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Handlebar bags?

Old 02-23-11, 04:28 PM
  #1  
HandsomeRyan
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Question Handlebar bags?

So I know this is really more a touring thing than a utility thing but I wanted to get the opinions of people who carry various stuff on their bikes rather than tourists who would tend to carry the same thing over and over.

I'm building up a new road / utility / general purpose bike and while I know a rear rack makes the most sense, I like the idea of a handlebar bag. My problem is that there is a dizzying array of them available from very small to huge and from very cheap to more than I can afford.

Do any of you "utility cyclists" use a handlebar bag for running errands or just riding around town? Which one? Do you like it?
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Old 02-23-11, 11:22 PM
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One thing I ran into is that the local bike shops don't stock much in the way of handlebar bags, so there's a dizzying array of them, but they're all online. The better ones are expensive and also require a front rack or other hardware.

Anyway, I've used a larger velcro-strap model and a smaller velcro-strap model, and still use the latter one. The bigger one tended to hang funny.
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Old 02-24-11, 05:30 AM
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A good bar bag needs a soild, quick-release mount such as Rixen and Kaul or Ortleib. The anti-rotation cable means you dont need a massive block of plastic to fix the mount.
Velcro straps, metal prongs, leather buckles are not as secure or quick as a good quick-release mount.
I use a Carradice barbag. It is a useful size for touring but perhaps too small for shopping.
Rixen and Kaul Klickfix can mount a variety of different bags and baskets.

A useful alternative is a permanent front basket, metal or wicker.
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Old 02-24-11, 07:51 AM
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Avenir makes a softside quick release handlebar bag that might fit the bill. I got my wife one, and she loves it.
It's available in blue with a flowered design, or plain brown. I can only find a link to the flowered one at the moment.
https://www.amazon.com/Avenir-SoftSid.../dp/B003B8HCTU
1078 cubic inch capacity, carrying handles make it easy to use as a shopping bag. Easy to use mounting and quick release system as well.
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Old 02-24-11, 06:35 PM
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My issue with most cheap handlebar bags is the mount itself. I just bought an Ortlieb bag. Love it. The mounting mechanism is simple and brilliant. Compared to my Axiom handlebar bag, this is like day and night.
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Old 02-25-11, 11:40 AM
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I roll with a vintage Cannondale (Trestle model, if memory serves) handlebar bag set up with a Sci-Con mount. The Cannondale mount wouldn't work with a threadless stem. I have been using it now for about two years with no issues.
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Old 02-27-11, 10:02 PM
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I use an Ortlieb bag and it is a great bag with an incredible mount. My only concern is that I use two handle bar mount lights and the bag sits higher than the bars, so I can't use both without major modifications. Sure it can be done with work-arounds, but in hindsight I wouldn't have bought this bag knowing what I know now.
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Old 02-28-11, 09:39 AM
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I'm using a MWave bag big enough to haul a six pack of tallnecks and a waterbottle in a side pocket. I tend to use it as a purse: wallet, canvas shopping bags, glasses, chain tool and other shopping bags and patch kit all sacked up in a bunch of ziplocks because the bag is only "water resistant." For about $20, this bag hasn't completely destroyed itself yet, but I don't give it high recommendations. I've had to cut out milk jug sides and stable them under the lid of the bag so it doesn't sag inward with rain water. The plastic rings on the sides have broken and I've replace them with metal rings. It doesn't have very square bottom, and it always rolls forward when on the ground. The quick-release brackets dont fit well to 1" or slightly thicker handlebars, I have to rasp out the brackets and cut up inner tube to fit it to my various bikes (I've fit brackets on mountain bikes, road bike w butterfly bars. I dont' know if I saved $60 in time over the Ortlieb, but my wife thinks my time is free anyhow...
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Old 02-28-11, 10:38 AM
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Originally Posted by HandsomeRyan View Post
So I know this is really more a touring thing than a utility thing but I wanted to get the opinions of people who carry various stuff on their bikes rather than tourists who would tend to carry the same thing over and over.

I'm building up a new road / utility / general purpose bike and while I know a rear rack makes the most sense, I like the idea of a handlebar bag. My problem is that there is a dizzying array of them available from very small to huge and from very cheap to more than I can afford.

Do any of you "utility cyclists" use a handlebar bag for running errands or just riding around town? Which one? Do you like it?
Yes, I use a Nashbar bag to hold my sunglasses, gloves and radio plus the odd small items as needed.

Give Nashbar a look since the bags are good with decent prices. https://www.nashbar.com/bikes//Catalo...=handlebar+bag
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Old 02-28-11, 11:52 AM
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I just bought a Lone Peak H-100, installed yesterday, but pushing on it rather hard didn't budge it, so I think it will hold up well. It's mounting is similar to the Ortlieb's, it uses a cable to prevent rotation, though the mount is plastic rather than metal. Being half the price makes up for it.
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Old 02-28-11, 12:35 PM
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Arkel (arkel-od.com) make a couple of good size handle bar bags with nice mounts. Additional mounts available for multiple bikes. Very good quality. I've been happy with mine.
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Old 03-02-11, 08:18 PM
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Checked out your photos and looks like you`ve already covered a lot of ground yourself: front rack, rear rack and trailer!

I`ve tried a number of front and rear racks and bags myself and to be honest what I end up using 80% of the time is a Voyager bag that can be used on either a front or rear rack; but that will also convert to a backpack. And thats generally how it gets used - on my back.

And for larger loads (50 to 60 lbs) I use a larger bag by Eagle Creek intended as soft carry-on luggage for aircraft that also converts to a backpack. I just find putting anything on my back affects the handling of the bike the least and is easiest on whatever I`m carrying (eggs, camera equipment, beer. tools etc)
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Old 03-04-11, 04:47 AM
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Right now the front-runner in the race to be Ryan's new handlebar bag is the Topeak Tourguide. Seems to have decent reviews and I think it should be large enough for what I plan to carry.

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Old 03-12-11, 07:52 AM
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For what you describe,I prefer a detachable basket. I picked up a Sunlite model for about $10 a few years ago. It just has a couple wire loops that fit over the bar. It works on road bars,straight bars,trekking bars,north road style but not mustache.

Marc
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Old 03-12-11, 09:12 AM
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I used a handlebar for years on my drop bar bike. When I went back to upright bars I got a removable basket.

Aaron
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Old 03-12-11, 11:57 AM
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the traditional French handlebar bags make really nice bags off of the bike too. Unfortunately it's best to use them on a rack that's made for them and a decaleur is almost essential if you have a lot of weight in one. I have an Acorn Boxy Rando Bag They are hard to get, only offered once a month for a short time. This is an expensive option, but it's the sort of thing you only have to buy once.
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Old 03-18-11, 10:55 AM
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I second the Acorn products hard to get, but well built.
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