Cheap bikepacking feedbags can be yours for less than $17. A bunch of new companies are changing how we carry gear when bicycle touring. I am a huge fan of some of these methods and look forward to incorporating them into my bicycle touring set up.
In my post I outline some of these companies and some ideas where I can shed some weight and better distribute my bicycle touring gear.
One company Revelate Designs makes a unique bag that tucks in on the rider side of the handlebar and allows the rider to carry items that a rider might need easy access to when on the bike. They are called Mountain Feedbags. They are pricey at $39 apiece and rarely in stock. These are designed for offroad travel and look to be well designed and very robust. Since I am mostly on pavement I have decided to try to create my own.
I saw a sale at Jannd.com where they were offering ‘chalk bags’ that looked a lot like a feedbag. With some light sewing they could be made to function well enough to be added into my touring kit as Cheap BikePacking Feedbags. The Fist Chalk bag was [and is] on sale for $6.95. It features two webbing loops that can be tied or sewn together to fit around the top of the stem.
Jandd Fist Chalkbag
First lets look at the Cheap BikePacking Feedbags straight from the factory. Jannd.com has been making quality bicycle touring and mountaineering equipment since 1983 and offers a lifetime guarantee on their products.
Step 1 in creating Cheap BikePacking Feedbags is to remove the fabric liner
Turning the Chalk bag inside out reveals a fabric that may be ideal for chalk but it would be terrible to carry a water bottle. It’s a thick, absorbent material that will stay wet and get moldly. This will weaken the stitching of the bag and making things smelly and unsanitary. Removal creates about 1/4 inch of space underneath and on the sides and lightens the bag.
Additionally there is a drawstring between this inner material and the Dupont Cordura outer. The drawstring enters and exits through a sturdy rivet that can be used to stabilize the bags. I am ok with cutting this inner material away to create a better water bottle holder and to gain access to the rivet. The worst case scenario is if I ruin it I buy a new one for $6.95.
Cheap BikePacking Feedbags with the ‘Chalk Liner’ Removed
I left the top lycra but removed all of the ‘Chalk Liner’ material. There goes the lifetime guarantee. I hope that Jandd understands my modifications and doesn’t hold it against me.
Step 3 in creating Cheap BikePacking Feedbags Integrating the Webbing Loops With A ‘Weird’ Version of a Reef Knot
This is a reef knot:
I am going to create a weird reef-like knot by passing the loops of one chalk bag 1 through the loops of chalk bag 2. I will then pass chalk bag 2 back through the loops of chalk bag 1. You could opt to cut the loops, add velcro, sew them, whatever…I opted for this because it was simple, easy and the loops are very sturdy. I have a tendency to ruin things when I cut and sew. I wanted to get a prototype up and running while this item was still on sale.
Step 4 in creating Cheap BikePacking Feedbags Pulling The Chalk Bag Through The Other Bags Loops
This photo shows the painstaking process of pulling Chalk Bag 2 back through the loops of Chalk Bag 1.
Cheap BikePacking Feedbags Final Reef Knot Configuration
The final knot is a bit of an ugly one. The knot had to be kneaded and adjusted to get it to look like an actual symmetrical knot. It’s not perfect but it will work because I have a secret weapon to attach the webbing straps to the stem of the bicycle.
Secure your Cheap BikePacking Feedbags with a Jandd Pump Strap
This was $2.95 and perhaps the most well made vecro strap I have ever seen. I will use this to secure the X patten of webbing loops around the stem. There is a rubber pad within the strap that will help the center of the knot to remain fixed on the center of the stem. I bought these things without any plan in mind. They worked out great.
Let’s See the Cheap BikePacking Feedbags On the Bike
1. Top view Cheap BikePacking Feedbags
2. Side view Cheap BikePacking Feedbags
3. Another side view of Cheap BikePacking Feedbags showing how I am using the grommet to pass a length of bungee that offers a bit of stability to prevent swinging.
4. Front view Cheap BikePacking Feedbags
So that is it. All in I am looking at $16.85 in new parts and about an hour to create a set of Cheap BikePacking Feedbags for my next bicycle tour.