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Tuesday, March 08, 2011

Handlebar Bag: Fancy Bicyclist Part 6

The next to the last time I talked about the Raleigh Wayfarer, I mentioned that I was "done" with additions and modifications for now.  What I neglected to mention was that I had a handlebar bag on order, which I finally received about two weeks ago.  More on the particular bag later, but first "Why the bag?"

All of the bikes I've owned since 2006 have had something in the front.  I had two Wald basket bikes (a Schwinn Collegiate and the Univega Sturmey-Archer conversion,) the humongous basket bike (Worksman cycle truck), and two road/touring bikes with front racks (Surly Long Haul Trucker and Centurion Le Mans). I like having some frontal carrying capacity. So the temptation to put something on the front of the Raleigh Wayfarer was strong.

But what to put?  I could put a basket, but did I need another basket bike?  The Worksman is more basket than I'll ever need!  What about a small rack? That way I could put my fancy handlebar bag on front if I wanted to.  But something about the bike was telling me, "No, Shawn, you don't want a rack or basket." Maybe it's because traditionally the British were not much for handlebar bags, they were about saddle bags (and I already have one on it!) Maybe because I was going to have dynamo lighting, so I didn't want anything that would conflict with it.  Maybe I just liked the look of the front end as it was?  So I didn't put a rack on front.

But I did get a little bag as a compromise.  I ordered a Minnehaha canvas Barrel Bag from Clever Cycles.  The Barrel Bag is primarily meant as a saddle bag, but can be used as a handlebar bag as well. It's small, 8” long by 4.25” in diameter, so I can't stuff crazy amounts of shit into it as I would the Carradice. But it can fit small items well.  For the Tweed Ride I put my tool bag, camera, and iPod* in it.  In normal circumstances, when those items live in a backpack or pannier it's where my coffee mug goes. And it looks well on the bike!

To augment the bag for longer rides, I also got a Cyco-Active Map Case (aka "bar map holder.")  Now I'm also thinking of a cyclecomputer.  What have I done?

*Modern technology on an antique ride?


  1. I have a cycle computer on my DL-1. It doesn't fit with the aesthetics of the bike but I like to know how far I have travelled, how fast I am doing so and the time. If I could get hold of something a bit more fitting I would use that instead, such as an analogue dial type affair.

    Having said that, the bike is intended primarily as a practical way to get around. The fact that it is also pretty is just a bonus.

  2. Mr. C-
    Yeah, I've thought about getting a more "traditional" speedometer/odometer. But the speedometers take up a lot of space on the handlebars. Not to mention the clicking action!

    I think I'll put up with a modern one if I want it. They are pretty inconspicuous. And like you, the Wayfarer is meant to be "transportation", not a meticulously restored, period-correct showpiece.

  3. OOOooo... the wee bag appears! I remember you said you were getting one. Very cute. I rode without mine last time, and I missed it. Saddlebags are great, but much fussier than the little Minnehaha.


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