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Are Saddle Bags obsolete?
I still use one to carry a tube, CO2/Pump, Chain Tool, ID.

I realize some newer bikes have the storage in the down tube but for those that don't, what do you use?

Also, If you have tubeless tires, is it still necessary to carry a tube and if so what size (spare) do "Mullet" riders pack?
 

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I'm old, I use a bag.
I hear ya. same boat here. but the market seems to be shrinking/shrunk. I was looking for one and they all were lame. too small or ridiculously large, velcro only on the straps etc. Im planning to use my camelbac to carry tools and plugs.
 

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I think saddle bags are mostly gone from the mainstream mtb scene. Dropper posts plus bigger wheels and longer travel means that the are behind the saddle is no longer an out-of-the-way spot for storing stuff. But I ride a hardtail so I still use mine and absolutely love that it lets me carry my phone off my body.

My understanding is that most tubeless users do indeed still carry a spare tube. Interestingly, either the smaller or the larger size will work for mullet riders as long as you're using a regular butyl rubber. I'd think carrying the small size makes sense from a weight perspective.
 

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Years ago I stopped using them because they didn't sit securely. Now, for shorter rides, I have a small one that holds bacon strips, a CO2 cartridge/inflator and mini-tool. It's very secure and doesn't interfere with my dropper/suspension. I'll carry a water bottle as well, so that I don't have to wear anything like a pack. For longer rides, I'll use a lumbar pack with a bladder and for really big rides, I'll used a backpack with a 2.5L reservoir + a water bottle and whatever else I need on the ride.

So, it just depends.


1926922
 

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In cog? Neato!
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Guys, with the advent of the dropper post, things have changed.

Fundamentally changed.

We now have to consider something that we previously didn't with regard to seat packs: our safety. Our lives, even.

Please allow me to explain. I realize that not everyone is an aggressive rider, has a dropper, utilizes long travel, yada, yada so your mileage will no doubt vary. But if you DO ride aggressively &/or utilize a longer dropper &/or longer travel, then there's a step you should take in order to be sure your bike will not eject you if/when you bottom the suspension. I'll illustrate how & why with my own situation.

I have two bikes that have long droppers (185mm & 210mm) that allow the post to be buried in the frame (that is to say, full insertion of the static length of the post). Whenever I'm descending, the saddle is dropped all the way to the top of the seat cluster. Whenever my suspension bottoms, the rear tire comes very close to my saddle.

Very close. Too close to put a seat bag there. Because if there were a seat bag there and my saddle was all the way down and my suspension fully compressed, the result is my rear tire would abruptly stop, sending me flying.

This could potentially present a much more serious situation than many riders seem to realize.

Here's how to make sure you're safe.

While you're home, in the comfort of your garage, open a beer and turn on some music, just as you always do whenever you're going to work on your bike. Now drop your saddle all the way. Next, release your shock's air entirely or remove the shock (coil) and collapse your frame's suspension completely. COMPLETELY. Now check the distance between your rear tire and the back of your saddle.

If you have enough room for a seat bag, then do as you wish.

But if you don't... then you may be asking for trouble.

This a big part of the reason we see fewer and fewer seat packs in the wild these days.
=sParty
 

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The problem with carrying a tube here in the desert is eventually when it's needed, I've run over so many cactus needles and horns that have sealed up but are still protruding on the inside of the tire. It is kind of a p.i.t.a. to run your hand in there any try to find and remove every last one. Sometimes they break off very short and you're screwed. I started using tires with overkill heavy casings and topping off my sealant every few months that haven't had a flat in years. Now I carry a mini pump and tire plugs, but I haven't needed those either.
 

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I carry a tube, pump, and multi-tool in my Ibis frame bag. I love not having to carry a back or hip pack with me for short rides.
 

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I took my saddle bag from the 90s and converted it to a frame corner bag near the head tube with some zip ties and washers on bolts going into the accessory bolts...
So, yes?
 

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I use an Evoc "multi frame pack" that straps into the main triangle of my frame. It fits a mutli-tool, phone, and keys if I need it too. I could probably also squeeze a tube in too but haven't done that yet. It's exactly what I wanted when looking for a replacement for my saddle bag when I got a dropper post but it is ridiculously expensive for how big it is. It is really nice quality and waterproof though.
 

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I used to ride with a small saddle bag for tubeless plugs and the multi-tool. Pump was mounted to the frame along with the water bottle cage. If the ride was short enough to make it with a small water bottle the bike had everything on it that I needed.

Current bike doesn't have anywhere to put a water bottle so I'd be using the pack anyway. Also with the dropper down and full compression my rear wheel barely misses buzzing the saddle. So no go for a saddle bag.

If I could fit a water bottle I'd find a way to fit everything else I needed on the frame to ride without a pack.
 

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I took my saddle bag from the 90s and converted it to a frame corner bag near the head tube with some zip ties and washers on bolts going into the accessory bolts...
So, yes?

Works. Ugly but works, and probably shaky.

My solution is rather complex:
  • Dakine frame bag for tube, CO2 and tire tools
  • Lezyne bottle cage with compartment for chain links and tool bits
  • Fix-it Sticks tools on the bottle cage (eventually I also use a small Blackburn pump on the same mount)
  • Granite bacon/Tire tools inside handlebar.
What @Sparticus said is very real. I've put a camera beneath my saddle once, and got a broken camera support in the first jump.
 

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I just got some fix-it sticks recently and those things are great! actual leverage on a portable tool? longer reach for getting somewhere tight? FINALLY.

I'm working towards going packless for really short rides, so looking to adjust my gear layout to put more on the bike. I still have a tube (in a Wolftooth rolltop bag attached to a bracket so it doesn't rotate around the frame), but I'm thinking about downsizing the tube so I can fit other tools in the rolltop bag. I still ride with a pack for longer rides. Times when I need to carry more water, or when I need to carry a spare jacket, extra food, or so on. I recently added a Oneup EDC pump, so there's a small storage space inside the handle of it I haven't used just yet.
 

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I think a lot of is fashion. The same thing happened in roadie world. People stuff their jerseys with the same crap they used to put in a small saddle bag because they don't like the look of saddle bags. Few of the reasons given here for getting rid of bags apply to road bikes, but saddle bags still disappeared from the cool kids bikes.
 
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