Consider the long overdue improvements I've been making to my mountain bike, as the season cranks up again. 'Cool' mountain bikers never put a bag on the handlebar. They also spend $4000 on a bike that only holds one water bottle. Then they load up their back with a hot, sweaty Camelbak pack. No way! I have had every brand of front handlebar bag made. Last autumn in Moab I went over the handlebar, broke the plastic bracket of the bag, and got scratched up.
This has been going on for decades! Handlebar bags are expensive, protrude too far in front, rotate (fall) downwards, and make your bike harder to store. Or they are cheap, floppy things. And they can't hold something as simple as a jacket regardless of price.
It seems like you should be able to dig through the toy box, find an old fanny pack, and then loop it over the handlebar. Perhaps that would work if the loop and buckles were in the right place. And you must know how to sew! A loop here and there would accomplish miracles. Chalk up one more failure.
After all these years of frustration I finally jumped in with the Do-it-Yourself approach. Take a tubular stuff sack with a nylon webbing strap on the bottom, and loop it over the brake lever or the handlebar grip, as shown:
|The black strap in the bottom of the stuff sack is hooked into the V of the handlebar grip and the brake lever.|
Then loop a bungee-ball over the string that closes the stuff sack:
Extend the bungee-ball over to the other side, hook it into the V, and then pull it back to the original side, and hook it in.
This is more detail than a non-cyclist wants to know. Readers may be wondering why I would go into a blow-by-blow account of such a trivial project. Trivial? Well then, why had I tolerated this situation for 40 years!?
It's not that product designers couldn't come up with this idea. But a product needs to be 'cool', expensive, and profitable. Not many customers will pay much for elegant and shrewd practicality in a product. They want a showy status symbol. In the perfect color.
It is such a good illustration of how pleasurable and meaningful it can be to finally take the Do-it-Yourself approach. When you work on a Do-it-Yourself project, you are thinking for yourself. How many things are more important than that? Perhaps solving practical problems is the only time when a person really does think for themselves.
In contrast, with abstract thinking you can convince yourself that anything is true; there is seldom a way of verifying or falsifying your result. A lot of abstract thinking is just following the leader or public opinion. But there is a way to validate your thinking in a Do-it-Yourself project.
The smallest Do-It-Yourself project is capable of humbling anybody. You start drowning in frustration. You are a demonstration of how inefficient and fumbling a person is when they are doing anything for the first time. You feel the shame of defeat. But if you persist, you may be crowned with success. There really is a drama to the struggle. You might even save some money -- but don't expect too much in that regard. These things are important components of life; and are really brought to life in a Do-it-Yourself project.