Best handlebar bag

not-another-hillǃ Posts: 1,310
edited November 2013 in Road general

I am completing a self-supported ride from London to Paris next year and want to take just a bar bak along with my seatpack.

All. I will have in the bar bag is a small change of clothes, wallet, phone, gels, etc.

I've seen many for sale about the 8-10litre Mark,a nd with many bar fixings but does anyone have any real experience of using one.

Do they affect your handling? Get in the way of your shifters etc?

Cheers, Mark


  • Hoopdriver
    Hoopdriver Posts: 2,023
    I've done a lot of touring and used a lot of bar bags. There's no problem. I can't remember anymore if I noticed any difference in the handling. I might have, but if I did I soon got used to it. Ortlieb makes a very nice 9-litre bag which I have used and liked. It is waterproof too which is a big plus. I have used the Carradide 5.5 litre bag as well. Although it us made from cotton duck and only water resistant, I had used these in torrential rain all day without getting my gear inside soaked.

    The biggest bag I have is a very beautiful, and expensive, Gilles Berthoud 12 litre model. It is very nice and a great size for touring if you just want to use that and a saddle bag. I use it for carrying my DSLR when I am out shooting photos as well. It does require a front rack to support it, though, adding to its already high cost.
  • ju5t1n
    ju5t1n Posts: 2,028
    +1 for the Ortlieb
  • MichaelW
    MichaelW Posts: 2,164
    A lot depends on the clamp system. Rixen&Kaul and Ortleib use a steel cable wrapped around the stem to support the weight, the clamps are quite small. Other systems rely on clamps to prevent rotation and use massive bits of plastic or metal which take up lost of bar real estate and are not as secure.
    If you are using Shimano STI with external cables you should avoid wider bags. You may need to fit longer cables or some other problem solving device like a noodle.
    I have used Carradice with Tiagra. The bag is great and the integration with the shifter cable setup is OK.
  • Thanks all for the feedback so far

    I have Campagnolo fitted with internal cable routing, so none of the bags I've seen or the ones you've suggested should interfere with the shifting etc.

    I will be travelling in July so hopefully rain wont be too much of an issue ( :shock: ) and I literally only want to carry a T-shirt, shorts and flip flops for the evenings, along with wallet, iphone, gels, wash-kit, chamois cream etc. My saddle pack will have multi tool, tubes, levers, chain links etc in.
    I also wont be getting into touring in a big way, this is a one-off 3 day jolly from London to Paris, so don't want to spend a fortune, thus was looking at something around the £40 mark.....
  • pdstsp
    pdstsp Posts: 1,264
    Why not just get a larger saddle bag like a Carradice Barley? I did a 10 day end to end of France in June with one of these and a small bar bag (topeak tourguide). Like you I took one change of lightweight clothes for the evenings and then the ride essentials, though I did have a couple of chargers and a kindle, but if the ride is only a few days I would have cut down on some of these things and just used the Barley. Great piece of kit and you can strap jacket, overshoes etc to the top of the bag for the odd day in France when it doesn't rain. (I had some horrendous weather but not one drop of water got into either bag).