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I carry my 29er mountain bike all the time because I go up a few flights of stairs most days. What works best for me is grabbing by the tube in front of the seat and lifting my hand to my shoulder and holding it in my hand. I can then keep it away from my clothing. The bike usually just hangs from the hand, or the hand and the elbow sometimes if it swings ...


What I've been finding works is to stand on the side of the bike opposite the drive train, and reach down over the top tube of the bike to the drive-side chainstay, and use that as a handle when picking it up. With the weight of panniers it might only be good for short distances though.


It might be a facetious answer on the face, but seriously - why are you carrying your bike at all? Do carry a working mini-tube, pump, two tyre levers and whatever you need to get the wheel completely off if its not a QR (ring spanner, perhaps allen key, maybe special tool for IGHs etc) Some people like disposable gloves for the hand protection. ...

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