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Commuting Bicycle commuting is easier than you think, before you know it, you'll be hooked. Learn the tips, hints, equipment, safety requirements for safely riding your bike to work.

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Old 09-09-17, 05:34 PM   #1
Colorado Kid
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Handle Bar Bag

I've been thinking about getting a handle bar bag for commuting. (To carry all the small/light stuff I some times need to carry.) Does anyone else use them for their commute and if so, what is the best?
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Old 09-10-17, 03:04 AM   #2
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You can get them at Walmart, a simple bag need not be expensive.

I have a Bontrager bar bag from my LBS and It was not expensive, works just fine.
Has a bottom strap for stability, goes around the frame/neck under the top tube.
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Old 09-10-17, 06:23 AM   #3
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I now use panniers on my commuting bike. Sometimes you need to carry a lot of stuff. Previously I used a trunk bag, which worked well but had limits. I had never considered a bar bag until I bought one for my trike (which does not have handlebars, go figure!). I especially liked the availability while riding. I ended up buying another bar bag for my all-around bike. For both trike and bike I am using Altura bags that use the Rixen-Kaul KlickFix attachment system. The clear advantage of the bar bag is being able to get to your stuff when riding. There are definite limits to how much you can carry, though. Also, if you have other equipment attached to the bars, the bag may interfere a bit.
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Old 09-10-17, 07:47 AM   #4
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The more inexpensive bags attach to the handlebars with velcro straps. I find that with a flat bar they work fine. On drop bar bikes I prefer one that has an attachment system like Hoopdriver's above that holds the bag in front of the bars so my hands aren't rubbing on the bag when I am holding onto the bar tops.
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Old 09-10-17, 07:55 AM   #5
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Depends how you want to roll... all are valid choices

Cheap

Fancy

Huge

Crafty

Insulated
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Old 09-10-17, 08:56 AM   #6
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Best, (By Numbers Seen Here) is Ortlieb, its the cycle tourist's favorite.. you may not need all that volume or like the boxy shape,
the company makes other products that use the same QR handle bar mount..

Klick Fix is another German company making brackets and bags, quite a diverse assortment. excellent designs..

Now with the Ultimate 6 Ortlieb bar bag mount you can use KF bags, and visa versa, KF mounts, on Ortlieb Bags..






.....

Last edited by fietsbob; 09-10-17 at 10:59 AM.
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Old 09-10-17, 09:58 AM   #7
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Gilles Berthoud is the best. It's French.

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Old 09-10-17, 10:57 AM   #8
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Well, yes, Opinions differ.. there is the Modernist, vs the Vintage Bike Quarterly reader's clique.

And 'Best' is after all , an Opinion .
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Old 09-10-17, 02:30 PM   #9
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Suggest OP check out the BangoBros options.
Lots of choices.
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Old 09-10-17, 11:11 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Colorado Kid View Post
I've been thinking about getting a handle bar bag for commuting. (To carry all the small/light stuff I some times need to carry.) Does anyone else use them for their commute and if so, what is the best?
I have an Altura bar bag (wiggle.com.au | Altura Dryline Bar Bag | Handlebar Bags ) which seems to work pretty well. It has a 7 litre capacity which is enough for my lunch, rain jacket & phone/wallet etc. It would fit a small tablet computer like an iPad Mini. I can also take a set of work clothes if I roll them carefully, but shoes won't fit unless you are a ballerina :-). It has a shoulder strap so you can carry it easily off the bike.

It has a very sturdy clip-on system that stops it bouncing around, but the actual velcro top fastening can come undone if you hit a big bump and have something heavy inside the bag. For lightweight items it would be fine.

The downside I found is that the mounting bracket uses quite of bit of your bar real-estate, and a normal light mounted on the bar will be too high to illuminate the road in front of you (although probably high enough for traffic to see). My solution was to get a Topeak Bar Extender (http://www.chainreactioncycles.com/a...-bar-x-tender/) and put this *under* the bars so that my light shines below the bar bag. It looks low, but it illuminates the road well, and is still visible to cars.

I personally like the bar bag compared to other options for smallish items - especially if you don't want to be bothered with rack & panniers, or can't fit one on a carbon frame (my case). I also have an Apidura seat bag (17 litre), but it's a bit of a hassle to fit & remove it from the bike, and packing and unpacking it requires some attention to packing order if you want to find your smaller items (it's basically just a big bag without any internal pockets). In the summer, the bar bag is a lot less sweaty and uncomfortable than a back-pack.

HTH.
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Old 09-11-17, 12:00 AM   #11
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Ditto, the KlickFix compatible bags. Secure even on rough roads and gravel, quick and easy to attach and detach. The KlickFix mount itself stays on the bike. It's secured by screws and a strong braided metal cable so it's less likely to be stolen.

Mine is an AGU Qyoto, made in Holland. Weather resistant, with map pouch that doubles as a rainproof pouch for touch sensitive phones or tablets. I've used it with my own padded compartments for carrying camera gear, and without extra padding for a winter rain coat and extra winter gear that I need only early in the morning or late at night, but which are too warm for daytime use in winter.

AGU bags are affordable ordered through European dealers that are already accustomed to handling currency exchange and shipping for US customers. Favorable exchange rates too. Not fancy but functional.

Decades ago I commuted with a Kirtland Tour Pak. Good bag but fussy compared with the KlickFix. It required a large metal mount that hooked across the handlebar and stem. The mount had to be threaded through small diameter loops stitched into the bag, and wasn't secured to the bike so it was easy to steal and a bulky hassle to carry off the bike. It was good for that era but outdated. The AGU bag and KlickFix mount do everything better.
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Old 09-11-17, 01:33 PM   #12
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I just started using a Jandd Touring Handle Bar Pack that I got from Ebay and I love it. Having ones that you can easily take off is nice. That's been the biggest thing about the Jandd that I appreciated. Much easier than any pannier I've had.



I had a saddle bag stolen so I keep all of my on-the-road gear in the small pocket.

Last edited by aaronrob222; 09-11-17 at 01:37 PM.
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Old 09-12-17, 07:44 AM   #13
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I just started using a Jandd Touring Handle Bar Pack that I got from Ebay and I love it. Having ones that you can easily take off is nice. That's been the biggest thing about the Jandd that I appreciated. Much easier than any pannier I've had.
How does that bag affect the handling of the bike?
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Old 09-12-17, 08:24 AM   #14
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I have an arkel and an ortlieb. Ortlieb is bombproof. The connector for the arkel (where bag mounts to the handlebar mount) basically gave out after about a year, started launching the bag any time I hit a bump. I bent the leaf-spring things on the bag with pliers and no more launching. Doubt it is readily removable (or at least reattachable without pliers if I do remove it) anymore, though.

Use both with dropbars. I prefer the more rigid kind of mount these have vs what one would get w/ velcro loops.
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Old 09-13-17, 12:38 PM   #15
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How does that bag affect the handling of the bike?
To me, when it's fully loaded it feels stiffer, but I like appreciate that feeling. Its rated for 10 lbs (so imagine two sacks of flour) and I don't think I've gotten that high yet. There's no pull when I'm going into turns or anything, but it does stiffen it up. I have 420mm bars and a 105mm stem FWIW.

These also don't automatically come with straps, so I bought a cool looking one for a camera for $6 off ebay.
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Old 09-13-17, 01:30 PM   #16
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Thanks. The bicycle quarterly guys seem to really like bar bags and what it does to handling...
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Old 09-13-17, 01:37 PM   #17
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I use a cheapo one I got on fleabay for like $12 USD. I toss it on my cross race bike when I use it to commute. Drop bars, attaches with three Velcro straps. It's not large, but can fit a wind jacket, wallet, phone, and a few others small things. (I'm lucky, can keep all that I need at my office - clothes, food, eyeglasses, etc.)

I'd say go cheapo first, see if you like it, then upgrade over time. I love mine. When I want to change things up and not ride one of my commuter bikes, I toss the bag on my road or cross bike and I'm good to ride!
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Old 09-13-17, 10:34 PM   #18
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I have an Ortlieb on one of my touring bikes, and it works well enough. On my travel bike (which has S&S couplers) I use a Swift Industries bag that mounts with a KlickFix. I really like the Swift bag, which is made in Seattle. It looks rather like a smaller version of the Berthoud bag shown above.

On my in-town bikes I use a couple of bags from Dill Pickle. These are a bit smaller but are still big enough to hold all my tools, spare tube, patch kit, and other items I might need. They also come in a wide range of colors!
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Old 09-14-17, 12:01 AM   #19
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I like a handlebar bag for commuting and any rides where I might want to access the bag while riding. I drank deeply from the BQ kool-aid and upgraded to a low-trail fork to complete the package.

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Old 09-14-17, 08:24 AM   #20
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Mine is just a modified backpack, no mounts so it works as well on my road bike.
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