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New Epic Design bag for drop bars

April 7, 2009

Wow that was a long title for today’s post but every word is important.   Joe and I received our Epic Designs bar bags last Thursday.  Both of us had them mounted and loaded for our Friday Morning Breakfast Ride.   Eric, great job and thank you.

Here are the views.

Top View

Top View

Side View

Side View

Front Side View

Front Side View

Joe sent Eric a 46 Salsa Bell Lap bar.   The bag is optimized to fit a 46 or wider bar set up.  If you want one of these bags and run narrower bars, you need to make sure you communicate that when ordering.     If you haven’t seen one of Eric’s bar bags, it is essentially a strapping system designed to hold a dry bag.   The inner side is like a wrap and straps in a dry bag.  The outer bag then wraps the dry bag and clips to the inner wrap.   Think of two tortillas wrapping a nice full dry bag.  Perfect.

Right now I intend to hold my down sleeping bag, my bivy and my sleeping pad in the bar bag.   That should fit perfectly in a waterproof compression sack and still leave me enough room for my fingers and hands.     The reason I want that stuff on the bar and in this bag is because the bag has a lot of straps and what not making it not super quick to get stuff in and out.   I’ll only be taking my sleeping stuff out once per day.   The stuff is also relatively light and doesn’t impact handling.

The bar bag is super stable.   Joe had him put an extra adjustable strap to wrap around the head tube and back to the bar.  I thought this would screw up the handling.  It might if you pull the strap tight.  I left it just a bit loose.  I didn’t know what to expect.  I’ve got about 70-75 miles with it thus far and it didn’t bother me at all.  I can’t wait to try it off road.

The front of the bar bag/wrap system is a small bag with a few pockets.   This isn’t super usable space because the bag wraps around a round bag, thus making the front bag concave.   I did end up with my battery & some Shot Blocks in there.  For commuting, I’ll put my cell phone in there too.  I did want the bag though, as on longer trips I’ll stuff some food in there too to compliment Eric’s Gas Tank that holds my space food.

The front pockets can stretch and hold two small bottles.   Imagine a Fargo with 6 bottles in the cages and 2 more in the bar bag.  Oh yeah, that’s a lot of water.    I’ll also likely figure out some kind of closure for them, maybe velcro.   We’ll see.

My only niggles.

– The front pockets aren’t that useful for me.  If I were doing primarily road touring, I can see me filling them with lots of stuff.   For off roading and gravel tours, stuff can and will bounce out of them.   Again, I will fix this with some small velcro patches.

– Lots of straps.  This is a very small niggle, but it should be pointed out.  This attachment system has a lot of straps on it.  They are their for a reason and the straps hold the stuff really well and really stable.  However, there are straps everywhere.   Most have retention systems making sure the free end of the strap doesn’t dangle down and catch your wheel.  But, be aware of it and make sure you check them and tie them down if needed.

Overall, I’m very pleased and impressed.  The bike bag adventure touring system is almost complete.

Next up, the new custom Epic Designs seat bag for a Cane Creek Thudbuster ST.   It’s sweet too!

Thanks Eric.

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. chumbox permalink
    April 7, 2009 7:50 pm

    Hey Gnat

    Sweet bag. Just wondering if you think they would fit a Midge? Also when you say a lot of straps how many are we talking for attaching it to the bike?

  2. Gnat permalink*
    April 7, 2009 8:14 pm

    Midge? I don’t know. Sorry. I’m guessing you could measure the distance. The distance between the brake levers isn’t that wide as I recall. He may be able to make something custom.

    Straps:

    Inner bag attachment to bike = 3 straps
    Dry bag wrap (attaches dry bag) = 3 straps
    Outer wrap = 4 straps, 2 on top, two on bottom

    Like I said, this makes things very secure and functionally very good. All straps have a very good and defined purpose. It just isn’t something for quick and easy access.

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