FreeThePockets might not garner quite the attention as other popular hashtags but the Attaquer Adventure Handlebar Bag is designed to do just that – because Lycra is a choice, not a right.
Words and photos: Alex Malone
Remember being a kid and heading out your trusty 10-speed Apollo – I really did love that bike – with little more than a bottle of pre-mixed Cottees and $2 worth of lollies from the milk bar? Back then, the options for carrying ‘the essentials’ were limited to a woven basket likely covered with pink rubber flowers or a school backpack with little to no back support. Neither were exactly what you wanted but cycling has journeyed well beyond toe straps and leather chamois since then and in 2019, Attaquer’s Adventure Handlebar Bag thankfully makes the basket redundant and goes so far to put a question mark on those three jersey pockets you’ve got too.
Featuring a two-litre capacity, durable and highly water resistant Cordura construction and a simple but effective attachment system, the Attaquer Adventure Handlebar Bag provides just enough extra storage capacity without sending your speedy gravel machine into a loaded touring plodder.
The hashtag FreeThePockets might have fewer than 100 posts on Instagram but we’re confident that as gravel riding continues to develop, bringing more luggage accessories with it, the pockets will be liberated like never before. The alternative and one far more exciting is the idea our adventures will extend a little further and allow us to spend more time in the saddle and less at the cafe. Or maybe it’ll mean more takeaways and orders ‘to go’. Whatever you decide to fill the Adventure Handlebar Bag with, we’re sure it’ll become a permanent fixture to your ride.
Worth considering with any new addition to one’s adventure machine is the impact it may make to your current setup or position. Fitted with an out front Wahoo mount and GoPro/light mount and handlebar-mounted bell, the Adventure Bag is going to take up the space reserved for said camera or front light and reduce your bell to a very sad ‘thump’. This may not pose an issue for daytime activities but it does mean finding an alternative if the ride enters the darkness at any point – even if the reflective front strip works extremely well.
An out front mount will make on the fly access a little tricky however, it does provide another support point. If you’re someone who prefers a stem or handlebar mount for GPS guiding, the bag won’t impact your accessories at all.
The bag’s Velcro straps are long enough to get around handlebars of any width and once affixed, will sit far enough from the bars so you can still rest your hands on the tops. The included drawstring guide rope is long enough to wrap around the most suitable location for additional security. Personally, I felt this worked exceptionally well looped around the top of the stem but it’ll also wrap around the head tube just as easily. Again, your particular setup will determine where best to secure the rope.
Fill me up
Two litres of capacity. That’s somewhere around the vicinity of a bottle of milk and to drink that in one sitting could go either way, depending on your levels of lactose tolerance. So, what can fit inside the Attaquer Adventure Handlebar Bag? Here’s a short but far from exhaustive list of the things we found will fit nicely inside.
- Three tinnies plus three King Size Snickers bars or a bag of Haribo. Freezing the Snickers or lollies ahead of time helps to create a mini cooler bag for the ride – depending on length. Just remember to give the cans a little time to settle before hydrating .
- One lightweight puffer jacket – with or without sleeves – plus neck warmer, rain coat and small bottle of lubricant. Consider it the ‘safe, not sorry essential kit’.
- Two bags of lollies or one large bag of Bhuja, two pesto chicken sambos, 500g trail mix and a small bottle of coke, because every good cyclist is a diabetic waiting to happen. Consider letting a little fizz out prior to rolling.
- First Aid kit, two tubes, spares kit, multi tool and small camera. If someone is going to require on-ride assistance, you best capture the moment. Just remember to wrap the camera up a little to reduce shaking.
- Spare tyre, sealant and tyre levers. In case you weren’t aware, Uber don’t offer a 4WD vehicle option and 20km is a long distance to walk/scoot.
- One-litre hydration bladder with hose and mouth piece attached. A little extra range comes in mighty handy during the warmer months and the further you ride, the lighter you get. Bonus!
- Teacup-sized dog of varying descriptions. *yet to try.
Adventure Bag nitty gritty
Capacity: 2 litres
Dimensions: 11.5cm tall, 21.5cm long
Colours: Black or Camo
Where to buy: Attaquer Cycling