I am not a tourist bike rider. by saying that I mean that since taking up biking 6 years ago it has all been centered around triathlons. It has been a very rare occasion that I have ridden for the sheer pleasure of just going on a long bike ride. But I have wanted to do this, and in readying myself for that I started looking at gear that would allow me to use my road bike for that purpose (a man can only afford so many bikes).
I was contacted recently to look at a piece of bike equipment called the Beetle Bag. Looking at their website, the product intrigued me. It appeared to be well built, large enough for a great deal of supplies, and … converted to a backpack of you got on your feet. So I agreed and was supplied the product by a third party source. Though the product was provided in exchange for the review, my thoughts are my own and have in no way been altered as part of payment.
My first impression was how sturdy it was. Made of heavy weight canvas it feels like it could put up with a lot of abuse. That makes it great not only for the road bike but better even for the mountain bike. My road bike, a Litespeed C1, had an odd frame and I have had trouble even fining a bag for racing, so I was not expecting it to fit well, if at all, but the Beetle Bag’s straps were long enough that I was able to strap it to my handlebar tube and still get it around the down tubes. The side compartments were very roomy and able to handle a great deal of stuff, from food, to emergency equipment.
The ability to switch it to a back pack was fast and easy, and comfortable to wear. Not a lot for a long hike but a perfect amount for a short ride/hike in the afternoon.
If I had one bad thing to say, and it wasn’t a real hindrance, is that on the road bike I have, though it fit fine, is that the fit of the bike caused my legs to scrape by them on occasion. It wasn’t enough to make it unusable, or an annoyance, but just make a note that this is meant for mostly touring bikes and may be a tight fit on some racing bikes being used for touring.
All in all it is a product I would have purchased myself, and one I would recommend trying out of you’re in need of more space for a long ride.