A spare 29er inner tube has been taking up most of the space in my saddle bag for a long time, so I finally decided to seek out additional on-bike storage options.
I dont like carrying too much on my rides, just the bare essentials (Tube / Tube patches / Multi-tool / Plasters / keys / money / Phone), so something compact would be ideal. My Voodoo Bizango frame is quite small, so bags such as the triangular ones designed to fit the inner frame section were out of the question, especially as most of that space on my bike is already taken up by the water bottle.
I decided that what I needed was a top tube storage bag.
As a stickler for product reviews, my search was very much based around what other cyclists were saying, and time and time again the same product kept showing up in web searches and forum discussions; the Deuter Energy Bag.
The Deuter bag sounded ideal: “Compact / water proof / quick and easy access / Secure / good value”, and crucially no negative reviews. I continued my search but couldn’t find any other bags that would fit the bill so I placed my order.
When the bag arrived I suddenly realised that I hadn’t considered whether or not the straps would be long enough to fit around the oversized section of my MTB frame where the top tube and bottom tube are welded together. Such a consideration would not be necessary if I had a traditional frame.
So as I started attaching the bag to my frame the first strap was as feared slightly too short to reach around the oversized section, but that’s when I soon realised why the Deuter Energy Bag has 4 straps; To take into account different frame shapes and sizes. In the case of my Voodoo Bizango all I had to do was use one strap for the top tube and 2 straps for the headset. The unused strap was simply fastened to itself.
Next I wanted to see how much I could squeeze into this compact bag. My Samsung A3 Phone, Multi-tool, Tube patches, Keys and wallet fitted comfortably. If energy bars were my thing I could have squeezed one of those in too.
The bag performed faultlessly on the road and provided quick and easy access to the contents without the need to dismount. You could also grab an energy bar on the fly. Once I hit the dirt the bag also performed well, however I would recommend padding out the base of the bag to protect any delicate items such as your phone as well as your frame when riding off-road.
Overall I am very happy with the Deuter Energy Bag despite it needing a bit of extra padding for the off-road trail; for that I can recommend a thick sock!