Bicycles are a fun and convenient mode of transportation. You can ride your bicycle anywhere without having to worry about gas money or having your license. Plus, bicycles are extremely good for the environment.
However, one of the biggest problem frequent bicycle riders face is when they have to carry bags with them. Sure you can carry a backpack with you on a bike, but what about gym bags? What happens when already have a heavy backpack along with your gym bag? In this article, we are going to be answering all these questions and more!
How to Carry a Gym Bag on a Bike?
Now, let’s find out how you can carry gym bags on a bike in the easiest way.
Rear Bike Racks
The number one piece of advice given by cyclists about carrying heavy bags like gym bags is to install a rear bike rack. The rear bike rack also known as a cargo rack or a luggage carrier, they are attached to the back of the bicycle.
The rack features rails that are used to keep your item steady or to tie your bags to the bike. For smaller items like jackets and such, you can place them directly on the rack. However, as gym bags are much larger you will need to hook the bag to the rear rack. This can either be done using a pannier or a basket.
For people who do not want to spend additional money on a pannier or a basket, you can use this DIY method to secure your gym bag safely on the rack. All you will need is a plank of wood bigger than the rear rack, wire, polyester rope, and wooden sticks.
Take the wood plank and drill four holes on each corner. Using a wire, securely tie the plank to the bicycle. Make more holes along the plank wherever needed to fasten your luggage. Take the wooden sticks and drill a hole in the middle to make the ends of the rope go through them.
Put the rope through the newly made holes, and place your gym bag over the plank. Use as much rope as needed for the bag (just enough to hold it in place), and strap the bag in.
We have already mentioned panniers once in this article. Panniers which is French for baskets is a type of bike bag that offers ample storage. A typical pannier has an average volume of 15 to 25 liters and a carrying capacity of 40 to 60 lbs. These bags are made from weatherproof and waterproof materials.
As such, regardless of the season, you can rest assured that your luggage will not be ruined. Panniers can be found in various shapes and sizes, so you can choose one according to your need. For instance, if you have a lot of luggage to carry with you, then you can opt for a double pannier. A double pannier has two bags on each side of the bag, giving you double the cargo capacity.
In order to use a pannier, you will need to have a rear rack installed on your bicycle. So if you already do not have a rear rack, getting it installed will be an additional expense. The pannier attaches to the rear bike rack using clips, bungee cords, or spring-loaded hooks and is super easy to disconnect.
When you are attaching the pannier to the rear rack, make sure the bag is placed at such a height that your heel does not make contact with the pannier while pedaling. Otherwise, the situation is unsafe and a hazard for the rider.
If your gym bag and any other cargo you want to carry is bigger than the pannier or rear rack then you can use a trailer. A trailer is mainly used for carrying heavy or large luggage. They are attached to either the seat post or the axle of the rear wheel.
Although trailers are used to carry toddlers or small dogs with you while riding your bike, they can be really handy, especially when you have to carry large cargo like gym bags. And there is extra space to carry other things as well on the trailer. If you are worried about your bag getting wet or other weather-related concerns, you can always invest in extra gear.
There are waterproof tarps designed specifically for trailers that will do a decent job at protecting your cargo. However, unlike panniers, trailers are not that easily detachable. Depending on the size of the trailer, the installation and removal process might require the use of tools.
This should be your last option only if there is no other way for you to carry your gym bag using the options mentioned above. Instead of carrying a gym bag, you can transfer your things into a bike backpack. While riding, backpacks, crossbody bags, and messenger bags are recommended to be worn.
These bags do a good job of staying in place while riding and will not throw you off balance. Stability is one of the most important things to maintain while riding a bike. So it is important that you choose a bag that will help you stay stable. Gym bags have to be carried using straps.
This cannot be done while you are on your bicycle, as both hands need to be on the handlebars. As such, as last resort, you can use a backpack for your gym items.
Regardless of the option, you use to carry your gym bag on a bike, make sure to manage weight correctly. Do not carry anything overly heavy as it will affect your stability and mobility.
The weight needs to be distributed in such a way that your safety is ensured. The best option is to install a rear rack and add on to that if needed.