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Best Handlebar bag?

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Best Handlebar bag?

Old 04-18-11, 10:07 AM
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mawwwk
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Best Handlebar bag?

Per advice of a fellow touring cyclist I'm looking at getting a handlebar bag. Should I get a pricier one that has map case and sturdy mount? Or should I just pick up a cheaper one that just holds some food, and odds and ends?
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Old 04-18-11, 11:41 AM
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I have this one and like it a lot. Comes with the map holder and shoulder strap. There are less expensive ones but I wanted waterproof and quick release.
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Old 04-18-11, 12:15 PM
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Thanks for the reply! I'm a Twin Cities local so I should have thought to check out Banjo Bros! It's exactly what I'm looking for. Thanks for bringing that to my attention!
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Old 04-18-11, 12:34 PM
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I'm glad I had the Ortlieb (medium) bar bag on my tour. The biggest problem I had was getting the map holder to stop flapping whenever I got going. I secured it with duct tape on the front and cheapie headlight rotating down to hold it in back, but someone suggested a wrap-around velcro solution. Nuun on the left side, camera on the right side, and ride into the sunset!
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Old 04-18-11, 04:06 PM
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It depends on what you want your handlebar bag to do. If you want it to carry a significant load, I'd look into getting a rack supported bag like the Ostrich. If it's just going to be holding a few incidentals, your wallet and a point and shoot camera, I'd just use a small tube style bag.
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Old 04-18-11, 06:20 PM
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$.02, if you can fit a small rack like this on your forks you'll be putting the weight where it will have less negative affect on handling than one cantilevered off the stem/bars with the side benefit of having a small rack that's sturdy enough to carry a six pack sized load.

http://store.velo-orange.com/index.p...ess-steel.html
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Old 04-18-11, 09:12 PM
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Originally Posted by LeeG View Post
$.02, if you can fit a small rack like this on your forks you'll be putting the weight where it will have less negative affect on handling than one cantilevered off the stem/bars with the side benefit of having a small rack that's sturdy enough to carry a six pack sized load.

http://store.velo-orange.com/index.p...ess-steel.html
I agree with this response and fuzz2050. If you are going to carry a larger load get the weight lower. Many of the handlebar bags I see mount really high, which is fine if there's not much weight. The larger the bag the more likely you are to fill it with stuff throughout the course of your trip.

If you go with a small rando rack and bag I would recommend the Nitto Mark's Rack from Rivendell. I tried the VO rack linked above but found it VERY difficult to install and ended up going with the Mark's Rack. It's easy on easy off and worked very well. I am using the Acorn Boxy Rando bag for my "handlebar bag" along with a VO decaleur.
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Old 04-18-11, 11:07 PM
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I have used a Jandd bag for years & on multiple tours, including my year long tour. Great bag. I also used there panniers.

I'm pretty sure mine is the "mountain pack IV" as seen here on the Jandd site. My bag is black though. I really like the Jandd attachment system as it's pretty easy to swap the bag onto other bikes. Also the attachement system is very sturdy, never had my bag fly off etc.

That bag has a map case, I like the map case to keep info readily at site. I also normally keep a small compass rite in there. Very handy to determine direction at a glance, especially for the directionally challenged folk like myself. Very handy when making ones way through cities.

Also there are small mesh side pockets. One side I normally used as a trash bag to swap out later in the days ride, the other side I clipped pepper spray onto and held lip-balm etc.
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Old 04-18-11, 11:15 PM
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Pricier leather and canvas bags have their fans, Berthould , with a small rack to support it
from beneath and a stem mount from above .
Ortlieb is shower proof, welding of seams of synthetic materials.insures that

Carradice super C is smaller , uses canvas and a Klick fix quick release bar bag mount.

abundant choices , Shopper..
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Old 04-19-11, 07:35 AM
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I have an Acorn Handlebar bag and although I haven't used it for touring yet it is a handy little bag. I carry my u lock and the battery for my light in it all the time. It has outside pockets that are handy for many things, cell phone, keys, I even carried three tangerines in the front pocket the other day. Not too big, not too small and no affect on handeling, I also use a second stem to mount it. The second stem really keeps the bars clear for more hand positions.
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Old 04-19-11, 07:52 AM
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Originally Posted by MTBMaven View Post
The larger the bag the more likely you are to fill it with stuff throughout the course of your trip.
This. I have an old Ortlieb myself, and I think it must be somewhere in the 10L range in volume. I usually end up stuffing a rain jacket or something similar in it, just to take up space and keep wallet, camera, keys etc from rattling.

If I were looking now, I'd definitely look into Carradice bags too. I bought one of their saddlebags a while ago, and have been very pleased with it.

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Old 04-19-11, 09:13 AM
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I use a Carradice bar bag. It has a light but strong corrugated plastic sheet box covered in canvas with a Rixen and Kaul Klickfix system bracket.
R&K and the similar Ortleib bracket is by far the best. It relies on a wrap-around plastic-coated cable for support rather than clamping lots of plastic onto the bar. As a result the bar clamp is quite minimal but totally secure even down rough tracks. I load mine up with guide books, camera, bits and bobs. The map holder is quite useful, speeding up navigation in areas of complex road networks.
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Old 04-19-11, 10:23 AM
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From the way you asked the question, I suspect you are not totally sold on the idea of having a handlebar bag. If so, start small and cheap. But if you are convinced that you would use it a lot, then go for a good one. By starting with a small cheap one, you would get an idea of how you would use it and how big you would want it to be.



I think that you will find it to always be full once you start using it. I only use mine for touring, for around town I only use a wedge pack under the seat or a small rack top bag.
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Old 04-19-11, 01:14 PM
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One thing I will add in support with Acorn over other canvas bags is Acorn is handmade in the US (Gardena, CA) by a husband and wife team. Their orders fill up fast and you need to pay attention to when you can place an order. It is a bit of a hassle in that you can't just call up and have them mail you a bag. That said their products are top notch and it helps support a cottage American industry if you are into supporting that kind of thing. This is nothing against Carradice or the bags sold on VeloOrange. I have a Carradice Nelson and it is great. But I like the added benefit of supporting a small local business with two people making a living doing what they love.
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Old 04-19-11, 02:38 PM
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I hadn't even heard of Acorn! I just checked them out. They're pricey, but awesome and very classy looking! Thanks for the heads up MTBMaven - I really appreciate it.
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Old 04-19-11, 03:55 PM
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Originally Posted by MTBMaven View Post
One thing I will add in support with Acorn over other canvas bags is Acorn is handmade in the US (Gardena, CA) by a husband and wife team. Their orders fill up fast and you need to pay attention to when you can place an order. It is a bit of a hassle in that you can't just call up and have them mail you a bag. That said their products are top notch and it helps support a cottage American industry if you are into supporting that kind of thing. This is nothing against Carradice or the bags sold on VeloOrange. I have a Carradice Nelson and it is great. But I like the added benefit of supporting a small local business with two people making a living doing what they love.
That is exactly the reason I bought my Acorn Bags. They are hard to get but worth it for the reasons you already mentioned.
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Old 04-19-11, 09:17 PM
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Glad to be of service. I really like what Acorn is doing and happy to share the knowledge. I also have their two strap folding saddle bag. Great bag that is REALLY versatile and stylish on my retro steel DeSalvo.
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Old 04-20-11, 08:23 PM
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I can't help with a model, since my Rhode Gear one is 27 years now. But I might add, that's it velcro map case will blow off at high speeds - well 42 MPH to be exact. I used 4 panniers and a handle bar bag going cross country and I found the handlebar bag great for keeping snacks, camera and a small FM radio I had then (1984). I could have gotten by without it, but I was glad to have it. It great when you stop, and can take it with you into a store, or restaurant, because it had all my valuables and wallet in it.

It had two open top elastic side pockets. One held the radio, the other Gumby who never complained once about the heat, rain or long days.
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Old 04-27-11, 08:51 AM
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I bought the ortlieb medium last year and am not happy with it and would not buy it again. The mount is nice but the bag itself is just one big open area and with a movable organizer flap that stuff slides under. I had a huge messy pile of stuff during my trip last year because I was unable to oganize. I had better results with a cheap $15 bag I used previously (but it broke). Depending on how you pack you may want to make sure the bag you get has a way to actually organize stuff, i.e. different compartments.
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Old 04-27-11, 10:29 AM
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Ortlieb offers an X divider , and a camera padded insert, to fill in that internal space ..

on my long multi country tour I used a handle bar water bottle carrier
for a screw mount to 'permanently' mount a handle bar bag
originally made to just strap on, re sewed the straps to stretch across the zipper opening,
then put the bottle cage inside the bag.

so if there is a modicum of dIY in your genes, something will work..

My 'Valuables' were under my clothing, Money Belt, etc.
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Old 04-27-11, 10:48 AM
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Thanks for all the input! I've got a few on my radar now. I really appreciate all of you that have weighed in on the topic!
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Old 04-27-11, 12:46 PM
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Yes, the ortleib x-divider is the thing that cam with my bag that everything was sliding under. I guess I really prefer having separate compartments. That Jandd bag linked above looks nice.
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Old 04-27-11, 01:20 PM
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I have one of the Nitto mini racks on the front of my touring bike, with a Rivendell Little Loaf bag that is designed to fit it. Although the bag/rack is very useful for occasions when I need to carry more gear, I don't like the way it affects bike handling. It also noticeably catches crosswinds on windy days and blocks the view of my front wheel. Some of the larger handlebar bags would be even worse in these respects. Thus, I think your hesitation about using a front bag has some justification. My advice would be to try a smallish bag before investing a lot of money in a large handlebar bag, some of which can be quite expensive.

Regarding Acorn bags, they are simply the best, IMHO. I have two of their Med/Large seatbags, the older version and the new one with side pockets. On most days, this is all I need to carry the gear that I need for bike commuting. If I was sold on the idea of getting a handlebar bag, I would get an Acorn as my first choice if I could succeed in ordering one (which isn't easy).
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Old 04-27-11, 03:52 PM
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I've found the Topeak Tour Guide handlebar bag to be very nice with excellent mounting:

http://www.topeak.com/products/Bags/...deHandlebarBag
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Old 04-27-11, 07:42 PM
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You can always sew stuff, your dividers and pouches , given how many children
are making stuff for the world market , in big sewing contract shops around the world
even a child ,can obviously do it.
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