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  1. #1
    Senior Member WonderMonkey's Avatar
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    Handlebar Bag Search - Ortlieb?

    I didn't see any threads doing a big comparison even though I am sure they exist. If you know of one please let me know.

    So... looking for a handlebar bag for commuting and moderate rides. I'm looking at the Ortlieb Ultimate series and like what I see except they are pricey. Probably worth it, I don't know.

    I'd like to have one that opens from the biker side, has a map case or the ability to add one, and the bag should be easily removable. The Ortlieb Ultimate series is all this except I am sure many others have these features. I could just buy one but I'd like your personal experiences.

    Thoughts?

  2. #2
    Senior Member moochems's Avatar
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    I was looking at the bags the same way you are.

    i bought a BV handlebar bag from amazon instead.

    The bag seemed fine from an initial examination.

    The mount was absolute garbage, so much so I would advise staying away from that bag. Furthermore, it appears the same mount is used on some baskets (bv brand?) and by another name on a bag branded Lotus.


    If I get another handlebar bag, ortlieb or bust. Wouldn't mind reading some advice on handlebar bags.

  3. #3
    Senior Member blakcloud's Avatar
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    I owned the bag you are talking about and it has a lot of great features that you mentioned. What I liked was it was waterproof and how stable it was on the bike. I really liked the bracket that held it to the bike. What I didn't like was the bag is higher than the handlebar and my handlebar mounting system lights wouldn't clear the bag. So it was either the lights or the bag. I even went as far as buying an additional mount from Thorn to get the bag lower but it was still too high. I had more money invested in lights than the bag so it was sold.

    The bag was replaced by a Gamoh Porteur rack and Wald basket with cargo which worked out much better for the type of stuff I was carrying.

    If lighting is not an issue for you, I think it is a great bag and you will be quite happy with it.

  4. #4
    Senior Member WonderMonkey's Avatar
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    Thanks to you both. Lighting IS an issue for me and I probably should have stated that. I often finish/start rides in the dark and even if it isn't I have it on if safety is a question.

  5. #5
    Senior Member WonderMonkey's Avatar
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    I am doing more reading and lights are going to be an issue. No matter what I don't think I can hook the light to the bag as it would be far too shaky and difficult to aim. Many alternative mountings exist but I don't know if I like any of them so far. I may be out of luck and have to go with one.

  6. #6
    Senior Member WonderMonkey's Avatar
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    Helmet mounted lights seem to be an alternative though I don't care for that as much. Often I need to look at vehicles, etc. and don't want to shine a light in the eyes of a driver by accident.

  7. #7
    Senior Member WonderMonkey's Avatar
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    Though I will say I have used my hunting lights strapped to my forehead several times. Great visibility when turning corners, etc. Generally when I ride I have one on the handlebars and another on my head but I keep the one on my head off unless I am away from traffic and it is generally less well-lit.

  8. #8
    Senior Member WonderMonkey's Avatar
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    Another alternative is a front rack or fender and the light attaches to that somehow. Now the total price of being able to have a handlebar bag and lights is going up.

  9. #9
    http://www.538.nl acidfast7's Avatar
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    Movimento 5 Stelle (M5S)
    Rohloffs seen on the commute: 3

  10. #10
    Senior Member NOS88's Avatar
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    I looked at the Ortlieb and liked them a lot. However, my mother in law bought be a TopPeak Tourgiude bag for Christmas, and I like it enough I'm going for the Ortlieb. Not sure of the price difference between the two, but it might be worth looking at. Oh, and the TopPeak has an attachment that allows you to mount some things above the bag. I found that I can mount two LED Ultrafires that rest ever so slightly on top of the bag, and work well for me. So, the where to mount a light isn't much of an issue. Your needs might be different.
    Last edited by NOS88; 02-23-14 at 09:11 AM.
    A conclusion is the place where you got tired of thinking. - S. Wright
    Favorite rides in the stable: Indy Fab CJ Ti - Colnago MXL - S-Works Roubaix - Habanero Team Issue - Jamis Eclipse carbon/831

  11. #11
    Senior Member WonderMonkey's Avatar
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    Those Pro versions are nice! If I tourned more I'd use them for the ability to add on to generate power, etc. More than I'm looking for to commute.

  12. #12
    Senior Member WonderMonkey's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by NOS88 View Post
    I looked at the Ortlieb and liked them a lot. However, my mother in law bought be a TopPeak Tourgiude bag for Christmas, and I like it enough I'm going for the Ortlieb. Not sure of the price difference between the two, but it might be worth looking at. Oh, and the TopPeak has an attachment that allows you to mount some things above the bag. I found that I can mount two LED Ultrafires that rest ever so slightly on top of the bag, and work well for me. So, the where to mount a light isn't much of an issue. Your needs might be different.
    I'm looking at these now based on your suggestion. If the mount checks out I may get one as that would leave enough funds to get frame bag as well.

    Thanks for the point.

  13. #13
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    I have an Ortlieb Ultimate 5 Plus handlebar bag. The bag is fine, great even, but the mounting hardware is poorly designed IMO. The mount holds the bag securely, but it's made to be installed once, so it lives on your bike forever. It attaches by threading a special cable between the mount, handlebars, and stem. Screws then tighten the cable down. It's solid, but because of the way the screws damage the cable, it's not practical to take off and put it back on again. The mounting hardware takes up a lot of handlebar real estate needed for lights and other things. If you're set on the bag, go easy on tightening the screws to not damage the cable too much. As for lights, I suppose you could use something like this to mount your light along your front axel.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by jeffpoulin View Post
    I have an Ortlieb Ultimate 5 Plus handlebar bag. The bag is fine, great even, but the mounting hardware is poorly designed IMO. The mount holds the bag securely, but it's made to be installed once, so it lives on your bike forever. It attaches by threading a special cable between the mount, handlebars, and stem. Screws then tighten the cable down. It's solid, but because of the way the screws damage the cable, it's not practical to take off and put it back on again. The mounting hardware takes up a lot of handlebar real estate needed for lights and other things. If you're set on the bag, go easy on tightening the screws to not damage the cable too much. As for lights, I suppose you could use something like this to mount your light along your front axel.
    They sell the mounting cable by itself if you ever need one. You can get one from http://thetouringstore.com/ORTLIEB/O...IES%20PAGE.htm

    I love my Ortlieb handlebar bag. I had another one that included a waterproof cover. It worked okay, but water would pool at the base and get the bag a little wet at times. The Ortlieb is completely waterproof. Completely. No issues. Well worth the money. It will last for years.

  15. #15
    Senior Member NOS88's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by phughes View Post
    They sell the mounting cable by itself if you ever need one. You can get one from http://thetouringstore.com/ORTLIEB/O...IES%20PAGE.htm

    I love my Ortlieb handlebar bag. I had another one that included a waterproof cover. It worked okay, but water would pool at the base and get the bag a little wet at times. The Ortlieb is completely waterproof. Completely. No issues. Well worth the money. It will last for years.
    The TopPeak system is similar in that a cable is used to secure and reduce unwanted movement. Fortunately, the cable they use is simply a typical derailleur cable. The Ortlieb uses something different?
    A conclusion is the place where you got tired of thinking. - S. Wright
    Favorite rides in the stable: Indy Fab CJ Ti - Colnago MXL - S-Works Roubaix - Habanero Team Issue - Jamis Eclipse carbon/831

  16. #16
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    Actually, I did order another mounting cable. I wish I didn't have to, though. It would've been better if they had designed it to be removable in the first place.

    As for the bag, I concur that it's completely waterproof. The bag itself is really nice. The only design flaw is that the lock secures the bag to the mount, but doesn't secure the contents. So, while the bag itself won't be stolen, everything inside can be. :-/

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by NOS88 View Post
    The TopPeak system is similar in that a cable is used to secure and reduce unwanted movement. Fortunately, the cable they use is simply a typical derailleur cable. The Ortlieb uses something different?
    Yes, it's a different kind of cable.


  18. #18
    Senior Member NCbiker's Avatar
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    I use the Lone Peak HB bag. Has all the features you're looking for and it's slightly cheaper that the Ortlieb. I have really enjoyed mine.

    http://thetouringstore.com/LONE%20PE...ACK%20PAGE.htm
    __o
    _'\<,_
    (*)/ (*)

  19. #19
    Senior Member WonderMonkey's Avatar
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    Thanks all! I appreciate the input! Hopefully someone will find this thread in the future and get value out of it.

  20. #20
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    So what did you decide in the end?

  21. #21
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    Hanother Handle Bar Bag

    Have you considered Jandd? they make great Handlebar Bags for about $60.00+ USD. http://www.jandd.com/search_results....el=2&subcat=10

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