Thursday, July 29, 2010

Handlebar Bag Hack

In the midst of hurriedly packing for my bike trip two weeks ago, I had a sudden urge for a handlebar bag. Previously I had looked at options, but hadn't really seen anything that made me really want to purchase it. Plus, since I use my top mounted break levers a lot, most handlebar bags don't fit my needs.

It was 6 am and I was packing my bike stuff before heading to work and I realized that I have dozens of bags of all shapes and sizes. Canvas bags for groceries, vinyl bags for toiletries, random totes from conferences and many purses that I just don't use because I ride a bike every where.

Then I spotted this beauty:

Purse front view

Normal Purse sideview

I had picked up this snappy number almost two years ago on a weekend trip to Milwaukee. While browsing a vintage store, I heard a little voice, and looked around to discover it calling my name. I loved the shape and the color is that lusious brick red. The size is great, and the whole thing expands; it carries my essentials...plus a book, and a jacket and even will hold my netbook.

Sadly, I rarely carry a purse. When I'm on my bike it just doesn't seem practical and I find that more often it's easier to strap my NPR Messenger bag over my shoulder. This handbag had been neglected for far too long.

Aha! With a ready supply of balloons and some velcro straps, a handlebar bag was born:

purse on bike front

Here you can kind of see how it is attached. There are two attachment points, the handlebar stem and then the top tube of the bike.

Bike Purse

Back of purse attachment method



I really love it. I have easy access to my camera, phone, cue sheet and various snacks while riding and I can still use my brake levers. I haven't found that it effects the handling.

For the past two weeks, I've used the bag often. It's fantastic for when I get to my destination and don't have to lug around my cumbersome panniers. Plus I think that I actually look like a girl and perhaps a little stylish.

Thank goodness for this 6 am revelation!

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