Guitarists often need to carry their instruments on a bike but depending on the guitar type as well as the guitar case, this simple process can get very complicated and tough. People not only carry their guitars to gigs, but they may feel the necessity of carrying their guitars on bike tours as well. At the end of the day, guitars can help you connect to people and to soothe your mind when you’re on a long trip.
In this article, we’ll discuss how you can carry your guitar on a bike in different methods. Once you’re done with this article, you’ll be able to determine the best carrying method for yourself. If you’re into bike touring with guitar, you should definitely check this out.
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How to Carry Guitar on a Bike?
There are several ways for carrying guitar on a bike. You can either carry it on your back or use side panniers. Using bike racks is also a viable option for carrying guitars on a bike.
Related reading: How to Carry Musical Instruments on Bike?
Carrying it on Your Back
Yes, carrying a guitar on your back will be very easy if you have a guitar case. However, you may find yourself in a situation where you don’t have a guitar bag but need to carry the guitar anyways.
Before we discuss the method, let’s clarify something. Carrying your guitar without a case is very dangerous and you may end up damaging your guitar. Guitars are very sensitive, and even the slightest damage can render them unplayable. So, we don’t recommend carrying your guitar without a case in the first place. Even if you have to do so, try wrapping your guitar in bubble wraps or a towel for providing some form of damage reduction.
Now that we’re done with that, let’s take a look at how you can carry your guitar on your bike without a case. In this case, you’ll need only the guitar strap. Wear the strap-like you usually do, and then rotate the strap around your shoulders so that the guitar rests on your back.
This will allow you to carry your guitar on a bike without any guitar case, and it’ll also reduce the risks of damaging your guitar.
Regular Pannier Bags
Panniers are usually bags that can be enclosed completely and are usually water and weatherproof. However, you can get panniers that act as bags for carrying other large objects. These are popularly known as pocket panniers.
It’s possible to carry a guitar in a pannier even though it’s impossible to fit the entire guitar inside the pannier. However, if the height of the pannier is 16” minimum, it’s possible to use it as a base for strapping the guitar in. 16” is the minimum requirement as the guitar won’t be stable if the pannier is any shorter.
You can get a pocket pannier for carrying a guitar on your bike. You need to install one of these either in front or in the back, but we suggest installing pannier bags on the rear bike rack. Yes, the rear bike rack is required to use the pannier bags.
Read more: Best Rear Bike Rack Reviews & Buying Guide
You will have to do some work to find a quality pannier that can withstand the weight of the guitar and be large enough for this purpose. Finding pannier bags that are 16” or longer is very challenging, and even if you find them, the chances of that being a quality product are slim.
This is why we highly recommend this pannier from Ortlieb. It not only allows you to carry your guitar effortlessly, but it’s very robust as well.
Once you’re done installing the pannier, you can put the guitar into it, strap it with some rope or Velcro belt, and you’ll be good to go. This is definitely a great method, but it has a flaw as well. As the guitar will hang from the side, it will create a noticeable imbalance. You’ll definitely get used to it, but that too will take some time.
We’ve just covered the regular pannier section, and those panniers will serve you well if you’re looking for a versatile solution, as those panniers will allow you to carry other stuff as well.
However, if you want to save some cash and are willing to opt for a pannier made especially for carrying guitars on a bike, then you can choose this one from MundoMusicGear. This pocket pannier is super light. It weighs only 8 ounces, which is only 1/4 of the weight of a regular pannier. Despite being a lightweight product itself, it can carry up to 300 lbs without a problem, making it the perfect pannier for carrying your guitar.
You can install these on your bike easily, and these can be installed on both sides of your bike without requiring any modification. They are also designed to hold your guitar in a balanced manner, as you ride your bike, and they’ll also ensure that the guitar doesn’t hamper your cycling motion.
This is why we highly recommend these feature-rich panniers for those who want to carry a guitar or similar heavy items on their bike.
A lot of bikes don’t come with racks these days, and even if your bike does, there’s a huge chance that it won’t be able to house an entire guitar. The reason is simple, bike racks aren’t designed to hold a heavy musical instrument of that size and shape. However, that doesn’t mean that there isn’t any workaround for that.
However, it’s possible to make a DIY rack that can hold a guitar. If you’re experienced with the tools required to create such a rack, then you won’t need any help. However, if you aren’t, then you can consult professionals for getting this job done at a cheap rate depending on where you live.
The project itself doesn’t require expensive materials. The steel bars and clamps cost around 20 dollars, and you need to weld the pieces together, so that’ll cost something. If you’re getting it done via a professional, then you’ll have to pay the service charge as well, which depends completely on the seller.
To create the base for your guitar, you need to create a triangular-shaped slanted platform that’ll connect the base of the guitar rack to the end of the rear rack. The goal is to choose such an angle that will lead to the base of the guitar rack being lower than the rear rack to the point where it ends at the middle of the tire
The base can be built out by joining four small steel rods via welding. Make sure there’s a wall-like extension at the end of the base so that the guitar doesn’t fall off of the back.
Once this is constructed, all that’s left is to weld the different parts together and then join them with the rear rack of your bike. This structure isn’t enough to hold your guitar properly, so you’ll have to tie the guitar with a rope or some sort of strap. This should keep it properly seated on your bike, no matter how windy or bumpy it gets.
Related reading: How To Carry A Hockey Stick On A Bike?
Bicycle Guitar Carrier
Did you know that there are guitar bags produced specially for transportation? These bags can allow you to carry your guitar safely even on the bumpiest roads, as they come equipped with foam.
If you’re interested in this, we highly recommend getting the acoustic guitar bag from the Ambit shop. It’s made of waterproof oxford cloth. This will allow you to carry the guitar easily even in heavy rain. it will prove to be a great asset when you’re touring on your bike with your guitar.
Other than your guitar, the spacious bag will also let you carry guitar stands, tuners, picks, straps, and other accessories. However, we wouldn’t recommend carrying a guitar processor as that’ll end up scratching both your guitar and your processor.
The inner part of the bag itself is lined with anti-scratch fabric, so you can rest assured that your guitar will look amazing despite how bumpy the ride may be.
Last but not the least, these bags come in 10 different finishes, which will let you choose whatever suits you the best.
If you want a guitar case with a bit more neutral color, then you should go for this guitar case from CAHAYA. This 41” case is perfect for carrying acoustic guitars. It offers a 0.35” padding that’ll keep your guitar safe from external pressure and impact. It comes with two shoulder straps so that you can balance the guitar on your back when you’re walking or cycling. There’s also this huge front pocket where you can throw in your cables, a few packs of extra strings, and a tuner.
There’s also a more subtle pouch on the neck of the case. This is perfect for carrying your picks and other slim accessories. The case is made of waterproof oxford cloth, so you’ll be able to carry your guitar even in rain without any worry.
Related reading: How To Carry Golf Clubs On A Bike?
Sure, riding a bike with a guitar isn’t easy. But as you can see, there are both simple and complicated solutions to this problem, and you can follow any of these methods no matter how low your budget is. So, we highly recommend that you go through these once again and figure out which one works best for you.
If you carry a guitar on your bike regularly, then we highly recommend the last option which discusses how you can create a rack for your bike. Happy cycling!