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Which Handlebar Bag for LHT?

Old 03-18-09, 11:34 AM
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Which Handlebar Bag for LHT?

I was hoping that I could add an Acorn handlebar bag to my LHT, but with the Surly Nice Rack, the Acorn bag won't fit.

Any suggestioins?

I'd like to have an extra-large handlebar bag. The bike shop will be installing a second stem, and so the handlebar bag will be attached to the second stem.
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Old 03-18-09, 12:02 PM
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Looking at the bag, it seems it should - is this the same rack? If not, can we see a picture of your setup?
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Old 03-18-09, 12:48 PM
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Acorn Bag Won't Fit Sury Nice Rack ...

Originally Posted by neilfein
Looking at the bag, it seems it should - is this the same rack? If not, can we see a picture of your setup?
I don't have the LHT yet. Will be ordering it this Saturday. This is the message I received from Acorn Bags:
================================
The Surly Nice racks are great, but unfortunately will not fit our Boxy bag. It doesn't have the narrow vertical backstop that's needed to slip our leather sleeve into. And our bottom velcro attachment is not wide enough.

I like the idea of a second stem! I've seen tourers adding this to lower their handlebar bags. It may present a problem with our Handlebar bag, because the bag will be too low to use the stabilizer cords running to the handlebar. Also, I'm thinking this bag is not going to be big enough for your needs.
================================

I really disappointed! I really like the looks of the Acorn bags, and the reviews are good.
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Old 03-18-09, 01:10 PM
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The rack you show is really for panniers. You need something like Riv's Marks Rack or the Nitto 15 for
the Acorn Boxy Bag
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Old 03-18-09, 01:27 PM
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I have an arkel big bar bag on my LHT with nice racks. It fits on the surly bar, but the only problem I have with it is mounting lights. The bar bag is too high and takes up too much space on the bars to mount normal bike lights on the bar. I wound up taking an old bit of handlebar, cutting it so that it is about a foot long, and mounting it under the bend on the front of the rack, with fenix lights on either side.
The second stem idea seemed like it would look a bit funky to me, though my current setup is admittedly a bit strange.
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Old 03-18-09, 01:35 PM
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Originally Posted by cliffy
I have an arkel big bar bag on my LHT with nice racks. It fits on the surly bar, but the only problem I have with it is mounting lights. The bar bag is too high and takes up too much space on the bars to mount normal bike lights on the bar. I wound up taking an old bit of handlebar, cutting it so that it is about a foot long, and mounting it under the bend on the front of the rack, with fenix lights on either side.
The second stem idea seemed like it would look a bit funky to me, though my current setup is admittedly a bit strange.
+1.

There's a lot of poor information/opinions about the big bag I feel. I received mine, dreading it would be massive and weigh a ton. It's no bigger than any other real sized handlebar bag I've used, but it's built unlike them with nice options and room. I contemplated between the Acorn, Ostrich, Ortieb and both Arkels, and ended up with the Big Bag, and am amply pleased. Unless you're looking for something made of canvas / leather / etc, this would be a great choice. I received mine 9 hours after ordering it online from bikebagshop.com which had me kind of awestruck! I think a review of this is due; maybe this weekend.

Edit: About lighting and the Big Bar Bag: You could mount the light to your front rack, or depending on what kind of light you have, the Big Bag has a loop on the front for a light (won't work for all lights, but might for what you have).
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Old 03-18-09, 08:34 PM
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Originally Posted by blaise_f
+1.

There's a lot of poor information/opinions about the big bag I feel. I received mine, dreading it would be massive and weigh a ton. It's no bigger than any other real sized handlebar bag I've used, but it's built unlike them with nice options and room. I contemplated between the Acorn, Ostrich, Ortieb and both Arkels, and ended up with the Big Bag, and am amply pleased. Unless you're looking for something made of canvas / leather / etc, this would be a great choice. I received mine 9 hours after ordering it online from bikebagshop.com which had me kind of awestruck! I think a review of this is due; maybe this weekend.

Edit: About lighting and the Big Bar Bag: You could mount the light to your front rack, or depending on what kind of light you have, the Big Bag has a loop on the front for a light (won't work for all lights, but might for what you have).
Nice review of the Big Bar Bag! That is the bag I've decided to go with, at least for now. I'm hoping that Acorn Bags will put together a bag that will be compatible with my LHT someday.

I will attach the Big Bag to the second stem, so it will be lower. I was thinking about installing one headlamp to either Nice Rack or the forks, and one more on the handlebars. I also have a helmet light which is ok.

Just how waterproof is the Big Bag? And how waterproof is the map cover?
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Old 03-18-09, 11:14 PM
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The map cover is actually two fold. There's a folding cover that goes front to back that overlaps the map cover itself. The actual map cover is removable, and slides in and is then secured by that top 'flap'. Needless to say, you have a waterproof map case even in torrential downpours. The bag itself however, is like any Cordura Arkel bag. It's water resistant and quite well at that, but is by no means completely water proof. I personally spent the extra $20 to get the waterproof cover, because my handlebar bag is the carrier of my digital SLR camera, and it needs the extra protection if something goes crazy. All that said, the inside main pocket of the Big Bag has a water proof liner, that is attached by a zipper around the rim of the inside of the bag. You are completely waterproof from over 3/4 of the bag (bottom, all 4 sides and the direct top). The only susceptible area would be the small Cordura area between the map carrier and the zipper and a 1/2-1inch area of Cordura below the zipper. All the zippers on it are high quality, and the one to the main compartment and the map case are the waterproof type

I think I'll post a review of it on my webpage tomorrow. It's a little hard to explain the features fully; pictures speak thousands of words, right?

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Old 03-19-09, 12:10 AM
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i'm not sure how a particular frame could impact handle bar bag choice, but i used an axiom monsoon on my surly briefly and liked it
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Old 03-19-09, 08:21 AM
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I've been running the Ortlieb Ultimate Plus size large on mine. Since it's been raining almost non-stop lately, I really appreciate the waterproof qualities of this bag. Good construction, rock-solid attachment. My only complaint is that the two exterior mesh zip pockets on the sides are too small to be useful.

The standard mounting bracket spaces the bag far enough away from the bar that I can reach cross levers with no problems, and it's both lockable (for what that's worth) & easy-on/easy-off. All-in-all, a definite
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Old 03-19-09, 09:24 AM
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Slice2, I noticed that the lock is in the perfect place to get rusty - with the innards exposed to the sky. Unless the inanrs are rustproof? (Knowing how well Ortlieb builds, I wouldn't be at all surprised.)
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Old 03-19-09, 10:05 AM
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Not cheap, but I love it, and it fits the into same general aesthetic as the acorn bags. Gilles Bertoud.

Wallingford carries some. They are here.

The one I think I have is here.

Here's a photo of my Long Haul Trucker with Nice Racks (front and rear) with the bag I'm describing.

If you're interested, I can find a ruler and measure my bag to determine which model I have for sure. It requires a KLICK fix mounting thing, which some folks don't like, but I found handy.

I rode across the United States last summer with a full set of these bags and the panniers still look new.
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Old 03-19-09, 01:04 PM
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Originally Posted by neilfein
Slice2, I noticed that the lock is in the perfect place to get rusty - with the innards exposed to the sky. Unless the inanrs are rustproof? (Knowing how well Ortlieb builds, I wouldn't be at all surprised.)
I'll probably never use that feature, since my intention was to keep that bag always with me.
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Old 03-19-09, 02:53 PM
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FWIW...the Acorn Bag works great on my LHT I'm using the Riv. Mark's rack. For longer trips, I plan to use the Mark's rack and the Tubus Tara for the panniers. They appear to be compatible.



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Old 03-19-09, 07:09 PM
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Originally Posted by 82times
Not cheap, but I love it, and it fits the into same general aesthetic as the acorn bags. Gilles Bertoud.

Wallingford carries some. They are here.

The one I think I have is here.

Here's a photo of my Long Haul Trucker with Nice Racks (front and rear) with the bag I'm describing.

If you're interested, I can find a ruler and measure my bag to determine which model I have for sure. It requires a KLICK fix mounting thing, which some folks don't like, but I found handy.

I rode across the United States last summer with a full set of these bags and the panniers still look new.
Nice bags .... but very expensive! Not sure I want to pay nearly $300 for a handlebar bag!!!
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Old 03-19-09, 07:12 PM
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How much weight can you carry with your Ortlieb Ultimate Plus handlebar bag? I'm looking for something that will easily handle 10-12 pounds or more, and as waterproof as possible. I want to be able to carry tools, large digital camera with extra batteries for the camera and for two headlights, so that's at least 12AA batteries, plus tools, camera, and extra room for inner tube, patches, glue, food bars, first aid stuff, and maybe something else ....

I also need a map holder on the bag ....

Originally Posted by Slice2
I've been running the Ortlieb Ultimate Plus size large on mine. Since it's been raining almost non-stop lately, I really appreciate the waterproof qualities of this bag. Good construction, rock-solid attachment. My only complaint is that the two exterior mesh zip pockets on the sides are too small to be useful.

The standard mounting bracket spaces the bag far enough away from the bar that I can reach cross levers with no problems, and it's both lockable (for what that's worth) & easy-on/easy-off. All-in-all, a definite
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Old 03-19-09, 10:07 PM
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I think you should re-think you're packing strategy.
It makes more sense to me to keep all your bike tools/repair supplies in a small saddle bag. Get some of the weight off of your handlebars.

Imagine how your bike will handle with that much weight hanging from the bars.
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Old 03-19-09, 10:51 PM
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I went and got a Pelican insert for my "Big Bag" today, and plucked it to fit my SLR, and it's quite pleasing. Since we're talking about it in this thread a bit, I figured I'd pseudo-hijack the thread to post the picture. Front bag is about 5-6 pounds now, and I'm happy with that. There certainly is no hands free riding with it, but the camera is accessible, safe and easily detachable. Even with the foam, there continues to be lots of room for 'handy' stuff, and there's always the zippered inner pouch for things like wallet, etc.

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Old 03-20-09, 07:23 AM
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Originally Posted by vja4Him
How much weight can you carry with your Ortlieb Ultimate Plus handlebar bag? I'm looking for something that will easily handle 10-12 pounds or more, and as waterproof as possible. I want to be able to carry tools, large digital camera with extra batteries for the camera and for two headlights, so that's at least 12AA batteries, plus tools, camera, and extra room for inner tube, patches, glue, food bars, first aid stuff, and maybe something else ....

I also need a map holder on the bag ....
You won't want to overload it; handling gets very sketchy.

Right now I've got a tube, levers, couple of hex keys, multi-tool, phone, bluetooth headset, wallet (in the interior zipped pocket), lock keys (clipped to the bag's key snap-buckle with a carabiner), couple of energy bars, several wool skull caps & a neck gaiter. Also the attached shoulder strappage (the lid fits OVER the exterior attachment points with the strap attached - it's pretty cool).

Before I mounted a bracket for the U-lock on the frame, I tried carrying it in the bag. After only going about 15 feet, I took it out & forced it into back pocket of jacket. Even though it was uncomfortable there & banged the back of the saddle, it was MUCH better than the scary handling it produced riding in the bar bag. More weight = much more wheel flop.

That said, I'm glad I got the Large instead of the Medium b/c there's room to carry all the lights (2 PB Blaze, 3 PBSF) & computer (Garmin Edge) in there when I go away from the bike. There's still room for stuff like warmers or a thin wind vest.

I got the map case for it & it seems fine, although I've only used it to hold a lite-rail schedule. I have no other map case or bar bag experience to compare it to.
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Old 03-20-09, 08:25 AM
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Top Bar Bag?

Originally Posted by blaise_f
I went and got a Pelican insert for my "Big Bag" today, and plucked it to fit my SLR, and it's quite pleasing. Since we're talking about it in this thread a bit, I figured I'd pseudo-hijack the thread to post the picture. Front bag is about 5-6 pounds now, and I'm happy with that. There certainly is no hands free riding with it, but the camera is accessible, safe and easily detachable. Even with the foam, there continues to be lots of room for 'handy' stuff, and there's always the zippered inner pouch for things like wallet, etc.

Thanks for sharing the information about the Pelican insert. I've added that to my list of equipment to order tomorrow. Also, thanks to whoever mentioned the bracket for the U-Lock! I've also added the U-Lock bracket and the U-Lock to my list of things to buy tomorrow.

The Big Bar Bag looks like the right handlebar bag for me! I've added it to my list of goodies .... I think I will move some stuff from the handlebar bag to the saddlebag, and keep the handlebar bag as light as possible.

Any ideas on a good top bar bag?
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Old 03-20-09, 07:08 PM
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If you've got a big chunky Surly front rack with a platform, do you need a handlebar bag?

If the bag is to keep snacks and a camera handy, how about a tri-bag (bent box)?

If it is for extra storage space, how about a rack-top bag on the front rack?

If it is to easily take your valuables with you off the bike, why not something that uses a klick-fix attachment, rather than multiple straps like the Acorn?
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