For my gravel bike, I want to be able to carry a bit more stuff, such as an extra water bottle, or extra tools, spares and maybe even snacks. There are people who attach big bags onto the bike, in order to carry lots of stuff for bike packing, but that is not my kind of usage.
A frame bag can be useful, as you can make use of the space inside the triangle of the frame to carry stuff. This has less capacity than a bag attached to the seat post or on the handlebar, but it is enough for my usage.
I found two models of SKS frame bags, which comes in a good size that will fit my frame. I could not decide which was better, so I decided to get both to try it out.
SKS Traveller Edge and Explorer Edge frame bags.
The Traveller Edge is a triangular bag, designed for road bikes, while the long and slim Explorer Edge is more for MTB.
Different usage intention as shown here. However, there is nothing stopping you from using it on any bike as long as it fits.
Both have the same volume, but the triangular Traveller Edge is a bit lighter.
The zips have a large rubber surface to allow easy operation, but I wonder how long the rubber encapsulation will last.
Rubberized surface on the velcro straps ensure good grip on the frame to prevent movement and slippage.
The Explorer Edge is slim and long, and can fit relatively long objects. A compact hand pump would probably fit.
A 550 ml water bottle fits nicely inside the bag. Not much room for other things though.
There are netting compartments inside the bag to help organize loose objects.
There is also a protected compartment at the side that you can use to store sharper objects or your phone.
Fits reasonably well on the Canyon Endurace, with sufficient clearance with the tool bottle.
The Explorer Edge touches the water bottle, but it can still be removed quite easily.
The width is OK, and will not interfere with my legs while pedaling.
Comparing the sizes of the Explorer Edge on top, and Traveller Edge below.
The Traveller Edge is triangular shaped, and is more suited to flat and wide objects.
A water bottle does not fit inside the Traveller Edge, as the bag is not long enough.
No netting or inner compartments inside the triangular Traveller Edge frame bag.
The Traveller Edge also fits on the Canyon Endurace, and rests on the tool bottle.
There is much more clearance with the water bottle when using the Traveller Edge.
Main problem with the Traveller Edge is the width! It is too wide and will interfere with my legs during cycling.
Both the frame bags can fit on the Canyon Endurace without any issues. However, the Traveller Edge has a critical problem, where it is too wide. During pedaling, my legs will keep touching the side of the bag, which is really annoying. Therefore, I decided to use the slimmer Explorer Edge frame bag instead.
In the end, the Traveller Edge that was designed for road/gravel bikes does not fit well, while the Explorer Edge that was intended for MTB fits the gravel bike better.
Explorer Edge on the Canyon Endurace
After I changed my bike to the Cervelo Aspero, the SKS Explorer Edge frame bag can still be used. Regardless of whether it is in the road or gravel setup, the frame bag can be useful when you need a bit more luggage capacity.
Explorer Edge frame bag mounted on the Cervelo Aspero. The side velcro strap is exactly at where the seat stays joins to the seat tube, but the strap is long enough to go around the joint.
Looking good! SKS Explorer Edge frame bag installed on the Cervelo Aspero gravel bike.
I am happy that the Explorer Edge frame bag fits well, and is easy to attach or remove from the bike. You can bring along your wallet and spares easily when necessary, without carrying any backpack.
One minor complaint that I have about the frame bag is that I cannot hang my bike on the Minoura Bike Tower, as the bag blocks the hooks from holding the top tube. This is mildly annoying, but the solution is easy as I just need to remove the frame bag.