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Handlebar Bag - Cable Clearance

Old 05-17-21, 07:44 PM
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Noonievut
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Handlebar Bag - Cable Clearance

I have a carbon gravel bike (aluminum bars/stem) and I would like to know if I can fit a handlebar bag for carrying some extra gear on 2-3 day credit card tours.

Distance between the bars (inside of hoods) is 36cm and the cables stick out in front of the bars by 6cm.

I want a bike that if it has a mount, can be removed (will only use it a few times a year).

Last edited by Noonievut; 05-18-21 at 03:58 AM.
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Old 05-17-21, 08:13 PM
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I recommend you look at Swift bags, Builtbyswift.com. Good quality, made in Seattle. They have some that mount with Voile straps, with some foam spacers to allow for the cables and give you room for your fingers to grip the bars behind the bag.
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Old 05-17-21, 09:53 PM
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BXB comes with foam spacers and voile straps that won't compromise the carbon bars

https://www.bagsxbird.com/
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Old 05-18-21, 03:57 AM
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Originally Posted by PedalingWalrus View Post
BXB comes with foam spacers and voile straps that won't compromise the carbon bars

https://www.bagsxbird.com/
Thanks. I should have clarified that the bars and stem are aluminum. Frame/fork are carbon.
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Old 05-18-21, 05:40 AM
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Check out the Ortlieb Ultimate bags. The mount stands off of the stem and bars enough for cables, I've used mine with a cantilever brake hanger. The lockable bag comes off in an instant. The biggest drawback is the mount's cable fastening system that's not quick to remove and install again.
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Old 05-18-21, 06:38 AM
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When you have a gravel bike, the key word being gravel, what do you want? A bikepacking handlebar harness to hold a dry bag or a conventional handlebar bag?

You should have no problems with a conventional handlebar bag.

If the steerer tube is metal, and if you have sufficient steerer tube to take a second stem, I prefer that for handlebar bag mounting. A short stub of handlebar or metal tubing in that second stem can fit lower than the handlebar to mount the bag lower and a bit closer to the steering axis.

The bag in the photo is no longer made, plus I made modifications to it, I do not recommend this bag. Photo is intended to show the concept of second stem.



Thorn makes an accessory T bar that works the same way, it consumes only an inch of steerer tube, but shipping from UK can be pricey. I use that on a bike instead of a second stem because I only had 25mm of spacers on the steerer tube that I could remove.
https://www.sjscycles.co.uk/accessor...0-deg/?geoc=US

Make sure you include shifting in your measurements. In this case the lever clears the bag side pocket but if the bag was higher it would not.

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Old 05-18-21, 07:11 AM
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Originally Posted by tommymc View Post
Check out the Ortlieb Ultimate bags. The mount stands off of the stem and bars enough for cables, I've used mine with a cantilever brake hanger. The lockable bag comes off in an instant. The biggest drawback is the mount's cable fastening system that's not quick to remove and install again.
I have a mount on each bike that I use the Ortlieb with, and leave them there. (Kind of like a wired speedometer/odometer.) The Ortlieb is a bit on the large side for the things I want to take along on every ride, but it'll also hold a jacket and warmers when the weather's uncertain.

I've also got the Thorn auxiliary stem Tourist mentioned on one bike. If I were going to remove and replace, I'd consider removing that second stem with the mount still on it.
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Old 05-18-21, 07:53 AM
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As for regular handlebar bags, I prefer ortlieb, but the arkel mount is an easier on/off system. You might want to look into them.
As said though, if you're going to be riding on very rough surfaces, bikepacking rolls etc will be better, but ive ridden with my ortlieb on roughish roads with no problems, but many factors play a part, tires , speed, surface...
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Old 05-18-21, 08:44 AM
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Ortlieb, Arkel, Swift (Paloma) are all excellent.

Also try routewerks -- https://routewerks.us/collections/shop
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Old 05-18-21, 03:31 PM
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Thanks for the replies!

The gravel Iím on isnít too bad, mostly similar to rail trails (crushed stone) but you never know when a road will have sections of wash board or have been recently graded.

Iím carefully thinking of the bags Iíll need and where to put them. I have a small frame bag that is 2.5L or so and doesnít interfere at all with one of the bottle cages. I have a container for tools and things that goes on the third water bottle mount under the downtube. I already have a 15L seat bag but on this bike the saddle is consuming most of the rear part of the rails so I either need an adapter for larger width rails or a 0 offset seat post give more rail (thatís getting pricey). Iíve used the seat bag on other 2-3 day trips.

One day Iíll consider a bike for self supported touring / bikepacking but for now Iím just trying to squeeze in short adventures.
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Old 05-18-21, 07:17 PM
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A traditional handle bar bag like an ortlieb has the advantage of super easy access to stuff, camera etc, and ease of taking off to always bring in with you for stores etc.
From what you describe of roads, I've ridden lots on similar with no issues. Bikepacking bags will be better for lots rougher.
Have fun researching options, costs, waterproofness (priority for me), ease of removal.
Ease also of mounting either paper maps or GPS units etc,

you've got lots of options, although covid has certainly screwed up actual availability, so you may be limited.
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Old 05-19-21, 09:36 AM
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What's the widest tires you can safely put on that frame?
Are those on the bike in the 40mm range?
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Old 05-19-21, 12:45 PM
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Originally Posted by djb View Post
What's the widest tires you can safely put on that frame?
Are those on the bike in the 40mm range?
42mm is the stated range. I have 40mm (tubeless) on there now and there is plenty more room.

After giving this more thought I'm probably going to skip a handlebar bag for my credit card touring purposes. With my 2.5L frame bag and a tool carrier under my downtube, if I add a S/M sized saddle bag...and maybe a 1L bolt-on bag for my top tube, I believe I can carry everything I would need (for 2-3 days at most, washing bike clothes where I'll be staying and drying them overnight). These rides are during the summer and I only need a change of clothes, cheap/light sandals, toiletries, and a few other small accessories. What I like about these rides is I leave from home, take many stops along the way (plenty of services for food/water), arrive kind of late and don't really need a lot. Simple adventure!
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Old 05-19-21, 01:58 PM
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Righto, and if you decide you need more room, there are even some handlebar bracket things to allow strapping a drybag on horizontally, or even eghads, a light rear rack and light panniers.
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