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Old 07-04-08, 01:52 PM   #1
BlueDevil
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DIY Handle-bar bag mount.

As our budget has been dwindled down to near nothing for our upcoming tour, when my wife and I decided to go with handle bar bags, we decided to give the Performance "Trans-it" brand a try, as we'd heard that they work well, and are cheap ($25 or so on sale).

The problem we ran into when we received the bags, is that the handle bar mount would not fit our handle bars (the diameter of our bike's handle bars was too large for the mounting bracket). Instead of sending them back, I decided to try a little DIY project, which ended up working great!

Here is how the project turned out:



Thought I'd post it here in case anyone else was looking to do the same. What you'll need-

Tools:
Hack Saw
Socket Wrench

Materials:
2x 1-foot pieces of 8-32 or 6-32 all-thread (its like a skinny 1' bolt w/out a head, available at most hardware stores)
4x 8-32 or 6-32 nuts with nylon locking inserts
1 can of plasti dip (any color, I used black to match the handle bars)
2 1"x8" strips of thin rubber (I used an old punctured tube, and cut the strips out of it)

First, you need to bend the 2 pieces of all-thread in a U-shape around the handle bars. I wrapped my handle bar in the rubber strip, and starting at the middle, bent the all-thread around the top half, then the bottom. You may want to use gloves, and heat the allthread up to make it more pliable (and if you drop it in cold water to temper it, it will strengthen the bend) but I just bent it cold with no problem.

Once you have your two U-shaped pieces of all thread, using the plasti dip, coat the bottom 2 inches or so of the "U" (just dip it in the can). I applied 2 coats, and let it dry over night. This plastic coating will add some friction to hold the handle bar bag in place, and will cover the threads which could scratch you and/or your handle bars.

The next morning, I test fitted the original mounting bracket, with my newly created mounting hardware. You'll find that the U is too long, so after test fitting, mark where to cut the ends off, then using the hacksaw, trim the ends of the U to the proper length.

The final step is mounting. For my first attempt, I just mounted the bracket with my hardware directly to the handle bars. On a ride, I found that my handle bar bag started to sag, as the mount rotated downwards. The quick fix for this, was to wrap the portion of the handle bars where the mount is, in rubber from a cut up tube. Since this, I have had no issues with the mount rotating downward.

The whole project cost about $5.00 for the all thread and nuts (I had the can of plasti-dip in the garage), and took about a half hour of my time.

Here are couple more pictures:



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Old 07-04-08, 02:54 PM   #2
bwgride
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Thanks for the tip and photos. I suspect with weight the bag may cause it to sag over time because only friction is supporting the mount. One way to prevent this is to create a support thread/line/cable that attaches to the mount on the upper left, comes over the handlebar, under the stem, then over the right side handlebar and reattaches to the mount on the upper right. Ortlieb (and others) use a devise like this (Ortlieb calls it a fixing cable) to add support to their handlebar bags. Would probably require drilling two small holes in the mount above the u-bolts you created, or perhaps other ways exist to attach the cable.

Here is an example picture of how such a cable works:

http://bp0.blogger.com/_gHBtTE3YAxs/.../p4270011b.jpg

and story:

http://longbikeride.blogspot.com/200...down-just.html

Another partial picture:

http://www.topbicycle.com/Graphics/klickfix16.jpg
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Old 07-04-08, 03:06 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bwgride View Post
Thanks for the tip and photos. I suspect with weight the bag may cause it to sag over time because only friction is supporting the mount. One way to prevent this is to create a support thread/line/cable that attaches to the mount on the upper left, comes over the handlebar, under the stem, then over the right side handlebar and reattaches to the mount on the upper right. Ortlieb (and others) use a devise like this (Ortlieb calls it a fixing cable) to add support to their handlebar bags. Would probably require drilling two small holes in the mount above the u-bolts you created, or perhaps other ways exist to attach the cable.

Here is an example picture of how such a cable works:

http://bp0.blogger.com/_gHBtTE3YAxs/.../p4270011b.jpg

and story:

http://longbikeride.blogspot.com/200...down-just.html

Another partial picture:

http://www.topbicycle.com/Graphics/klickfix16.jpg

bwgride-

That looks like a great setup, thanks for the tip! And it would be very easy to implement a cable support as in the picture. The original mounting system was a friction only mount like mine, it just wasn't big enough (I guess thats what you get with such a cheap handle bar bag ). If it starts to creep, I'll definitely give that a shot. (Though I did tighten things up enough such that even pushing down on the mount with 50+lbs, it wasn't budging) The rubber strips appear to provide quite a bit of friction when the u-mount is tightened against them.
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Old 07-04-08, 05:06 PM   #4
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If it starts to creep, I'll definitely give that a shot. (Though I did tighten things up enough such that even pushing down on the mount with 50+lbs, it wasn't budging)
If it does not budge with that much weight, then you have a solid system.
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