Last updated: 16/10/2022

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Handlebar bags are a special form of bag that make it easier to carry luggage while cycling. The advantage over the usual backpacks and bags is that these bags can be attached to the bike. Due to the different sizes and types, there is something for every enthusiastic cyclist.

With our handlebar bag test 2022 we want to help you find the best handlebar bag. We have compared handlebar bags made of leather and polyester and listed the respective advantages and disadvantages. This should make your purchase decision easier.




Summary

  • Handlebar bags enable you to transport your luggage safely and intact on your bike.
  • Basically, you should differentiate between the purpose for which you need the handlebar bag, as you have to decide between different options when buying it.
  • Waterproof handlebar bags are suitable for electronic luggage such as smartphones or tablets. Leather handlebar bags score points with their trendy style.

The Best Handlebar Bag: Our Picks

Buying and evaluation criteria for handlebar bags

In the following, we will show you which aspects you can use to decide between the many possible handlebar bags. The criteria you can use to compare the handlebar bags with each other include:

In the following paragraphs, we will explain what the individual criteria are.

Weight

When it comes to weight, it is always important to know what you need the bag for. If you are a cyclist, for example, a frame bag will be sufficient for your smartphone and valuables. If you decide on a bag for everyday use, I would recommend a handlebar bag with a standard weight of 629 – 679 g. Since most handlebar bags have a KlickFix mount, the handlebar bag can be removed and easily taken along for a short shopping trip.

Size

The length of an average bag starts at 13 cm and can be up to 20 cm. The width is between 24 and 30 cm. As a rule, a handlebar bag is 16-20 cm high.

Here you need to know that most handlebar bags, both polyester and leather, can be transformed into a normal carrier bag. As a rule, this happens more often with leather bags.

The size of a frame bag is different again, here it has a standard size of 20 x 9 x 10 cm. However, before buying, you should pay attention to the size of your smartphone.

Stability

Because most handlebar bags are made of polyester, each bag is waterproof and can withstand any rain. Leather handlebar bags are different; they are made of buffalo leather, which is quite robust and durable.

Polyester is easy to care for, it dries quickly. It also absorbs moisture well.

However, this type of leather needs to be treated with Aniline Protector to protect it from drying out and fading. One thing to note about the frame bags is that it is made of nylon. Nylon is a material that has a high abrasion and tear resistance and therefore absorbs little liquid. Nowadays, new handlebar bags are equipped with the Klickfix mount.

The advantage is both the easy handling and the possibility of attaching it to the bike as desired.

Interior

When it comes to the interior, a distinction has to be made, as there are bags with two fixed compartments, but also bags that have exterior and organisational compartments. I have to tell you right away that handlebar bags with more compartments are usually heavier.

Although the frame bag is not convincing in terms of size, it offers greater security for valuables.

The interior is extremely dimensionally stable and stays in its shape no matter what items you carry in the bag. The same advantage and comfort can be found with a leather handlebar bag.

Compatibility

A handlebar bag is the ideal tool for cyclists and for people who like to cycle to work. However, it can always happen that a model does not convince you well. This is not a problem, because every handlebar bag can be easily exchanged thanks to the click closure technology. As already mentioned, handlebar bags have a strap so that you can take them for a walk without any problems.

Decision: What types of handlebar bags are there and which one is right for you?

If you want to buy a handlebar bag, you have to decide between three options:

type advantages disadvantages
handlebar bag robust and waterproof high-quality, high-value products are expensive, but make more sense than the cheap
leather handlebar bag buffalo leather provides vintage look maintenance is complex
frame bag small, compact, perfect for cyclists little space for valuables

Depending on how you use them, you have to decide for yourself what appeals to you. Each of these bags has its advantages and disadvantages. There is another point that may help you decide on one of these three options.

Handlebar bag

The simplicity of this bag is clearly the interior space, which allows it to carry a lot of luggage. From an employee driving to work to a short trip to a lake, the bag is suitable for any person and any occasion. So if you like to take advantage of comfort, buying a bag like this would be the right thing for you. Polyester is used in the manufacturing process, which is waterproof and sturdy. The difference is that this handlebar bag does not require any special care and offers a lot of space.

Advantages
  • roomy space
  • waterproof
  • robust
Disadvantages
  • cheap bags break more quickly

With this bag, you need to be aware that you should rather buy a slightly cheaper handlebar bag, as customers report that the cheap bags do not fulfil their usefulness.

Leather handlebar bag

In contrast to a conventional handlebar bag, the leather handlebar bag is a real eye-catcher. With its vintage look, it can be combined perfectly with a vintage bike. In contrast to a handlebar bag, the leather handlebar bag is cheaper to buy. This bag is a real must for fashion-conscious people, as you can easily separate this bag from your bike with a strap and take it with you as a normal bag.

Advantages
  • Vintage look
  • real eye-catcher
  • buffalo leather is robust and waterproof
  • fair price
Disadvantages
  • Care is complex
  • without care it can dry out and fade

It should be noted that buffalo leather is robust and waterproof. In addition, it has a soft and smooth surface. For real leather lovers, this product is a bargain compared to conventional leather products. Customers are pleased with the roomy space and appreciate the option that you can detach the bag from the bike and it can then function as a carrier bag. What you have to be careful of is the care. The right products should be used so as not to damage the leather

Frame bag

Real cyclists insist on a frame bag, as cycling shorts offer no space for valuables. In addition, many cyclists are impressed by the feature that you can see the navigation of the path through the transparent coating of the bag.

You need to be aware of whether you want to buy a bag that should fulfil the sporting aspect or whether you need the bag for everyday use. If the former applies to you, then I am sure that you will make the right choice with the frame bag.

Advantages
  • small
  • compact
  • perfect for cyclists
Disadvantages
  • offers little space for valuables

The difference between the three products is that this bag offers the least space because, as already mentioned, it is intended more for sports activities. Nevertheless, it does its job and creates many advantages. The function of connecting headphones means that you don’t have to look at your smartphone while driving, but can be guided acoustically by the navigation. 

Guide: Questions you should ask yourself before buying a handlebar bag

Before you buy a handlebar bag, you will certainly have some questions that you would like to have clarified beforehand. In our big guide, we have selected the most important questions from customers and answered them clearly. Our guide should help you find the perfect handlebar bag for you on the market.

Who is a handlebar bag suitable for?

As a rule, handlebar bags are suitable for keen cyclists. It is important that you use your bike more often than maybe once a year.

Lenkertaschen-1

Handlebar bags give your bike a special look. They also ensure that your valuables are transported safely.
(Image source:m dietmaha / pixabay)

You should know that a handlebar bag is not meant to carry all your shopping, but rather for a leisurely ride. Cyclists are literally dependent on a handlebar bag or a frame bag.

Which material for handlebar bags?

You have to differentiate here; do you want to buy one or sew one yourself? If you buy a bag, you have a standard handlebar bag made of polyester, which is waterproof and robust. With the leather handlebar bag, the usual material is buffalo leather, but there are also more expensive bags with a goat suede.

Finally, the frame bag is made of nylon. However, if you want to sew your own handlebar bag, you need to know that this is more likely to be made for children, as it is more of a small accessory. If you are considering making a handlebar bag for yourself or your child, here is what you need to know:

  • You need four rectangles measuring 31 cm x 23.5 cm made of oilcloth or coated cotton. (for the inside and outside pocket)
  • Two rectangles measuring 16 x 6 cm (for the handle)
  • Kam-snaps or a velcro fastener

Which handlebar bag?

In addition to the bags already mentioned, there are also special bags for e-bikes. However, the shape of the Klickfix system is suitable for every bike. The exception is if the e-bike has a special device on the front bar. If this is the case, you should consider placing the bag somewhere else.

Which handlebar bags are good?

The motto is: Go for high-quality brands: When looking for the best bike handlebar bag, you won’t be able to get past manufacturers like Ortlieb, Vaude, Norco, Deuter, Haberland or Rixen und Kaul. For example, the Vaude Road II achieves better results in the test than many cheaper bike handlebar bags.

They are among the most renowned and highest quality producers of different types of bicycle bags and backpacks, with which we have already had good experiences in other tests.

Even though in this case, quality has its price and top models are usually a lot more expensive than the products of most no-name manufacturers, we consider the investment in the above-mentioned brands to be more worthwhile in the long term, so that we can give you a clear purchase recommendation without hesitation.

Image source: Berovskis/ 123rf.com

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