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Handlebar bag question

Old 07-23-10, 10:47 AM
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Handlebar bag question

I'm planning on doing a long tour next summer and I would really like to have a handlebar bag to basically serve as my purse - keep wallet, passports, etc in there, and bring it with me whenever I leave the bike.

At the store where I bought my bike, they had a bag that I thought looked great. I think it was this one: https://www.axiomgear.com/products/ge...ar/adirondack/ . But I couldn't really see how to attach it to the bike, with all the brake/shifting cables that are hanging out in front of the handlebars. I asked the bike shop guy, and he said it wasn't really possible with all the cables, and I should consider a trunk bag instead.

I don't really want a trunk bag, because they're big, and I plan to carry my tent/etc on my back rack.

I figure most bikes have cables up front, and handlebar bags seem fairly common, so it must be possible. But I'm just not sure how.
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Old 07-23-10, 10:57 AM
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Check out these photos of the Lone Peak H-100 handlebar bag that I use. Most bags are similar: there's a bracket that mounts to the center of the handlebar and the bag attaches to that. If your bike has bar-top levers, some bags and mounts (ex: Ortlieb) offer and extender that will move the bag further from the bars.
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Old 07-23-10, 11:11 AM
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I should have mentioned, I have a hybrid with flat bars. I don't know if that makes a difference. I looked at that page and it looks like they're kinda crushing the cables with the bag. The extender sounds like a good option... will have to look into that.
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Old 07-23-10, 11:13 AM
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It depends on the length of the cable casing from the levers to the first cable stop on the frame. I've used Ortieb and Cannondale handlebar bags for many years on my bikes with drop bars with no problems. The trick is that the cables/casing have to have a big enough radius to go in front of the handlebar bag.

When we are touring, and even for day rides, we use our h'bar bag just as you describe: it's the place most all of our valuables go. It always stays with me, whether on the bike or off, even for a minute to run into a store. I really like our Ortlieb ultimate as it removes easily and is waterproof. But there are other good brands, too. Just look for ease of removal so you'll never have an excuse for taking it off the bike (I leave the shoulder strap on the bag, too, and just tuck it inside the bag when not in use).
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Old 07-23-10, 11:15 AM
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Oops, just saw your follow-up. The same issue with the cable length holds true for flat bars, too. If your cables are too short to clear the h'bar bag, you may have to purchase longer casing for a wider-radiused loop (and new, longer cables, too). I don't think you'll need an extension. They are mainly for trekking/butterfly-type handlebars.
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Old 07-23-10, 11:35 AM
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I'm still using Cannondale bags from 25 years ago. I still love them. If I didn't have them, I would look closely at the Topeak h-bar bag. They have a few different sizes that all work with a handlebar attachment system. Looks pretty good to me.
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Old 07-23-10, 11:39 AM
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For what it's worth, I recommend the Ortlieb bags. They're waterproof, easy to use, and you can get an (optional) map-holder to stick on top.

It worked just fine with my flat-bar bike. You can also get an extension if you still don't have enough room: https://www.ortliebusa.com/CartGenie/prod-139.htm
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Old 07-23-10, 11:54 AM
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I don't like the Ortlieb - it rattles annoyingly without the map case, the lid opens the wrong way (my opinion) and the attachment system to the bars is fiddly and difficult to adjust or remove. It does come off the bike easily for portability, but so does my cheapo 20 year old Cannondale handlebar bag.

I think any common bag can attach to your flat bars, but yes, you may have to re-work some cables to make it proper.

Be sure the system that attaches to the bars can accommodate the clamp size of the bar you have on the bike. I'm sure some of the oldd 25.4mm attachments systems won't fit on a new 31.8 bar.
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Old 07-23-10, 12:02 PM
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OP the bag simply straps around the bars and then there's a 3rd strap that goes around the stem. Any decent bike shop can help you figure out how to mount it. Cables can be lengthened and re-routed, the only difficult bit is if you have brake leavers that might be in the way. If you want easy on-easy off consider the bags that use the Klickfix system like the Ortlieb etc.
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Old 07-23-10, 12:15 PM
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I use a Topeak handlebar bag and have no problems with the cables. The bag clips to the mount, and I guess that keeps it away form the bar itself. There's a photo of the bag and how it mounts here: https://www.topeak.com/products/Bags/...deHandlebarBag .

To be honest, I wouldn't trust that this bag would stay on my bike while riding, especially if I was keeping wallet and passports there. I recommend you get one that comes with a mount.
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Old 07-23-10, 12:26 PM
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I agree with briwasson that the key is the length of your cables. For some reason the mechanic who set up my bike used extra long cables. They look pretty goofy. But they're just barely long enough to wrap around the front of the handlebar bag.

I experimented with folding a couple of cables back against the handlebar. It worked, but interfered with access to the bag. Also necessitates adjustment to the brake pads because it makes the cables tighter.

I think a handlebar bag is essential for touring, especially for munching while riding.

By the way, I recommend that you consider replacing the flat bar with an upright sweptback back for a more natural wrist position.
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Old 07-23-10, 12:30 PM
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You might also consider a "gas tank", Tangle Bag or even a full custom frame bag from someone like Revelate Designs (formerly Epic Designs):

https://www.revelatedesigns.com/

I am not able to put a handlebar bag on my new bike setup (due to suspension stem), so I am going to be trying out one of Eric's "Tangle" bags (those are the non-custom ones). The "Gas Tank" looks interesting too - it sits on top of the top tube just behind the stem. The concept looks very viable, allowing you to keep small stuff close at hand without having to reach down to the panniers. Also, it probably handles better too - having any weight hanging off the front of the handlebars can tend to destabilize your steering, and can result sometimes in shimmy. Carrying the weight on the main triangle of the bike instead gets rid of that issue altogether.

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Old 07-23-10, 12:33 PM
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Incidentally, Spudd, if you wanted to try one of these:

https://www.rei.com/product/735854?pr...:referralID=NA,

I have one I never use. It's quick release, and turns into a fanny pack. I'll make you a sweet deal, PM me if you're interested
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Old 07-23-10, 01:12 PM
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I have one of those as well. Bought it mostly for the old mounting system, as I wanted to use my bigger topeak bag on two bikes. It's pretty handy, if you want something small. Wallet, phone, keys that's about all that fits in there.
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Old 07-23-10, 02:30 PM
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Spudd I have the Topeak h-bar bag its the large one they make I never did use it but one time if you would like to have it for free let me know I can find out how much it would cost to ship it to you all that I ask from you would please pay for shipping I don't think it would cost much at all.I may be jumping the gun here but I think it is in my little work shop let me know and I'll make sure I still have it.I just went out to my shop and I still have it so let me know.

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Old 07-24-10, 11:05 AM
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Unless you have really short fingers, which could make it difficult to reach the brake levers, you should be able to do what I did for a recent 1-wk/600mile tour, and rotate your brake levers downward a bit; just enough so the bag isn't putting too much pressure on the cables where they come out of the shifters. It's okay if the bag rests against the cables, just so long as it doesn't kink them or compromise their function.



I would have loved to had an Ortleib or Axiom handlebar bag, but being on a budget, I opted for the large Topeak bag, instead. I thought it was very rugged and well made. My only gripes with it are that it is a bit heavy, and it is not waterproof; you'll have use the rain cover, which is supplied with it, for heavy rains. The mounting bracket is very secure. I trusted it with my: camera; video camera, cell phone, wallet..etc.



here's a pic I took while on tour with it:
Attached Images
File Type: jpg
OBX to Savannah bi.jpg (97.4 KB, 47 views)

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Old 07-24-10, 02:25 PM
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Originally Posted by KDC1956
Spudd I have the Topeak h-bar bag its the large one they make I never did use it but one time if you would like to have it for free let me know I can find out how much it would cost to ship it to you all that I ask from you would please pay for shipping I don't think it would cost much at all.I may be jumping the gun here but I think it is in my little work shop let me know and I'll make sure I still have it.I just went out to my shop and I still have it so let me know.
Thanks very much for the offer! But I think I don't want such a big bag, I'd rather have something a little sportier.

To all, thanks for all your input. I feel a lot better about it now. I think the bag I had been eyeing won't work, because it doesn't clamp onto the bars like the other ones posted but I'm hoping one of those clamp-on ones should do the trick. And if worst comes to worst I can have the shop adjust the cables for me. Thanks!
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Old 07-24-10, 06:10 PM
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i suggest that you don't get a topeak DX handlebar (HB) bag. it's too big.
i used mine and easily overloaded it (choices)!
the topeak "tour pack II" is smaller, works great! i also like Jandd HB bags.
keep the size betwen 500cc to 750cc!
t
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Old 07-24-10, 06:52 PM
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The 3 things I looked for when I selected a bag were;
1. Waterproof, a must
2. Easy to detach and carry into stores or where ever
3. A flat bottom so that it sits upright when you sit it on a table. (some have rounded bottoms)
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Old 07-25-10, 12:05 PM
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I recently bought a Banjo Brothers waterproof handlebar bag. I also have flat bars and it mounted without any problem with brake cables. Comes with a quick release mount, detachable map case, and shoulder strap. It utilizes a cable as part of the mounting system to prevent it from rotating downward when you hit bumps. I believe this is similar to Ortlieb's mounting system, but I haven't seen Ortlieb's, only read about it. It is quite a bit less expensive than an Ortlieb, but the waterproof aspect is due to an interior liner as opposed to Ortlieb's waterproof exterior. I haven't toured with this bag yet so can't comment on its practical functionality, although it appears it will work out fine.
https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00...MYZJ95473VNSAZ
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Old 07-26-10, 10:15 AM
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Would anyone want my Topeak h-bar bag its the large one they make. All I ask is to pay me back for shipping it should not cost that much.I use it one time it still looks like new.I hate to put in the trash but it's going soon I give it a few more weeks to see to day is 7/26/2010
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Old 07-26-10, 10:34 AM
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Originally Posted by KDC1956
Would anyone want my Topeak h-bar bag its the large one they make. All I ask is to pay me back for shipping it should not cost that much.I use it one time it still looks like new.I hate to put in the trash but it's going soon I give it a few more weeks to see to day is 7/26/2010
I may be, PM sent.
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