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Old 01-21-08, 11:56 AM   #1
Shantar42
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Handlebar bags?

HI all. I'm looking into getting a Handlebar bag. I'm a big fan of topeak but open to suggestions. My husband and I have been venturing further and further away from home and writing down turn by turn directions isn't always working out. We are also looking into a gps system but that is another thread. I'd like a bag that has the clear bag on top for maps but i don't want anything huge. Any suggestions?
Thanks.
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Old 01-21-08, 12:06 PM   #2
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The only bag on the bike that it would annoy me to have to put a rain cover on would be the bar bag (where the phone, camera, etc. would go). You may consider something waterproof and I don't know about other bags, but it seems Ortlieb has it covered with a range of sizes, though the smallest does not accommodate the map holder, which is (the Ultimate Compact) what I went with as I am not too concerned with having a map in front of me. The others were a bit too large for my tastes and perhaps, for yours. No harm in checking them out.

Last edited by foamy; 01-21-08 at 12:15 PM.
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Old 01-21-08, 12:37 PM   #3
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I got mine from REI and I think it was $60



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Old 01-21-08, 12:40 PM   #4
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I love my Arkel. The inside is waterproof in case you spill, and the liner zips out so cleaing it is very easy. The attachment system is also super sturdy and detaches quickly. Pockets in the right places too.
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Old 01-21-08, 12:40 PM   #5
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I've found an Ortlieb with a map holder to be a really nice setup. Ortlieb bags are really well made, waterproof and quite durable. Ortlieb also makes a GPS pocket that you can attach to the bag.

Another nice thing about Ortlieb is that they sell a good range of spare parts off of their website, so you can buy an extra mount to switch the bag between bikes, or replace parts that you break or lose.
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Old 01-21-08, 12:53 PM   #6
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arkel.....hands down

http://www.arkel-od.com/panniers/hb_...?fl=1&site=cdn
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Old 01-21-08, 02:29 PM   #7
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A friend of mine had a Topeak on our last tour. A very good looking bag. Things got wet inside the bag and the mount was not very stable.

I had the Ortlieb bag, pretty plain looking but everything was bone dry. The map in the map pocket was slightly damp but probably due to my fault of not closing the bag correctly. I am no fan of the Ortlieb mounting system as it makes the bracket difficult to remove when not in use but the mount is rock solid. Spend the extra bucks and go for the Ortlieb.
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Old 01-21-08, 02:37 PM   #8
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Pay attention to the mounting system, too. It's handy to be able to snap the bag on/off the bike and sling it onto your shoulder (if you want that) -- but some systems work better than others. I've only tried a few handlebar bags, and i'm sure there are other systems that work fine, but i find that "KlickFix" is superior. (It looks like the REI bag, pictured above, uses "KlickFix".) Just don't get the cheap-o kind that strap onto the handlebars with velcro.

Last year i bought a Performance bag for my wife; it uses an inferior quick-mount. It slumped under the weight of the bag, and it almost always took two of us to get the bag off, with twisted fingers and broken fingernails. Besides, the Performance bag was just too big.... i returned it.

We both use Vaude handlebar bags. (A review here.) Just happened to find them -- new, never used -- at a second-hand store. Perfect size, stable, all the features we need on the road. And a great price But i've never seen them for sale in a bike shop.

-- Mark
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Old 01-21-08, 03:01 PM   #9
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With my friends bag, it just wasn't the point where the bag attached to the bracket. He also seemed to have problems where the bracket attached to the handlebar.
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Old 01-21-08, 03:07 PM   #10
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I've been plenty happy with the Lone Peak H100 Alta. Plenty of room. Rock solid mount. I cover it in heavy rain. Nothing has ever gotten wet inside during light rain.

http://www.thetouringstore.com/LONE%...ACK%20PAGE.htm
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Old 01-21-08, 03:25 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fantom1 View Post
I love my Arkel. The inside is waterproof in case you spill, and the liner zips out so cleaing it is very easy. The attachment system is also super sturdy and detaches quickly. Pockets in the right places too.

I agree. Arkel. The mounting system is superb and you can get additional mounts for other bikes. I have both the large and small and find the small is best suited for my needs. I tend to put too much stuff in the large bag, making it way to heavy.
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Old 01-21-08, 06:14 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by ctyler View Post
I agree. Arkel. The mounting system is superb and you can get additional mounts for other bikes. I have both the large and small and find the small is best suited for my needs. I tend to put too much stuff in the large bag, making it way to heavy.
Does the Arkel detach from the bike quickly too?
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Old 01-21-08, 10:13 PM   #13
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Yes, it detaches in about 5.2 seconds.

I also have the small one into which I put:

Gloves
Glasses w/ case
Book
Small notepad
Pencil
lightweight beanie
3-4 food bars, a sandwich or bread, etc.
knife
chapstick
eye drops
maps
phone
credit card/ID, $, etc.

I can't imagine needing, or even wanting the big one.
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