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Old 05-18-10, 03:12 PM   #1
unkabin
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big bar bag or small bar bag?

Hopefully not too annoying of a question.

I'm in the market for a handlebar bag. I'm looking at Arkel (I have other Arkel bags that I like), but I am always open minded. I want the bag to hold a DSLR with a mid-sized attached zoom lens, and possibly another lens off the camera, cell phone, wallet, keys, etc. They make two sizes, and I'm torn between them. http://www.arkel-od.com/us/all-categ...lebar-bag.html

Like I said, I'm open to other brands, but I need enough space for my secondary brake levers that are on the top bar. Arkel's attachment arms give 2 3/4", which looks like enough. I'm less sure about other brands.

Any advice is appreciated.

Cheers.
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Old 05-18-10, 03:21 PM   #2
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I've got the big bar bag and don't even use it anymore,I think it's just way too big.
The small bag should hold what you want and maybe more.
You can check out there dimensions on there website to get a better idea if the small bag will hold what you want.
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Old 05-18-10, 04:47 PM   #3
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Small, but I would never get an Arkel bar bag, their stuff is just too heavy, and that's the last place you want to put too much weight.
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Old 05-18-10, 04:56 PM   #4
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I have this one: http://www.topeak.com/products/Bags/...deHandlebarBag
It fits my dslr and a 17-55mm lens. You can put some stuff in the three outside pockets and I sometimes keep my point and shoot in the top part. I like it, because the inside is soft and camera fits fairly snugly, but not tight, and it's not slopping around. There's no room for another lens though.

Topeak also has a larger version http://www.topeak.com/products/Bags/...HandlebarBagDX that may hold an additional lens. I think it might get too heavy for front. I keep my extra lens in the bag on the back rack.
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Old 05-18-10, 05:06 PM   #5
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I'm just trying to get my first overnighter stuff together and am trying to decide on what sort of bag set-up would be best. When backpacking, I've gotten my pack down about 45 lbs for a 2-3 nighter. I'm thinking that I could probably get everything into a couple rear panniers and a trunk bag. However, I've read that putting the entire load over the rear tire would not necessarily be that good a thing. To compensate, I'm now thinking of getting a 'large' handlebar bag and loading it with some of the heavier stuff to balance the load.
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Old 05-18-10, 05:27 PM   #6
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I'm just trying to get my first overnighter stuff together and am trying to decide on what sort of bag set-up would be best. When backpacking, I've gotten my pack down about 45 lbs for a 2-3 nighter. I'm thinking that I could probably get everything into a couple rear panniers and a trunk bag. However, I've read that putting the entire load over the rear tire would not necessarily be that good a thing. To compensate, I'm now thinking of getting a 'large' handlebar bag and loading it with some of the heavier stuff to balance the load.
How about getting the front rack and set of smaller panniers? It took some getting used to, but I ended up really liking the set up. The bike felt very stable and the front wheel wasn't flying up every time I got off the bike. I think the handlebar bag is really just meant for wallet, keys, camera kind of stuff. I wouldn't want a heavy bag on my handlebars, I think it would make the handling a bit unstable.
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Old 05-18-10, 05:41 PM   #7
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Medium Ortlieb with the Camera insert setup./thread
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Old 05-18-10, 05:43 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by valygrl View Post
Small, but I would never get an Arkel bar bag, their stuff is just too heavy, and that's the last place you want to put too much weight.
Do you have a recommendation? I'm also looking at Lone Peak for some rear panniers.
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Old 05-18-10, 05:45 PM   #9
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Thanks for the replies so far, by the way. I'm leaning small now, I suppose.
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Old 05-18-10, 06:09 PM   #10
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My wife ordered an Arkel Small bar bag for her Jamis Aurora with cross levers. The bag had plenty of room for a DSLR, an extra lens or two and other things she likes to carry, but she didn't like the way it fit with the cross levers. In order to get enough clearance between the bag and levers, the levers had to be angled down to far for her to reach comfortably. It would have been ok on a bike with smaller cross levers. We ended up returning the bag, and are still looking for something that will work on her bike.
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Old 05-18-10, 06:25 PM   #11
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My wife ordered an Arkel Small bar bag for her Jamis Aurora with cross levers. The bag had plenty of room for a DSLR, an extra lens or two and other things she likes to carry, but she didn't like the way it fit with the cross levers. In order to get enough clearance between the bag and levers, the levers had to be angled down to far for her to reach comfortably. It would have been ok on a bike with smaller cross levers. We ended up returning the bag, and are still looking for something that will work on her bike.
Ortlieb makes an extender for their handlebar bags, which takes it out more to the front:

http://www.ortliebusa.com/CartGenie/prod-139.htm

Neil
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Old 05-18-10, 06:33 PM   #12
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Hmmm . . . yeah, the Ortlieb with the camera insert and extender (and map case) looks great for my needs (read wants). But, wow, add that up and it's $164 US.
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Old 05-18-10, 06:54 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by lucille View Post
How about getting the front rack and set of smaller panniers? It took some getting used to, but I ended up really liking the set up. The bike felt very stable and the front wheel wasn't flying up every time I got off the bike. I think the handlebar bag is really just meant for wallet, keys, camera kind of stuff. I wouldn't want a heavy bag on my handlebars, I think it would make the handling a bit unstable.
I was afraid someone would suggest that. I have questions; but, don't want to divert this thread, so I will start a new one.
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Old 05-18-10, 07:05 PM   #14
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Hmmm . . . yeah, the Ortlieb with the camera insert and extender (and map case) looks great for my needs (read wants). But, wow, add that up and it's $164 US.
You can get the Ortlieb Ultimate 5 Classic handlebar bag from Wiggle in the UK (with free shipping to the US) for $73.80:

http://www.wiggle.co.uk/p/cycle/7/Or...ag/5360028247/

The Plus version is only a bit more at $84.43:

http://www.wiggle.co.uk/p/cycle/7/Or...ag/5360028244/

Wiggle seems too good to be true, but it's for real - I ordered some stuff from them last Thursday, and it arrived here in Northern California Monday. Free shipping. From the UK. How? I have no idea.

Neil
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Old 05-19-10, 09:32 AM   #15
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Originally Posted by NeilGunton View Post
Ortlieb makes an extender for their handlebar bags, which takes it out more to the front:
http://www.ortliebusa.com/CartGenie/prod-139.htm
Neil
Neil, thanks for the tip.

Larry
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Old 05-19-10, 09:37 AM   #16
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Yeah, the heavy HB back doesn't balance the overloaded rear, it accentuates it. To balance it, you need to get the weight low in front. I wouldn't use a HB back for anything heavy if you can at all avoid it.

Lone Peak panniers are very nice, I have the P099's for front bags.
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Old 05-19-10, 10:50 AM   #17
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+1 for the small Arkel Bar Bag, perfect size!
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Old 05-19-10, 12:06 PM   #18
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+1 on the Arkel small bag. One of the best purchases I've made. I really like the mount, nice alloy and the mount looks nice with the bag off. The Bag holds enough of the common things (camera, food, maps, ......) I want during riding. I do wish the map case was removable since I don't often use it.
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Old 05-19-10, 12:08 PM   #19
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Lots of weight in a handle bar bag tends to make the steering worse. Plus, more weight can make the bag more prone to bounce up and down (which is kind of annoying).
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Old 05-19-10, 03:19 PM   #20
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Thanks again for all the advice. I would really like the Arkel small bag, but I think it's too small for my DSLR w/ lens attached + one extra lens. I would want to add some padding and a divider, too, and I just don't see it fitting. Basically, I'm looking for a small camera bag.

My thinking now is to get the Lone Peak, with the Ortlieb insert. I can buy both from Wayne at thetouringstore. His measurements indicate that the insert will fit nicely in the Lone Peak bag (an inch too long for the Arkel small bag), and then I'm all set. Meaning no offense to anyone, I'm just not interested in the Ortlieb bag. Their insert looks almost perfect, however.
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Old 05-19-10, 03:45 PM   #21
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depending on the size of your frame you could also consider a Jandd frame bag. But it seems to only fit well on bikes with long head tubes, the head tube on my 26" LHT is like a 60cm road bike You could put your spare lens in that and it would be in a location that doesn't get a lot of vibration.
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Old 05-20-10, 03:49 PM   #22
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I have a Small Arkel bag and it's too small for an extra lens except for a small prime. Instead of camera inserts, I used a thin fleece as padding, which is useful for cold morning and doubles as pillow case. I carry more camera gear now and simply put a camera backpack on the front rack. I added extra padding at the bottom with the fleece and thick socks that I use only when it gets very cold at night/morning.
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Old 05-21-10, 07:51 AM   #23
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Thanks Erick, that's very helpful info.
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Old 05-21-10, 08:00 AM   #24
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A DSLR is pretty heavy and an extra lens would be even heavier. I have a waterproof housing for my point and shoot that I carry in my handlebar bag, the DSLR with 28-200 zoom stays home. If I was going to travel with a DSLR and extra lenses, they would be in a rack bag on the back rack because of weight.

A friend went on an Africa photo safari a couple years ago, she took a camera that was not a DSLR but was a high end point and shoot that had a lens equivalent to a DSLR with a 28-200 lens. She took outstanding photos. If I wanted a better camera in my handlebar bag, I would consider buying one of the newer high end point and shoot cameras instead of carrying the heavy DSLR camera gear in a bar bag.
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Old 05-21-10, 08:54 AM   #25
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If you opt for the Ortleib, you will definitely need the extender kit with your secondary brake levers...The Arkel bag wouldn't work on my Jamis Aurora either.....once I fitted the Ortleib extender kit, have not had any issues....the Ortleib bag is now 4 years old, a bit faded thanks to the FL sun, but 100% functional....

Every once in a while, I ride a short distance without the bag........feel naked without it...
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