Rule #29: When is an EPMS not an EPMS?

Not European, Not a Satchel.
Not European, Not a Satchel.

Saddle bags have no place on a road bike, and are only acceptable on mountain bikes in extreme cases.

Saddle bags: how do we define them? Is it a saddle bag if it attaches to the seat post and the saddle, if it has a zipper, if it is leather, has two natty straps with buckles, if it swings below the saddle like bumper bollocks?

I weaned myself off a discreet EPMS after twenty-five years of use. I was not happy about transferring the contents to a rear pocket but I’m a team player so I conformed. Previous to that was the ‘core sew-up tire held under the saddle with spare toe clip strap. Back then bikes only had one bidon cage, held on with paint ruining metal clamps. The position forward of the seat tube was reserved for a silca frame pump. Some ride with a tire in a jersey pocket, but with no second bidon to bastardize, it usually had to go under the seat. At least we weren’t wearing tires around the shoulders. I’m not that old, FFS.

When I see professional cyclists out training here, they rock the EPMS. Am I going to correct Ryder, not in this life. I couldn’t catch him to start with, if I did I would be too winded to explain myself and really, why? If you ride clincher tires, with inner-tubes or sealant, one has to carry some tire levers and a spare tube, at a minimum. My custom waterproof phone/money/drivers license/inner-tube/levers/5mm allen wrench bag was a fat bastard. Getting things out of it quickly or elegantly was near impossible.

Then Lezyne came to the rescue with the waterproof mobile phone/money/card /fits in cycling jersey pocket, wallet. They actually didn’t come to the rescue, I paid retail for it but the design rescued me with its brilliance. The phone is in a safe waterproof compartment yet one can access and operate it through the clear plastic window. So all that went into my center rear pocket, but left me with a tube/levers/5mm allen key to stow, in another pocket? Nay, it’s the Lezyne caddy sack, I’m thinking this tucks under the seat, held with old toe clip strap; the clincher rider’s spare tire, without the tire. It’s a sew-up without the outer casing. It’s a nod to the old school in a nice waterproof pvc dry sack, and yes, that is crap.

What does Frank say? I believe his words will be something like “What you have here is a crude looking EPMS held under you saddle with a nasty looking old strap.” Where does he store his spare sew-up tire? I’m already abusing Rule #1, Rule #30 and now Rule #31 too. Luckily or sadly, he is many miles away probably won’t get wind of this.

[dmalbum path=”/ Galleries/[email protected]/EPMS/”/]

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234 Replies to “Rule #29: When is an EPMS not an EPMS?”

  1. @Nate

    A wrong feature.

    Modern carbon EM, maybe? Not from that period and not with Campagnolo.

  2. @frank

    Nice puncture kit presentation. All you need to do now is to remember to take it with you on your rides.

  3. @TommyTubolare


    A wrong feature.

    Modern carbon EM, maybe? Not from that period and not with Campagnolo.

    You’ll need to take this up with our resident authority on Italian style, @PedaleForchetta. Word of warning though, he’s gonna disagree with you…

  4. @TommyTubolare


    Nice puncture kit presentation. All you need to do now is to remember to take it with you on your rides.

    That was a point I should have presented. It’s nice having the repair kit stay with the bike, always.

  5. @pistard




    5. Who is better than the ASSOS girl!

    A girl with real legs!

    And aside from those socks, 100% Rule Compliant.

    What, everyone’s too gobsmacked to notice the Rule #41 violation?

    Alas, we are weak Velomanati and were distracted by temptations of the flesh.


  6. @TommyTubolare

    The pedals are a flagerant breach, but what’s wrong with a Campa-equipped Merckx?

    Not to mention this (although technically it was a Colnago, I know I know)

  7. @frank

    I think you misunderstood my post.EM with Campagnolo all the way, especially older models hence my post about the pedals.Modern, carbon frames I wouldn’t care so much.

  8. @eightzero

    A truism that all Velominati must embrace is that the aesthetics of the bike are not to be detracted from. Indeed, the rider on a bike is much like a guy in a porn movie: no one looks at that, but it is equipment that has to be there

    +1000. this is the most important point made. i can’t stand anything extra being on my bike; i make a concession to lights only when they’re absolutely necessary for survival.  and even then, i try to keep them in my pockets until they’re needed (unless they’re too damn bulky for that; looking at you lezyne mega drive).

    did anyone notice the pump strapped to his down tube bidon cage?  seriously?!?  wtf is the world coming to?

    personally, after not using one for long enough, i can’t stand the EPMS any more.  even with the tightest, smallest one possible i can still somehow feel it with my legs and it drives me NUTS.  my only issue is, much like the sentiment quoted above, i hate having a pump sticking out of my jersey pocket.  but the lezyne road drive is the only pump worth using.  so i’m stuck…

  9. @Kiwicyclist

    @The Pressure Her name is Nicole and that indeed is my Merckx. I was lucky enough to catch Fxyo and Nicole doing a photoshoot for his new kit about 6 weeks ago where she was doing hill repeats up a notorious little hill off Yarra boulevard in Melbourne that some here will know called Yarra St.

    She is not only a stunner but a very nice person who could smash most of us on the bike (was going to say “ride the pants off most of us” but given your dirty little minds I refrained).


    That’s not actually her bike?  Damn, another fantasy comes crashing to the ground like the Hindenburg…

  10. I’m sorry, but when you start to look like a camel (@ the engine) then maybe the time has come to get a small EPMS.

  11. I carry a mini pump, three tyre levers, an inner tube and maybe a piece of old tyre (in case something unexpected manages to cause damage to my tyre wall) all in a single elastic band. This could all fit in the same pocket as my phone should I desire. I have been known to carry a multitool, but that’s tiny…

    Seriously @Gianni… what’s going on in your head?

  12. @the Engine  Thats always been your problem though.  Just look at the bag you took on holiday JUST for your cycling kit! Jaysus……

  13. @Lukas

    I tried to stay out of this, but here is my take on this subject.

    1.) When I race, of course there is no EPMS

    2.) When I train, like many PROs, I use an EPMS.

    If you don’t like the look of my small EPMS, then Rule V and drop me. If you have to suck my wheel to keep up, no complaining.

    Spot on, old cock.   I don’t understand why you all carry pumps either.  CO2 is the only solutIon.  I don’t need to prove I’m not lazy by hand pumping tyres. Lazy people do not go on 100 km rides.

  14. So I just got my new edition of Peloton magazine and there, about two pages in, across a double-page ad for Castelli is none other than David Millar;  out training somewhere near Villamari, Spain with not only a pump clipped to his down-tube but also a saddle-bag discretely hanging from his saddle. When I can out-ride David Millar, I will adhere to this aspect of The Rules. Until then, I remain unrepentant.

  15. That is true Piwakawaka, but I don’t think Castelli make either pumps or other accessories. They just make clothes and the ad is for clothes.  The accouterments on his bike are incidental to the ad.

  16. Much like the Lezyne phone pouch, I have the Rapha essentials case, which is big enough to hole a small multi tool, 2 CO2s and the inflater, some cash and bank card, tyre levers and a patch kit because I’m too cheap and don’t know enough about tubulars to be using them. If I had a smaller phone, it would fit in there too. I keep a spare tube either in a jersey pocket or taped under my saddle.

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