I was recently reading a debate among cyclists about the best way to carry weight–whether on the bike, or on your back.
The advocates for ‘on the bike’ suggested that it was easier on the rider, that it lowered the center of gravity, and that it made the rider more agile.
The advocates for ‘on the back’ suggested that it made the bike more agile, made it possible to ‘move’ the weight to affect bike handling, and mimicked Enduro riders who certainly know what they’re doing.
My thoughts? I try to make myself as light as possible. If I’m carrying weight, I try to carry it on the bike, with rare exception. When riding road or gravel, I carry my water and tubes on the bike typically. I have a small CO2/tool pouch I carry in a jersey pocket (because I have one set I really like, and carry it with multiple bikes).
For mountain or fat bikes, similarly, I try to carry weight on the bike. Sure, I’ll wear a hydration pack from time to time, but for the most part, my philosophy is to keep myself light. Heck, I try to minimize overall weight, but if I do have to carry weight, I try to do it on the bike.
For fatbiking, I ride pretty light. I’ve been riding tubeless for 2 years now, and pretty confidently so. I often ride without tubes, CO2 or a pump, when riding locally. For longer rides, or super-cold conditions, I’ll gear up. For example, I rode last night. It was subzero temps, super-subzero windchill, and pretty nasty out. The snow was really deep (8″ base with deeper drifts), so I was running my tires as low as I dared. In those conditions, I wanted to be prepared. I had a pump, a spare tube, tools, a warm jacket, a set of hand-heaters and a small snack. I had all of those stuffed into my Booster Rocket bag from The Porcelain Rocket. This is what it looks like with all of that gear in it.
It sits nicely on the seat post, staying below the saddle and allowing me full freedom of motion on the bike.
It has proven to be totally water and mud proof. When it gets dirty, I hit it with the hose, and blast it clean. The cinch-straps make it easy to snug the bag down so it doesn’t bounce around, and also make it easy to compress down the jacket or whatever else you have in the bag. I’ve used it in varied conditions ranging from 150 mile gravel benders to 100 mile fatbike rides in 12 degree temps to mountain biking in the mud. It’s super versatile, and has proven to be very durable. It’s a fantastic piece of kit. I know many are fond of Relevate gear (and I have several Relevate bags that I like a lot), but with Scott Felter from the Porcelain Rocket, you can get full customization of whatever you want, in whatever fabric you want, and can get fantastic gear that will last you for years.
There is nothing that would work better for what I use it for–not weight on my back, not weight in any other way. If I need more capacity, I can throw a frame bag on, but the nice thing about this current setup is that I can carry water bottles in my cages for shorter rides.
If you’re interested in a Porcelain Rocket bag, I’d recommend talking to Scott. He can get you set up with something that will exactly meet your needs.