How To Mount A Bike Handlebar Bag In 3 Easy Steps

Purchased a new handlebar bag? The next problem is mounting it to your bicycle. But rest assured that it’s very easy.

This guide will cover the steps to mount a handlebar bag and other important features to note.

How to Attach a Handlebar Bag to a Bicycle?

As the name implies, you connect handlebar bags to the handlebar directly. But nowadays, people don’t do this anymore. Instead, a handlebar bag is now mounted on a small rack.  Some riders also put the bag on a fender, but if it is to support your bag.

The installation of the handlebar bag might also depend on the type of bag you are using. You can always check the steps or the manual that comes with the bag before buying it.

But regardless of the bag, you can follow the general steps below to attach the bike bag.

Step 1

Firstly, connect the bracket that usually comes with the bag to the handlebar. Depending on the design, you might need a screwdriver to loosen the screws for it to fit. 

There might also be a front bracket to connect to the lower bracket on your handlebar. Once you achieve a straight and nice angle, the next step is to mount the bag.

Step 2

If you have all the angles right, the next thing is to put any screws you might have removed from the handlebar.

Step 3

Behind the handlebar bag, you will also see clips that connect to the mount you have attached to your handlebar. Connect the bag to the clips correctly while placing it slightly forward. 

Press the bag down until you hear a click. A useful tip is to leave the bag open when mounting it since it makes it easier to push it from the inside.

Related: How to Install Saddle Bag On A Bike

How to Pack a Handlebar Bag?

Here are some of the important things you might need in your handlebar bag.

Maps

The map is one of the most important items you need in your handlebar bag, especially if you’re unsure about the routes. 

You can purchase affordable maps, especially those that are designed for biking. These maps usually detail the best routes for biking, making your journey easier.

A map along with a camera

Cell Phone

In this day and age, you can’t travel without your cell phone. Modern bicycle tourists usually need a phone in hand. 

It comes in handy when you need to keep in touch with family and friends and have an emergency that you need to call for.

A smartphone with Google Maps On It

Wallet

Another important item you can carry in your handlebar bag is your wallet. You should be able to tuck your wallet into one corner of the bag, so don’t get something that is bulky. 

The only items that you need are your ID cards, credit cards, and maybe some cash.

Wallet with Money in It

GPS

If you’re riding your bike in an unfamiliar place, you might not be able to read a standard map. 

The best thing to do is get a GPS instead when this happens. You can also store your GPS in the handlebar bag for safety and attach it to your bike when it’s time to get on the road.

GPS helping a cyclist navigate their way

Knife

It’s never a bad idea to get a lightweight knife, like a folding knife and put it in your handlebar bag. 

The knife should be sharp enough to cut cloth, rope, and wood if necessary and ideal for defensive purposes. This is useful if you’re biking in an unfamiliar place or on rough terrain.

An outdoor knife  that can help cyclists survive in the wild

Bike Lock Key

Another thing you should put in your handlebar bag is the bike lock key. When you park your bike, you need to secure it with a bike lock to a fence or a pole. 

But when riding, it’s possible to lose your keys. Thus, it would help if you stuffed it in your bag or check for pockets around the bag.

A bike lock.

Lip Balm

When going on a biking adventure or if the weather is just unfavorable, you might need lip balm if you have rough lips. You can also find room for sunscreen to protect your skin from the sun.

Lip balm to help cyclists during dry weather

Snacks

It’s also a great idea to carry some snacks in your handlebar bag as you ride. You don’t have to take a lot of snacks in case of space, but there are granola and chocolate bars that would easily fit into smaller pockets. You don’t have to look too far when you’re hungry.

Granola bar to helps cyclists stay energized

Headlamp

Although a headlamp does not necessarily have to be in your handlebar bag, it’s still good to put it there when you’re not using it. Your headlamp can get stolen if you leave it exposed, so storing it in the bag is better.

A headlamp can help cyclists during night rides

Cap

Another item you should carry in your handlebar bag is a cap. It can be a baseball cap or a face cap, but it should be something soft that you can fold and stuff in your bag. 

You might need a cap to protect yourself from the sun when taking a break from riding. A cap will also help to cover up your helmet hair.

baseball can protect cyclists from the sun

Earphones

You can also carry earphones or earbuds in your handlebar bag, as this will make your bike riding experience more interesting. You can listen to music while riding your bike and carry extra earphones if yours fall out when you’re riding.

Earphones to listen to music

A Book to Read

It’s a good idea to carry a book with you, especially when going on a bike tour. One of the best parts about going on a biking adventure is enjoying the views. While doing this, you might feel like reading a book. Since eBooks are widely available on phones, you get more space in your bag. 

A stack of books

Important Paperwork

You should also put important paperwork like tickets, contact information, and the itinerary for your trip in your handlebar bag. You can place all of them in a waterproof bag and place them carefully into your bag if it rains.

Other Items

Some other items you might need for your bike tour include your journal, passport, palm pilot, USB stick, and maybe a digital camera. You should properly arrange the items in your bike bag so that it isn’t packed too full.

It’s essential to lay out all the important items and figure out how to arrange them properly. You can keep the things that you use the most last so that they are easily accessible.

Related: How To Make Yourself A Bike Bag

What to Look Out for When Buying a Handlebar Bag

Selecting the right handlebar bag depends on particular criteria. These include:

The Length of Your Rides 

Firstly, you should consider how long most of your rides are. If you’re purchasing a bike handlebar bag for a bike tour, it’s best to get something with extra load-bearing capacity. 

But, those who ride only about two hours at a time or commute to work would need a smaller handlebar bag. They only need the bag to secure their car keys, wallets, and snacks and free up their pockets.

The Type of Handlebar

There are different handlebars, and not all of them fit the bag you want to use. You should check the bag you’re purchasing and ensure it is compatible with your bike’s handlebar. Take a close look at the shape and width of the handlebar before choosing one.

What You’re Carrying

The final factor you need to consider is the items you will be carrying. Do you need to carry camera gear and fragile equipment? Are you a backpacker? 

Take into account these questions and more when choosing the right handlebar. 

In some cases, you need to carry expensive electronics, so purchase a bag with weather-proofing features and internal padding to protect your gear from rain and damage if you hit the bag on a surface.

What About a Bikepacking Bag?

If you’re going on a longer trip or using a mountain bike to ride on rough trails like in the New York, it’s always best to get a bike packing bag rather than a handlebar bag. 

Bikepacking bags make it easier to ride in places where you can face difficulties with a handlebar bag. They are fitted to the outline of the bike, making it easy to maneuver.

It’s also easier to push your bike when no bag is hanging at the front. The main downside that comes with bike-packing bags is their limited carrying capacity. 

This is why most people prefer to use handlebar bags instead.

If you settle for a handlebar bag instead, you should look for a smaller one that you can easily fit on your bike. Since it would be lighter, maneuvering becomes easier.

FAQ

Do I Need a Handlebar Bag?

You most likely need a handlebar bag, especially if you go biking. It’s more convenient than stuffing items in your pocket with the fear that they might fall out or carrying a backpack that might affect your posture.

Are Messenger Bags Better for Biking?

Messenger bags are more affordable, low-maintenance, and easily accessible. This bike is also well ventilated and can be slung over your shoulder for convenience. Thus, they are great for biking.

Is a Handlebar Bag the Same as a Pannier?

A pannier is fitted to the back of the bike, while a handlebar bag fits in the front.

Conclusion

When you make or purchase a bike handlebar bag, the next thing to do is mount it. Luckily, mounting the bag is very straightforward and can be done by anyone. 

By following the steps in this guide, you can easily mount your handlebar bag to the handlebar. With this guide, you can enjoy riding your bike with all your needed tools in the bag.

Photo of author
Written By Robert Gibbons
From riding to school since the age of 13, attending BMX races and events with his dad to himself conquering 50+ trails across the globe. For Rob, his Giant Stance 29 2 2020 is the friend that makes everything better. He is also a proud member of the International Mountain Bicycling Association (IMBA).

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