The list of potential accessories for your bike is almost endless, but some will make a bigger difference than others. Luggage can make any bike much more practical.
Type of luggage you need
Choosing the right luggage depends on the type of bike you have and the kind of riding you do.
- Massive brackets, and a metal pannier and top-box set works well with an adventure bike
- Throw-over panniers can be a bit of a half-measure for long rides in all weathers
- Soft luggage gives you more stowage and is ideal for shorter and less frequent trips. Options include:
- sets with mounting racks, an integrated tail pack and matching tank bag
- simple throw-over panniers, tail pack, tank bag or rucksack
- Water resistance varies:
- some are showerproof, and sometimes you’ll need inner liners or outer covers to deal better with rain
- hard panniers and a top box are usually more waterproof but not always 100%
- waterproof inner liners or bags are sometimes necessary to deal with the worst downpours
- Metal will be your material of choice for off-road use, to stand up to the odd impact.
- Hard luggage is expandable and if you tour a lot, you can’t beat the stability, security and weather-tightness of securely-mounted hard luggage. Think about what you’ll use the luggage for – a lockable top box works well to store your helmet, and a tail pack works well to store smaller items, eg keys, wallet and phone.
Remember, whatever luggage you fit will likely require some suspension adjustment–especially when loaded. Luggage can also affect stability and may not be secure at higher speeds.
Always make sure luggage and accessories are properly fitted. If you're not confident, get it done professionally.