David Berry

Well-Known Member
I suspect that I am not the only forum member with an n+1 approach to handlebar bags. There'll always be an excuse for a new one!

Only yesterday I tried out a new handlebar bag – the sixth in my collection. Perhaps, it is time to seek counselling or even give it.

Here are some favourite makes (underlined if I have one… or more):
As important as make are:
  • size
  • exterior pockets
  • interior dividers
  • attachment options – proprietary or 'universal'
  • closures – zippers, snap buckles, magnets, straps & studs
  • durability
Please share experiences!
… David
 

Alaskan

Well-Known Member
It's hard to improve on the Ultimate 6 Pro although the new E-Glow looks pretty cool. I just like the capacity of the Ultimate 6 and the way it is organized.



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steve mercier

Well-Known Member
I just wished that Ortlieb and Klickfix quick release adapters were compatible so I could use any bag with any bike. The fact that they are so similar but will not quite fit is annoying.
 

dblhelix

Well-Known Member
For longer rides, I use the Arkel handlebar bag. It‘s incredibly sturdy and well-built. The inside lining is removable fir cleaning and for hiding stuff underneath. It does come with an additional rain cover to keep it 100% waterproof in a downpour. Some people don’t like additional covers, but I don’t mind. The bag’s best feature: not an ounce of plastic. The mounting system is made of steel (I think) and very secure. The bag has never sagged, not even a mm.

Around home while riding the Tern I also use the Ortlieb Ultimate6. It‘s a lighter bag and waterproof. I use it with a Klickfix adapter bar that screws into the Vektron’s head badge area. The bag clicks in and fits perfectly.

My view is that the mounting system is the critical feature of any handlebar bag. A long trip with a sagger is a big no.

Tern users: this is the luggage truss with Klickfix adapter.
 
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bob armani

Well-Known Member
I just recently purchased a bag from L.L. Bean which is not oversized, however, a perfect fit for by bike chain and lock. It has additional in/outside pockets for other bike essentials. with elastic loops on the backside to use spring loaded hooks (Carabiner clips) for additional equipment. The others I have used were difficult to affix to that area due to shortened Velcro straps. I can use zip ties with this one for added stability when carrying heavy items.
 

bob armani

Well-Known Member
I suspect that I am not the only forum member with an n+1 approach to handlebar bags. There'll always be an excuse for a new one!

Only yesterday I tried out a new handlebar bag – the sixth in my collection. Perhaps, it is time to seek counselling or even give it.

Here are some favourite makes (underlined if I have one… or more):
As important as make are:
  • size
  • exterior pockets
  • interior dividers
  • attachment options – proprietary or 'universal'
  • closures – zippers, snap buckles, magnets, straps & studs
  • durability
Please share experiences!
… David
I like the "Topeak Frontloader" you have referenced with the adjustable rubber spacers and built in air release valve. Very practical indeed.
 

6zfshdb

Well-Known Member
I would dearly love to use one of those Arkel handlebar bags but they, like most other brands, won't fit my Jones H bars without cable routing problems. The only one I've found so far that works is this quick attach model from Banjo Bros.

https://banjobrothers.com/collections/handlebar-bags/products/quick-release-handlebar-bag-medium

It works ok but I'm not crazy about the mounting system. There also is no option to buy a second mount without buying another complete bag.
 

Mr. Coffee

Well-Known Member
I am an avowed Swift Industries fanboy.

Both their Paloma Handlebar Bag and their Bandito Handlebar/Saddle Bag are excellent. They aren't dunk-in-a-river waterproof like the Ortlieb bags but will more than adequately survive a downpour or a long rainy day of riding -- I know from personal experience. Their designs are very thoughtful and informed by years of experience actually riding bikes with bags.

One nice and underappreciated feature of the Paloma is that the top flap isn't zippered or buckled on, rather a loop of shock cord wraps around your stem and keeps the top flap in place, while internal weather flaps keep the weather out. This is awesome because you can grab a camera or a snack out of the bag without opening the lid. There is, unfortunately, no zippered internal pocket for wallet and keys, but with some glue-on velcro I quickly added one.

The 2020 Bandito design is, in my opinion, much improved and it is much easier to remove and install the bag -- not quite a quick release like a Klickfix or a decaleur but pretty easy. They also added another daisy chain loop for strapping gear or a blinky on the bag. The Bandito has no internal organization.

Two other interesting bags are from North Street. The Scout 6L Duffle is a small duffle bag that clips to your handlebars. The Pioneer Handlebar bags convert to hip packs. The clip-on system involves releasing two clips rather than one Klickfix bracket, but seems very secure.

Note that Swift is not manufacturing at the moment due to the pandemic and that North Street is more focused on making PPE than on bike stuff. So unless you order something in stock you might be waiting quite a while.

Build quality on all of these products is extremely high.
 
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dblhelix

Well-Known Member
I would dearly love to use one of those Arkel handlebar bags but they, like most other brands, won't fit my Jones H bars without cable routing problems. The only one I've found so far that works is this quick attach model from Banjo Bros.

https://banjobrothers.com/collections/handlebar-bags/products/quick-release-handlebar-bag-medium

It works ok but I'm not crazy about the mounting system. There also is no option to buy a second mount without buying another complete bag.
My Arkel is on a Jones bar. Suspect you’re talking about Ortlieb?
 

steve mercier

Well-Known Member
For longer rides, I use the Arkel handlebar bag. It‘s incredibly sturdy and well-built. The inside lining is removable fir cleaning and for hiding stuff underneath. It does come with an additional rain cover to keep it 100% waterproof in a downpour. Some people don’t like additional covers, but I don’t mind. The bag’s best feature: not an ounce of plastic. The mounting system is made of steel (I think) and very secure. The bag has never sagged, not even a mm.

Around home while riding the Tern I also use the Ortlieb Ultimate6. It‘s a lighter bag and waterproof. I use it with a Klickfix adapter bar that screws into the Vektron’s head badge area. The bag clicks in and fits perfectly.

My view is that the mounting system is the critical feature of any handlebar bag. A long trip with a sagger is a big no.

Tern users: this is the luggage truss with Klickfix adapter.
unique Klickfix adapter! I prefer the sturdier Klickfix over the Ortlieb adapter when you compare the way the bottom hooks in.
 

steve mercier

Well-Known Member
These are the bags we own. I like them all. My wife likes the up front water bottle pocket in hers: https://klickfix.com/en/products/detail/variants/aventour-sport-e-0270ae/ . I like this lightweight bright yellow Hi- Vis bag; https://ortliebusa.com/product/ultimate6-m-high-visibility/ . When I need to carry a battery up front I like the strong plastic inner frame of this Vaude bag ;https://www.rosebikes.com/vaude-road-ii-handlebar-bag-2651631?product_shape=navy . For grocery shopping I like the big volume of this 24 L Rixen Kaul shopper ; https://www.rosebikes.com/klickfix-shopper-pro-bike-basket-549026. Yes it is a handlebar bag!
 

dblhelix

Well-Known Member
Is it possible to mount the Arkel brackets on the handlebar with a wider distance between them in order accommodate a display mount that spans either side of the stem clamp?
I believe so. The brackets themselves, no problem. I’ve taken pictures of the bag after removing the liner inside. As you can see, the the width to insert the bag on the brackets is adjustable. If the max width isn’t enough, it looks like you could just drill holes in that (oh, no, hard plastic, I think) reinforcement panel/bucket. I’ll give it a try when it stops pouring here and report back. I also have a Nyon.

This is the mounting system.
 

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bikeman242

Active Member
I have the 2.5" rise Jones bar on a stem riser. The angle of the cables limits the size of the bag. The Arkel's project too far forward. I would have to lengthen the cables to make enough clearance.

I also have the 2.5" Jones riser bar on top of a 2" stem riser. The Ortlieb handlebar bags do work if you use a couple of hose clamps around the outer loop of the handlebars, and then wrap the mounting system cable around the hose clamps as if it was a stem. The bag sags a little, but if you angle the mounting bracket upwards keep the weight down it works fine. I wouldn't recommend a large sized ortlieb if you are going this route. Keep in mind the locking function of the bag's mounting system is useless if set up like this.

The bag comes out past the cable routing, so no issues there.

I personally use the Ortlieb ultimate six Compact, and it keeps my phone, hat, gloves, sunscreen, snacks, keys, cash/cards, and lately, the mask, rubber gloves, and alcohol swaps. Probably weighs about 3.5 pounds. No issues over hundreds of miles. Super useful.

I also tried the Ortlieb accessory bag, which fits nicely inside the loop. However, I am not a fan of the bags that mount with velcro.

@Mike TowpathTraveler
 

6zfshdb

Well-Known Member
I also have the 2.5" Jones riser bar on top of a 2" stem riser. The Ortlieb handlebar bags do work if you use a couple of hose clamps around the outer loop of the handlebars, and then wrap the mounting system cable around the hose clamps as if it was a stem. The bag sags a little, but if you angle the mounting bracket upwards keep the weight down it works fine. I wouldn't recommend a large sized ortlieb if you are going this route. Keep in mind the locking function of the bag's mounting system is useless if set up like this.

The bag comes out past the cable routing, so no issues there.

I personally use the Ortlieb ultimate six Compact, and it keeps my phone, hat, gloves, sunscreen, snacks, keys, cash/cards, and lately, the mask, rubber gloves, and alcohol swaps. Probably weighs about 3.5 pounds. No issues over hundreds of miles. Super useful.

I also tried the Ortlieb accessory bag, which fits nicely inside the loop. However, I am not a fan of the bags that mount with velcro.

@Mike TowpathTraveler

It isn't really the Jones bars but the cables that cause the clearance issue. In my case, the bag mount would have to extend forward about 12" to clear the cables. Sure, I could make adjustments to the control cables but the wiring is a different story. Right now, it's more trouble than it's worth considering I have the Banjo Bros. bag which fits nicely inside the cables.
 

CCroft

Member
A well-timed thread here since I'm looking for a new front bag; my current one (Iberra quick-release) just broke yesterday.

What I need: a bag that is rigid/durable enough to carry my mid-size camera (Sony RX10, size about 5" x 4" x 5" and 2.5 lbs) over fairly rough/bumpy off-road terrain. I was skeptical about the Iberra and some reviews about its plastic 'frame' breaking, but the price was right with a coupon I had, and I wasn't sure the "camera in a front bag" idea was even something that I'd end up liking/using.

Well I do like it (= allows for quick access to the camera for fast-moving wildlife shots), but the Iberra only lasted about 3 months/less than 200 miles before the plastic frame broke with this camera weight over this bumpy terrain.

Soooo....any suggestions/recommendations on a bag that might hold up for me? I don't need the interior dimensions/cargo capacity to be much larger than the camera, since I've got a big rear rack/bag that I keep the rest of my goodies in. I'm including a picture of my cockpit to give you an idea what I'm working with.

Thanks!

cockpit.JPG