Author Topic: Heavy Duty Handle Bar Bag  (Read 6722 times)

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Offline ColoradoKid

Heavy Duty Handle Bar Bag
« on: July 18, 2010, 07:48:03 pm »
Back in the old days (early 80s), most of the brands who made handle bar bags seemed to last (almost) forever. Now a days, it seems harder and harder to weed out the junk from the good stuff. Can anyone recommend a bag that is going to hold up?

Offline CraftGeek

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Re: Heavy Duty Handle Bar Bag
« Reply #1 on: July 18, 2010, 10:04:59 pm »
Howdy Neighbor,

After going through several I found the Ortlieb Ultimate 5 Plus.
They:
  • are light but bomb proof.
  • have the strongest mounting I have seen.
  • have a secure but easy to release detachment mechanism that can lock the bag to the mount with a key if needed.
  • are torrential rain proof without the need of an extra cover (personal experience).
  • come in three sizes that all use the same mounting so you can easily use the right size for the type of ride you want to do that day. (I have all three)
  • have an optional padded camera insert that converts the bag to a workable camera bag for 35 mm SLR (fits my Nikon D70 with zoom lens perfectly). The insert fits the medium and large not the small bag.

You can buy them from The Touring Store who just happens to be here in Colorado. I've dealt with him before and definitely recommend him.
Here is the link to the bag on his site.
http://www.thetouringstore.com/ORTLIEB/Ort%20Ultimate%20Bags/ULT%205%20PAGE.htm
« Last Edit: July 18, 2010, 10:07:07 pm by CraftGeek »

Offline waynemyer

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Re: Heavy Duty Handle Bar Bag
« Reply #2 on: July 19, 2010, 10:47:02 am »
Agreed on the Ortlieb bags.  If the Ortlieb bags are not quite your style (it's possible!), also consider Carradice and Arkel, in that order.  Maybe also consider the offerings from Rivendell (rivbike.com) and Velo-Orange (velo-orange.com).  They make their bags and parts in a minimal-compromise fashion and listen very carefully to the feedback of the users.

Arkel service is awesome to deal with. I have straight-up broken parts and told them so; they insisted on replacing the parts free of charge.  And I fully expect my Carradice bags to outlive me despite daily use.

Ortlieb gets the nod for absolute waterproofness and easy repairability, not that I have ever had an Ortlieb bag wear out or break.  The canvas in Carradice bags is quite weatherproof, but there is enough breathability that things in the bag get the lightest sheen of dampness.
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Offline rvklassen

Re: Heavy Duty Handle Bar Bag
« Reply #3 on: July 19, 2010, 12:36:21 pm »
Looking at photos at crazyguyonabike the Arkel bag seems quite popular.  As with anything Arkel makes, the guarantee is lifetime and covers practically anything - short of the effect of being driven over by a truck or something.  I have an Arkel bar bag and it works fine, and the worksmanship is excellent.

Probably not limited to Arkels, but Shimano STS cables have been known to interfere with bar bags.  Various workarounds exist (I use Campagnolo; I see that in 2010 at least some of the Shimano line now has the same cable routing as Campy).

Also, the Arkel bar bag requires some modification to the most common way of mounting lights - either fork mount, or on an extender - these exist, but I don't have one yet.

Offline dombrosk

Re: Heavy Duty Handle Bar Bag
« Reply #4 on: July 19, 2010, 03:28:31 pm »
My arkel handlebar bag has travelled with me for 6 years and shows no sign of wear... I'm still very happy with it and extremely happy with Arkel's service and communication.

I like the smaller Arkel bag because it forces me to discipline what goes into it:  wallet, camera, cell phone, GPS, sunglasses, journal all fit nicely.  The metal-on-metal mount system makes it easy to take the bag off so my valuables stay close to me, but once the bag clicks in the mount it is very solid.

The map case on the smaller bag is not 100% waterproof like on Arkel's larger handlebar bag, but it's been fine for me, ACA maps fit without any trouble.

For light rain, the bag is water-resistant.  I find the rain cover easy to pull over in case of downpours, and also easy to lift up to peek at the map.

Offline Jason

Re: Heavy Duty Handle Bar Bag
« Reply #5 on: July 22, 2010, 04:01:14 pm »
A second recommendation for the Arkel bag - small one.  Amazing, amazing, amazing...  It went through about 10 straight days of rain along the southern-tier with no problems - e.g. I didn't have the rain cover and everything stayed relatively dry.  The map window on the bag does an excellent job of keeping the maps dry when raining as well. The handlebar clamp system is one of the nicest i've ever seen - strong, light, good length (away from the handlebars), etc.

The large bag is huge - which may lend itself to being over packed.  In saying that, I've over packed it (the small version) MANY times...

worth checking out.
« Last Edit: July 22, 2010, 04:19:23 pm by Jason »
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Offline whittierider

Re: Heavy Duty Handle Bar Bag
« Reply #6 on: July 22, 2010, 04:17:27 pm »
Quote
The map case on the smaller bag is not 100% waterproof like on Arkel's larger handlebar bag, but it's been fine for me, ACA maps fit without any trouble.
A plug for ACA maps-- they're printed on plastic, although it looks like paper.  Water won't affect them.

Offline Tourista829

Re: Heavy Duty Handle Bar Bag
« Reply #7 on: July 24, 2010, 07:34:36 pm »
I have had a Jandd Mtn IV HBB that has lasted me for years, not waterproof. You will need a waterproof cover. I may go back to www.bikebagshop.com and purchase a matching Ortlieb Handlebar Bag to go with my Ortlieb Panniers. They have the best prices.

Offline cyclocamping

Re: Heavy Duty Handle Bar Bag
« Reply #8 on: August 11, 2010, 01:51:20 am »
Arkel bags are nice but they are not waterproof, this is the reason many people choose Ortlieb over Arkel. The Topeak handlebar DryBag has some good reviews and is a little more affordable (but maybe you won't like the look too much) but my all time favorite is the Ortlieb Ultimate Plus (I have been using mine for more than 10 years). The best prices around are here: Bicycle Handlebar Bags
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Offline Pat Lamb

Re: Heavy Duty Handle Bar Bag
« Reply #9 on: August 11, 2010, 05:24:53 pm »
I used the Ortlieb.  Pretty good, but not perfect, IMHO.  Waterproof?  YES!  Stable on the bar?  Yes.  Easy to remove or replace when going into a store or restaurant?  Yes.

Couple of issues come to mind, though.  First, if you're using STI brifters, you may run into an issue with the bag interfering with the derailer cables, as it's rather wide.  Second, the map case is great unless you ride (or have a wind) over 10 mph or so.  I ended up duct taping the front edge of the map case to the bag top, then clamping the back down with a not-quite-tight headlight on an extender bar.

Offline waynemyer

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Re: Heavy Duty Handle Bar Bag
« Reply #10 on: August 11, 2010, 07:10:50 pm »
I use a 1 gallon Ziploc bag, with one binder clamp at the front center and one at the back center.  Works righteously.
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Offline biker_james

Re: Heavy Duty Handle Bar Bag
« Reply #11 on: August 14, 2010, 12:35:29 pm »
I've got the Arkel Big Bag, and love it. The only thing is that you can carry too much in it. I guess it's not "technically" waterproof, but I've ridden in a lot of rain, and never had anything get wet in it. The way the liner is suspended seems to help in that respect, as well as cushioning things from bumping around too much. The liner can also be removed to wash it (I believe-I haven't done so, but may need to soon). I like how solid it mounts-no worries of it coming lose. Everything Arkel makes is made to last-our ten year old panniers are still like new.
I run STI shifters, and have never had a problem with using a bar bag-maybe if you leave a little extra cable in the loop at the front, they will go around the bag. I did use V-brake "noodles" for a time, to help the cables bend at the shifter to go under the bag, but I don't think it was all that different in terms of performance than the "normal" cable setup.

Offline PeteJack

Re: Heavy Duty Handle Bar Bag
« Reply #12 on: August 16, 2010, 06:51:18 pm »
Steer clear of Lone Peak barbags. The map holder is just fine for ACA maps but they are not waterproof. Even with a cover, which is an added expense and a pain to put on, in heavy rain I have had everything soaked. I plan to get an Ortlieb as soon as the budget will allow. .

Offline Tourista829

Re: Heavy Duty Handle Bar Bag
« Reply #13 on: August 16, 2010, 08:26:27 pm »
pdlamb, I am surprised that Ortlieb doesn't supply four snaps for the map holder. I think that I will contact Campmor of Paramus, N.J. and see if their repair department has a way of adding two more snaps without screwing up the bag. 

Offline rvklassen

Re: Heavy Duty Handle Bar Bag
« Reply #14 on: August 16, 2010, 09:35:53 pm »
pdlamb, I am surprised that Ortlieb doesn't supply four snaps for the map holder. I think that I will contact Campmor of Paramus, N.J. and see if their repair department has a way of adding two more snaps without screwing up the bag. 
My first bar bag (early 80s) was a Rhode Gear.  It had snaps for the map holder.  Snaps become stiff with age, and the map holder loses its resilience.  That was the first thing to go.  Yes it was a decade or more.

Arkel uses a clear flap over the map holder, with a strip of velcro to hold the flap down.  Will see how long it lasts...  (only a year old).