RAGBRAI Route Announcement Party set for Friday, January 28! Get your tickets

Bags on bike?

In gathering gear for the ride, I’m curious about what I should carry on my bike. Carrying gear will also require a bag or bags to carry it in. Panniers, frame packs, seat packs… suggestions on what to carry and what to carry it in. All suggestions are appreciated, thanks!

8 Replies

GeorgeKline, May 21, 2017 at 9:38 am

I only carry a small seat bag, and have not found a need for any more. I carry 2 extra tubes, a bike multi-tool, 2 CO2 cartridges, CO2 inflater and tire levers.
I carry lens wipes cell phone, individual packaged wet ones,chap stick, container of Nuun in my jersey pockets. I have never needed anything more. Just have what you take on a normal 60 mile ride, if you find you need something more you can stop at a store and pick it up, or find some one with the item and more than likely they will share with you, always a helpful bunch at RAGBRAI.
Panniers may come in handy if you were to buy something along the way but are only needed if you are self supported. I would let them behind if using the General transport or a charter. I only have 4 years experience at RAGBRAI, and have found there are many ways to do it, I did opt for a bar bag the first year but it added to wind resistant and I found I did not need all the stuff I carried and left it in camp after the second day.


Marla Shifflett, May 21, 2017 at 9:46 am

Good Morning, Matt! I’m sure there are about as many different answers to this question as there are colors of shirts on RAGBRAI, but I’ll jump in with my 2 cents worth. You will see bags that run the gamut on the ride. I prefer a medium/smallish seat bag and a small stem bag when I ride RAGBRAI (and really, most of my riding). In my seat bag I have packed: multi/tool with Allen wrenches, tube, CO2, small CO2 nozzle, patch kit, tire levers (sometimes on the multi tool), small pack of baby/cleaning wipes, and a thin/roll up rain jacket (sometimes wear in in the morning, then stash it in the seat bag), shower cap (for my seat in case of rain and I’m off the bike, or for my helmet during riding in rain). Some of my friends stick in some thin medical rubber gloves. I just get dirty and then clean up with the baby wipes. lol In my stem bag I have packed: cell phone, Mophie (cell charger), money ($40 or so), copy of driver’s license, debit card (personal preference, but I like having that option), few Kleenex (come in handy for TP outages), reading glasses (I’m old), map of the day, lodging details for the night (addresses, meeting places, etc.). You don’t need a map for getting lost, you won’t/can’t get lost, but I like a paper map to pull out for distance to the next town, climb expectations, when we will be turning into/out of the wind, etc. I carry two water bottles on my bike, and usually only need one. I carry front and rear lights on my bike for early morning starts. Hope that helps! I’m sure you’ll get lots of responses! I have a friend who carries a rack and everything but the kitchen sink, but I’m a lighter packer because I don’t want to lug all that stuff up the hills! I may have forgotten something I carry, but that’s about all I can think of right now.


Marla Shifflett, May 21, 2017 at 9:48 am

Oops! I forgot to say SUNCREEN! I carry a decent sized tube of sunscreen in my bag, too, and use it often!


GeorgeKline, May 21, 2017 at 12:47 pm

Good points,Mshifflette, I missed the TP and I usually reapply sunscreen at Beekmans, so I do not carry it. Save like about a of a third of a roll of TP ( or a couple for the week) to bring along for paper outages or a visit to the corn field, it goes in a plastic bag to stay dry and I carry in jersey pocket. A couple of zip ties can come in handy also for a makeshift repair to get to a mechanic.


Matt Lillpop, May 21, 2017 at 3:02 pm

Thanks for your input!


Sexton, May 21, 2017 at 7:46 pm

You might consider a light rain jacket of some kind.


Carl Anderson, May 22, 2017 at 6:09 am

I carry a small stem bag which I have some normal size band aides and a external battery and usb cord for my phone, because I have my fitness app for my bike and lip balm and a package of gum. I carry a multi tool 2 tubes , tire levers and a garbage bag for rain, and attach my tail light to my seat bag. I carry my billfold and tissue and sunscreen packets in my Jersey


davekilloran, May 22, 2017 at 11:07 am

I use one medium/large bag under my seat. In it I carry an epipen, since I’m allergic to bee stings, 2 tubes, 2 CO2 cartridges, CO2 nozzle, allen wrenches, tire levers, a rain jacket, money clip, cell phone, sunscreen and 1 thing I haven’t been able to kick, a can of smokeless tobacco. That worked last year, I plan on the same this time


You must be logged in to reply to this topic.





Gatherings & Meetings

Lost and Found


Clubs, Teams & Charters

Friends of RAGBRAI