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Home » Cycling » The One Cycling Rule the Avid Enthusiast can Ignore:  The Posterior Man Satchel, or Saddle Bag… Or Seat Bag.

The One Cycling Rule the Avid Enthusiast can Ignore:  The Posterior Man Satchel, or Saddle Bag… Or Seat Bag.

August 2017

Rule number 29 from the Velominati dictates we not use a saddle bag.  Up until Wednesday, I adhered to this rule.  I have, for the last several years, used a smart-looking pack that carries everything I need and fits in my middle back jersey pocket.  I will not, under any circumstances, put a saddle bag (or seat bag as they’re sometimes called, thank you Matt) on my Venge.  I had one on the bike and it looked like a Ballchinian from Men in Black.  I can’t live with that.

On the other hand, that back pocket pouch takes up some real estate in the pocket area that can be used for important things on a long tour, such as a rain jacket or arm warmers/knee warmers after it’s grown warmer as the day progresses.

I’ve got a four-day, 385 mile tour coming up in a few weeks and to tell the truth, I don’t like carrying everything in my back pocket on that trip.  It gets heavy and becomes a nuisance by the final day, so I am breaking with Rule 29.  Kind of.

Now, before you get all uppity, my defiance isn’t unprecedented.  There exists a carve out for the saddle bag:

…But, it’s still a saddle bag. While a functional, good looking one, the fact remains that any saddle bag looks worse than none at all. I can’t see it gracing my bike except for very long rides, when the maximum of gear needs to be carried. So if you’re going to mess with Rule #29, do it in style, keep it small, tidy and only filled with the bare essentials. I’m sure even an Apostle will back me up on this one.

Emphasis is mine….

My friends, there you have it.  My bike looks better without a posterior man satchel, there is no doubt:


On the other hand, 385 miles in four days.  100+ miles a day for the first three and 72 on the fourth.  That qualifies as a long ride and as I said, I need that pocket real estate for more important things.

So, it was with great pride that I went to the shop the other day and picked out the first saddle bag I’ve used in years.  It does look a little goofy, but it beats carrying all of that crap around in my back pocket for four days!

***PS.  None of this post should be taken seriously.  The rules should even be read with an eye toward humor.  Still, a man can’t have a Ballchinian for a bike either!


  1. AndrewGills says:

    LOL. My bike had a large seat post bag and I love it. But it definitely doesn’t look anywhere near as fast or sexy as your bagless race machine 🙂

  2. @vapor_sage says:

    Function over style, imho, on a long tour

    • bgddyjim says:

      Or both… I think a small seat bag works fine. I’ll still have to carry some things in my pockets but I’ll have a lot more room, that’s for certain. Only the racers carry EVERYTHING stuff in their back pockets in our group.

  3. Brent says:

    Glad I’ve never met any of those Velominati douchebags that think they have the right to tell other people how to accessorize themselves and their bikes. I’m not sure whether snotty and arrogant unsolicited criticism is a viable court defense to an assault charge.

    I ride with a saddlebag because I don’t want to worry about not having a tire boot, an extra CO2 cylinder or anything else that might ruin my day. And I don’t like the feel of anything in my jersey pockets that distracts me.

    Of course, I do what the hell I want when it comes to fashion anyway: instead of a jersey with the logo of some Tour de France team, mine have pictures of Curious George, space aliens or the Cat in the Hat. And I ride 37mm tires, not 23mm or 25mm because they keep me from bashing up rims. Not only does no one mind, but a couple of people in my club have bought similar setups based on my experience.

    So I’m making the world a more comfortable albeit slower place, undermining the Velominati at every turn.

  4. Archetype says:

    No doubt that a bag steal away from the look of good machine… I have a small one and really don’t like it. I’ve got it positioned on angle to mimic the lines the bike, tucked up as high as possible…

    BUT to me a bulky pack or bag sticking out the back of a jersey, imo looks like amateur hour! 😀 #fred LOL!

    I try to keep my jersey pockets filled at a minimum… I suppose it’s in all the perception buddy! No matter, because it’s the ride that counts…

    • bgddyjim says:

      Well, when you’re talking about a trip around the block, a pack in the back pocket may look off, on the other hand it’s not big…. and I have to carry a spare tube, a tire iron and a co2 pump somehow.

  5. Ian says:

    Tongue firmly in cheek 🙂

  6. joliesattic says:

    LOL. I’m for the bag, but then I’ve always been inclined toward practicality. And, don’t forget the bike pump! In Colorado our group never went without either, but our rides were rather remote and there was no sag wagon to rely on. My current bike has neither but I usually ride with hubby, who can fly like the wind if need be. I was thinking about going alone which would mean being prepared for anything.

  7. Be right back, going for a loooong ride…. 😉

  8. saoirsek says:

    I always find a large wicker basket on the front of my fixie really useful…and there’s that famous Irish humour right there🙂

    • bgddyjim says:

      Yes, that’s EXACTLY what I need on my $5,000 Specialized Venge, a wicker basket for my $25, 3/4″ CO2 air pump, a tube, a couple of tire irons, a patch kit and some loose cash. Basically, a wicker basket for stuff that will fit in that saddle bag in the photo.

      It would be awfully funny to show up like that for the group ride though… now that you mention it…. Hmmm….

  9. getwifed says:

    I like to put the stuff I never want to leave without in my saddle bag and then it never leaves the bike. It’s probably overkill but better safe than sorry. It’s an expandable version on my mountain bike and a tidy neat one on my road bike. Each has a bike tool, small or decent sized first aid kit, tube and or patch kit, the nozzle thing for my pump, zip ties, tp in a zippy and a tiny tube of lube. My mountain bike one has a foil emergency blanket, lighter, needle and thread, water tablets, an energy bar and a charged USB power pack. I never, ever want to go camping but especially on my mountain bike I want to be at least able to spend the night in theory just with what’s in my saddle bag. But I do take it off when I race.

    • bgddyjim says:

      Holy Molly! Nobody will EVER be able to call you unprepared!

      Put a MissingLink extra chain link sized to your chain in your pouches too… they come in handy. 😉

  10. Sandra says:

    LOL! I just received a saddle bag made from upcycled bike tubes the other day. I put it on my fatty (I tend to go completely casual on that bike). It’s amazing not having to take off my hydration pack every time I need something.

  11. MJ Ray says:

    Come on. What that bike really needs is a Bagman with a Nelson Longflap. 😉

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