The Best Custom Bike Bag You Can Buy

Probably isn’t.

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A bike on a country road with a full frame pack and full Expedition set up

 

Nothing ruins a bikepacking trip faster than wet gear. Electronics fail and clothes don’t dry out. You get cold, worry about keeping your GPS running and having enough battery in your phone for emergencies. Precision crafting techniques and RF welding mean modern bikepacking bags can be totally sealed and waterproof, saving you from ever facing the misery of wet packs – but do not lend themselves to the small production runs required for truly custom bags.

The challenge is the one-off nature of truly custom bicycle bags – there are a finite number of frame sizes and shapes in the world, but an infinite way of filling them. This scale makes techniques like RF welding impractical and custom bicycle bags end up needing to be stitched. Despite using waterproof fabrics, this means these custom, stitched bike bags are full of tiny holes and will inevitably let water in over time.

A close up view of a frame pack after being ridden in the rain

That’s not to say there isn’t a place for stitched products in bikepacking. Some stitched items can be made waterproof through seam sealing, generally through using tape – just like on our Packable Series – but this doesn’t work well with the heavier fabrics and sharp angles involved in custom bike bags. The inevitable seeping of water under sustained rain can often be slowed by clever design, but it can never be truly stopped without significant labour and extra cost.

This is part of the reason we have largely moved away from stitching across our ranges over the years, finding innovative approaches to join fabrics and improve waterproofing. Where we do still use stitching, we focus on lighter materials and simple angles which mean we can reliably seal the seams. It’s a tried and tested approach for ‘wearable’ items, but it simply doesn’t translate well to most on-bike bags, particularly custom frame bags.

This is why our approach to custom frame bags is rather different. From the earliest days of Apidura, we’ve studied frame geometry to understand exactly how much variation there really is between bikes and identify how many different sizes of bike frame bags we need in our ranges. We quickly found that a range of five sizes would allow us to cover the vast majority of bikes, providing a fit to rival any custom bag.

close up view of an Expedition Full Frame Pack

As our ranges grow, the number of packs and the types of fit we offer continue to increase and serve an ever-greater number of bikes. There are challenges at the extreme ends of the spectrum, with smaller frames and limited space in bikes with suspension and acute angles proving particularly challenging, but there are ever fewer bikes we don’t have a good frame bag fit for in stock and ready to go.

If custom colours and patterns are more important to you than dry gear or you have a particularly complicated frame shape, then custom bags are probably your best choice. If you want your gear to stay totally dry and care more about useful technical features such as waterproof cable ports, dividers, waterproof zips and document pockets, then take a look at our Frame Pack Tool to find out which of our frame bags, precision crafted by seam welding experts, is the right fit for your bike.

Find Your Size

The Apidura Frame Pack Tool is a community-based sizing guide to help you find the right Frame Pack for your bike. Select your bike and frame size for fit advice or help us improve the guide by adding yours to the 100+ bike models already in the database.

Frame Pack Size Guide

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