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Old 08-05-09, 12:05 PM   #1
ryth
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Handlebar Bag recommendations / hand clearance

Hi folks. Long time lurker, first time poster.

I have been on a couple short-ish "tours" and for both used the MEC handlebar bag. It's a nice and affordable little number, and just about the perfect size, but I had to give it to a friend because of one issue.

Essentially there isn't enough knuckle-clearance between the bag and my bars to be able to comfortably use the top of the drop bars without putting my wrists at a bad angle or skinning my knuckles.

Does anyone have any suggestions for a handlebar bag that might sit further out, or that is adjustable? I was hoping for something similar in size (8L) and not too pricey, but obviously if the only options are the pricey ones I can make do.

I have Salsa Moto Ace Bell-Lap bars.

Edit: I should also note I'm 6'4 so have pretty big hands.

Cheers.

Current bag:



Attaching mechanism:

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Old 08-05-09, 12:24 PM   #2
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I have big hands and long fingers too. The 7.5L Arkel small handlebar bag works for me.

http://www.arkel-od.com/panniers/sm_...asp?fl=1&site=
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Old 08-05-09, 12:43 PM   #3
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I have big hands and long fingers too. The 7.5L Arkel small handlebar bag works for me.
This bag looks perfect and I have checked it out before, but at $165 (CAD) seems insanely pricey, or is that just what I should expect?

I was spoiled and managed to score my ortleib backrollers for only 100 bucks, so I might be living in a dream world
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Old 08-05-09, 01:43 PM   #4
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Here is mine on a 'cross bike. It's a Jandd Mountain Handle Pack 4. Since the photo was taken, I have raised the bag by two notches.
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Old 08-05-09, 01:49 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ryth View Post
Hi folks. Long time lurker, first time poster.

I have been on a couple short-ish "tours" and for both used the MEC handlebar bag. It's a nice and affordable little number, and just about the perfect size, but I had to give it to a friend because of one issue.

Essentially there isn't enough knuckle-clearance between the bag and my bars to be able to comfortably use the top of the drop bars without putting my wrists at a bad angle or skinning my knuckles.

Does anyone have any suggestions for a handlebar bag that might sit further out, or that is adjustable? I was hoping for something similar in size (8L) and not too pricey, but obviously if the only options are the pricey ones I can make do.

I have Salsa Moto Ace Bell-Lap bars.

Edit: I should also note I'm 6'4 so have pretty big hands.

Cheers.

Current bag:



Attaching mechanism:

You were a little too eager to get rid of the MEC bag Rixen and Kaul make adapters (look under 'Klickfix adapter' tab under distances set) that allow you to move the bag outward.

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Old 08-05-09, 01:57 PM   #6
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I have the Ortlieb Ultimate on my touring rig, and it has enough hand clearance (barely). Ortlieb makes an extender that puts the bag farther out from the bars.
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Old 08-05-09, 02:05 PM   #7
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You were a little too eager to get rid of the MEC bag Rixen and Kaul make adapters (look under 'Klickfix adapter' tab under distances set) that allow you to move the bag outward.
Although at almost 10# plus inevitable shipping, that's a pretty expensive fix for a 35$CAD bag

But thanks for the link, I'm going to see if I can find someone who might have them locally.
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Old 08-05-09, 02:19 PM   #8
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I have the Ortlieb Ultimate on my touring rig, and it has enough hand clearance (barely). Ortlieb makes an extender that puts the bag farther out from the bars.
How is getting in to this bag while riding? I've seen them around and they look nice.
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Old 08-05-09, 03:18 PM   #9
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How is getting in to this bag while riding? I've seen them around and they look nice.
As many people have noted, the Ortlieb medium and large handlebar bags have a very tight fit between the cover and the bag. This is good for waterproofing, but it tends to make the lid catch and be a bit cumbersome to open and close. You get used to it and learn how to mitigate, but the problem never goes away entirely. I can open the bag and get stuff out while riding without much problem, but it's a bit trickier to fully close it (although you don't have to fully close it if it's not raining).

One nice thing is that it opens forward (maybe they all do), meaning the lid isn't in your way when searching through the bag. Also, because the lid is stiff, it forms a nice "bucket" for you to temporarily move stuff to that's on top of whatever it is you're trying to get to. I use this a lot.
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Old 08-05-09, 03:40 PM   #10
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I use the little nashbar front rack (on sale $12.99)
I just wrap the shoulder strap around the stem and clip the ends to the bag. It seems to ride fine and is lower, more forward and out of the way. It is easy to unclip the bag to take it with me. It looks like that would work fine with the MEC bag as well since it seems to have D rings for a shoulder strap in the same place
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Old 08-05-09, 05:05 PM   #11
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Although at almost 10# plus inevitable shipping, that's a pretty expensive fix for a 35$CAD bag

But thanks for the link, I'm going to see if I can find someone who might have them locally.
Wayne at the touring store has ones that should work for $12 + shipping. Alternatively you could go with an Ortlieb from Wayne for from $80 to $120. Never need to replace it
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Old 08-05-09, 05:35 PM   #12
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I have not seen a second stem mentioned. I had the same problem with my Otlieb, so I ordered the extension from Wayne. Since then I have added a second stem, I no longer need the extension.
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Old 08-05-09, 05:53 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ryth View Post
This bag looks perfect and I have checked it out before, but at $165 (CAD) seems insanely pricey, or is that just what I should expect?

I was spoiled and managed to score my ortleib backrollers for only 100 bucks, so I might be living in a dream world
This bag might still not be right for you, but it's only $105 US or $111 CAD from Arkel's Canadian site.
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Old 08-05-09, 09:37 PM   #14
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One of the boxy Berthould style bags that sits on a front rack or decaleur gets the bag away form the bars completely. I use a medium Acorn handlebar bag and just rest my fingers on top of the bag with my thumbs
wrapped around the bars. Alternately I sometimes rest my forearms on the bars
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Old 08-05-09, 09:43 PM   #15
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Quote:
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How is getting in to this bag while riding? I've seen them around and they look nice.
+1 to John's post. I'd also note that the shoulder strap has a tendency to detach when it's hanging loose, although it's fine on your shoulder. I highly recommend getting the map holder.



I have brackets for the bag on three bikes, including my folding bike, using the Klickfix New Frame adapter fits the Ortlieb Ultimate, BTW, solidly although not quite as elegantly - you need to open the bag to click it in, unlike the Ortlieb mount.

a quickr pickr post
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