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Handlebar bag recommendations

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Handlebar bag recommendations

Old 08-07-18, 11:30 AM
  #1  
riceowls
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Handlebar bag recommendations

I am looking for 4-7 L handlebar bag to keep some food, phone/camera, wallet, valuables and essential docs in. Want to have easy on/off system. I am not a big paper-map used but perhaps having the front transparent pocket is a plus. Don't want to spend arm and leg but need something that will last. Currently considering topeak, ibera and ortlieb. The latter is more expensive even on a nice sale but I am very happy with their panniers and would be ok to spend more if it is definitely worth it. I like the ibera bag on my commuter and the price on amazon is the lowest of the 3. Topeak seems to be getting very good reviews and has most pockets.

Anyone did this research and has pros/cons of each?
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Old 08-07-18, 02:00 PM
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Drops or flat bars?
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Old 08-07-18, 02:51 PM
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https://banjobrothers.com/collection...bar-bag-medium

4.5 L
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Old 08-07-18, 03:10 PM
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I have no suggestions on the bar bag, but I really like the idea of a second stem to mount the bag bracket to the steerer tube. That lowers the bag and depending on how you do it, it can bring the bag closer to the steerer tube for better handling. I wrote up a bit more detail and added photos of some of my bikes on another thread, instead of repeating it here I will just provide the link:
Help with handlebar bag and rack selection
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Old 08-07-18, 06:14 PM
  #5  
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I've got an Ortlieb and a Blackburn. I actually like the Blackburn bag better, it is a bit better dimensions for my uses and the construction is as good as the Ortlieb, but I couldn't find a second mount for it so I bought the Ortlieb which uses a common mount.

I wouldn't take a plastic window into much consideration, IME both bags are too small to really be useful for anything but folded 8.5x11" sheets of paper. Get a separate map pouch that attaches overtop of it if that matters.
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Old 08-08-18, 09:07 AM
  #6  
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Originally Posted by Leebo View Post
Drops or flat bars?
Dropbars for the most part but may also end-up using it on my trekking bar commuter.
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Old 08-08-18, 09:09 AM
  #7  
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Originally Posted by trailangel View Post
Thanks, it is cheaper than the other ones I consider but I would prefer to have a quick release vs velcro straps. My main goal is to have something easy on/off bag as compared to panniers.
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Old 08-08-18, 09:20 AM
  #8  
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I fabricated a bar bag mount using a handlebar water bottle mount I just left on,*
my 'valuables' were worn on my body in a money belt..
(by Ortlieb, so sweat/water proof)
I modified a mesh singlet as a base later, with a tunnel pocket across the back ..
so that held the money belt comfortably..

Yes, Ortlieb's bar bags are very popular, with their 6th version of their bag mount,
they have become cross compatible with Klick Fix bags .. KF bar bag mounts
have long been compatible with Ortlieb bags..

I have both mounts and bags , Ortlieb does keep your stuff Dry , in them..

*My Camera Gear, 35mm film , went in it's own bag..




...

Last edited by fietsbob; 08-08-18 at 09:29 AM.
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Old 08-08-18, 09:52 AM
  #9  
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I have the Topeak tourguide bag (5L) and the small Arkel bag (7.5L). The Arkel is a much nicer bag but consideralbly pricier- $60 compared to $170. The Topeak is very adequate and I was fine with it but I wanted to upgrade to a larger and nicer bag. Another bag that I considered was the Lone peak alta -$110- which looks to be the same size as the Arkel. I ended up going with the Arkel because it uses aluminum attachment brackets which are supposedly superior. I am sure I would have been just as happy with the lone peak for $60 less.
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Old 08-08-18, 11:04 AM
  #10  
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I've used an Ortlieb for years. The previous version had a snap-on map case that worked pretty well, with just a couple of issues.* The newer version supposedly has magnetic attachments, which might be easier to attach and remove. It'll hold a reasonable cue card (or an ACA map) good for 25 miles or more before you need to rotate or re-fold the directions. I've used the waterproof-ness of this bag more often than I'd like, and the bar bag always keeps things inside dry. I've got mine installed on a second stem on my travel bike, and mounts permanently installed on the other bikes I use "locally."

*First complaint: when water gets inside the map case and sun hits the case, it'll fog up and blow up like a balloon. Time to open it up, dry off the map, squeeze all the air and evaporated water out, and re-seal. Second complaint: somewhere in excess of 18 mph air speed, the map case will start to flap. Either arrange a headlight to hold it steady, or get a thin strand of shock cord and tie it through the mount and around the bag and case. You can stretch the shock cord enough to move it to the side when you need to access the map or contents of the bag.
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Old 08-08-18, 01:11 PM
  #11  
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I too have used the Lone Peak Alta. It's a very serviceable bag, and after 6 years the bracket shows no wear or deterioration. It's a very reasonably priced and well made bag (as are all other Lone Peak bags).
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Old 08-08-18, 02:34 PM
  #12  
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I have a 5l Topeak Tourguide as well. Lots of pockets and dividers No problems with it on two different 5 day gravel tours so far. One quirk and this may apply to other handlebar bags that sit high on a drop bar as well but there is no where to put a headlight. It comes with a extension bar to mount stuff but it's not high enough for a light to go over the bag and anything rigged up to the bag itself flops around to much. My work around on an as needed basis was a small light and a rubber band on my helmet. Great for occasional long dark tunnels and such but not riding at night. I only had it in two days of rain but it stayed dry with the included cover. I did spray the bag and cover with Silicon Water-Guard repleant as a precaution. I can't say if that helped or not. Amazon warehouse occasionally has them "used" cheaper. Mine appeared to be brand new

Last edited by u235; 08-08-18 at 06:06 PM.
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Old 08-08-18, 02:44 PM
  #13  
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Another vote for Ortlieb. I have a few of them and they hold up really well. The waterproofness is a key feature for me, as I keep my camera, wallet, passport, electronics, etc., in it and it's never let me down. Also, ease of removal is important, as I ALWAYS take it off the bike even if I'm only going to be gone for a minute or two.

Downside of the somewhat older models I have is lack of organization; it's basically one big space, although Ortlieb does offer an add-on divider that I've considered getting. For organization I miss my old-school Cannondale Trestle h-bar bag with lots of pockets.

The Bicycle Touring Store has Ortlieb stuff on sale right now, so I'd check them out. REI occasionally offers sales on Ortlieb, and on rare occasions you can find them at Sierra Trading Post, too.
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Old 08-11-18, 04:49 AM
  #14  
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I use a small arkel bag. Not in your budget, so ignore as you like.

I find it a great bit of kit. Easy on and off. Zip closure front pocket and 2 open side pockets. Comes with a strap for using as a shoulder bag when off the bike.
The man part is open space, which suits me. It has a clear pouch on top for maps or riding notes... or in my case, song lyrics that I want to master
It's waterproof, but I use an old raincover (from a different bag) on rainy days.

Originally Posted by pdlamb View Post
The newer version supposedly has magnetic attachments,
Just on this use of magnets.... last Christmas there was a warning issued by the Irish Mountain rescue people after a group of experienced hikers got totally lost on a hike in some mountains. Apparently, the magnets used in their clothing (as a lightweight fastener) caused their compasses to point in the wrong direction!
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Old 08-11-18, 05:04 AM
  #15  
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Originally Posted by u235 View Post
I have a 5l Topeak Tourguide as well. Lots of pockets and dividers No problems with it on two different 5 day gravel tours so far. .....
also had a tourguide, nice bag but heavy.....the internal steel supports snapped on a rough washboard-y gravel downhill. got a local to weld it, lasted a few months, snapped again, rewelded with 8d nail welded to support. (can't say other bags would have survived better)
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Old 08-11-18, 07:23 AM
  #16  
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Originally Posted by saddlesores View Post
also had a tourguide, nice bag but heavy.....the internal steel supports snapped on a rough washboard-y gravel downhill. got a local to weld it, lasted a few months, snapped again, rewelded with 8d nail welded to support. (can't say other bags would have survived better)
Nice job. My bags (Louis Gaurneau brand) had no such reinforcement, I used 1/8 inch by 3/4 inch Aluminum bar (two pieces) to serve the same purpose of your steel but I put mine on the outside of the bags. On a bad road with much weight in the bag, the Aluminum would bend. My next project is to use 1/8 by 1 1/2 inch bar instead.
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Old 08-11-18, 07:42 AM
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Originally Posted by Tourist in MSN View Post
Nice job. My bags (Louis Gaurneau brand) had no such reinforcement....
thanks....but....not my work. those thin supports were the original equipment. good enough for road touring, but not for off-road.

my next bag, and easydo model you can get thru ebay/alibaba, had a carpy plastic sheet as support. mounted an L-shaped bookend for support.
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Old 08-11-18, 10:31 AM
  #18  
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I use a Vaude Handlebar bag. Comes with quick release and is just right size.

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Old 08-11-18, 10:50 AM
  #19  
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Originally Posted by saddlesores View Post
...
my next bag, and easydo model you can get thru ebay/alibaba, had a carpy plastic sheet as support. mounted an L-shaped bookend for support.
I should think about a book end like that, but if I do and if it was designed like yours, I would paint it before installation.
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Old 08-11-18, 12:37 PM
  #20  
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Originally Posted by saddlesores View Post
also had a tourguide, nice bag but heavy.....the internal steel supports snapped on a rough washboard-y gravel downhill. got a local to weld it, lasted a few months, snapped again, rewelded with 8d nail welded to support. (can't say other bags would have survived better)
​​​​​Good to know. I'll check mine and reinforce with something before it breaks.

Edit: Just looked at my 5l. No steel brackets, only 2mm thick rigid molded plastic support. Nothing that can snap but explains the slight tendency to deform if it is angled up. I usually have it slightly tilted forward. Hmmmm

Last edited by u235; 08-12-18 at 08:52 AM.
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Old 08-22-18, 10:55 PM
  #21  
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I have an Ortlieb for 4 years now. The large one. I carry a Nikon 5000 which weighs 2 pounds itself, as well as snacks and what ever else I want in the bag. Easy on and off. Has never leaked, and been on 2 long distance tours- one 72 days and one 35 days. Even in the city, I can't imagine riding without it. I also have it attached to a second handlebar. which lowers it some
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Old 08-23-18, 05:56 PM
  #22  
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Originally Posted by denniswaite View Post
I too have used the Lone Peak Alta. It's a very serviceable bag, and after 6 years the bracket shows no wear or deterioration. It's a very reasonably priced and well made bag (as are all other Lone Peak bags).
I'm not sure of the model, but I just got this one mounted right, lol. I think it gets trickier, using trekking bars. I got myself a little confused, once or twice, getting the angles to work. 🤨🤔😁
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Old 08-23-18, 11:21 PM
  #23  
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I've been doing this research recently also. My finalists were the Jandd Touring Handle Bar Pack II, and the Lone Peak Alta. I found a great deal on the Alta (one-off private seller) and snatched it up. Since no one has mentioned Jandd, I'd recommend looking at it. Looks like a *very* quality bag with an especially burly-looking quick release mount. High volume bag, but smallish side mesh pockets. Also, Blackburn has on their website a new handlebar bag they list as "coming soon" that seemed promising to me.
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