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Do I need a bar bag?

CyclingBantamCyclingBantam Posts: 1,299
edited April 2010 in Tour & expedition
I am cycling through France this summer and have rear and front panniers for my stuff. I have seen a lot of people talk about bar bags but do you really need them? Do they make things much easier? I was going to use one of my front Ortleib panniers for valuables and just carry that round with me.

Is this a bad idea? Would another option be to take a small rucksac I can use for time away from the bike or would a bar bag all do this?

Thanks

Ben

Posts

  • I have one. I usually pu my important things or thins I use alot in there. Suncream, moisturisor, camera, money, puncture repair kit, etc. :-)
  • alfabluealfablue Posts: 8,497
    Bar bags are nice because you can access them whilst sitting astride your bike, they usually unclip easily and come with a shoulder strap for carrying off the bike, and they often have a mapholder (either inbuilt or as an add-on accessory).

    Things to note, there is some interference with gear cables (if using Shimano STI shifters on a drop bar bike), though they should still work (push the cables down, or fit longer outers to loop around the bag - I did this). Also note that a bar mounted light may be blocked by the bar bag (I fitted a Topeak Barextender to solve this). Carradice make a nice waterproof bar bag that has a light mounting included - not seen it in the flesh, but this would probably be my choice for an upgrade.

    http://www.carradice.co.uk/index.php?pa ... duct_id=54

    I would go for a fully waterproof one rather than one using a waterproof cover, so this means Carradice or Ortlieb most probably. I am not so keen on the Ortlieb cable fitting, whereas Carradice use a Klikfix fitting.

    I wouldn't like to tour with a backpack, it would get hot ans sweaty, and things are not as readily accessible as in a bar bag. I have used a bum bag, this was okay, and wasn't really noticeable, but my preference would be a bar bag.
  • tatanabtatanab Posts: 1,283
    A bar bag is very convenient for valuables, camera, maps etc so that you can just lift it off when you leave your bike. You could do as you say and use a front pannier for this purpose, but then you'd probably want something for a map on the handlebars so a barbag is pretty damned useful and you might find you can ditch those extra panniers which will give you less space to fill with "stuff".
  • andrew_sandrew_s Posts: 2,511
    BenBlyth wrote:
    I was going to use one of my front Ortleib panniers for valuables and just carry that round with me.
    That's what I do if I'm using 4 panniers.
    If I'm using just front panniers and a saddlebag, I keep valuables in a bum bag in the top of the saddlebag and just lift it out when parking the bike.

    I prefer to keep my bars clear, and also not to have to rearrange the set up of my bars (GPS, lights etc) every time I go on tour, or come back.
  • yes - you can get to food/camera/spare jumper without having to leave you saddle. +1 on map being always visible. DON'T take a rucksack.
  • I'm using a Karrimor Pod bar bag and it does its job brilliantly!

    Raincover built into bottom of bag to cover bag when pouring down, waterproof mapcase does its job well.

    12174.jpg

    Rixen kaul klixfix works fantastically.

    Couldn't not recommend it enough.

    Its only downside is looking like a manbag when off the bike!

    Think there selling for about 20 quid.
    'since the flaming telly's been taken away, we don't even know if the Queen of Englands gone off with the dustman'.
    Lizzie Birdsworth, Episode 64, Prisoner Cell Block H.
  • CyclingBantamCyclingBantam Posts: 1,299
    Sorry, I should clarify. I was not going to take a rucksack to wear when on the bike. It would have been a light one to go in a pannier or on the back rack to then be filled and used when off the bike.

    I am still a little unsure what benefit I get from a bar bag other than getting things while on the bike from a bar bag as opposed to using one pannier as a daysack.

    Thanks for the advice so far though.
  • lloyd_bowerlloyd_bower Posts: 664
    Do you need front & rear panniers? I've always found rear panniers and a handle bar bag sufficient. Bar bags are great for instant access, also handy as they typically include a map case and handy to refer to when touring.
  • pneumaticpneumatic Posts: 1,989
    Do you need front & rear panniers? I've always found rear panniers and a handle bar bag sufficient. Bar bags are great for instant access, also handy as they typically include a map case and handy to refer to when touring.

    +1

    I crossed France with 4 panniers, a tent and a bar bag. The next year, I crossed Northern Spain with 2 panniers, a tent and a bar bag. The next year, I crossed the Alps with a bar bag, a rack bag and a credit card (for hotels). On none of these trips did I miss the things I had chosen not to pack. Less is more!


    Fast and Bulbous
    Peregrinations
    Eddingtons: 80 (Metric); 60 (Imperial)

  • iPeteiPete Posts: 6,076
    Considered a Topeak Tri-bag? Going to pick one up on my lunch, could be ideal for you.

    http://www.topeak.com/products/Bags/TriBag
  • alfabluealfablue Posts: 8,497
    iPete wrote:
    Considered a Topeak Tri-bag? Going to pick one up on my lunch, could be ideal for you.

    http://www.topeak.com/products/Bags/TriBag
    It says it has a waterproof liner, but the design looks like it would let water in through the lid, is that right? If so, not much use on tour IMHO.
  • iPeteiPete Posts: 6,076
    alfablue wrote:
    iPete wrote:
    Considered a Topeak Tri-bag? Going to pick one up on my lunch, could be ideal for you.

    http://www.topeak.com/products/Bags/TriBag
    It says it has a waterproof liner, but the design looks like it would let water in through the lid, is that right? If so, not much use on tour IMHO.

    Thats the version without rain cover, this version has a cute little coat..

    http://www.topeak.com/products/Bags/TriBag_raincover
  • alfabluealfablue Posts: 8,497
    yep, cute :P

    That's better!
  • iPeteiPete Posts: 6,076
    So cute I just ordered one from CRC http://www.chainreactioncycles.com/Mode ... elID=11335 8)
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