Monday, May 28, 2007

Review: Banjo Brothers Handlebar Bag

Someone on the Rivendell mailing list recommended the Banjo Brothers handlebar bag to me. I found it at Calhoun Cycles for $20, and decided it was worth the risk. The main attraction to me was the side straps that attach to hooks mounted on the fork's eyelets (hooks are provided with the bag) which lend the bag extra stability.

The hooks mount on easily with a socket wrench and a philips head screw driver. My brother had it on his bike for 3 months and it never came loose, but I'd loc-tite it anyway for a long trip. The straps end in a triangle that loops around the hooks, which I thought was pretty clever: past bags I've seen have straps that end in a hook that hook directly into the eyelets, and woe unto you if the strap were to snap or you were to miss the eyelet: the hooks would fly all over the place.

The mesh bags on both sides of the bag are just about right. Enough for a digital camera, and a phone on each side. The space is ample for what I want to do when I'm traveling, and the zippers seem well-made. I did not test the bag for water-proofness, but I'm going to seal stuff that must stay dry with zip-lock bags if it rains.

The big minus that's really obvious is that the bag velcros to your bars, and leaves little room for you to hold the tops of the bars, if that's your favorite position for climbing. Perhaps the Nitto Lamp Holder 2 will solve the problem. That's a costly solution, however.
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