Look, if you’re pedaling in a pace line for hours on end, your eyes, which are strictly-speaking meant to look “through” the shoulders of the rider in front of you to scan the road ahead, are naturally bound to wander occasionally. In fact, study, from behind, of fellow riders’ seats and frames have, over time, yielded useful solutions that I’ve adopted for my own bicycles.
Case in point is the tool bag hack (above) that I observed on a training trip last week. I recreated it at an NYC bike shop, because, just as there’s no crying in baseball according to Tom Hanks, there’s no photography in a pace line.
So, this is a simple answer to the problem that may arise when the Velcro tool bag straps that secure this little piece of luggage to the seat rails and seat post begin to fail, as my own are now. The bag may dangle and sway, which is un-aero, or, worse from a safety standpoint, fly off. My compact bag, which holds everything needed to repair flats, is still perfectly good, so it doesn’t need to be replaced. It’s just that the fasteners are losing their grip.
My compatriot in the pace line, Jordi, whose Velcro still looked viable, by the way, had threaded a spare leather toe clip strap through his seat rails and around the tool bag, then cinched the buckle. With this belt-and-suspenders approach, worries about unstable seat bags are behind you.
In addition, some cyclists actually prefer a tool roll, fastened with a strap (as seen below), to rigid bags.
Finally, see how a spare toe clip strap can help you carry your lunch to work on the front rack of a city bicycle — a bit of inspiration from an cycling friend, Noah.