How do you carry food on road rides?

Looking for advice or product recommendations for carrying food on endurance road rides in jersey pockets. I generally have some mix of museli (granola) bars, gels, banana etc and those are easy to carry and eat on the go. But carrying more interesting stuff like gummi bears, dried fruit, jam sandwiches etc I don’t have a great solution other than fiddling with zip-loc bags. Especially difficult in winter with full finger gloves. I will not stoop to bar bags or top tube bags etc. Any advice?

Learn to stoop? I use both a bar bag, and a saddle bag for the long rides, in addition to the usual tool kit with spare tubes, etc.


I kinda like the loaded aesthetic of my bike covered in packs!

But for eating loose snacks like haribo or trail mix a bottle holster attached to the bars is brilliantly easy to dip in and out. Either learn to love the bags or miss out on lovely sugary sweets!

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Musette? Or two? Can stash in jersey pocket when empty.

I don’t mean to be rude, but I suggest you keep fiddling with plastic bags holding food in your jersey until you get frustrated enough to realize that stem bags and top tube bags are designed to solve the exact problem that you’re facing and are a great solution.

I use a top tube bag that goes on the bike for long rides where I want more food, and take it off for shorter rides where it isn’t needed. It takes about 15 seconds to attach or remove from the bike. Inside of the top tube bag I can have a plastic bag of loose food like you’re describing and leave it open. Unzipping the top tube bag gives me easy access, and I can zip it right back up when I’m done eating. It works very well. :person_shrugging:


And if you want to go full on ultra racer then you can fill you top tube bag with maccy d chips a la Lael Wilcox!


You’ll either need bags, a back pack or the next best solution is a brand new bike with storage.

No but seriously, if one of these doesn’t meet your needs then you likely aren’t riding very far.

Once you really start hitting long distances you’ll appreciate the additional capacity bags or backpacks offer.

Sandwiches wrap easily in aluminum foil or the parchment / foil paper that Allen Lim recommends for rice cakes.

If you don’t want to use ziplock bags, and really want “interesting stuff”, then just stop at a gas station and refuel / eat then.

Or just stick with the stuff that works for you…I can a ride of almost any length on just the types of food types that you say aren’t an issue for you.

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I’d recommend the sort of waxed paper sandwich bags they sell in packs of 50. They fit great in a jersey pocket and you won’t get them sweaty. That was my go-to until I realized that a top tube bag just made so much sense, freeing yourself of bulging jersey pockets is a win

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I bit the bullet and went for the top tube bento box. Very convenient.

I have tried this before and very much sweated them apart. It formed a new and interesting life form with gummi bears which I ate but would not recommend.


Something occurred to me…handlebar or too tube bags are not going to solve the OP’s issues. Well not unless he is just going to fill them with gummi bears or whatever. He’ll still need to package the items separately and figure out how to eat them on the bike.

See my post above. Package gummy bears in bag. Leave gummy bear bag unzipped in the top tube bag. Open and close top tube bag to access. I do it with fruit snacks, cookies, banana bread, or whatever I’m eating that day.

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Sure…that is a variation of what I said (just stuffing the bags with gummi bears). The bag is basically a liner.

But that also seems to be the worst of both worlds for the OP….a plastic bag AND a top tube bag. :rofl:

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Maybe I misread the problem, but I thought the issue was with opening and closing ziplock bags while riding. Particularly with winter gloves. If the bags are left open inside of the top tube bag then that solves the problem. You’re left with an easy pull zipper to open and close.

The last sentence in my post was just a joke….

OP seems adamant that he does want to use on-bike bags. So it seems his only other options are going to be:

  • use foods that are “less interesting”
  • learn how to deal with plastic bags on the bike
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This is an odd dilemma, where somehow the OP, by refusing to accept the standard, obvious, simple solution that most people would use (bar/tube bags), he has forced folks here to come up with alternatives–why bother? The onus is really on the OP in this situation, where it is he that desires the alternatives, not us, so it really isn’t up to us to provide them–it’s up to him. It’s kind of like asking how to get rid of pencils marks on a test sheet, where the inquirer doesn’t want to use an eraser…

Again, my advice is to “stoop” and use the obvious convenient tools that most folks do, there is no shame in that, and honestly, a lot better than filling all of your pockets with packets of goodies, however they are stashed–short rides, maybe OK, but long rides–no way.


Slightly off tangent, I wonder if a appropriately sized top tube bag hidden behind steerer/stem would be more aero and efficient than shoveling tonnes into my pockets.


Sure, it is ultimately his dilemma to resolve, but I can totally understand why someone would ask the question in a board like this. Never hurts to see if anyone has a solution you hadn’t thought of yet.


My manservant meets me at scheduled intervals.