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Small front handlebar bag with a map

Old 08-06-19, 01:46 PM
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Small front handlebar bag with a map

Looking for a small front handlebar bag with a mapcase. I have no issues with gps but I still like to use real maps.

Any recommendations?

I like the Carradice Keswick and with the drop in the value of the pound, the cost is not too bad ($110 shipped with the attachment bracket).

The Ortlieb Ultimate six runs around $130 with the attachment.

The Arkel small bag runs $170 and comes with an attachment.

Swift paloma runs around $200 with attachment.


Any experience with these bags? Alternatives?

Last edited by bikemig; 08-06-19 at 02:33 PM.
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Old 08-06-19, 01:51 PM
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Is there a particular aesthetic you're going for? I was satisfied with the Banjo Brothers medium handlebar bag. Doesn't need a decaleur and sits flush with the handlbars so you can still use a light mounted on the bars.
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Old 08-06-19, 02:07 PM
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Originally Posted by ksryder View Post
Is there a particular aesthetic you're going for? I was satisfied with the Banjo Brothers medium handlebar bag. Doesn't need a decaleur and sits flush with the handlbars so you can still use a light mounted on the bars.
I'm more concerned with functionality than an aesthetic. My light is mounted to the front brake so a handlebar bag won't be an issue.

I like the Banjo Brothers bag (esp. the price). The problem with a bag with straps is that it gets in the way of riding the tops of the bars though.
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Old 08-06-19, 02:20 PM
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Originally Posted by bikemig View Post
Looking for a small front handlebar bag with a mapcase. I have no issues with gps but I still like to use real maps.

Any recommendations?

I like the Carradice Keswick and with the drop in the value of the pound, the cost is not too bad ($110 shipped with the attachment bracket).

The Ortlieb Ultimate six runs around $130 with the attachment.

Any experience on either of these bags? Alternatives?
I have a Carradice Keswick. I like it a lot. It uses the same kind of klikflix or whatever quick release mounting system as the ortliebs, making it very convenient. Looks vintage, works modern. Works fine for carrying phone, wallet, jacket, flashlight, etc. Not meant for more than 3 or 4 lbs I think.

The only annoying thing is that there are little leather D hook thingies on the sides that get in the way. They are meant for attaching a carrying strap but are badly designed. They bend outward and get in the way of the brake levers. I solved it by cutting them off. This obviously would only be an issue with dropped bars.
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Old 08-06-19, 02:24 PM
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When I was configuring rental bikes for loaded touring, I always used Ortlieb. Never once had a problem with them.

The Ortlieb Ultimate Six Classic 5L is small and map friendly — seems to meet your requirements.

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Old 08-06-19, 02:27 PM
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I have a brand new Carradice Keswick with the Klickfix system that is going unused.

It was going on a friend's touring bike, but he decided to pass on the trip.

PM if interested.
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Old 08-06-19, 02:39 PM
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Originally Posted by bikemig View Post
I'm more concerned with functionality than an aesthetic. My light is mounted to the front brake so a handlebar bag won't be an issue.

I like the Banjo Brothers bag (esp. the price). The problem with a bag with straps is that it gets in the way of riding the tops of the bars though.
I just finished up a 2k mile tour with the BB bag. The bar straps are close enough together that they didn't intergint with riding the tops.
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Old 08-06-19, 02:45 PM
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Originally Posted by revcp View Post
I just finished up a 2k mile tour with the BB bag. The bar straps are close enough together that they didn't intergint with riding the tops.
You mean when riding on the tops, you put your hands between the bar and the bag? OK that makes sense. I'll have to look at one. Certainly the price is good and the attachment system is strong.
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Old 08-06-19, 03:28 PM
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Originally Posted by bikemig View Post
I like the Carradice Keswick and with the drop in the value of the pound, the cost is not too bad ($110 shipped with the attachment bracket).
I bet SJS Cycles could beat that price.

https://www.sjscycles.co.uk/luggage/...litre/?geoc=US

I've bought a couple of Carradice bags from them - best price (even with shipping from GB) I've found.

(Or wait a few weeks for the Pound to crash, then it will be even cheaper.)
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Old 08-06-19, 03:50 PM
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Originally Posted by tyrion View Post
I bet SJS Cycles could beat that price.

https://www.sjscycles.co.uk/luggage/...litre/?geoc=US

I've bought a couple of Carradice bags from them - best price (even with shipping from GB) I've found.

(Or wait a few weeks for the Pound to crash, then it will be even cheaper.)

$103 shipped with the mount. Yeah if you wait until Brexit, the price will drop some more,
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Old 08-06-19, 03:51 PM
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If there are any Canadian prospective buyers, I use the MEC World Tour handlebar bag. It served me well and was priced very well.

https://www.mec.ca/en/product/5053-6...Handle-Bar-Bag

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Old 08-06-19, 04:17 PM
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I have a small Cannondale clip-on type, identical to this.
https://rover.ebay.com/rover/0/0/0?m...2F264415876782

It came included with a bike and really like it. Further modified it with industrial Velcro stitched on for a Bluetooth speaker and solar battery charger.
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Old 08-06-19, 04:18 PM
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Being lost is sort of fun.
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Old 08-06-19, 06:38 PM
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Originally Posted by RobbieTunes View Post
Being lost is sort of fun.

Right, I like to think of those as secret bonus training miles . . . .
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Old 08-06-19, 08:26 PM
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Check out AGU bags from the Netherlands. Weatherproof, several have built in or detachable map pouches. I've had one for a couplafew years and it's good. Protects my camera gear, rain or shine.

Detachable shoulder strap, so it's not in the way while riding.

The KlickFix mount system is very handy. However it makes the bag sit up a bit higher, so it may block some handlebar mounted lights and accessories. When I use one of my video cameras mounted on the stem I can add an extension so it sits higher than the bag.

I don't think there are any AGU dealers in the US but it's easy to order from Europe and the exchange rate is still pretty good.
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Old 08-06-19, 08:40 PM
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Originally Posted by canklecat View Post
Check out AGU bags from the Netherlands. Weatherproof, several have built in or detachable map pouches. I've had one for a couplafew years and it's good. Protects my camera gear, rain or shine.

Detachable shoulder strap, so it's not in the way while riding.

The KlickFix mount system is very handy. However it makes the bag sit up a bit higher, so it may block some handlebar mounted lights and accessories. When I use one of my video cameras mounted on the stem I can add an extension so it sits higher than the bag.

I don't think there are any AGU dealers in the US but it's easy to order from Europe and the exchange rate is still pretty good.
Yeah good call on AGU bags. I lived in the Netherlands for a while and used their products when I did. They make good gear.
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Old 08-07-19, 07:02 AM
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I have the cheapest, smallest Banjo Brothers bag (no map case). Not sure what model it is, but I don't see it on their site now. (It cost about $25 as I recall.) It's nice that no extra mounting hardware is needed, but I can't ride on the tops of the handlebars, so it gets much less use than it might otherwise.
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Old 08-07-19, 12:22 PM
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My wife and I each have the Topeak TourGuide bag with its integral handlebar quick click mount (Fixer #8 ). It's easily removable. I bought an extra mount for my commuter, as this bag is so good for sundry items. Two smaller inner pockets and one outer pocket. There's also a rain fly, and a shoulder strap. The top plastic window is actually a plastic pouch with a center fold, held on by Velcro. It works well. Highly recommend.
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Old 08-07-19, 01:15 PM
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Originally Posted by bikemig View Post
I'm more concerned with functionality than an aesthetic.
Now there's yer problem! You have it backwards...
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Old 08-07-19, 01:33 PM
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Originally Posted by bikemig View Post
I'm more concerned with functionality than an aesthetic. My light is mounted to the front brake so a handlebar bag won't be an issue.

I like the Banjo Brothers bag (esp. the price). The problem with a bag with straps is that it gets in the way of riding the tops of the bars though.
Originally Posted by revcp View Post
I just finished up a 2k mile tour with the BB bag. The bar straps are close enough together that they didn't intergint with riding the tops.
Just to make sure we're all talking about the same thing-- this isn't my setup, it's just a random internet picture, but it's a good picture of how much room you have on the bars.

I don't know how wide these particular bars are, but if they're 42 cm (which is what I had when I used this bag) as you can see you have a little bit -- but not a lot -- of room on the tops. Plenty of room on the hoods obviously.

Didn't bother me when I had it but I rarely ride on the tops.

BB does make a slightly more expensive version with a quick release, and it holds the bag away from the bars so you would have more room on the tops.



ETA: according to BB the bag is 10" wide.
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Old 08-07-19, 01:33 PM
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I don’t (yet) have one, but this Dill Pickle handlebar bag is on my wish list. Seems well-designed, and I like that it does not require a frame or mounting bracket. Lots of interesting options for pockets as well as colors, and they typically have a few ready to go.

Design Your Own Handlebar Bag
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Old 08-07-19, 01:47 PM
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Originally Posted by ksryder View Post
Just to make sure we're all talking about the same thing-- this isn't my setup, it's just a random internet picture, but it's a good picture of how much room you have on the bars.

I don't know how wide these particular bars are, but if they're 42 cm (which is what I had when I used this bag) as you can see you have a little bit -- but not a lot -- of room on the tops. Plenty of room on the hoods obviously.

Didn't bother me when I had it but I rarely ride on the tops.

BB does make a slightly more expensive version with a quick release, and it holds the bag away from the bars so you would have more room on the tops.



ETA: according to BB the bag is 10" wide.
Yes, that's the bag. As in the pic, the Velcro straps basically go on the electrical tape over the bar tape, leaving the rest of the bar for my hands. My bars are narrow, from a 1984 Miyata 210 (that I transplanted over to my Trek 720 touring bike), and the bag works great with them.

Last edited by revcp; 08-07-19 at 03:06 PM.
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Old 08-08-19, 12:32 AM
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Originally Posted by Dfrost View Post
I donít (yet) have one, but this Dill Pickle handlebar bag is on my wish list. Seems well-designed, and I like that it does not require a frame or mounting bracket. Lots of interesting options for pockets as well as colors, and they typically have a few ready to go.

Design Your Own Handlebar Bag
Nice! If they offered plaid or paisley I'd be awfully tempted.
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Old 08-08-19, 05:57 AM
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I have had good luck with the cheap handlebar bags on amazon or eBay. Usually $10-15

they attach with a Velcro strap, so can be spaced for hands gripping the top of the bar.

I tie a shoelace or web strap between the drops, just below the brake handles to act as a support to keep it from swinging down

only issue I had is the zippers are delicate, but not a lot of risk spending $10 or so to try it out.
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