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Small Front Rack Bags?

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Small Front Rack Bags?

Old 12-09-14, 06:16 AM
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3speed
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Small Front Rack Bags?

I'm looking for a small front rack bag. A friend has a Nitto bag that has a nice attachment system with little loops and snaps to hold it to the rack and a zipper around the top, but it's kinda heavy for the size(thick canvas/leather) and expensive for a tiny rack-top bag. I've found a few others, but they're also the "vintage" look and expensive. Does anyone know of any cheaper options? Waterproof would be a huge plus.
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Old 12-09-14, 07:04 AM
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I have used a small but nicely made (Cordura) backpack (No brand name but says Chicago Bulls on the front) on the front rack as semi-permanent storage. The backpack straps had buckles so I separated them and the bottom 2 were used to tie the bottom of the backpack to the rack and the top 2 were used to tie around the center bolt of the stem. The back and bottom each have a stiffener panel from coropac. It was quite stable with light loads but used to shift around when heavier items like 2 1/2 gal milk cartons were placed in the backpack. So, I bolted the bottom stiffener panel to the rack using two 1/4" bolts, wide washers (fender washer) and lock nuts. The backpack is now rock solid. Of course, you cannot easily detach it but you could place a sutaible bag inside the backpack, e.g. a camera bag. I keep a tube, pump and bike tool at the bottom of the backpack. The front pocket holds my wallet, bike lock key with garage door opener and cellphone which I pull out when I leave the bike locked in a public place. I just found out that it is not waterproof.
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Old 12-09-14, 08:27 AM
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I've got a Nitto M-12 front rack on one of my bikes as well as a Rivendell Little Loafer bag designed to fit it. I seldom use it because I like to see my front wheel. Handlebar and front rack bags block your view of the front wheel, and I don't like that. The front bag, if loaded, also seems to affect handling more than saddle or rear rack bags. I mainly use my Nitto rack for for mounting my front headlight and occasionally carrying a cable lock.
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Old 12-09-14, 10:45 PM
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Check out JANDD.Com

They have very light weight cylindrical bags in a variety of colors that Velcro around the handle bars and don't need a rack. JANDD stuff is extremely well made and looks great. I think they are cordura and have a stiffener to keep its shape. You could bungee it to a rack and this allows you to have rack space and a handy bag.
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Old 12-10-14, 03:54 AM
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Jandd does make good stuff. I had one of their daypacks for mountain biking. I checked the site, and I don't see anything that will really give me the simple attachment and ease of access that I'm hoping to find. Thanks for the recommendation, though.

ak08820, sounds like some handy work you did on the backpack. Maybe I'll need to get creative myself.

I've now started looking into top-tube bags. Those are smaller, but still might serve my needs well enough. If only I could find a waterproof one with a clear pocket on top to keep a cue-sheet while touring. That would be pretty handy.
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Old 12-10-14, 06:16 AM
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I bought a handlebar bag from Amazon with the clear pocket and a quick release clamp which fits your req. above. (BV Bicycle Map Sleeve Quick-Release Handlebar Bag with Two Mesh Pockets Sold by: BikepakUSA )$30. It seems much better than my M-Wave bag (~$20)where the clamp broke on the first ride.
Adapting a backpack for the front rack does not involve toomuch work. Just cut the coropac panels and burn holes in the bottom panel to match existing holes on the rack top and use appropriate bolts, washers and nuts. The handlebar bag was for another bike. The backpack/front rack is on my MTB/utility bike.
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Old 12-10-14, 06:42 AM
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I thought about just using a handlebar bag on the front rack, but the square ones that would fit the rack nicely tend to be large. I'd like to keep it fairly small. I'd also still have the bar attachment system on there, which I don't need, and the waterproof handlebar bags tend to be more expensive. I don't want to spend $75 on a nice bar bag that I would still have to modify to mount to the rack.
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Old 12-10-14, 06:46 AM
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I have used a Nashbar Elite handlebar bag on top of a front rack. I removed the original mounting hardware and most of the stiffeners to save a little weight. I used the shoulder strap, wrapped around the stem to hold it in place. It was easy to take on and off because there are dog leash type clips on the strap. I really liked it and found that for me it worked better than any bag designed for using on a rack top.

You mention not wanting to go that large... My take on that is that when I want to go much smaller I'd just forgo the rack and the bag and pack those items elsewhere. In that case you could use something else like maybe one of the little stem and top tube mounted bags. That or I just stick what would go in the small bag in my jersey pockets.

I also have found that I don't mind wearing a tiny backpack like the REI Flash 18 as long as it has no more than a few pounds in it. I used one on the ST for days when I needed to carry extra stuff on long empty stretches, found I liked it and started using it regularly with two or three pounds of stuff in it. It was nice that the stuff in it automatically went with me when off the bike.

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Old 12-10-14, 09:51 AM
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I've also used a small day pack which I just put into a nylon stuff sack to keep the straps in check and bungee it to my rack.
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Old 12-10-14, 10:16 AM
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Originally Posted by 3speed View Post
I'm looking for a small front rack bag. A friend has a Nitto bag that has a nice attachment system with little loops and snaps to hold it to the rack and a zipper around the top, but it's kinda heavy for the size(thick canvas/leather) and expensive for a tiny rack-top bag. I've found a few others, but they're also the "vintage" look and expensive. Does anyone know of any cheaper options? Waterproof would be a huge plus.
Cheaper ... not sure; but I have my eye on this for the front rack on my Globe Daily - Front Rack Duffle 40 | Knurled Welded | Chrome Industries

I've been blown away with the quality and long life of my Chrome Citizen bag, ~7 year years of daily use & keeps my stuff dry in pouring rain.... Based on this experience, I'm very happy to go back to Chrome for another bag.
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Old 12-10-14, 10:23 AM
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Originally Posted by MAK View Post
I've also used a small day pack which I just put into a nylon stuff sack to keep the straps in check and bungee it to my rack.
I have too have used a stuff sack in front, but dispensed with the rack when I did that. I used some short pieces of pvc pipe as spacers and just strapped it under the bars. It worked fine.
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