better over time. It has a drainage hole at the bottom to help keep it dry inside and is very easy to install with adjustable velcro straps.

CORNER BAG

This is a lightweight and easy way to carry a mix of small things on a wide variety of different bicycle frame types. Primarily designed for bike packing adventures it’s made from a tough X-Pac water resistant fabric, which is durable and lightweight. It can be fitted to the seat-tube and top-tube corner or down by the bottom bracket. This is the type of bag that daily cyclists might find indispensable all year round.

OUTER SHELL

Outer Shell is another company we are particularly fond of, a small operation working out of San Francisco, California, who design, test and manufacture all in one place. Inspired by travelling and nature, they make very durable gear and offer a lifetime warranty if any of their products develop a defect. They focus on functional design and creating simple products that are flexible enough to use for multiple purposes.

DRAWCORD HANDLEBAR BAG

This is a really practical design that has an easy access drawcord into the main body of the bag, which can be opened and closed with one hand while cycling. It’s made from PU coated Cordura main fabric, with an X-Pac liner in the main compartment to make it weather-proof. It has three outside pockets ideal for snacks, a phone or keys. While a range of accessories available include extra padding for a camera and two types of shoulder strap. It fits on nearly any bike, which makes this bag a great all rounder. It comes in a very pleasing selection of colours and patterns too.

RACK LIFE

One of the more recent trends in cycling has been to set up bicycles with better provision for carrying things. Many riders rely on a really good rack to help them transport what they need. Some people are dedicated to the rear rack, which is ideal for putting pannier bags on, but also good for slinging just about anything on with a bungee cord. Rear racks are definitely better in terms of weight distribution, having less effect on the handling of a bicycle than a front rack. However, many enjoy the ease and accessibility of a good front rack. Some prefer to have both, which evens out the weight even better. Whatever your preference, tokyobike stock a range of different front and rear racks, along with bungee cords, straps, nets and baskets.

PACK IT RIGHT STRAPS

A particularly good way to secure just about anything to your bicycle set up is a RAL Pack It Right strap from US company Voile. Originally created over three decades ago as a unique way of binding skis together, they are made from strong and durable UV-resistant polyurethane, with a Nylon buckle. They are incredibly versatile, universally useful and now available in lots of of different colours.

Whatever the weather, a good bicycle if often improved by a good carrying option – it’s important to get the right set up for the right purpose. Find what works for you – then use, maintain and enjoy.

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