Fairly straightforward question the answer to which I presume depends upon ride distance, terrain, bike type, and bag weight, but I'm hoping there's a rule of thumb that generally applies to all scenarios.
This question dawned on me as I was mounting a Citi Bike last night:
Should I keep my messenger bag (weighing about 15 lbs.) strapped to my back, or should I secure it in the "protective rack" attached to the handlebars?
My thinking at the time: The bag would fit perfectly, but it would weigh down the front of the bike and make it more difficult to steer.
I opted to keep the bag strapped to my back, but this decision was based on 100% conjecture. I have little to no experience riding with belongings in a handlebar basket. On the other hand, I very often ride with a heavy messenger bag. It's habit at this point, and maybe a bad one.
The ride proved uneventful, though I can report that it isn't exactly easy riding the incline of the Williamsburg Bridge while wearing a full messenger bag on a 45 lbs Citi Bike. Would the ride have been any easier if I had put my bag in the handlebar basket?