Formerly Known as Newbie
Handlebar bag with suicide levers?
I bought a new bike with road style handlebars (no previous experience on those) and after commuting for a month, I feel it would be a mortal sin NOT to do some light touring with it.
The bike has no racks but it does have a QR Carradice saddle bag mount. Most of the stuff would go in the saddle bag, but additional carrying capacity in front would not hurt. Turns out I cannot fit my old Ortlieb handlebar bag mount, because this handlebar is oversized at the stem area, and there are also extra brake levers ("suicide levers") on both sides of stem making things a bit cramped.
Any ideas or alternative solutions?
What you have are cross levers. Nothing suicidal about them.
You may have to choose between removing the levers and using the bag.
Formerly Known as Newbie
I know. I specifically wanted a bike with those, not being experienced with road brake levers and knowing a good 30% of my commute is in city traffic.
Originally Posted by MrCjolsen
I may end up removing the levers after I get some mileage and experience under my belt. Until then, I'd be interested to hear if there are any alternatives.
I've just borrowed an ortlieb handlebar bag from a friend, and it comes with a mount which puts the bag away from the handlebars, so that I can use my cross levers just fine.
Ortlieb also sells an extender that doubles the distance of the attachment that comes with it.
Which do you have?
You may wish to consider a randonneuring rack with a randonneuring style bag. Lots of people like these because it keeps the weight lower and closer to the wheel. The rack may be an issue with your fork. I have one on with nitto p-clamps and it has held very solid. BUT, overall this isn't a cheap way to go. The Rando racks from Nitto or Velo Orange are expensive and so are Rando bags. Some even need a decaleur. Look at Acorn Boxy Rando Bag if you want something fantastic.
A few racks by Nitto:
A few racks by Velo Orange:
http://www.velo-orange.com/rafrra.html ( have this one and use the p-clamps on the fork)
Attached photo is not my bike, just an example of what I mentioned above.
Also worth mentioning are the rather space saving mounts used by Arkel for their handlebar bags. They work on oversized 31.8 bars. A nice feature as well is that they are metal and not made of plastic. They take up far less room on the bar than other mounting styles and are quite solid I'm told (personally haven't used them) Their stuff isn't cheap either but, neither is Ortlieb's. The Arkel mounts push the bag a good distance away from the bar and have adjustable spacing as they are two separate pieces. They have a range in and out from the center of the stem for placement. This might give you the clearance you need for the cables on the cross levers. Arkel handlebar bags (like most HB bags) do ride rather high when mounted compared to a Rando rack mounted bag. Most folks don't seam to mind this.
As mentioned by others the Ortlieb extender could work but the mount on the bar does take up a good amount of space and it may be in the way of your brake cable housing as it is a more solid sided construction. The open side portions of the Arkel mount may allow you to run brake cable thru them if it came to that.
Just my 2 cents. Sorry to say but all my suggestions are a bit pricey....... not my original intention...
Last edited by fast_track; 06-29-10 at 09:14 AM.
photo of the ortlieb mount extension
I have tried this with a double stem setup. I have a lower stem (specifically for extension mounting, purchased from SJS cycles) that is used for the handlebar bag and an upper stem that is used for the handlebars. This keeps the handlebar bag separated from the handlebars.
I did try this setup with cross levers and it did not work very well. I could never get enough clearance to use the cross levers properly while the bar bag was mounted. So I finally just removed the cross levers, which were much less useful that I hoped anyway.
Here is a photo with an Arkel Big Bar Bag: