I have a Nikon D40X camera with a 18-200 zoom. I would appreciate any recommendations for a handlebar bag for our Calfee Tandem ( I know, not a racy look). We are going to Hawaii in February and I want to be able to have the camera quickly accessible so I don't want to put it in the bag on the rear rack.
I have Carbon Concept Bars (31.8) with Cinelli wrap with padded gel under the wrap. I had looked at the Ortlieb bags but have been told that the wire used to attach the mounting bracket will cause the handlebars to fail through cracking. I know that vendors are very careful to warn those of us who use carbon about catastrophic failures, but I don't know if in this case it is over cautious.
I don't want to carry a bag on my back while riding, and would prefer that the bag could be detachable. Your suggestions are much appreciated.
I have always liked Jandd bags. A frame pack might work if the camera does not stick out too much and get in the way of your legs. Any chance of having the bag on the stoker bars? That could be an option if you want to clean up the front lines some yet still have quick accessibility.
With a traditional hbar bag you have better padding options which could be a factor.
You might want to investigate the Topeak line of handlebar bags. They use a very nice and bar-friendly clamping system for all of their different bag options. http://www.topeak.com/t8/touring.php
+1 for the Toppeak bags. I bought the Tourguide HP DX (their largest one) and love it. I just bought the bag from Amazon.com for less than $50 and just ordred an extra mount for the Tandem I got for my wife and I to ride. I've been using the bag throughout the Summer, Fall, and Winter and it works wonderfully. I ride daily through anything other than heavy snow snow fall (more than a few inches). The front pocket is perfect for a spare inner tube, a mini tool/patch kit, and multi-tool. On the inside there is a mesh pocket under the lid. This hold the rain cover, and hadded my helmet cover and beany cap in there as well. There are also some mech pockets on the inside. One holds my garage door opener and pocket knife, the other nicely holds my cell phone. The enter is nice and large. This will swallow plenty of other gear. I keep my wallet and other extra in there. I like being able to park my bike at a store and easily take the bag with me. I take out the shoulder strap to the bag, and hook my helmet straps through. Now I can easily do some shopping. On some extersions into lesser known areas the included map pocket it great. It will keep your map nicely in front of you and dry. When the map pocket is not in use I just keep in inside the back off to the side. I am very pleased with the bag, at less than $50 it is certainly an excellent value.
Detours makes awesome (and very stylish) handlebar bags. You mount a clip to the bike and then attach the bag to the clip. When you stop, you can unclip the bag super easily and carry it like a purse. They have great color selection. I think the new ones have a route map holder on top too. Very nice and reasonably priced.
Plus the folks at Detours are super nice! http://www.detours.us