If you routinely ride for pleasure or during a commute to work, you may be wondering how to keep your gun safely concealed during the journey. Typically, the concealment options available when riding a bike are the same as what you’d use in any other circumstance. However, factors like comfort and “easy reaching” need to be looked at closely.
When riding my bike with a gun, I’ve found that finding a safe and secure way to keep my gun by my side without having to constantly focus on its presence is crucial. This typically requires some type of wearable option that can withstand the speed and exposure involved with riding. Here’s a look at my picks for safe riding:
- Utilize a high retention holster.
- Practice drawing your weapon.
- Keep your firearm on your body.
- Keep your firearm in a concealed carry bag.
- Use a safepacker/chest holster.
Which one is the best option for you if you need to carry a firearm while riding a bike? Let’s dive into what each of these options might offer. While all of these options are generally acceptable, you’ll need to perform your due diligence to ensure that the option you select complies with all concealment laws in the area(s) where you’ll be riding your bike. In this way, carrying on a bike is very similar to carrying a gun on a motorcycle.
Best Ways To Conceal Carry While Riding A Bicycle
Utilize a High Retention Holster
If you’re looking for a true, classic concealment option, a high retention pistol holder is really the gold standard. With this option, you’re using a holster that secures at the waistband. Pay attention to comfort and design when selecting your holster. Something with a pad that cushions while wicking sweat is a top choice for comfort.
Another tip is to look for a multi-clip design that offers much more security than a single-clip design. The goal is to find a holster that’s going to stay in place and guard you against failure during rigorous movement as you commute to work or cover hills on a weekend adventure.
Practice Drawing Your Weapon
Don’t just assume that a holster that appears to check the right boxes for fitting and staying securely in place is appropriate. You really need to test your ability to draw your weapon using any holster that you choose. Make sure you’re in a safe, private area where you’re not drawing at anyone to practice this. Test to see just how smooth and quick your draw is when you reach from seated or straddling positions on your bike. It can be helpful to have someone time you to compare your draw time with a holster on your bike versus your draw time while standing.
Keep Your Firearm on Your Body
As we discussed, a high retention holster is considered the default option when riding a bike. However, you may be wondering exactly where on your body that holster should be fitted. You typically have some range for choosing an ankle holster or shoulder holster when selecting a gun holster for normal situations. However, those options can be limiting when you’re selecting a holster that will be used specifically to carry while riding your bike.
The most practical choice when carrying a concealed gun as a cyclist is to attach a holster at the waist. This is going to give you the best control, awareness and access regarding your firearm. The problem with a shoulder holster is that it can get heavy during riding. An ankle holster is not ideal when riding a bike because it can interfere with pedaling or cause you to jam your ankle. Both of these options also make it nearly impossible to quickly draw your weapon.
How do I carry a firearm on my body when riding my bike? More often than not, the best option is to use a waistband gun holster. You’ll want to wear your inside the waistband holder (IWB holster) toward the back of your hips to ensure that you can maintain your riding position without being cramped. In addition, you can adjust your IWB holster based on your dominant hand.
Keep Your Firearm in a Concealed Carry Bag
If you’re not going to carry your gun on your body, you still need to find an option that allows you to safely transport your gun in a concealed away. The goal is to utilize some type of bag or pack that will still technically be “fixed” to your body without the need to strap on a holster. For this, you can choose from a variety of fanny packs, backpacks and sling bags that are lightweight enough to wear while riding your bike.
If you’re comfortable with a bulkier fit, a concealed-carry backpack is an option. The big caveat to this is that it’s very large and noticeable. While your gun will technically be concealed, there is simply no concealing the very large backpack that will be fastened to your back. Some people may not like the way a visible bag can draw attention or put one at risk for theft.
Use a Safepacker/Chest Holster
If you’re not satisfied by the idea of a waist holster or bag, you might be interested in an option that falls somewhere in the middle. A safepacker/chest holster is a wearable pack that’s worn around your chest. It secures around your back and chest to provide a very stable fit. When worn correctly under a jacket, this type of holster should be invisible.
The advantage of this option is that it allows for a fairly quick draw if you’ve chosen a jacket that provides accessibility. It’s also fairly easy to access a firearm at your chest regardless of whether you’re on or off your bike. The only drawback is that you may need to adjust your form while riding to ensure that the holster doesn’t restrict your ability to reach the handlebars on your bike or maintain proper breathing.
Quick Tips on Carrying a Gun While Mountain Biking
When it comes to mastering the right way to carry a firearm while on a mountain bike, factors like comfort and accessibility should be prioritized. It’s also important to select your concealment method based on the type of riding you’ll be doing. For instance, a person who is looking for a way to conceal while riding a mountain bike through trails and hills needs to focus on stability such as using a high retention holster.
The rocky terrain of a trail can make it difficult to rely on ordinary holsters or bags. This is really a case where a high retention holster is ideal because it’s the best option for keeping a gun securely in place. If you’ll be covering a smooth path on your way to work, there’s slightly more leeway for a carrying method because you won’t be jostled by the terrain.
There is some room for customization if you find that a method isn’t perfect. For instance, you may find it hard to access a zipper that becomes “buried” on a fanny pack as you ride. One way around this is to add an extension pull to the existing zipper to increase your accessibility. Just keep in mind that anything you add to a fanny pack or bag to make it more accessible to you can also make it more accessible to someone else.
Proper Bike Maintenance
Responsibly carrying a gun while riding a bike doesn’t just focus on how you conceal your weapon. You also want to be in a position to reduce the likelihood of falls and injuries by as much as possible. Falling on your weapon can result in a pretty painful injury.
For this reason, you’ll want to keep your bike properly maintained. You should also do pre-ride inspections routinely to check for things like tire pressure and brake stability. In addition, you should also be using bikes that are appropriate for the terrain you’ll be covering to avoid the risk of a popped tire or nasty dive.
The last thing I’ll say is that it’s not a bad idea to do a trial run when you get your new holster or bag. Take a “dry ride” with just a holster or bag to get a feel for how it fits and feels as you maneuver your bike. This will give you the option to adjust for fit and feel out there on the trail without the need to actually expose your gun. When you’re sure that you feel comfortable riding with your holster or bag, you can then add your gun to get the full effect on the next ride.