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  1. #1
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    Handlebar bag question

    From looking at the pictures in the touring journals, it appears that about 50% of people use handlebar bags. That appeals to me because at least the outer pockets on a handlebar bag are accessible by riding and they can hold a bit of gear.

    Question: I have a bike with Ultegra brake level/shifters and the derailleur cables come out of the hoods at a 90 deg angle towards the interior of the handlebars. Does this arrangement of cables preclude the use of a handlebar bag?

    Thanks

  2. #2
    Senior Member staehpj1's Avatar
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    I just kind of tuck the cables back and have not had a problem and this is with a fairly large bag. I haven't bothered, but know that some riders have used 90 degree "cable noodles".

  3. #3
    Senior Member neilfein's Avatar
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    It depends on how wide your bars are. The stock drop bars on my touring bikt were too narrow for my shoulders, and too narrow for a bar bag. New bars solved both problems.

    Otherwise, I'd have used noodles. (I wouldn't have gotten new bars just to fit the bag.)
    Tour Journals, Blog, ride pix

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  4. #4
    shut up and ride
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    no, i just used one on my racing bike on a short tour. 42cm (44s would be even better) bars help as do running the cables a bit long. it wasn't great, it wasn't pretty, but it did work and i didn't have any problems.

  5. #5
    Senior Member mijome07's Avatar
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    small handle bar bag w/ Sora

    medium handle bar bag w/ Sora

  6. #6
    Mad bike riding scientist cyccommute's Avatar
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    The noodle trick that staehpj1 was talking about.




    It's not really needed but it does make for easier installation and removal. It's dead easy to do.
    Stuart Black
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  7. #7
    Member Solomander's Avatar
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    Nice. I was just looking at a Cannondale T1 over the weekend, equipped with STI shifters, and wondering the same thing.

    Joel

  8. #8
    meaculpa
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    I'd like to have a handlebar bag except that I had crosstop brake levers installed. So now I'm used to having them there. Guess that means I'll need to build a bike dedicated just for touring.

  9. #9
    Senior Member mijome07's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by meaculpa View Post
    I'd like to have a handlebar bag except that I had crosstop brake levers installed. So now I'm used to having them there. Guess that means I'll need to build a bike dedicated just for touring.
    My bike came with them installed. Since the picture was taken, I have raised the bag 2 notches up (and the 'cross levers a little). Just a get a wider handlebar.

  10. #10
    Senior Member mattbicycle's Avatar
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    I recently toured with a cheap wire basket on the front of a mountain bike. I put the heavy gear from the rear bag which wasn't affected by rain into the basket, plus my camera, map, an extra water bottle and whatever food I wanted. It was very convenient. The only problem is I lost my favourite hat which I suspect fell out whilst travelling down a steep hill.

  11. #11
    Senior Member staehpj1's Avatar
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    There is no reason that the cross levers can't work fine with a handlebar bag. Just rotate them down more if necessary.

  12. #12
    Senior Member Neil G.'s Avatar
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    Arkel has a nice page showing which handlebar widths require modification for their two bag sizes.

    Their modification suggestions include both the brake noodle and Avid Rollamajigs. I used the Rollamajig option, but since I don't think they make those anymore, you're probably limited to the brake noodle option if you need to modify. The brake noodles are certainly cheaper and probably work just as well.

    Neil

  13. #13
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    Yesterday I tried to use the noodle trick on my Ultegra STI's but it didn't work for me. Fortunately my HB bag is small enough that I really don't need them so I guess I didn't work particularly hard at making them work. I'll send the pair to the first person who PM's me with their address.

    However, before you consider a HB bag there is a much lighter option, the Arkel Map Case. If all you want is a convenient place for your map and a couple of pockets for valuables, this might do the trick. Cheaper and lighter.

    http://www.arkel-od.com/panniers/map...asp?fl=1&site=

  14. #14
    Mad bike riding scientist cyccommute's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Solomander View Post
    Nice. I was just looking at a Cannondale T1 over the weekend, equipped with STI shifters, and wondering the same thing.

    Joel
    Do yourself a favor and look at a T2. Comparing the two, I think that the T2 is the more worthy touring machine. It has a better drive train (lower gears) than the T1. You could run a 22 inner chainring on it but you can't go that low with the 105 crank on the T1. Also look at the cost of replacing the IRD 10 speed cassette...$160...compared with $30 to $60 on the 9 speed (and you can get a lower low on the 9)

    Just sayin'.
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  15. #15
    Mad bike riding scientist cyccommute's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by meaculpa View Post
    I'd like to have a handlebar bag except that I had crosstop brake levers installed. So now I'm used to having them there. Guess that means I'll need to build a bike dedicated just for touring.
    Angle your interrupter levers down. Look at how mountain bike levers are mounted. Most people have those nearly vertical (it's a more natural position). Most of the interrupter levers I see are nearly horizontal...a very unnatural position.
    Stuart Black
    Solo Without Pie. The search for pie in the Midwest.
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    Days of Wineless Roads. Bed and Breakfasting along the KATY
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  16. #16
    Senior Member robow's Avatar
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    Another simple option for those that don't insist on a large box up front is to use a smaller front bag that attaches via velcro straps and allows the bag to hang lower and not interfere with the cables.
    325 cu. in.


  17. #17
    Bicycle Lifestyle AsanaCycles's Avatar
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    another huge subject
    lots to choose from
    custom bags too
    www.CarouselDesignWorks.com
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/carouseldesignworks/
    Attached Images Attached Images
    Last edited by AsanaCycles; 07-29-09 at 10:24 AM. Reason: add link

  18. #18
    Senior Member mijome07's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by AsanaCycles View Post
    another huge subject
    lots to choose from
    custom bags too
    www.CarouselDesignWorks.com
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/carouseldesignworks/
    Someday when I get a mountain bike (new or old), I'm gonna order those bags. Cool bike (+ setup).

  19. #19
    Member Solomander's Avatar
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    I actually meant the T2. Thanks for the additional justification. Besides, green bikes are faster up hills than white bikes.

    Joel

  20. #20
    Bicycle Lifestyle AsanaCycles's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mijome07 View Post
    Someday when I get a mountain bike (new or old), I'm gonna order those bags. Cool bike (+ setup).
    plus it takes panniers
    using Old Man Mountain racks

    the bike is a Hunter 29er
    so it takes 29er MTB tyres as well as 700c tyres.

    Novara Panniers... click off and on...
    OMM racks use two bolts where the canti studs would be, for stabilizers, OMM racks have their own dropouts, so all i do is carry a regular set of skewers with me...

    remove racks and replace skewers. literally 4 bolts.
    Attached Images Attached Images

  21. #21
    Mad bike riding scientist cyccommute's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Solomander View Post
    I actually meant the T2. Thanks for the additional justification. Besides, green bikes are faster up hills than white bikes.

    Joel
    I have a T800. It's a most excellent touring bike.
    Stuart Black
    Solo Without Pie. The search for pie in the Midwest.
    Picking the Scablands. Washington and Oregon, 2005. Pie and spiders on the Columbia River!
    Days of Wineless Roads. Bed and Breakfasting along the KATY
    Twisting Down the Alley. Misadventures in tornado alley.
    An Good Ol' Fashion Appalachian Butt Whoopin'.

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