Top 4 Leather Bicycle Saddle Bags: Reviews, Picks & Tips
The Best Leather Saddle Bags for your Bicycle
Bicycles are amazing for transportation, exercise and fun. They help many people get to and from work, and they're one of the best cardiovascular activities you can find. However, they come up a little short in the storage department!
If you're like me and you want a bicycle that can hold a few things (and still look good doing it), you're probably in the market for leather bicycle saddle bags.
A few leather saddle bags for your bike will not only add functional storage space to your ride without getting in the way, they'll look great at the same time. It's rare that you can add storage and improve the look of your bike at the same time. Luckily, leather accessories generally add an extra element of great looks, regardless of the color.
This lens is wholeheartedly dedicated to the wonderful leather bicycle saddle bag, and I'll talk a bit about where you can mount them on your bike (and some of the issues you might run into in attaching them), what different styles you can choose from, and of course a few links to great product recommendations.
Let's get started and look at a few great examples of leather bike saddle bags!
Types of Leather Bicycle Saddle Bags:
Tips on Material & Color
Leather bicycle saddle bags are great for most bikes. In particular, they look great on a bike with a more classic shape to it. This means that beach cruisers, road bikes, classic or vintage bicycles and fixed gears all look really nice with a leather tool or saddle bag attached.
They can come in a number of colors and finishes. Honey brown is an extremely popular shade with these things, as it matches with virtually any color very nicely.
Black and dark brown are also commonly seen. Bright colors are rare, you'll probably have to do a bit of searching to find one of those.
You'll also frequently find leather / canvas combo bags, with leather found in the straps and accents. That helps achieve a really rustic vintage feel.
You'll also notice there's the option for rougher, 'untreated' leather. This will look a bit more rustic and hand-made, perfect for the rugged country bike look.
There are a couple of different size options with leather bike saddle bags. There are two basic size variations to choose from.
- True full sized saddle bags are quite large, and are intended to hang off of the rear bicycle rack. They can attach via hooks, handles or snaps to the sides of the bike rack (hanging alongside the rear wheel) or they can be slung overtop of the rear wheel, hanging on either side.
These larger leather bike saddle bags are great because they hold lots of stuff. The only downside is that they take up more space and they're heavier, so they can impede your riding a little bit.
- Smaller bags are designed to hold only a few small items. They are perfect for holding a wallet, a bit of spare change, a cell phone, or a few important bike tools essential for making repairs on the fly. These small leather bike saddle bags are usually mounted behind the seat itself (hooked onto the saddle), on the front handlebars, or slung somewhere along the top tube.
They are great and look nice, and they won't interfere with your riding at all since they're so low profile.
Combining durable 100% leather with strong stitching and snaps and two buckles, this bag is intended for traditional saddle mounts (will work with most seats). And it looks great with a classic road bike!
Origin8 Classique: One of the best leather bicycle saddle bags
A leather storage bag for your bike, small and gorgeous
Here's a nice example of a 'behind the seat' leather saddle bag for a bicycle. It's small, so you should use it for storing a few little things. Perfect for keys, change, sunglasses, or small utility tools for your bike (a great holder for a rear wheel spanner for a fixed gear). The Origin8 Classique combines a classic look with a nice price point.
I recommend pairing this bag with a leather saddle of a similar color. It is one of the best leather bicycle saddle bags out there, but be aware that it needs protection just like everything else. Invest in a good protectant spray to keep it looking brand new for years to come.
Simple and perfect, the Challenge is a classic leather saddle bag for bicycles of all shapes and sizes. It doesn't hold a lot, but it's a great thing to have for tools, keys, or wallet!
Brooks Challenge: A leather bike tool bag
One of the best leather bicycle saddle bags ever made
The Brooks Saddles Challenge Tool Bag is great because it's simple, but strong. That's because it was first patented in 1896! It's perfect for holding all the tools you'll need for quick repairs while on the road. This bag is intended to fit on the back of the saddle.
It's perfectly designed to be light and low profile, but it will hold all your tools safe, snug and secure with its multiple strap system. It's designed to work on the majority of bike saddles too, you don't have to own a Brooks seat to make this one work.
Postman: Cheap leather pannier saddle bags
A Larger Set of Leather Bike Saddlebags For Holding More Stuff
These Postman leather bicycle saddlebags are perfect for carrying larger quantities of stuff on the back of your bike. Unlike the smaller cases listed earlier in the article, this one fits onto the back of the bike over the wheel, as it is a pannier style set. It has dual compartments and it's much less expensive than similar models.
It's not entirely made of leather. A few synthetic fabric parts are included, such as the sides and bottom of the bag. The authentic parts are thick, heavy duty pieces and will last a long time. The many types of materials involved help it to withstand use very well, and it works nicely in light rain or shine. I wouldn't classify it as totally waterproof, but it's a cheap leather bicycle saddle bag that will make your ride look great.
Wonderful and vintage inspired, these leather accented bicycle saddle bags roll down whenever you need some storage space, and roll back up and out of the way for regular riding.
Brick Lane: Weather resistant roll-up pannier bags
Fantastic leather saddle bags for your bike that roll up
These bicycle saddle bags aren't entirely leather, but I thought they were worth mentioning due to their great looks, utility and ingenuity.
Made of water-resistant cotton, they roll up when you don't need them, but roll down and hang on either side of your bike rack when you need some storage. Leather accent pieces and straps complete the classic style.
They're great because you can leave them attached to your ride all the time and they're not very obtrusive to your riding.
Potential Leather Bicycle Bag Cons:
There are a couple of things to consider before you make the plunge and buy a leather bicycle saddle bag. Read through these to make sure this is the right item for you.
- Leather is not as weather resistant as other materials like vinyl and plastic. Most bike saddle bags of leather are intended to see some inclement weather over their lifespan, but since it's literally animal hide, it will weather and crack in rough conditions.
You may want to consider buying a leather conditioner or protectant spray to keep it in tip-top shape. Or, figure out a way to cover it up or remove it altogether when it's rainy outside.
A little bit of weathering and fading should be expected. It can't look perfect forever. The important thing is that you pick one that is durable and will last!
- Security is a concern with any bicycle saddle bag, leather or otherwise. You might want to invest in a small lock to keep your valuables safe.
Ultimately, you never want to leave anything of real value in a bicycle storage back. It's just too easy for them to be broken into. Instead, use it as temporary storage, and never leave anything valuable in there while you're away from it.
A Few Other Leather Cycling Bike Saddle Bags To Consider:
If you didn't find a leather bicycle saddle bag among the ones I suggested, here are a few more you might want to consider. Remember that brand is extremely important when buying these sorts of items. There are a lot of companies competing for your dollar, and they're not always going to last a long time. Read reviews written by other customers carefully, and investigate the warranty situation before you jump in.
Bicycle Messenger Bags:
These aren't necessarily bicycle pannier bags or saddle bags for your bike, but they're great, attractive and functional items, perfect for carrying your stuff around in style. The nice thing about these is they look great when you're riding, and they look great on their own, so when your ride is done feel free to bring it with you!
As with all leather items, be sure to treat it before use if you expect to occasionally be caught in a bit of rain. (Unless you plan to let it naturally weather, which is fine too!)