Avenir, owned by Raleigh, make a range of mid to low cost bike bags. The 8 liter handlebar bag has made a useful addition to my touring setup. It’s perfect for storing my toolkit, gloves, snacks, valuables and camera in a handy place where I don’t have to get off the bike to access them.
- Good size
- Plenty of pockets and storage spaces
- Waterproof map holder
- Waterproof phone/GPS holder
- Shoulder carry strap
- Bounces about like it’s going to fall off
- Rain cover covers up map or phone holder
- Rain cover completely fills front pocket when stored
- Uncomfortable to carry on shoulder strap
The map holder is invaluable when keeping an eye on your direction while riding and saves a lot of time when deciding which way to go. The GPS holder on the other hand falls short of the mark. The very first time I was using it, I was cycling across London, with a train to catch and no idea where I was. As I went over a bump in the road, the Velcro that holds the case shut came open and my expensive phone that I was using for navigation slipped out and smashed on the road. Not impressed! The touchscreen was also unusable and hard to see through the plastic case.
The bag has a quick release mechanism that attaches to a bracket on the handlebars. The clip on the bracket though does not support the bag very well and when it’s full it tends to bounce about as you ride over bumps. Considering the bag is only attached by a small plastic clip, this does not inspire much confidence when it’s carrying my expensive camera! Although it hasn’t come off yet.
The bag comes with a bright yellow rain cover, which is great for visibility. When it’s not in use it fills the entire front pocket, which is a little frustrating but I suppose it has to go somwhere. The worst thing about it though is that it covers the waterproof map holder, which seems ironic. It’s like having to choose between dry map and wet gear or dry everything and no map. Why bother having a waterproof map cover if when it rains you have to cover it up!
The bag comes with a shoulder strap, which is very useful. The only problem with it is that plastic fixing on the back of the bag tends to dig in to my hips while I walk with it.
The bags redeeming qualities are it’s generous size and the fact it has lots of internal pockets for organisation. The price is rather affordable compared to similar items and overall I would say it does the job for people on a budget. In retrospect I would probably go for a waterproof bag next time to avoid the extra faf and be able to use the map holder in the rain. Avenir do make a fully waterproof handlebar bag with a better looking attachment mechanism so it could be worth a look if your budget allows.
Total Volume: 8 litres
Attachment Mechanism: Quick Release Bracket
Waterproof: Rain Cover Only
Size HxWxD: 19.2 x 34.4 x 17 cm (7.5” x 13.5” x 6.5”)
Weight: 750 g without bracket