21 March, 2006

The TA Handlebar Bag

I bought my first TA handlebar bag when I was about 18. I got it at Mel Pinto's Georgetown Bicycle Pro Shop. They've been open since 1958. I've wanted another TA bag for years, but they haven't been produced in ages. Of course, the Giles Berthoud bags are a fair substitute. But they are expensive and overdone, in my opinion. If you want a bag, not a fashion accessory, you'll need to find an old TA. Interestingly, TA made their later bags out of a vinyl coated nylon fabric that was more durable and waterproof than the old cotton canvas.


Anonymous said...

WARNING-This is one of my typical long randonneur-style rambles...I've been thinking about this handlebar bag issue since this post was first published, and I like the Ostrich bags you are sampling, but I still like the simplicity of that old TA design, replacing the metal flap clips with replacable (?) elastics. The Berthouds are wonderful, I agree they are of an over-the-top sort of quality, which is good sometimes, but they are more elegant than my bikes, much as I love them. I like leather trim, but less is more, sometimes. I'd really like waxed cotton, but I think the other really good material for such a bag is the Ortleib-type fabric. It holds up. I don't care for the mounting of the Ortleib front bags (too high), or the map pockets, or the Ortleib sensuality (even though they are my very best panniers, have aged very well over 7 years of constant use both in Seattle and in Arizona, and are in harmony with the aesthetic of my city bike, which is a converted mountain bike...). I wonder if the Ostrich fabric is waxed? Or laminated? I wore out the Kirtland handlebar bag I got when I was 18: the nylon died in the sun, holes developed where it was strapped to it's "t-shaped" (tRNA shaped?) chromed-steel-wire rack with the red vinyl coating over the part that looped over the stem and handlebar and which probably weighed more than the bag, and now I see how much I did not know.

QualitySnob said...

Chris, I've got one of these bags, it has been rebranded for Peugot Cycles. Get in touch if you want it.

Anonymous said...

Made by Lafuma!