In the never-ending quest to find a perfect solution to on-bike gear stowage, the possibilities keep expanding. The growing number of straps, bags, and containers can make it even more challenging to find the right one. As the saying goes, “perfection is the enemy of good” and like chamois, storage choices are personal.
Frame tool straps and saddle bags make it easier to unload or offload your pack completely for a comfortable ride, if your bike allows. Sometimes saddle bags are too cumbersome or hit your rear tire when the suspension compresses, or they wobble around. And though they might work fine, the jangling of tools and snacks might get annoying after some time.
KOM Cycling Saddle Roll
Many of us have experienced those noisy saddle bags that are basically junk drawers for our bikes. There’s usually one compartment, the bag zips open, and you can shove everything and anything in there and think about it later. The KOM Cycling saddle roll is the opposite of those bags.
I’ve been using the Saddle Roll on my gravel bike for several months now, and it’s kept my essentials right where they need to be, not unlike a traditional bag, but with a much cleaner look and no rattling. The Saddle Roll uses a double retention system: one strap has a Velcro enclosure to secure the bag when it’s folded and rolled, and then the ATOP ratcheting dial secures the roll and its contents to the saddle rails. The ATOP is similar to a Boa dial: turn it clockwise and the strap tightens, but instead of pulling to release tension, just turn it counter clockwise.
In my Roll, I have a head and tail light if I’m caught in the dark, a compact Tubolito tube and tire lever, and a bar snack. A compact tool would fit in here easily as well. The Saddle Roll isn’t some game-changing bag or way to bring along an emergency kit, but it is an option to clean up the profile of a bike and keep everything you need snug and where it needs to be.
MSRP: $40. Available at Amazon.
KOM Cycling Tube Strap
KOM Cycling’s Tube Strap is made to carry bigger, bulkier items than the Saddle Roll, but by using both, riders have a good chance getting all of their essentials on the bike, if your bike allows for the Saddle Roll. If not, you can still get quite a bit of gear in the Tube Strap.
I’ve fit a full size tube, a weighty multi-tool, and tire lever in the strap, and there’s room for more. I’m sure there’s a way to squeeze a CO2 inflator head in with a cartridge, but I’d rather hold those small parts someplace that’s completely covered and secured.
The Tube Strap has nylon straps with the ATOP dial, and like the Saddle Roll, it works great and snugs the strap to the frame nicely. My one wish is that the Tube Strap had some silicone grippers on the inside because the strap can slide up and down the frame since the materials are soft.
Otherwise, the Tube Strap is a solid option to get more gear on the bike and off your back.
MSRP: $30. Available at Amazon.