Friday, 28 September 2012

What was in the Parcel...?

Parcel waiting for me
The other day I got back from my regular daily ride to find a parcel from SJS Cycles waiting for me. What was in the parcel....? Well. it was an Ortlieb Ultimate5 Classic Bar Bag.
Ortlieb Ultimate5 Classic Bar Bag
Now people that know me well will also know that I have always said that I would never have a handlebar bag. 
There are a number of reasons for this.....

First, most of the bags that I have seen seem to twist downwards on the bike no matter how firmly the mounting is tightened. Indeed when cycling back from Gibraltar a year ago JD gave up on his bar bag for just this very reason.....

Second, and this is probably what has been my main reason...  
I like to have a clear view of my front wheel when cycling and a handlebar bag tends to obscure this view. Now I don't know why I feel this way, but  after cycling for more years than I care to remember without having one, that clear view of the front wheel has seemed important to me....it's probably cycling stupidity but that is the way I have felt..... 
Also a number of bags that I have seen seem to be so huge forcing the brake/gear cables into a sharp angle....
The bags fitted to Mike and Chris's Bikes
Anyway, regular visitors to this blog will remember that at the end of the post on the 10th September I included a photograph of two friends of mine..Mike and Chris. 
What did they have on their bikes?....
Yes you've got it, Ortlieb Ultimate5 Bar Bags. 

I was quite taken with the way these bags looked.....they are not too big, fitting as they do quite neatly between the hoods on the bikes and because of their size they don't force the cables into odd shapes and angles. 

Being the 'style gurus' that they are Mike and Chris have even chosen colours to match their other bags. 
Well that did it.....as I cannot resist matching all my kit to whatever bike I am riding I took a serious look at the bags and ended up ordering one.......  
My bag in a very nice grey
I decided to order mine in a grey colour......this is not a dull grey but a rather nice bright colour grey. 
Most important of course is that it matches my existing pannier set. 
Currently on the rear I have a set of grey and black Altura panniers with a matching rack bag/box. On the front I have a pair of Ortlieb Front Roller Classic panniers in black. 

I figured that having the grey bar bag on the front would colour coordinate the front and rear sets.... stylish eh?
Bag is supplied with a detachable shoulder strap
The bag is supplied with a detachable shoulder strap....this makes it easy to take the bag with you at the coffee and lunch stop on those touring rides. 
The capacity is listed as 7L so it should hold all the things that I might need during a touring day....camera....wallet.....snacks...etc. The bag's retail price in the UK is in the region of £55.00 and you can be assured that it is of the very high quality that Ortlieb is famous for.
At first glance fitting instructions look compicated
I must admit that when I first looked at the fitting instructions they did look pretty complicated, but after I had read through them properly they were simple enough. Click on the image and take a look....you will see how the mount is attached to the handlebar.....once completed and tightened up the mount is rock solid so no slipping downwards with this fitting!

So, not too big...doesn't slip round on the bar....that's two of my original objections for fitting a bar bag dealt with, what about my major one.....
Well , you've caught me out there, because I have to say that it does obscure the view of my front wheel that I like so much... 

However I have told Mike and Chris that if I now fall off my tourer because I can no longer see the wheel, it will be their fault !!....

That will teach them for showing me items of kit that they know  I won't be able to resist buying...

17 comments:

Tim Wiggins said...

By far the best panniers out there by a mile! :-) A bar bag is certainly on my shopping list for my next tour, looks like another great bit of German kit!

Mike McEnnerney said...

I've been called lots of things in my life, but never a 'style guru'. Thinking about it, I quite liking the sound of it!!!!!

jeff said...

Trevor, I've used a bar bag in the past. I didn't love it mostly because of the drooping, but I see others using it on organized rides and it seems so handy. I've substituted a top tube bag, but it doesn't hold much. If I ever get to do some serious self-supported rides, I would look for something like your Ortlieb. Thanks for sharing.

Jason said...

Nice bag! The Adventure Cycling Association recently published a great article in their member magazine about Ortlieb. Sounds like a great company.

RANTWICK said...

Ortlieb stuff is expensive compared to some, but just so good in my opinion that it is worth every penny. That is indeed a nice looking lunch box you've got there.

anniebikes said...

The bag reminds me of old style black metal lunch boxes, ones that were rounded on top, like a mailbox. Don't know if these were popular in England, but they were in the States.

I haven't used a handlebar bag in years until my European trip. It came in handy, but I recall not wanting one on my own bikes for the very reason you describe: obliterating the front wheel and the sagging.

DAN said...

Hmm looks to be a good idea.

Trevor said...

*Tim Wiggins*
I agree Tim...Ortlieb kit really is the best.!

*Mike McEnnerney*
It will look good on the old CV..Style Guru...

*jeff*
These really are well made Jeff...Well worth a look if ever you need that extra bit of space on the bike..

*Jason*
They certainly seem to have a pretty good world wide reputation for great kit Jason.

*RANTWICK*
As you say expensive but worth the extra outlay...

*anniebikes*
The sort of lunch boxes that are traditional in the UK tend to be flatter and more square in shape Annie.
Mind you 'tupperware' style boxes seem to be more popular nowadays.

*DAN*
It certainly is Dan..I will just have to get used to not getting that view of my front wheel.

rlove2bike said...

Like Jeff, I too use a mini top tube to hold the camera and couple small items. This looks like it would be much better...no comparison really. I may have to get one.

Thanks for the post!!
RL

Steve A said...

Of course, it is lighter and you can carry a smidge more if you leave the shoulder strap at home.

Trevor said...

*rlove2bike*
I think the value of these type of bags is on those longer rides....

*Steve A*
Very true...I never thought that you were a weight weenie though Steve.

Steve A said...

Depending on the circumstances, we are ALL weight weenies - or not...

Chandra said...

Trevor:
I love the color you have chosen. It is very pretty.
I also notice the shoulder strap for the handlebar bag. That is a definite plus.
Happy Cycle Camping!
Peace ;)

Trevor said...

*Chandra*
'Pretty' wasn't really the look that had expected Chandra LOL.

Screaming Monkey Bike said...

Great blog. Beautiful to look at! I have it book marked so I can check it out when I have more time on the weekend. Stay in touch Trevor.

Paul said...

I love when new toys come in the mail.

Trevor said...

*Screaming Monkey Bike*
Thanks for that and also thanks for visiting the blog...I will certainly stay in touch via our blogs....

*Paul*
So do I Paul...just like being a kid.