Arkel TailRider Trunk Bag Review

TrailRider Trunk Bag by Arkel
TrailRider Trunk Bag by Arkel. TrailRider

If you want to carry stuff on your bike, but don't want a full-fledged, permanently-mounted bike rack, Arkel has created the Tailrider Bag and Randonneur Rack combo in an ideal combination of stability and relatively light weight that also allows for easy transfer between bikes. Over $200 for both may seem expensive, but the price is right for a well-made bag and rack that allows for light touring both on and off-road, and can turn any bike into a versatile commuting machine.

The Tailrider Bag is compact and aerodynamic, yet expands far beyond what you'd expect at first glance to make room for a lot of extra gear or food that you might need on a long ride.

Arkel TailRider Trunk Bag and Randonneur Rack

Bike bags were invented when cyclists riding high-wheel bikes in the 19th century looked for a way to carry a six-pack to their friend's house to watch the Sunday football games on TV. Ok, ok. That's a joke. Bike bags were actually created by Leonardo da Vinci, who needed a way to tote his laptop.

Regardless of their origins, there is no question, however, that bike bags are handy things. Most trunk bags--those that go behind your seat--attach one of two ways. The first is mounted onto a stout rack bolted onto your bike frame like you'd use for full-blown panniers. The second way is with a thin rack that attaches (only) to your seat post, which tends to sway and is not able to hold as much weight.

So there has always been a trade-off between stability and weight.

Arkel's gone one better, however, by creating the Randonneur Rack that has the sleekness of the seat post rack, yet thanks to a unique secondary mounting bracket that goes beneath your seat itself, it's as sturdy as the full rack. And, for even more good news, check out the Tailrider trunk bag that Arkel's created to go with it - a sleek little wedge-shaped pack that's deceptively modest, looking like a half-pint glass but that can actually hold a gallon.

We found the Randonneur Rack to be strong, light, and stable. The quick release bracket attaches to both sides of the seat rails and goes on and off in seconds, allowing you to switch it easily between bikes. This combined with a soft rubberized clamp that goes around the seat post means a three-point attachment system, giving it stability equal to a rack bolted to the frame.

All-in-all, Arkel has done a terrific job with the design and construction of this Tailrider Trunk Bag and its partner, the Randonneur Rack. Light-weight, yet well-made and sturdy. Plus a sleek small design on the bag that still manages to produce an impressive amount of carrying space. For casual touring or utility commuting around town, this combo from Arkel will work great.

Pros

  • Clever quick-release mounting offers easy transfer between bikes.
  • Top of Tailrider Bag is expandable for wide/bulky items.
  • Built-in carry handle for use in toting the bag while off the bike.
  • Raincover integrated into the bag, simply pull out and stretch over the bag.
  • Lots of inside pockets for segregated storage.

Cons

  • Shoulder strap for off-bike use would have been handy.
  • Special adaptor needed to fit Randonneur Rack on the back of Brooks saddles.

    Description

    • Weight: 0.5 kg/1.1 lbs (bag only); 1.0 kg/2.2 lbs for bag with rack
      Volume: 11 liters/700 cubic inches
    • Randonneur Rack is adjustable to fit both longer or shorter seat post set-ups.
    • Quick-release set-up for both seat-post clamp and seat-bottom mount means rack and bag are easy to switch between bikes.

    Manufacturer's Site

    Disclosure: Review samples were provided by the manufacturer. For more information, please see our Ethics Policy.