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Handlebar Bag Maximum Weight LImit?

Old 03-19-09, 06:34 PM
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Handlebar Bag Maximum Weight LImit?

What is the maximum weight for a handlebar bag to carry? I'm looking for a large handlebar bag that will easily handle 10-12 pounds or more. I already have a cheap Wal-Mart handlebar bag (only $15 new) that will easily carry 10 pounds of tools, with no problems riding the bike.

Any suggestions which bag I should consider adding to my LHT?

Thanks.
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Old 03-19-09, 07:24 PM
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Each bag specifies its weight limit. It often depends on the type of mount. The Ortlieb bags have a weight limit of 3 kg (6.6 pounds). I wouldn't think you'd want to carry any more than that even if you find a bag that allows it. Heavy handlebar bags affect bike handling and can be dangerous.
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Old 03-19-09, 07:37 PM
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If you really want to carry that much weight on the front end, I'd suggest a handlebar bag that is supported by a front rack. Or perhaps consider a CETMA rack.

Any cheap handlebar bag with that much weight attached directly to the handlebars is going to affect your handling and wear out soon, I would think.

Some bikes can handle heavy front loads, while others are not made to do that. What type of bike are you using for this?

Just out of curiosity, are you really carrying 10 pounds of bike tools with you?
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Old 03-19-09, 07:49 PM
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Mine tops out around 5 lbs. I wouldn't want to carry 10 lbs in a handlebar bag.
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Old 03-19-09, 08:49 PM
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Why do you want to carry so much weight there? It's really the worst of all possible places on a bike to carry a significant load.

That said, I think the Arkel bags could probably do it.
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Old 03-20-09, 02:33 AM
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Originally Posted by John Nelson
Each bag specifies its weight limit. It often depends on the type of mount. The Ortlieb bags have a weight limit of 3 kg (6.6 pounds). I wouldn't think you'd want to carry any more than that even if you find a bag that allows it. Heavy handlebar bags affect bike handling and can be dangerous.
I carry 5 kg in my Ortlieb handlebar bag without any problem.

Thomas
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Old 03-20-09, 10:03 AM
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I think you could get away with carrying 10lbs in a handlebar bag without affecting handling too much as long as you keep that weight up against the back of the main compartment, as close as possible to the handlebar/headset. For me, I keep anything heavy down low in the front panniers.
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Old 03-20-09, 01:47 PM
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A few months ago, I asked about a handling problem I had experienced that I thought was due to front pannier positioning. After checking out the pics and reading my description of the situation, Valygirl suggested that it might likely be my barbag that was the culprit- I did some experiments around the neighborhood with different weights in the barbag and in the panniers and came to the conclusion that she was mostly right. I don`t remember the numbers I came up with, but I`m pretty sure I started getting slow speed wheel flop along with unpredictable turning at under ten pounds in the bar bag and it turns out that I could comfortably get away with about three times as much in the panniers as the bar bag.

Have you thought about a front platform? I suspect that might split the difference if you can do it. I have one on my commuter and one on my "yet to be toured" tourer and find them very handy, although I can`t get into them while pedaling. I occasionally stuff up to ten pounds in there without any noticeable difference in handling, never tried more. I know that most front platform racks are pretty spendy, but Nashbar has a very cheap one that mounts to the canti studs and the brake/fender hole in the fork crown. Because of the mounting method, I don`t see why it couldn`t even be used in conjunction with a lowrider rack. Just a thought.
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Old 03-20-09, 01:55 PM
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Originally Posted by rodar y rodar
Nashbar has a very cheap one that mounts to the canti studs and the brake/fender hole in the fork crown
It's on sale today for $9.99, marked down from $15.99.
Supporting the bag from below, at the fork, will definitely help with handling, versus having the weight hanging from the handlebars.
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Old 03-20-09, 02:57 PM
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Originally Posted by vja4Him
What is the maximum weight for a handlebar bag to carry? I'm looking for a large handlebar bag that will easily handle 10-12 pounds or more. I already have a cheap Wal-Mart handlebar bag (only $15 new) that will easily carry 10 pounds of tools, with no problems riding the bike.

Any suggestions which bag I should consider adding to my LHT?

Thanks.
With a standard bar mount, the limit is 10lbs or less (a *lot* of manufacturers specify less). This doesn't mean you'll die if you go over or something, but a bar mount is not very stable and can cause serious handling issues. If the mount fails, it's way past serious.

To get over 10lbs, you need a platform front rack or a rigid basket with fork mounts. The Nashbar mini front rack has a pretty low weight rating. Nitto makes several similar but sturdier racks (figure up to maybe 20lbs there). Wald's front baskets are great. And Jandd makes a larger and sturdier platform front rack meant for touring. The platform supports the bag and helps stabilize it.

If you've got a carbon fiber front fork, you need to stay within the fork's design limits. Very few of them are meant for more than a bar mounted bag, and they can fail if you try to jam on too much weight. If you have a metal fork, but it's designed for racing or riding unloaded, it can get *very* twitchy with too much weight up front. (my bike has a metal fork and is meant for a front load, so it's very well behaved)

I like carrying stuff up front just fine, but you do need to think about the engineering some... and if my bike needed 10lbs of tools on every ride, I'd get a different bike!
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Old 03-20-09, 03:14 PM
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Originally Posted by IceNine
If you really want to carry that much weight on the front end, I'd suggest a handlebar bag that is supported by a front rack. Or perhaps consider a CETMA rack.

Any cheap handlebar bag with that much weight attached directly to the handlebars is going to affect your handling and wear out soon, I would think.

Some bikes can handle heavy front loads, while others are not made to do that. What type of bike are you using for this?

Just out of curiosity, are you really carrying 10 pounds of bike tools with you?
I have had about 10 pounds of tools and other stuff (batteries, heavy-duty tube) on my Electra Townie. And that's in a cheap Wal-Mart handlebar bag that cost about $15! I don't even notice the handlebar bag! Doesn't affect handling at all.

I will be getting a LHT soon. Going to The Bicycle Business tomorrow to order the bike and equipment.
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Old 03-20-09, 03:16 PM
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Originally Posted by JohnyW
I carry 5 kg in my Ortlieb handlebar bag without any problem.

Thomas
5 kg would be 11 pounds?
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Old 03-20-09, 06:00 PM
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Originally Posted by vja4Him
5 kg would be 11 pounds?
Why not use your computer calculator's "convert" function, or even google it, rather than asking the forum

But yeah, in British Imperial measurements, it's about 11 pounds.
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Old 03-21-09, 04:18 AM
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Originally Posted by Cave
Why not use your computer calculator's "convert" function, or even google it, rather than asking the forum

But yeah, in British Imperial measurements, it's about 11 pounds.
I was using my built-in calculator .... And I was NOT asking the forums, and who cares anyways if I WAS asking the forum. Is there a rule saying that I cannot ask a question regarding conversions ...

I better stop right now with my attitude ..... Not in the mood for playing games.

I really appreciate those who are helpful, rather than sarcastic!

Have a good day everyone!
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Old 03-21-09, 05:28 PM
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As a rule you want your bar bag to be as light as possible.

When touring it is the valuable items (camera, money, phone etc) and the items you may need easy access to whilst riding (Maps, Snacks, GPS)

Everything else can go in a rear top box, or under saddle bag of some sort, or in the panniers.

As a rule I try to keep to under 3kg (or 7 pounds in old Imperial measurements) and have daily clear outs to ensure nothing extra has been slipped in
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