On my overnight bikepacking trip last summer I didn’t quite feel like I had enough storage space for a longer trip. I feel like I can remedy this by 1) making a slightly bigger seat post bag and 2) utilising some of the empty space still left on my bike. Like the space below my water bottles.
So I’ve made a small bag that will fit a patch kit, spare tubes x2 and a multi tool. They will still be readily accessible when I need them, they’re not packed away. But they really didn’t need to take up space in the frame bag, space that could be used for things like food or other things that I need to be able to reach on the go.
As usual it’s of to the recycling bins for cardboard, the start of all my bikepacking projects it seems. Smaller piece this time though since I’m making quite a small bag. Other than that it’s business as usual.
I hold up the piece of cardboard behind my frame and mark the corners. Then I mark out the sides with a ruler and hold up the piece of cardboard to check that I’ve got the outline right. I then cut out away the excess cardboard and try out the fit of the model by placing it in my frame. I modify the cut out, slicing off a bit of cardboard here and there until it fits the way I want it. Finally I consider where I want the bag to attach to the frame. Honestly with all the cables and the front derailleur there is a lot going on down there, it was quite a struggle finding room for just two attachment straps. Luckily the bag mostly rests in the frame and it’s a small bag, no more than two straps are needed.
I’m not sure the picture below is very enlightening as to the process of assembling the bag. To be honest it even confuses me a bit. I wanted the zipper sitting off to the side facing away from the chainset, for ease of access. I didn’t want to put it in the side wall though, the bag is so small it would make it fiddly to get stuff in and out. Getting in from the top of the bag would be preferable. So I ended up placing the zipper right at the join between sidewall and top of the bag. This made for some quite strange looking steps mid-process.
You can open the bag up a lot wider by placing the zipper as shown above, as opposed to sown into the sidewall as you would on a frame bag.
Left and right side of the bag. On and off the bike. Note that coffee is an important part of the bag making process.
It’s a bit of a squeeze and you may have to be a bit creative when you wrap the tubes, but it all fits.