I am a 15 year old Croydon GCSE student and am currently working on a Design and Technology project to design and make a bike storage compartment.
I would really appreciate it if you could reply to this short questionnaire, it would really help my project.
Thanks in advance for any help you can offer.
Hi Chris good luck with your project, don't screw it up as bad as I did back in the day.
Yes, although not permanently, being able to remove the storage easily is important, so no one use zip ties or the like.
Yes, for example when out on a long ride I often have my wallet in my bar bag so that it's not in my pocket and there's no risk of it falling out if I pull something else out the pocket.
When out on a proper road ride I'll have a small under saddle bag for spare tube, multi tool and tyre levers and often also a small handlebar bag with food, wallet, raincoat and anything else. Phone goes in my pocket. I keep the saddle bag packed and it goes in my rucksack for when I'm commuting to work because I need to carry other stuff too like spare clothes and headphones.
For a saddle bag security is really important, not only does it definitely need to not open by itself and dump it's contents (has happened to me) but it also needs to stay attached to the saddle and not fall off if you hit some rough road (has also happened to me). For the handlebar bag as it's bigger it's got to be stable and not swing around. When it comes to using a rucksack discomfort is the biggest problem, especially if you have to carry a bike lock, laptop etc. it gets heavy very quickly.
The most important factors are probably what I mentioned previously: how well it attaches to the frame, how well it closes and stays closed, ease of taking it on and off the bike.
Additional features, outside attachments for lights are always useful and inside compartments for keeping your phone/wallet separate from a tool that could damage it.
It's definitely a balance, it's got to be big enough to store as much as you need but no bigger. It depends on where on the bike it's intended to go and what it's intended to store. Generally I'd urr on the smaller side.
Black, maybe with a reflective bit, and as small as possible.
It depends on what it's intended to store, it's better to have a bag that holds one or two things really well than something that's too large and goes partly unused.
Always detachable, not just for taking it off to clean the bike but also if you want to lock the bike up to go to a shop or something.
I'm glad I read the reply from @sumo first, because it saved me a lot of typing! I'd echo those thoughts completely. Waterproofedness is also a nice to have.
Good luck on the project (my son is also doing his DT GCSE this year).
By 'storage compartment', I'm assuming you mean something that can be added to an existing bike, rather than something like a Specialized SWAT type thing. With that in mind, my answers are below:
Depends which bike; I had a commuter, I'd say definitely - regardless of what it looked like. I wouldn't, however, have one on my road bike purely because it wouldn't look cool.
Sticking with the above - yes to commuter, whereas jersey pockets/saddle roll are sufficient on my road bike.
My CX/gravel bike has frame bag and sometimes saddle bag so I can ride with nothing in my pockets. Road bike has saddle roll and everything else goes in jersey pockets.
Weight, waterproofing, aesthetics.
Price, weight, aesthetics (I didn't realise I was this shallow..).
Additional light mounts are always good.
Again, depends which bike. On a commuter, I'd trade size for weight, because the bike itself wouldn't be light to begin with. On my road bike, I bought a small saddle roll to force me only take the (lightweight) basics.
Black, size/shape unimportant along as they're not massively adding to frontal area.
Attention paid to mounting points to ensure it doesn't move around on the bike. Different compartments inside to separate items.
Hi Chris, some quick answers below
Best of luck with your project. It's a tough brief as there are lots of different solutions for carrying things on a bike and "additional" storage would need to fulfil a particular need, like long-distance riders wanting energy food in a top-tube bag.
Thanks very much and good luck to your son in his exams
Thanks so much for your feedback. It is really useful
Very kind of you to help me here. The mounting points will be tricky. Thanks again
Thanks for taking the time to help me. It's all going in my project!
1, 2 and 3. Yes.
4) It depends on which bike and what I'm doing / where I'm going. Arriving with things wet or dirty is a frequent source of annoyance this time of year. (Things being typically tools, spare clothing, wallet, keys, phone, Ventolin)
5) Attachment to bike (related to security and stability)
6) Light mount, definitely. Reflective elements possibly.
7) Medium? Around 5 litres mostly works for me.
8) Grey or black. Just measured my favourite saddle bag - rectangular(ish) box at 20x20x12cm.
9) An internal loop for securing items such as keys for house, car & bike lock. Internal pocket with an additional closure would work equally well and also hold a wallet & phone.
10) Permanently attached is only ok if there are no high value contents - detachable with a carry handle / strap (or maybe a removable inner compartment) often makes more sense.
You might think how to present the answers to 1, 2, 3, 7, 8, 10 as percentages or in graphical form to justify your conclusions: qualitative answers (4, 5, 6, 9) can be difficult to analyse when there are enough of them to make a survey worthwhile. Don't spend too long on research because making and testing a prototype will take more time than you can imagine! Good luck with this.
3) no, either backpack or pockets, depending on quantity and size of things I need to carry.
4) discomfort due to weight and sweaty back when it's hot.
5) looks, expense and functionality
6) GPS tracker and waterproofness would be handy.
7) it depends on the bike, if it was an already relatively heavy commuter bike, more space to carry more stuff would be useful. If it was a bike that was intended to be faster, a smaller, lighter compartment would be more useful.
8) plain black would be ideal so that it was more discrete and didn't detract from the aesthetics of the bike.
9) waterproofness and the ability to lock it if it's not removable.
Sounds like an interesting idea for a project. Good luck! When you describe the idea as a storage compartment, what makes it different to existing products like frame bags or panniers? It's probably worth looking into existing products and deciding what your product can improve on.
@user108407 best of luck with the project, don't forget us when you make your first million!
3) On longer rides, yes, a saddle bag. My main cycling is short distances (10 mile commute) and I prefer to travel light without kit
4) The zip on my saddle bag feels poorly designed, it never seems to open on the first attempt
8) Colour, black. Shape, subtle
9) A quick release mechanism may be useful
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