A top tube phone bag is a neat way to easily use your phone as a navigation device when bike touring. Is it better than a bike phone mount? Let's find out in this guide on reasons to use Top Tube Phone Bags for cycle touring!
Top Tube Bike Phone Bags
Bicycle touring is a great way to enjoy the outdoors and see beautiful scenery as you pedal around the world.
One of the challenges that many bicycle tourers face though, is how to view their phone while biking if they're using it as a GPS.
The solution? A top tube phone bag!
A top tube bag with a phone holder is a convenient accessory for cyclists who want to keep their phone within reach while riding
But why would you choose a top tube bag with a phone holder over other options like a handlebar bag?
Advantages of a Bike Top Tube Bag for Phones
The top tube bag provides a stable place to store your phone, and is better than a handlebar or stem phone mount because it is more securely attached.
The bag also gives you a place to store some essentials like snacks and sunscreen under your top tube, so they're accessible while biking without requiring any additional gear!
In my opinion, top tube bags are safer places to keep your phone than a handlebar mount. That said, I cycled around Iceland for 6 weeks using a Quad Lock for my phone without any issues.
With smartphones costing up to 1000 dollars (or more!), the last thing you want is a stone being flipped up by passing traffic and hitting your phone. A bag on the top tube will keep your phone more protected.
I guess you've probably got some questions about using a phone tube bag though such as these ones:
Are top tube bike bags heavy?
Weight is always a concern when bike touring, so a natural thought might be is using a top tube phone bag just going to add more weight.
A top tube bag with phone holder might be slightly heavier than a traditional handlebar or stem mount, but the difference is going to be just a few hundred grams maximum.
In many cases, the top tube bag may weigh just the same as a traditional looking phone mount for a bicycle.
How does a top tube bag attach to the bicycle?
A top tube bag is normally attached to the bicycle by three velcro straps. Two of these go around the top tube itself, and one goes around the stem.
This makes it quite stable, and there is little chance of the bag moving or rotating.
Can you see the phone clearly in a top tube bag?
Typically, top tube bags with a compartment for a phone have a see-through, touch sensitive plastic shield through which you can see the phone.
This allows you to use the phone as a sat-nav without having it in direct contact with the elements such as direct sun or rain.
The advantage of this is that there are no worries about getting any water, dust or mud on the phone, unlike with some traditional bike mounts for phones positioned on the handlebars.
Are top tube phone bags waterproof?
Top tube bags are not entirely waterproof, but they do provide protection from the rain so can be said to be water-resistant.
Some designs of top tube bag come with a waterproof cover, which in all honesty does kind of defeat the purpose of using it as a means to see your phone when cycling.
On the other hand, it makes sure your expensive smartphone stays dry!
Will my knees hit the bag when cycling?
This depends on the type of bike you're riding, and your saddle height. Assuming your saddle is set at the correct height, you'll find that most touring bikes have longer top tubes, so your knees shouldn't hit the bag when riding.
Do Ortlieb make a top tube bag for smartphones?
Surprisingly, it appears that Ortlieb do not currently make a stem bag for phones. My guess is, that they have not found a way to make it completely waterproof whilst assuring quality that lasts.
They do make a variety of other top tube bags, just none with a phone compartment designed so you can use the phone when cycling.
Note: I always love to be corrected. If you have seen an Ortlieb bag that fits on the top tube and is designed so you can use the phone when riding the bicycle, leave a comment below!
Best Top Tube Bags For Phones
So if you're looking for a top tube bag with phone holder, consider these some of the best on Amazon:
1. RockBros Top Tube Bag Bike Phone Case Holder
If you want to have your phone in a convenient place for accessing maps while cycling and looking cool at the same time – Rockbros Bike Phone Cover is just what you need! A functional bike frame holder plus a protective hard shell case.
No more adjusting when going up hills and braving through an upcoming speed bump. No more messing around with cables from battery packs, arm bands and other holders. It's bike touring-friendly, durable & lightweight design will make cycling as much fun as it should be!
Lot's of storage space for wallet, puncture repairs kit, or other accessories.
More here: RockBros Top Tube Bag Bike Phone Case Holder
2. Opamoo Bike Phone Front Frame Bag
Top Tube Bike Phone Bag, the bike phone mount that’s compatible with your iPhone 11 XS Max XR! Keep your phone safe and sound during those long rides with a versatile front frame bag.
With various ways to adjust it so you can customize the fit for your needs, this Top Frame Bag Bicycle Bag is great for any type of ride, whether it’s a day ride or long distance bicycle touring.
More here: Opamoo Bike Phone Front Frame Bag
3. WILD MAN Bike Phone Mount Bag
The WILD MAN Bike Phone Mount Bag will protect your phone from scratches and damage while out on a bike ride.
Its simple, lightweight design doesn't break the bank, but includes thoughtful features like touch screen accessibility and an interior mesh pocket for holding small items.
More here: WILD MAN Bike Phone Mount Bag
What are the best materials for top tube bags with phone holder?
The best materials for top tube bags with phone holders include:
- High-quality nylon or polyester: These materials are durable, water-resistant, and easy to clean. They can withstand various weather conditions and protect your phone from moisture damage.
- Waterproof materials: Some top tube bags come with waterproof covers or water-resistant construction to protect your phone from water damage
- Padded or cushioned materials: Padded or cushioned materials can provide additional protection for your phone and other items stored in the bag
- Adjustable or universal phone mounts: These mounts can accommodate various phone sizes and models, ensuring a secure and stable fit for your device
- Sturdy zippers and reinforced seams: These features contribute to the bag's overall durability and prevent unwanted openings or tears
What are the differences between the top tube bags of different sizes?
Top tube bags come in different sizes to cater to various storage needs. Here are some differences between top tube bags of different sizes based on the search results:
- Stability: Larger top tube bags are inherently less stable than smaller ones
- Tapering: Most top tube bags taper down to avoid knee rub, regardless of size
- Volume: The volume of the bag increases with size, allowing for more storage capacity
- Compatibility: The size of the bag should be compatible with the available space on the bike frame and the cyclist's storage needs
- Design: Performance-oriented top tube bags tend to be thinner and more aerodynamic, while commuter-oriented bags may be wider and more functional
- Access: The size of the bag can affect the ease of access to stored items while riding
Top Tip: Cyclists should consider their storage needs, bike frame size, and riding style when choosing a top tube bag of a particular size.
Want to read some more bike touring tips on gear and kit? Take a look here:
- 7 Reasons to take a Powerbank on your next Bike Tour
- How to choose a camp stove for bicycle touring
- Top Pillows for Camping
- Duct Tape Bike Repairs
- Touring bike accessories and gear
- What to look for when buying a lightweight tent
– Dave Briggs
Dave has cycled around most of the world on different bicycle touring trips, and is always looking for the best way to make a tour easier. A top tube bag does just that, which is why he wrote this guide and review!
In addition to this blog post on reasons to use a bike phone top tube bag for cycle touring, he's written many other guides about bike touring.
Follow Dave on social media for travel, adventure and bike touring inspiration: