Monday, February 25, 2013

Handlebar Bag




I finished up this bag recently and am happy with the progress I've made. It's still not "there", but it's better the last one, and hopefully the next one will be even better. Its a solid, roomy bag and I like the color and materials arrangement a lot. It's got a lot of that Carridice vibe in a French handlebar bag form.

Still to do: a thin maple backing bar for wherever the decaleur mount goes through the leather strap at the top and putting in the small brass grommets for the top flap closure elastic. Beyond that, creating an internal stiffener would be about it.

I've ordered some thin leather that I'll use for edging that might make my trim process a little easier, neater, and cleaner. I bought a nice binder attachement that I would love to be able to use, but it can't handle the thickness of the leather I've been using.

Onwards...

11 comments:

greg said...

That looks great Dave! A good project for winter weekends too, I bet.

David Cain said...

Hey Greg, thanks. I'm slowly getting better at making these. The hardest part at this point is the trim--making the stitching look neat and clean. Its the least functional element and the most visible.

I'm going to start on another soon.

GeekGuyAndy said...

Looks great! Any chance you'd share your source for trim? I've just been using bias tape since I couldn't find any thin leather around.

David Cain said...

Hi Andy,
Leather is hard to nail down unless you can actually see it, but lately I've been getting supplies from Brettuns Village Leather. http://www.brettunsvillage.com/leather/
Question for you: I'd love to find cotton bias tape in colors and 1" wide. Do you know of any sources?

GeekGuyAndy said...

I made one bag with just cheap bias tape from Joann fabrics. Another I made with a light canvas material that I manually applied the double fold to, but that was a heck of a lot to sew through. Because I made my bags with coroplast hidden internally between two layers of fabric, I have to do the final trim around the bag by hand since I can't fit a box in my sewing machine.

Ely Rodriguez said...

The bag looks great! a cylinder arm will allow you to sew a box. For cotton trim, I get my 1" black cotton from the industrial place, they have upholstery supplies. Try an upholstery place. I agree, the trim is most visible, especially if you use contrasting thread. You can minimize your need for trim by constructing the bag, then flipping it, trimming up the lid, etc. only. Like this: http://ruthworkssf.blogspot.com/2012/10/green-randonneur-handlebar-for-sale.html

fridaycyclotouriste said...

Super nice work. People out here in CA have created entire cottage industries with handlebar making skills like this! So do you always use an internal stiffener? One of my bags has one and one does not. Not sure which I prefer. Can't wait to see what you come up with next :)

David Cain said...

Hey Nathan,

Thanks. Each one gets a little better... working on a saddlebag right now.

Regarding the stiffener; I haven't tried going without one, but it would be interesting to see when the bag is well supported underneath and with a decaleur.

Sway bugs me. I want my bag to not rack one way or the other, so if I sensed movement without the stiffener, I'd probably put it right back in.

What's your experience?

fridaycyclotouriste said...

Well, the one without the stiffener does sway a lot :) I had plans to add a decaleur, but haven't gotten around to it yet. So that's a big part of it. I know some people remove the stiffeners from their Berthoud bags...Cheers, nathan

Steve Kukla said...

I'd like a dark green handlebar bag like yours for my Surly Disc Trucker, but unable to find one from a manufacturer. Are the designs for a do-it-yourself project posted anywhere online? Maybe I could get my wife to teach me to sew :-)

David Cain said...

Steve, I'm not aware of any patterns online, but I haven't really looked. I could make you one if you were interested.