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Old 08-31-12, 06:44 PM   #1
pathlesspedaled
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Video Review: Arkel Small Handlebar Bag

Thought y'all would find this of interest. Always seen the Arkel handlebar mount but never one in action on the web, so I made this video for others to check it out.

Best,
Russ
www.pathlesspedaled.com

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Old 08-31-12, 07:02 PM   #2
CoMotionRider
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Nice review
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Old 08-31-12, 08:38 PM   #3
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good review. I do like the rack system.

I went with the Ortlieb handlebar bag since it was waterproof. Surprised this one was not waterproof, especially for the price.
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Old 08-31-12, 09:54 PM   #4
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good review. I do like the rack system.

I went with the Ortlieb handlebar bag since it was waterproof. Surprised this one was not waterproof, especially for the price.
....and the weight. Arkel stuff is amazingly heavy. The Ortlieb quick release is good and the Klick-Fix that clamps to the bars and only uses a single "one time use wire" is far better than the bracket that comes with the bag. The Ortlieb is simple, water proof, tough and light.
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Old 09-01-12, 05:00 AM   #5
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I have this Arkel bag and it's bombproof. Throw on the rain cover and the thing is great. Agreed that their stuff is heavy but it's built to last. My bag has 500+ of trail beating on it and it looks like the day I bought it. The mounts are bombproof as well. A guy I ride with had one of those plastic handlebar bag mounts break on him about 300 miles from home. I really didn't like the handelbar mount on the Ortlieb bag as I didn't fit my stem very well. I couldn't adjust it so I could see the map.
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Old 09-01-12, 04:18 PM   #6
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....and the weight. Arkel stuff is amazingly heavy. The Ortlieb quick release is good and the Klick-Fix that clamps to the bars and only uses a single "one time use wire" is far better than the bracket that comes with the bag. The Ortlieb is simple, water proof, tough and light.
Glad you like your bags. Everyone buys things for different reasons. I bought Arkel because regardless of bag size (7L or 8.4 L), the Ortlieb bar bags, according to the manufacturer's site, all have a load rating of only 6.6 lbs - a little too anemic for my uses so I went for something with an internal metal / polymer framework. I want to be able to actually load the bag. Even Topeak's 5 L bag has a load rating of 11lbs. Arkel's 10 L bag will take more.

The other issue I had was that both the Arkel and the Ortlieb bags have external mesh pockets. The Ortlieb bag may be waterproof, but that doesn't help the contents of the external mesh pockets. So buying a raincover to protect the whole bag didn't really bother me. It was only about the price of the optional map case for the Ortlieb anyway. The map case is included in an Arkel bag.

I also noted that most problems with bar bags that came into the shop were related to either the mounting bracket breaking, or the support cable snapping.

So you bought what worked for you and I bought what worked for me.

Last edited by Burton; 09-01-12 at 04:45 PM.
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Old 09-02-12, 12:12 AM   #7
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I have nothing against arkel, but this bag looks really cheap (fabric, zippers, lots of imperfections) to me and i just couldn't understand why they didn' t make something better, because with this mounting system they could have been the best in todays market. Ortlieb with its plastic parts wouldn't have been any competition to them. Maybe Arkel needs to involve customers in the making process to find out what is more important for the product. right now i want to buy arkels mounting system only and attach it to my ortlieb bag. Todays best combination for sure.
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Old 09-02-12, 05:32 AM   #8
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I have nothing against arkel, but this bag looks really cheap (fabric, zippers, lots of imperfections) to me and i just couldn't understand why they didn' t make something better, because with this mounting system they could have been the best in todays market. Ortlieb with its plastic parts wouldn't have been any competition to them. Maybe Arkel needs to involve customers in the making process to find out what is more important for the product. right now i want to buy arkels mounting system only and attach it to my ortlieb bag. Todays best combination for sure.
Lynx, re build quality, not sure what arkel products you have seen in real life, but the ones I have seen, including the barbags, were very well made, so can't agree with your view. I do not own an Arkel bag.
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Old 09-02-12, 07:16 AM   #9
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I have nothing against arkel, but this bag looks really cheap (fabric, zippers, lots of imperfections) to me and i just couldn't understand why they didn' t make something better, because with this mounting system they could have been the best in todays market. Ortlieb with its plastic parts wouldn't have been any competition to them. Maybe Arkel needs to involve customers in the making process to find out what is more important for the product. right now i want to buy arkels mounting system only and attach it to my ortlieb bag. Todays best combination for sure.
You've got me completely perplexed. Arkel doesn't make their own fabrics or fasteners. They buy and use the strongest, most durable industry standards currently available incorporate them in their own designs. I do have some issues wirh some of their designs myself, and have discovered that any critical review submitted to their website will NOT be posted, but can't say there have ever been issues with build quality. They have done a few (dumb) things like using a different color material for the rain cover of the bar bag vs the panniers and trunk bags in the same year.

But their hardware IS sold seperately and I've used it myself for a number of projects so its possible that if you saw something in the street with poor materials and construction - that it wasn't made by them.
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