Last updated: August 6, 2021

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Welcome to our big bicycle frame bag test 2021. Here we present all the bicycle frame bags that we have tested in detail. We have compiled detailed background information and added a summary of customer reviews on the web.

We want to make your purchase decision easier and help you find the best bicycle frame bag for you. You will also find answers to frequently asked questions in our guide. If available, we also offer interesting test videos. In addition, you will find some important information on this page that you should be aware of when buying a bicycle frame bag.




Summary

  • Bicycle frame bags allow cyclists to carry smaller items such as bicycle repair kits without getting in the way of riding.
  • Bicycle frame bags are very versatile carriers that can be fitted to any bicycle with ease.
  • Although there are several variations of bicycle panniers, the frame bag is the most practical.

The Best Bicycle Frame Bag: Our Picks

Guide: Questions you should ask yourself before buying a bicycle frame bag

What is a bicycle frame bag?

A bicycle frame bag is a bicycle bag that is placed on the bicycle frame. Its purpose is to allow the transport of various cycling paraphernalia and useful items.

From recreational cyclists to racing cyclists, bicycle bags enhance the enjoyment of cycling and are always part of the package. (Image source: unsplash.com /Patrick Hendry)

Basically, a bicycle frame bag is a luggage carrier designed to make it easier for a cyclist to transport items. Unlike ordinary bicycle bags, the bicycle frame bag is stowed in the skeleton of the bicycle and thus does not become an obstacle when riding.

What size should my bicycle frame bag be?

The size of the frame bag can vary depending on the bike. It is important that you know what you want to use the frame bag for. In most cases, the volume of the frame bag is not very large and is therefore only used for smaller objects such as bicycle repair tools or bicycle locks. If you prefer to store smaller objects, then it may be worth choosing a smaller bag.

Top tube bicycle frame bags generally have a smaller volume and are very handy because of their position.

Top tube bike frame bags are also mostly used because of their smartphone compatibility. It is important that you know the dimensions of your smartphone and therefore choose a suitable frame bag. When choosing the size, you should also bear in mind that you could often bump into the bag with your legs or knees while cycling. Compact frame bags reduce the chance of uncomfortable riding.

How much does a bicycle frame bag cost?

Depending on the manufacturer, there are relatively large price differences in bicycle frame bags. The differences are mostly determined by the type of frame bag. Other factors such as waterproofness, smartphone compatibility or product material can strongly influence the price. The type of mounting also has something to do with the price.

For example, you can expect a price range of 10 to 20 euros for top tube bike frame bags. However, you should know that the prices of individual manufacturers can sometimes exceed this range. As frame bags that are attached to the inner frame of the bike can have a higher volume, the prices also vary depending on the manufacturer.

In general, however, you can expect a price range of 10 to 40 euros for these frame bags. Retro bicycle frame bags are the most expensive variant with a price range of 20 to 80 euros. The difference in price is usually due to the high-quality materials used or the craftsmanship of the manufacturer.

variant price range
Top tube bicycle frame bags 10 - 20€
Simple frame bags 10 - 40€
Retro bicycle frame bags 20 - 80€

Which bicycle frame bag should I choose?

To know which bicycle frame bag suits you, you should know what you need it for.

When choosing, you should ask yourself what you want from the bicycle frame bag.

Bike frame bags are very versatile and therefore fit very well on every bike. Do you always carry a lot of things with you when cycling? Then it might be worth choosing a larger version. If you need your smartphone while cycling, then a bag with waterproof and smartphone compatibility can be an advantage.

What are the alternatives to a bicycle frame bag?

There are of course alternatives to bicycle frame bags. A very popular alternative is the saddle bag, which, as the name suggests, is attached to the saddle of the bike. Rear and front panniers are also bicycle panniers. However, because of their size and mass, these bags are more suitable for longer rides. Handlebar bags are often used in combination with rear and front panniers for longer rides.

If you are looking for something specifically for your smartphone, then a mobile phone holder would be suitable. Another option is a basket for your bike if you are looking for a way to transport your belongings.

Alternative Mounting location Volume range
Handlebar bags At the top of the handlebar 2 - 9 litres
Saddle bags Under the saddle of the bike 4 - 17 litres
Rear and front panniers On the outer edge of the wheels 20 - 85 litres

Ultimately, it is up to you to decide which bag is right for you. The alternatives have certain advantages and disadvantages that you should consider.

Decision: What types of bicycle frame bags are there and which is the right one for you?

If you want to buy a bicycle frame bag, you have the choice between three types.

  • Basic bicycle frame bags
  • Top tube bicycle frame bags
  • Retro bicycle frame bags

Simple bicycle frame bags are of the common frame bag variety and are attached to the frame of the bicycle, like most. Their distinctive triangular appearance gives them a place inside the frame. Top tube bike frame bags also belong to the frame bag genre and are often attached to the top of the frame for their smartphone compatibility. Retro frame bags are the last variant and differ in material and construction depending on the manufacturer. In the following section we want to help you with your decision.

What are the characteristics of a simple bicycle frame bag and what are its advantages and disadvantages?

A simple bicycle frame bag is attached to the frame of the bicycle. Usually, these frame bags are mounted inside the frame and, depending on their size, can make for uncomfortable riding.

Advantages
  • Compact
  • Adaptable
  • Waterproof
Disadvantages
  • Depending on size, uncomfortable
  • Only small items can be carried

The advantage of simple frame bags is that they fit almost all bicycle frames. They are very suitable for diamond and sloping frames, but can also be used on ladies' bikes or Dutch bikes.

What are the characteristics of a top tube bicycle frame bag and what are its advantages and disadvantages?

Top tube bicycle frame bags are very distinctive. They are attached to the top of the bicycle. The purpose behind this is a more comfortable ride and the function to operate with a smartphone. The position and smartphone compatibility helps the cyclist to look at the smartphone while riding and to operate it mostly with a touch screen function.

Advantages
  • Practical
  • Inexpensive
  • Waterproof
Disadvantages
  • Little space for smaller items

The advantage of a top tube frame bag is that it doesn't get in the way when riding. It is also very practical with its smartphone holder when riding. The disadvantage here, however, is that it loses volume because of the smartphone holder and can only carry a few items.

What distinguishes a retro bicycle frame bag and what are its advantages and disadvantages?

In principle, retro bicycle frame bags work just like simple bicycle frame bags. The difference is that retro frame bags are made of different material. In most cases, retro frame bags are made of leather or similar material.

Advantages
  • High quality
  • high-quality material
Disadvantages
  • Not waterproof
  • Expensive

There is a possibility that the appearance and size will vary depending on the manufacturer. In addition, retro bicycle frame bags are often handmade products. The disadvantage is that these bags are often not waterproof due to their manufacture and material. On the other hand, the quality of the craftsmanship is praised by their owners.

Buying criteria: These are the factors you can use to compare and evaluate bicycle frame bags

In the following, we will show you which aspects you can use to decide between the many possible bicycle frame bags. The criteria you can use to compare the frame carriers include:

  • Size/Volume
  • Material
  • Mounting
  • Smartphone Compatibility

In the following paragraphs we will explain to you what is important in the individual criteria.

Size/volume

Size plays a big role when choosing a bicycle frame bag and is therefore a very important criterion that you should pay attention to. Therefore, be sure which version suits you best.

Top tube Bicycle frame bags are perfect for smaller items because of their compact design. (Image source: unsplash.com / Victor Xok)

Again, keep in mind that top tube bike frame bags are generally smaller than frame bags that attach to the inside of the bike frame. For a longer ride or camping trip, it may be better to take a frame bag that has more volume.

However, frame bags that are too big can get in the way when riding and, in the worst cases, lead to accidents. Therefore, we advise you to choose a slimmer frame bag. Basically, a bicycle frame bag has a volume range of 0.5 to 8 litres. Top tube frame bags usually have a volume range of 1 to 3 litres.

Variant Volume range
Top tube bicycle frame bags 1 - 3 litres
Simple frame bags 0.5 - 8 litres

Material

Another important criterion when buying a bicycle frame bag is the material. Retro bicycle frame bags are usually made of leather-like material. Check with the manufacturer to make sure that high-quality material is used. It can also be very helpful to choose a waterproof or water-repellent version. Modern frame bags should always be waterproof. High-quality plastic or nylon textiles are very robust materials that ensure that the bag has a longer lifespan.

The material of the bicycle frame bag is a very important criterion, as it ensures the protection of the contents. (Image source: pixabay.com / hhach)

Be very attentive when looking at your bag and make sure that the material has not been damaged. The function to protect against water can fail with the slightest damage or hole. Here you should be especially careful that the seams are clean. This prevents water or other substances that could damage the contents from penetrating.

Mounting

From electric bikes to mountain bikes, the bike frame bag fits effortlessly on every bike. The different versions of the bicycle frame bags allow them to be attached to the frame, top tube or handlebars of the bicycle. Velcro fasteners and straps are used to mount the frame bag.

These fasteners hold the bag in place in the frame by means of the top tube and seat tube. The brake and gear cables should not be obstructed when attaching the bag. Top tube frame bags are attached to the top of the top tube and the handlebar tube. The following video shows you how to attach a top tube frame bag.

Smartphone compatibility

Finally, check if you need a frame bag with smartphone compatibility. If you want to buy a top tube frame bag, find out if your smartphone is compatible with the product. In online shops, compatibility is always stated.

If it is not stated, you should check the customer reviews. With these models, you should also make sure to choose a frame bag with a clear window. This allows you to look at your smartphone while riding and use it as a navigation device, for example. Make sure that the frame bag is sealed. The smartphone should never be damaged while riding.

In the end, you will always find a bicycle frame bag that is compatible with your smartphone.

The following video shows you again what to look for in a bicycle frame bag with smartphone compatibility.

Trivia: Facts worth knowing about the topic of bicycle frame bags

What is a bicycle frame bag with touchscreen function?

As mentioned in the paragraphs above, a clear window in the bicycle frame bag enables the touchscreen function. The coating of the clear window film should always make it possible to operate the smartphone while riding.

How can I sew a bicycle frame bag myself?

Many retro bicycle frame bag manufacturers make their product themselves by hand. You can also make your own bicycle frame bag. You can find a lot of information about sewing bicycle frame bags on the internet.

In this video we want to show you an example of how to make a bicycle frame bag yourself.  In the following resources we have also added a few websites that show how to make bike bags.

Image source: unsplash.com/Murillo de Paula

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