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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Greetings -

Looks like this years DeathRide will NOT have locations to drop off excess gear/clothing like they have had in past years. So - what's the consensus on a good handlebar bag? I know they look like crap, but it'll be covered by the number plate I need to place on the bike anyway. Besides - function over looks - right? I figure I'll have my jacket/vest, phone, some food, maybe my knee warmers and need to shed the jacket and warmers fairly soon. However having learned from Mt. Shasta last year - I want the jacket or wind vest for the morning descents and possibly Carson - depending on time/weather when I'm heading down (I got hypothermia last year on my final downhill so bad I had to slow down to get the front wheel to stop wobbling due to my shivering).

As an alternative, I hate using a hydration pack, but could possibly use one I bought to try without the bladder to carry my stuff. Not so sure about the comfort level of wearing a backpack all day, but as a "if all else fails" plan, it'll do.

Any suggestions on decent bags? I think it'll just be more comfortable to get as much off of me and on the bike as possible for the longer rides - especially the big climbing events.
 

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I have a Lowepro AW 100 Slingshot. It works like a messenger bar. It's very comfortable on my back. When it want the camera, it slides to the front and gives me access to the camera fast and easy. It also has a waterproof cover in case of rain.
Edit: when I looked at this with my eyes half open, I thought you were looking for a camera bag. Fail
 

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Have you ever ridden with a bag on your bars?

I find that anything of any size on my bars affects handling *adversely*. If you are riding slow (loaded touring) then it is not as much of a problem.

YMMV
 

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Don't worry about comfort issues with a hydration pack. The only inconvenience is the loss of your jersey's pockets. The manufacturers have got all the fit issues solved. I thought as you did, and used to use a 320cu.in. fanny pack for 100mi. rides. This year I tried a Camelbak Blowfish with 700cu.in. of storage and it was stuffed; I had no complaints about the weight on my back. The problem with using a standard backpack is most are too large when they get to about 1500cu.in., to be comfortable. Even a 1000cu.in. Camelbak Hawg would work better than a backpack.
 

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Consider a large saddle bag

Why not a large saddle bag? Carradice makes several and they add an air of old time class. I have used them inn to inn tours quite often.

Velo-Orange also has a selection as well.
 

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unit said:
Have you ever ridden with a bag on your bars?
I find that anything of any size on my bars affects handling *adversely*. If you are riding slow (loaded touring) then it is not as much of a problem.
YMMV
As the post says, YMMV. I have a Baggins Hobo Bag, about the size of a big lunchbox, that I've used for four or five years on my Atlantis and it doesn't bother me at all. Got a couple of slip-in pockets in front, some buckled pockets facing the rider and a central compartment (the buckles are bothersome compared to Velcro, but never break or crud up, and they're easier to work than zippers). Even carries spare shoes if I'm going to be walking...
Oops. Just checked the Rivendell Web site, and neither the Hobo nor a similar bag they used to have is listed. Apparently I'm the only one who liked it....
I also have a big Carradice, a Lowsaddle Longflap, that's great for big loads, but I'm not very good at rummaging through it for things while I'm riding.
 

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Are you sure you need a bag? I did the DR last year, and didn't drop off anything. Wind vest, arm warmers and knee warmers all fit in the back pockets along with some food and drink mix. Cell phone is useless - no coverage up there. I also carried a pocket camera and keys - it all fit, no problem. It doesn't stay cold that long so I didn't bother with long fingered gloves or a jacket.

JB

Edit: I almost forgot - it seems to be a Death Ride tradition that many will wear ratty old sweatshirts for the chilly morning, and just ditch them at the side of the road at the bottom of Monitor (the first big climb). If it's still there after the event, great. If not, no big loss.
 

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I ride with a Camelbak quite regularly and find it's great. I have a HAWG and can fit quite a few things in it.
 

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Frog Whisperer
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I used to have a bar pack and I finally quit using it because it caused so much more wind resistance. A headwind is bad enough without a big ole box/bag in the front!
 

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I've ridden the DR 4x and going for 5. A smaller camelback without the reservoir will fit everything and then some. You can also stash you stuff under a bush off the side of the road and pick it up after the ride. Keep about a foot of pink ribbon in your pocket to tie to a branch so you remember where it was.
 

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You might like to read the product reviews from the guys that are into bikepacking. The Osprey talon is what I plan to get because I'll use it off the bike too, but there are bike specific backpacks and reviews/pictures of on-bike storage bags as well (bar, seatbags, framebags, etc.). Check it out:

http://www.bikepacking.net/
 

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I've done the DR six times and never dropped off any clothes. I don't use a bag, just my jersey pockets. The stops are so close together that you don't need to carry much food, just a backup gel or bar and something to munch on between stops.

I start out a little light, with a light jacket or a vest and arm warmers. It'll be a bit cold on the descent from TRP to the base of Monitor but won't last long. As soon as you hit Monitor and get out of the valley it'll warm up fast. If you plan on leaving before the official 5:30 start you may want some warmer clothes for the morning.

The last couple years there's been a storm over Carson or TRP in the afternoon but I have finished before that so I have not been caught in it. It rarely rains before about 3pm so leave a rain jacket in the car at TRP and pick it up on the way to Carson if it looks like it might be needed. You can also pack a medium sized garbage bag and in an emergency use that under your jersey to keep warm on the descents, or even as a low-tech rain jacket if you cut some arm holes in it. It'll fold up very small and go in a jersey pocket.
 

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Le Misérable
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IME I'd rather have weight on my back than on my bars, unless there is major camping gear involved or something like that. I want to say that physics agrees with me and says that in terms of efficiency it's better to weigh down the body than the bike, but someone who knows more about physics might be better prepared to make that argument.

Modern Camelbaks (and probably other brands) are really nice in a biomechanical sense--you hardly know it's there and it doesn't affect your bike at all, unlike a handlebar bag--and I don't care about their bizarre and undeserved association with Fredliness; however, the loss of jersey pockets is a serious consideration that requires a little planning.
 

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I've used handlebar bags with various loads.

The kind of load yer talking about will affect yer handling for about 20 minutes, until you get used to it then won't bother you again until you try to ride no-handed.

berthoud handlebar bags are pretty much the gold standard (light, good variety of sizes, beautiful, borderline indestructable). Most of them require a dedicated front rack, though they do make one that mounts to yer handlebars on some kind of plastic quickfix thingy. The major downside is they're pricey.

http://www.wallbike.com/ has them in all their sizes.

Otherwise, unless yer really set on a handlebar bag, a larger saddlebag would probably hold everything you need, cost less and be easier to mount.

Check out the carradice Barley bag- if you can't fit everything you want to carry in that...
 

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Coco Puff
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I'd go with the hydration pack. Drink drink and enough room to carry a few items.
 

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nor_cal_rider said:
Greetings -

Looks like this years DeathRide will NOT have locations to drop off excess gear/clothing like they have had in past years. So - what's the consensus on a good handlebar bag? I know they look like crap, but it'll be covered by the number plate I need to place on the bike anyway. Besides - function over looks - right? I figure I'll have my jacket/vest, phone, some food, maybe my knee warmers and need to shed the jacket and warmers fairly soon. However having learned from Mt. Shasta last year - I want the jacket or wind vest for the morning descents and possibly Carson - depending on time/weather when I'm heading down (I got hypothermia last year on my final downhill so bad I had to slow down to get the front wheel to stop wobbling due to my shivering).

As an alternative, I hate using a hydration pack, but could possibly use one I bought to try without the bladder to carry my stuff. Not so sure about the comfort level of wearing a backpack all day, but as a "if all else fails" plan, it'll do.

Any suggestions on decent bags? I think it'll just be more comfortable to get as much off of me and on the bike as possible for the longer rides - especially the big climbing events.


Death Ride? Wow. Always wanted to do that. But then again, you’re probably dreaming of Ride The Rockies or the Bicycle Tour of Colorado (www.ridetherockies.com and www.bicycletourcolorado.com)


1) Get a roomy seat bag. Not something obnoxiously big, but maybe the 1.5 times the size of a regular seat bag. Into the bag goes your multi-tool, a couple of tubes, three CO2 cartridges and other odds and ends you’ll think you need. Put your short fingered gloves in there too and maybe another power bar or two as bonk insurance.
2) Your camera and some other stuff can go into a Bento Box. This sits on your top tube and is anchored to the headset with Velcro strips. Look here: http://www.polardiscount.com/scripts/prodView.asp?idProduct=109
a. Special note for cell phone: When cell phone reception gets weak, your phone starts to get lonely. It cries out for companionship, increasing the power of the transmitter to find a station. What it will do is drain your battery really quickly. Best thing to do is to put your cell phone in a back pocket of your jersey and turn it off. When you get closer to a cell site, turn it back on. There will be a message there from your buddies but you can’t retrieve it if your cell phone is dead.
b. If you have a square-ish camera (like a canon power shot), the bento box is a good place for it, but put some padding in the bottom of the bento box. The bento box will give quick access, but the constant jostling from the road may mess up your camera. Put a small piece of foam in the bottom (or use a wadded up plastic bag) Or, put in one of your back jersey pockets.
3) Here in Colorado, I have been out on some cold mornings to start some century rides up in the mountains. (look here: www.bvbf.org and www.coppertriangle.com) Here is how I dress to start on a cold morning
a. Cycle shorts
b. Regular short sleeve jersey
c. Arm warmers
d. Leg warmers
e. “Calientoes” (you can get at www.pearlizumi.com – they keep your toes covered)
f. Jacket/shell
g. “do rag” under my helmet
h. Long finger gloves (and carry short ones) and also maybe glove liners
i. All you other stuff goes into the seat pack, your back pockets, or the Bento Box
4) As the day goes on and it warms up, then you start taking stuff layers off. You’ll be riding with your arm and leg warmers and no jacket – you roll your jacket up and put it into your back pocket for a while. You keep it handy because you may need it a few more times on descents or in the shady spots. Eventually you’ll be down to your short finger gloves and your regular bike clothes when it gets warm enough Now you employ the next step
5) Take your jacket and carefully fold it into thirds length wise. Take your arm and leg warmers and roll them up into your jacket, making a tight cylinder with the arm and leg warmers sandwiched in there. Next take this and lash under your seat back with some very small bungee cords. Use at least three and anchor the bungee cords to the seat rails. See the picture – this is lashed using a regular bungee cord – before I found out the joys of really small bungee cords – same idea




This way you have nothing on your handlebars or backpack straps digging into your shoulders. Everything is on the bike or in a pocket on your body.

Hope it helps….
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Thanx for all the replies. I managed to do all my centuries last year without an extra bag (just my seatbag and jersey pockets), so I guess I'll give DR a try too. I like the suggestions about: 1) throw-away sweatshirt to start, 2)small bungies to lash jacket/warmers, and 3)reminder about a garbage bag for rain.

I'm planning on starting no later than 5 am, so I figure an hour or so of "cooler" weather - plus the descents from Monitor.

I thought about minimizing the food, but got caught off-guard at Crater Lake last year - pretty light food support (plus organizers got mixed up and sent lunch to wrong rest stop - I skipped food instead of waiting 45 min for food to arrive). After that, I have tried to plan on only getting water and fruit at the stops and carry bars for the remainder of my food - if the stops are well stocked, all the better and I get to bring my bars home.
 
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