I cycled with a bar bag last summer. Very useful, especially as it is a place upon which you can lay a map. However the Ridgeback has much more going on on the horizontal bar than my Trek does, notably the new bike has two brake levers; can I manage without one? Jim Rawnsley, whose Ridgeback is shown in the picture, writes;
Yep it is a tricky arrangement. But gives me the cockpit room for the MP3 and speakers which I now ride with wherever possible. I don’t like ear phones as I can’t hear the traffic. It does not affect the steering too much as I can still pedal no handed if necessary, and no worries about valuables left on the bike or stopping to get maps out. You can get map holders without bar bags and I have had one. It tended to move a lot and was impossible to read whilst on the move so not much of an advantage. The jury may be out on bar bags and I know many a racer that wouldn’t be seen dead with something akin to a shopping basket on the front of his £3000 carbon steed but these guys usually only ride that beast for a day at a time in summer. In winter or on a tour they come into their own. That and I have long since given up trying to look stylish on a bike. Practicality wins every time (otherwise who would wear Lycra……?)
You can see in the picture how Jim has managed to fix the bar bag to the handlebars in spite of having brake levers like me. I’ll ponder over that one. I shan’t spend too much time pondering over whether I should fix a set of speakers to the handlebars as well! The Tuscan countryside would never cope….