Everything Old is New Again

 In the beginning bikes were created and it was generally considered a good idea.

Soon cyclists realized they needed tools and spares and out they went with strapped spare tubulars around their torsos. When that became inconvenient they carried their tubes and tools tied down on the bike. That was ok for the 1800s, but not aero enough for fancy people racing. Three pocket jerseys came along and you put everything on your lower back. So from body, to bike, back to body.

That was followed by hanging a small canvas bag from your seat and carrying everything inside it, and now we’re back to having your stuff on the bike. Later on that was unfashionable and dorky looking. Looks innovated and the fanny pack was born. That was the 80’s and 90’s and we soon enough realized we looked ridiculous. Going right back to saddlebags and 3 pocket jerseys for racing.

Back to nowadays…

But companies needed something to sell, so a myth was started claiming saddle bags would shift the weight on your bike and it was better once again to have stuff on our backs. Mountain bikes were booming and we moved on to hydration packs and backpacks. These kept growing and growing until you could carry a spare bike inside.

With our portable back lockers; we were miserable, sweaty and with back pain. Seizing this opportunity we went back to 3 pocket-ish jersey-ish undershirts. Well, turns out that wearing an undervest full of stuff and a jersey in the summer, we sweat like crazy. Same deal as packs, but saddlebags are still not fashionable and frame bags are not for cutting edge cycle fashionistas. So what to do?

Let’s bring back the fanny pack! But this time, it’s a technical hydration lower back solution. Ok, that’s cool and thank you, I’m not sweating as much as with a hydration pack. But with the bladder I can’t fit everything my backpack could. And back we go to storing some things on the bike. Round and round.

Ride or wear what works for you, not what’s in fashion.

Cyclist with his back towards camera, riding a loose ridge line.
It’s not the most fashionable, but my fanny pack is comfortable on hot Mexico rides.

When I started, I had my fanny pack with food and tools, water was on two bottles on the frame and that was that. Fashion, thirst and full suspension mesmerized me on to hydration packs. While I was pretty good at not keeping everything and the kitchen sink inside, they were still heavy, hot and gave me back pain.

Currently, I have a hydration fanny pack. I patiently waited for the first ones to come on sale. Inside, it carries a spare tube, cell phone, energy bar and a first aid kit, no more. The multi tool, pump, and patches those go on a plastic stash can, I got on clearance, on my water bottle cage. Simple, comfortable, not bike fashionable, but who cares.

Honestly and after all that hyperbole, find the solution that best works for you, and use it. I used storage as an example, however all things come and go and come back given some time. From droppers, to 27.5 tires, idler pulleys, air vs coil; everything is constantly circling back. Its cool to have a ton of options from a ton of brands on varying price points. But that does not mean you need to burn money keeping up on the latest gear trend. Stop trying to keep up with changing trends that cost money, short term satisfaction and long term dissatisfaction

One thought on “Everything Old is New Again

Comments are closed.