I’m a sucker for a beautiful bike accessory. Heck, I’m a sucker for a beautiful bike. And while the market for bike accessories is huge, not all riders are the same.
That brings us to the The Handlebar Bag by Route Werks. It’s a Kickstarter project that aims to create an all-in-one handlebar bag that does it all — you can mount your phone to it, your bike bell, your bike computer, and a light. Plus you can store things inside!
If you write about technology long enough, you know to be just a little bit skeptical about Kickstarter projects. So I asked a friend who’s a serious-enough cyclist that he has a sick bike and the lycra outfit to match. He asked not to be named for fear of being outed as too rad, and he also expressed some skepticism about the Handlebar Bag.
“This is sort of a weird audience they’re going for with this,” he said. He pointed out that if you’re a really serious rider, juggling the bike computer, the nubbin that mounts it to the bag, and the bag itself would be quite tedious.
He also questioned the integrity of the plastic lid, a suspicion I share as well. Not all plastics will be able to cope with the stress of being vibrated for hundreds or even thousands of miles, and when you combine that with the potential for UV degradation, it’s definitely a question. The rest of materials, like the bag itself, the interior frame, and the elastic straps all look pretty solid.
Also, not for nothing, I have an electric bike with a controller that mounts to the middle of the handlebars so this is just not compatible with my setup at all. Not everyone will be in that position, but if you have an electric bike with Bafang parts (which is quite a few of them), you might be in the same boat.
So, like many Kickstarter projects, Route Werks’ handlebar bag seems great if the company can deliver on all of its promises. That “if” is doing a lot of work, but hey, maybe they’ll pull it off. In the meantime, there are other great handlebar bags like the Burrito Supreme and the Post handlebar bag, both made by companies with a long track record of high quality bike bags.