A DIY cheap bikepacking bar frame (because barbags are no longer uncool)

July 5, 2017

Bikepacking is the new awesome thing, going off-road on your bike with all your luggage, riding to places a standard touring bike would struggle, and all without racks messing up your long travel forks and centre of gravity.

But you know what isn’t awesome. The cost of bikepacking barbags. Someone has started hitting numbers on a calculator, attaching them to a drybag and before you know it, everybody is precariously dangling luggage from their bars!

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Items. Total cost a couple of UK pounds.

I am not having any of that, so I present exhibit a, a simple barbag frame that can hold a drybag, tent, or the aforementioned drybag filled with a variety of unsanitary undergarments.

The real hero is the torch mount for gun barrels below. I accidentally ordered these years ago (they look similar to the bike torch version), and they have dangled around in my toolbox frustrating me when I am looking for the actually useful torch mounts.

 

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The heroic torch mount. The hero we both wanted and asked for

 

Fortunately, they create an excellent solution for attaching an old handlebar (cut short) to your present bar setup. Velcro them on tight and the whole setup will sit quite comfortably astride your bars. Depending on your brake configuration it may rub, so be aware of this if you are running gold plated custom-made neodymium one of a kind brake levers.

 

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My sierra designs one man tent from the 1990s.  Described as ‘full of holes’ and ‘a bit grim’, nevertheless, it keeps the rain off more or less.  Increasingly less.

 

And that’s what it looks like. Tightly attach your luggage using two cargo straps and you are good to go. I found the On-one Fleegle bar a very good fit with this setup but any handlebar with sufficient distance between the levers should work.

The handlebar strengthens the luggage so it does not shift, as the shifting of your center of gravity is pretty bad news when you are gloriously speeding down a rapid descent.

Not to say it won’t shift (my standard ‘I take no responsibility for whatever shambolic setup you create disclaimer’ is in effect ) but it is much less likely.

Happy frugal bikepacking!

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