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Old 12-01-11, 09:37 PM   #1
lucky1976
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Handlebar Bags

I am finishing up a Soma Double Cross touring bikes first touring bike.

I decided on Ortlieb panniers for front and rear but I notice in photos that most all bikes have Handlebar bag.

I haven't even thought about the option but thought I get peoples options on them and their main uses.
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Old 12-01-11, 11:38 PM   #2
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FWIW-- I use an Ortlieb. I like the mounting and the fact that it is waterproof. All my valuables are easily kept with me at all times. It is also a handy place to carry those things that get used a lot, like camera, glasses and wallet.

Contents: Wallet, sunglasses, pen, pencil, notebook, book, passport, train tickets, handkerchief, lock keys, Swiss Army knife, extra SC cards for camera, maps, and sometimes a GPS unit. My camera goes in the orange case in the center, and the GPS case is under it. If the GPS is really needed, it is carried in one of my jersey's pockets. Sometimes a snack ends up in there too.


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Old 12-02-11, 03:44 AM   #3
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As useful as they are I dont like having the view of the road right in front of me blocked...
I must be on the fence though, because I still havent sold the one that I bought last year when I was putting together my first touring bike.
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Old 12-02-11, 03:54 AM   #4
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I am very fond of my MEC handlebar bag ... it sits low, and acts like a glove compartment. I can put things in and dig them out all while still cycling.
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Old 12-02-11, 04:22 AM   #5
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If you dont want a large bar bag, consider an ortlieb compact - still enough room for the camera, wallet and snacks but not the bulk of a regular bar bag. No facility for a map case, but I am sure you could adapt something.
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Old 12-02-11, 06:25 AM   #6
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G'day

Another vote for Ortlieb bags. I use a Ultimate 5 and my only complaint is it can be a bit of a pain to undo/do up the lid.



Regards
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Old 12-02-11, 08:28 AM   #7
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+1 on Ortlieb.

My only issue with the Classic version is the shoulder strap. There doesn't appear to be a way to lock it when in use. It tends to slip out.

Ok, there are a few more issues now that I think about it. The inner divider is damn useless since everything just slides under it so I tend not to use it. For the price I'd expect the map case to come with the bag, without which the snap buttons rattle.

But damn if I'd switch to anything else on a tour, it went through some nasty weather and kept everything safe under... other conditions (coincidentally the only picture I have at the moment):
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Old 12-02-11, 10:14 AM   #8
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Whatever you choose, make sure there isn't interference with your hand position on the top bar, and you may not like the little stabilizer strings some use as a brace on the drops. My experience, big bags screw with the steering feel and response. For a big bag, I use a mini front rack and get the weight down lower. On my rando bike I use a handlebar bag, but it's one of the smaller Axiom models, and I have it braced forward of the top bar.
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Old 12-02-11, 10:38 AM   #9
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If you don't have a handlebar bag, where are you going to carry your donuts?



If you have not put on handlebar tape yet, wait until you get the bag. The mounting for the bag may impact where you put other stuff on the handlebar. In this photo it is not easy to see, but I have cyclo cross style brake levers (or interrupter brake levers). Handlebar brackets can make it a bit tricky to figure out how to get everything you want on the dashboard.

This bag has been out of production for a couple decades so don't ask where to buy it.

If you do some searches on this forum you will find lots of posts on handlebar bags.
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Old 12-02-11, 03:17 PM   #10
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other conditions (coincidentally the only picture I have at the moment):
Nice way to park your bike

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Old 12-02-11, 05:03 PM   #11
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A large handlebar bag does tend to mess with the steering. It is nice to have something smallish for easy access items. It's also nice for valuables if it can be taken off quickly and carried. I use a bar-top handlebar bag, but a top tube bag might be all the space you need.
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Old 12-02-11, 05:23 PM   #12
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I'm not sure the size matters so much, more so what you pack in it. A heavier handlebar bag, roll, or whatever will affect the handling. Yeah, a larger bag will tempt you to pack more and thus heavier, but it is not the size itself that affects handling.

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A large handlebar bag does tend to mess with the steering. It is nice to have something smallish for easy access items. It's also nice for valuables if it can be taken off quickly and carried. I use a bar-top handlebar bag, but a top tube bag might be all the space you need.
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Old 12-03-11, 11:52 AM   #13
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As useful as they are I dont like having the view of the road right in front of me blocked...
I must be on the fence though, because I still havent sold the one that I bought last year when I was putting together my first touring bike.
You will never even see the bag if you are looking at the road. It will only block your view of your tire and only part of that. If you are looking there while riding you have other issues.
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Old 12-03-11, 12:01 PM   #14
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I put a map on the bar bag and consult it quite a lot whilst riding along.
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