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  1. #1
    Pozer
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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:


  2. #2
    Senior Member
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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=
    Attached Images Attached Images

  3. #3
    Pozer
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cyclesafe View Post
    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

  4. #4
    Senior Member mijome07's Avatar
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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.

  5. #5
    Mad bike riding scientist cyccommute's Avatar
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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.

    Stuart Black
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  6. #6
    Senior Member neilfein's Avatar
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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.
    Tour Journals, Blog, ride pix

    I'm in the celtic folk fusion band Baroque and Hungry. "Mended", our new full-length studio album, is now available for download.

  7. #7
    Pozer
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    Quote Originally Posted by cyccommute View Post
    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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  8. #8
    Pozer
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    Quote Originally Posted by neilfein View Post
    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.
    08 Surly Crosscheck (Misty Mountain Grey)
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  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by ryth View Post
    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.

  10. #10
    Senior Member staehpj1's Avatar
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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

  11. #11
    Mad bike riding scientist cyccommute's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ryth View Post
    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
    Stuart Black
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  12. #12
    Every day a winding road spinnaker's Avatar
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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.
    "The world is a dangerous place to live, not because of the people who are evil, but because of the people who don't do anything about it."

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  13. #13
    Senior Member
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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.

  14. #14
    nun
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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

  15. #15
    Senior Member neilfein's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ryth View Post
    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.

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    I'm in the celtic folk fusion band Baroque and Hungry. "Mended", our new full-length studio album, is now available for download.

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