Monday, January 12, 2015

Homemade Waterproof Handlebar Bag

After cycling for 2 1/2 months through Colombia & Ecuador last year, I picked up some great tips.  I met cyclists with top of line, expensive gear, like Ortlieb bags, but also met those who had the bare minimum.  Those bare bone cyclists taught me to make some key things from scratch with inexpensive materials to save a bundle of money.

I will share how I made panniers, a handlebar bag & a camp stove for a fraction of the price of what you would pay to buy your own.  These will be three separate posts on my blog.

Second, handlebar bag.

I never actually saw any cyclists with homemade handlebar bags but thought to do it after making the kitty litter tub panniers.  I walked through various aisles at the grocery store & Target thinking of what to use.  I first thought of using a smaller, laundry detergent plastic tub, then looked at the tupperware options, then hard coolers...then saw this soft lunch cooler (seen below)

This handlebar bag doesn't require any tools, just attaching stuff you buy.  Here's what I used (with costs):

(1) Soft Lunch Cooler (measures 10" wide x 7.5" deep x 6" tall) @ Target for $8.99 + tax = $9.71

(2) Coleman Carabiners @ Target for $2.99 + tax = $3.23.  These are small, only 2 5/8" long x 1 3/8" at their widest point

(3) 2 strips of velcro - mine are 10" long each but they can be shorter.  I cut mine off my old, crappy handlebar bag so they were "free". You can buy velcro at Home Depot, Target & many other stores

There are two small loops on the back of the cooler so the carabiners can attach:

Total cost of this handlebar bag is $9.71 + 3,73 + 0.00 = $13.44

Cost of Ortlieb handlebar bag on Amazon right now = starting at $101.98

This handebar bag is waterproof (I soaked it in the shower), easy to put on/off and inexpensive.

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