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♫ Everyone has their own way, everyone has their own way, everyone has their own dream, everyone has their own bags ♫

Cycling is an exciting adventure that allows you to (re)discover the surrounding area or explore new horizons while remaining close to nature. Whether it's a day trip from home or an adventure lasting several months on the other side of the planet, cycling requires careful preparation and the choice of panniers. is a crucial element.

Are you lost between all the types and volumes of bags? Don't panic, Muule will get you back in the saddle!

Rack bags or bikepacking bags?

There are mainly two types of panniers : rack panniers and bikepacking panniers . Each has its advantages and disadvantages.

The choice will depend both on the type of bike used (hiking, gravel, mountain bike, etc.) and on how you plan your trip. More than duration, it is
especially the degree of autonomy of your trip which will influence the choice (depending on whether you plan to transport a tent and a stove for example).

In this article, we will present the characteristics, advantages and disadvantages of each type of bag in order to make your informed choice.

Luggage rack bags

The most classic model favored by thousands of travelers for decades, the luggage rack bags are robust and easy to use. They are ideal for transporting large quantities of equipment and are often used for long trips or independent bike tours.

The rear bags offer a volume of 20 to 30 liters per bag and are ideal for all types of travel because they do not unbalance the rider. In addition, they leave the center of the luggage rack clear, allowing a tent or tent to be attached. a duffle type bag.

The front bags - smaller in volume so as not to weigh too much on the steering - can be mounted alone at the rear for short stays and/or not requiring a large loading volume, or at the front on doors -Low Rider type luggage in addition to rear panniers. They can also be mounted on children's bikes.

They are ideally complemented by handlebar bags that are attached using a support.

The luggage rack bags offer a large volume and lots of storage possibilities

BENEFITS :

  • Large storage capacity: luggage rack bags offer a large storage capacity, ranging from 20 to 30 liters per bag, or even more. They carry everything needed for long trips, including clothing, food, tools and bivouac equipment.
  • Stability: Securely attached to the luggage rack, these bags distribute weight evenly across the bike, improving stability and riding comfort.
  • Ease of Access and Storage : The rack bags are easily accessible, with zippers and well-organized compartments for easy storage and quick access to your belongings.
  • Robustness and waterproofing : these bags are often made from ultra-resistant materials guaranteeing solidity and longevity. They are also in most cases waterproof and dustproof, ensuring you keep your belongings well protected.

In addition to a large volume, the bags on luggage rack or support combine robustness, stability and accessibility

DISADVANTAGES:

  • Reduced aerodynamics : Saddlebags can increase wind resistance.
  • Less suitable for technical terrain : on very uneven paths, they may be less practical.
  • Weight : these bags are often heavy, especially
    when they are full due to their large volume.
  • Need to install a luggage rack : in addition to adding weight to the bike, this requires having a bike with mounting eyelets even if there are now models of luggage racks that can be attached to any bike using Velcro or rubber straps. But in this case, the load is often limited. In all cases, check the maximum load of the luggage racks, this can vary from 5 to 40 kg depending on the material and thickness of the tubes.

Rack bags require...a rack. However, not all bikes are compatible.

Bikepacking bags

Appearing with the rise of gravel in the mid-2010s, bikepacking bags have revolutionized bike travel .

These bags are designed to attach directly to the bike's frame, seat post and handlebars, without the need for a rack. They are more compact and aerodynamic, ideal for off-road adventures, shorter journeys and fans of minimalism.

The ideal combo is a saddle bag to carry all your basic equipment, including your spare gear, a handlebar bag to hold a tent canvas and/or an ultralight sleeping bag, and a frame bag for the Heavy equipment like tent stakes, tools or supplies thanks to positioning both in the middle of the bike and with a lower center of gravity.

This installation can be completed with fork bags , which are attached to the outside of the fork sliders, as well as with a top tube bag , which is attached to the upper tube, at the front, against the stem.

BENEFITS :

  • Lightweight : Bikepacking bags are generally lighter and reduce the overall weight of the bike, improving handling and speed.
  • Aerodynamics : Their compact, form-fitting design reduces wind resistance, making the bike more efficient over long distances.
  • Flexibility : perfect for varied terrain and technical trails, they allow greater freedom of movement.
  • Easy installation : do not require a luggage rack, they can be installed on almost all types of bikes, including road, mountain and gravel bikes, including carbon and/or with suspensions, on which it It is often impossible to mount luggage racks.

Bikepacking bags offer total lightness and freedom. Plus, they can be mounted on almost any bike.

DISADVANTAGES:

  • Limited capacity : Bikepacking bags have more limited storage capacity, which may require careful planning of what you pack
  • Accessibility : They may be less accessible en route, sometimes requiring you to undo straps to reach your belongings.
  • Limited organization : These saddlebags offer fewer compartments and organized pockets, which can make storage less convenient

Compact and lightweight, these bags allow less easy access to belongings and more basic organization.

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