Sunday, February 10, 2008

Ortlieb Bar Bag

I bought an Ortlieb Ultimate 4 Plus [Large] handlebar bag from Wayne @ The Touring Store last year for my Thorn Sherpa, but never quite got around to mounting it. The continuing cold weather has motivated me to take on outstanding bike maintenance tasks like this. The bag is fairly large at 8.5L and is one large box with a zippered pocket inside to keep small items close at hand. There is also a mesh pocket on the front for small items. Like all Ortlieb products it is 100% waterproof. The "Plus" material is a type of cordura that is lightweight and fairly tough. In keeping with my past experiences with Ortlieb this bag is a very functional high quality product.

Rather than mount the bag staright to my bars I decided to use a Thorn Accessory Bar and place the bag a bit lower. Since I run narrow drops this saves valuable real estate on my bars and keeps the weight lower for less impact on bike handling. The accessory bar was easy to install and takes up the place of some spacers on the steerer tube. It has the added benefit of maintaining headset pre-load so I can loosen or remove the stem & bars without having to adjust the pre-load or keep the fork from falling out. You can achieve the same effect using a spare stem and some tubing.

The bag sits about an inch below the bars in easy reach while riding and leaves enough room below it so I can strap something to the top of my front rack. The two snaps on top are to attach the clear map case which I haven't mounted in these pictures.

I was surprised to see that the mounting bracket for the bag is held to the bars with a plastic coated cable. This system is adaptable to different bars and seems very secure.

You can lock the bag to the mount which I am not sure is particularly useful since the bag opens easily if a thief has the opportunity to rifle through it.

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