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  1. #1
    Every day a winding road spinnaker's Avatar
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    Decent sized handlebar bag recommendations?

    Can anyone recomend a decent sized handlebar bag? Maybe one with a map pouch?

    This Topeak Bag Seems kind of unique. It has an extra mount for a computer and I would guess a light but it looks a little small.

    I have searchhed Nashbar, JensonUSA, SuperGo and Performance and all seem to be very lacking on bags. Why?

  2. #2
    Every day a winding road spinnaker's Avatar
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    Found one on Topeak's site. The popular online stores do not carry them for whatever reason, but they are avaliable.

    Or should I go with the next size down? Can a handlebar bag be too big?

  3. #3
    Macro Geek
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    Quote Originally Posted by spinnaker
    Or should I go with the next size down? Can a handlebar bag be too big?
    I think they can be too big. I once bought a handlebar bag, attached it, and even when it was empty, I did not like how handling/steering were affected. I never used it again. I find other places to haul my stuff.

    I do have a plastic map case attached to my handlebars.

    Depending on your travel style, you may need the room a handlebar bag affords, or want the convenience. But do conisder finding other places to carry stuff that are closer to the ground and nearer to the centre of the bike. I use a small fanny pack to carry my wallet, sunglasses, a pen, Swiss army knife, etc.

  4. #4
    Senior Member
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    This site has a comparisson of panniers and you can use it to look at the different qualities of bar bags. Personally, I like Arkel and use their big bar bag.

    http://www.lancerushing.com/bicycling/panniers.cfm

  5. #5
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    That Nashbar bag looks too complex. Do you really want a bar bag that converts to a fanny pack.
    Both Ortleib and Carradice make bar bags that are really good at being bar bags, not anything else. They both use solid , quick-release clip on systems that stay mounted over rough ground. The top surface acts as a map holder to speed up your navigation, they have clips for shoulder straps for off-bike use and have a flap top closure so they can be overloaded.The construction and materials of both are excellent and they survive heavy rain quite well. Cordura bags may appear rainproof when new but they leak after some use, esp ones with zip closures.
    Bar bags should not be so big that they interfere with brake/gear levers, but should be large enough to carry all your valuables, inc camera and documentation for off-bike sightseeing strolls.

    I use and can recomend tha Carradice but Ortleib is just as good.

  6. #6
    Every day a winding road spinnaker's Avatar
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    Thanks for the tips eveyone. I wasn't going to carry anything really heavy, I was thinking something big enough to carry a jacket and maybe a lunch, I could use for both touring and day trips.
    I might nix the handlebar bags all together since I have a lot of stuff on my bars already. B-Levers, GPS and computer. I still need to add a light. Or maybe I will just buy a smaller one.

    I was looking at the Minoura Swing Grip to give me a bit more room.

    What about those rack trunks? Can they be used with panniers? I was also thinking of just using the trunk during day trips and add the trunk to panniers for a tour.

  7. #7
    Knox Gardner
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    I really can't stand my Topek bag and am looking for a SMALLER replacement. I think it adds to a slight tire shimmy that I don't really recall on my first tour when I borrowed a friend's little strap on cheap thing. Of course I need to sell this thing to someone, so perhaps I should not say how much it drives me crazy.

    I do like that it easily snaps off so I'll grab it quickly if I am going into a museum or something. The extra bar for mounting lights is a great feature (and one that is seriously lacking in my partner's Detour bag). I like the small mesh pockets on the side.

    In the negatives: it is never tight enough and always slowly, very slowly taking on the angle of least resistance, meaning that the map case is useless...I have tried everything but it is just do big and gets to heavy for it's mounting systme. It is BIG and so in fact the side pockets can't be used for much becuase there is no room between the handlebar drops and I have large handlebars. The map case is always slightly condensing it seems, and I could never figure this out and the velco is not strong enough, so everynow and then the map would just blow off.

    I am still thinking I will use a handlebar bag on tour (I like having my camera, notebook and snack in there), but I really can't find one I like that is a bit smaller, easy to snap off and on and not mess up my light (admittedly not used hardly ever on a tour). I'll be curious what you find.

    Knox Gardner
    www.bikenerd.blogspot.com

  8. #8
    Hauja
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    Check Rivendell the prices are high but their stuff should last forever with a little care. http//www.rivendellbicycles.com

  9. #9
    Senior Member
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    If all you want is a place to carry a jacket and lunch and your handlebars are already cluttered, consider a seat bag.

    Like James Haury said, Rivendell makes really beautiful stuff that lasts a long, long time. They offer handlebar bags and seat bags, a couple of different styles. I've been really happy with my Rivendell seat bags and my Rivendell handlebar bag (hobo bag).

    MichaelW is right, on't get a bag that tries to be two things at once. I just bought an Ortlieb bag for my upcoming tour, I haven't used it yet but I'm really impressed with how well made it is. The mounting system seems really well thought out, too. I've used Ortlieb panniers and their seat bag too, I've been really impressed with how well everything held up and performed.

  10. #10
    your nightmare gal chipcom's Avatar
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    I've got both the compact and medium sized Topeak handlebar bags. The compact bag is a bit too small for my uses, which is why I got the medium. If you want to carry a jacket, lunch, cell phone, you won't be happy with the compact. Nice thing is that all of them use the same mount, so swapping between them for different purposes is easy. All of the bags come with a carrying strap and a rain cover. The two larger bags have map flaps. The computer mount isn't much use for anything but a computer - I don't use it. My computer is on the handlebar and I have a swing grip for my two headlights.
    "Let us hope our weapons are never needed --but do not forget what the common people knew when they demanded the Bill of Rights: An armed citizenry is the first defense, the best defense, and the final defense against tyranny. If guns are outlawed, only the government will have guns. Only the police, the secret police, the military, the hired servants of our rulers. Only the government -- and a few outlaws. I intend to be among the outlaws" - Edward Abbey

  11. #11
    The Improbable Bulk Little Darwin's Avatar
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    This Topeak on eBay looks like the large one...

    http://cgi.ebay.com/NEW-TOPEAK-TOUR-...QQcmdZViewItem

    Edit... Never mind, next size down.

    Edit again...

    This one is...

    http://cgi.ebay.com/Topeak-Tour-Guid...QQcmdZViewItem

    Slow Ride Cyclists of NEPA

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    - Ralph Waldo Emerson

  12. #12
    your nightmare gal chipcom's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dgregory57
    This Topeak on eBay looks like the large one...

    http://cgi.ebay.com/NEW-TOPEAK-TOUR-...QQcmdZViewItem
    Nope, that looks like the medium sized 'Tour Guide' that I have. The large one is the Tour Guide DX.
    You can see all three at their site: http://www.topeak.com/products/bag_handlebar_lead.html
    "Let us hope our weapons are never needed --but do not forget what the common people knew when they demanded the Bill of Rights: An armed citizenry is the first defense, the best defense, and the final defense against tyranny. If guns are outlawed, only the government will have guns. Only the police, the secret police, the military, the hired servants of our rulers. Only the government -- and a few outlaws. I intend to be among the outlaws" - Edward Abbey

  13. #13
    The Improbable Bulk Little Darwin's Avatar
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    Just editted my response a couple of times. There is a DX on eBay
    Slow Ride Cyclists of NEPA

    People do not seem to realize that their opinion of the world is also a confession of character.
    - Ralph Waldo Emerson

  14. #14
    your nightmare gal chipcom's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dgregory57
    Just editted my response a couple of times. There is a DX on eBay
    Yepper, that's the ticket!
    "Let us hope our weapons are never needed --but do not forget what the common people knew when they demanded the Bill of Rights: An armed citizenry is the first defense, the best defense, and the final defense against tyranny. If guns are outlawed, only the government will have guns. Only the police, the secret police, the military, the hired servants of our rulers. Only the government -- and a few outlaws. I intend to be among the outlaws" - Edward Abbey

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