You are here

Bag options for P38

New P38 owner and first time poster. Was wondering what sort of rear seat bag options you all are using for the mesh seat. I really like the hard shell bags with some form as opposed to the Lightning bag (which I use for shorter rides). Options that I have found have been the Aeropod WS and the RANS bag. Any others out there? Many thanks

Personally I use an Arkel over the seat bag. I have seen both rans and aeropod bags used as well as a brain box. The brain box would only fit a medium seat per the owner.

Thanks for posting this, I'm very interested in going to a solid bag and look forward to other ideas.

I think I am going to pull the trigger on a RANS bag today. I have always been pleased with Angletech stuff (I have probably purchased 4-5 bikes from Kelvin), but this time I am going to take the less expensive route. I will let you know how it goes.

Some riders like a tidy buy-it-and-use-it solution to a problem. For them the various bags from Lightning, RANS, etc. are the way to go.

The weather in the Midwest right now is brutal. If you are stuck inside and feeling handy, consider making your own tailbox / storage area out of Coroplast corrugated plastic sheets.

1) Attach an ordinary Blackburn or similar rear rack to your bike. This will support the bottom of a tailbox and allow you to carry heavy items like groceries, large quantities of your favorite liquid refreshment, etc. If you just want to carry a small amount of light stuff, you don't need the rack.

2) Go to a plastics supplier or a signage shop and buy some Coroplast. A large 4'by 8' sheet should run around twelve to fifteen bucks.

3) Cut a piece of Coroplast that is about two feet by six feet with a scissors or sharp knife. Note that Coroplast has an internal fluted (corrugated) structure that allows it to gently bend along one axis, and sharply crease along the other axis. Cut the Coroplast so that you can gently bend the piece into a large U-shape as seen from above. A heat gun or hair dryer makes it easier to relax the plastic into bending, but it is not really necessary.

4) Now trim the ends of your rectangular piece on a diagonal so that they align with the back of your Lightning seat. Poke some little holes in the Coroplast and attach the piece to the back of the seat frame with zip ties.

5) Cut another piece of Coroplast to form a bottom to the fairing. Attach with zip ties to your Blackburn-style rack. Use the U-shape formed by the main body of the tailfairing as a template for the bottom piece. You could also make a top piece the same way.

6) I like the black Coroplast because the black color serves as a high-contrast background for 3M diamond grade flurorescent yellow green retroreflective sheeting. So you get a solution to the storage problem and the visual conspicuity problem wrapped up in a single package. (By the way, I can sell you two square feet of the 3M material for $13 shipped. I have lots of extra 3M material in the basement.)

All of this sounds more complicated and time consuming than it really is. Coroplast is very cheap and easy to work with. You can make templates out of cardboard to make sure that everything fits before taking a scissors to the Coroplast just to be sure of not wasting the plastic material.

If you dig up some of the safety / conspicuity threads on BROL you will find pictures of my Rotator bike with one of these home-brew tailboxes. Might even give you a tiny aerodynamic benefit at very high speeds, since it fills in a place that would otherwise create a low pressure zone behind your seat. But it is mainly for storage and conspicuity.

Safe riding,

Lightning mesh seats are just about 16" wide. I think the RANS mesh back / foam bottom seat is a little bit more narrow. Closer to 15" wide at the back than 16" like the Lightning.

So getting the RANS bag to fit properly on the Lightning mesh seat back may be tricky. Might be a very tight fit. Then again it might be close enough. Please let us know how this works out.

Safe riding,

Arkel as in a Recumbent Seat Bag?


Timely post! I was just about to ask a similar question but I am looking at a Radical Designs Universal Aero which is seriously expensive. I would consider it if it is likely to have any real aero effect; would this be likely?

Are there other options which may bit and are both practical in terms of usage (e.g., will hold a bladder) as well as providing some aero advantages.

Or am I kidding myself in terms of aero advantage?


Hi again Andrew,

The various bags and boxes with an Aero shape look nicer than the bags (like the Lightning bag) that just hang down shapelessly. Lightning should sell a bag with the nice shape. It could not cost much to design a bag and insert a plastic stiffener to hold the shape. Aesthetics count for something too.

As far as a real-world aerodynamic advantage, I would not get my hopes up. Maybe you would get a very tiny advantage on a very fast downhill run, but at normal speeds you will not be able to detect any speed benefit.

To get a small but significant speed benefit the tail fairing has to be MUCH larger than the little storage bags and boxes that are placed on the back of recumbent bike seats. It also has to be very carefully designed, and it has to mate correctly with the back of the bike seat and rider's body. It is not easy to make a tail fairing that really helps aerodynamically. Some friends in the suburbs of Chicago learned this the hard way in a costly and time-consuming attempt to design and build a large tail fairing for their Nocom low racer bikes.

Good luck with your Lightning clone bike. It does look carefully made in the picture you posted on BROL.

Safe riding,

Thanks. PaulW at BROL suggests a small advantage with a Angletech Aerotrunk; might help with all my headwind riding. Either way I need something on the back so this might be the way to go.


hostel They have a few good bags to choose from. doug daniele

Well I got the RANS bag last night and it would not fit. Bummer. However, I contacted Kelvin at Angletech and found out that they make a version of the Aeropod WS in a wider format. It is called the Aeorpod XWS, which according to him will fit the wider Lightning seats. Angletech makes fine bags and panniers (a buddy of mine has one so I have seen them in person) although they are a little spendy. If I get one I will post here on the results.


Mine was difficult to mount the first time. I have the extra large aero with the rigid seatback pocket. I put the plastic bag it came in on the seat back and was able to work it on. The zipper at the top must be unzipped to enable working the bag on the first time. I tore the exposed plastic off and left the rest in place. Now the bag easily works off to switch between my two p38s. I received the large bag first, a shipping error, but it would not accommodate my 70 oz unbottle, and did not have the numerous pockets like the one I saw on a friend's bike. Ended up using the large bag on my husband's med p38. It has a stretchy vs a rigid seat back pocket. Couldn't be happier with the xlarge. It holds everything I need plus plenty of room for stashing clothes on the days that start out are 40° and end up at 70°.


2 seat bag ideas from my thrift store scavenging:
a) dog backpacks can be adapted into side/below seat bags by extending the straps so that they lay across the seat bottom.
b) a messenger bag with 4 attachment points at the corners or a or regular small backpack can be converted into a very stable seatback bag by using narrow straps in a criss-cross pattern and drawn tight enough to slip over the seat so it hangs with the bottom just resting on the seatstays and rear rack, or clear of the rear tire if no rack. The straps lay over the flat top of the seat. My Ortleib X messenger back has a grab handle on top like a briefcase so it is very fast to lift off and slip back on.


User login

Powered by Drupal