15 April, 2013

The New Grand Cru Handlebar Bag

The new Grand Cru Handlebar bag's design is based on traditional French handlebar bags. These days almost no one attaches bags like this to the handlebar. Instead they sit on a small front rack and are attached with a decaleur.

This bag is made in an artisanal sewing shop right here in Maryland. The fabric is heavy dark green treated cotton canvas. Wickett and Craig of Pennsylvania provide the oiled bridle leather for trim.
The large main compartment holds about 9.5 liters. There is also a front pocket, two flat side pockets, and two small rear pockets which I use for a cell phone and a small camera. The top has a map pocket. One of the neat features is the stiffener which goes in a long sleeve so no plastic is exposed.
Outside dimensions are: Width = 28cm, depth = 21cm, and height = 25cm. This bag is considerably larger than the VO Campagne bag. (And a bit larger than the Ostritch bag that we used to stock.)

The Grand Cru handlebar bag is designed to be used with, or without, a decaleur. There are two webbing patches running front to back under the bag. these are spaced at the same width as the rails on most small front racks. You can pass a strap through them to attach the bag to the rack if you're not using a decaleur.  An old toe clip strap works well for this. We chose this method rather than Velcro because the latter seems to wear out after a few years of heavy use.

The bag comes with a shoulder strap, very useful when walking around. No handlebar straps are included, since hardly anyone uses them anymore, but there are slots for them in case you're a true traditionalist.


Velouria said...

Looks great!! Love the green, love the closures, love the flat sides. Only wish it were smaller; too big for my bike alas. Looking forward to seeing these bags in action on others' bikes.

Anonymous said...

Wow, looks like you guys have all the details down! The flap opens the right way, the bag has webbing on the bottom, flat pockets on the sides, leather pocket for the tombstone, elastic cords to close the rear pockets instead of cumbersome buckles... pretty much all the things I've been looking for over the last 2 weeks of hunting for a new bag. I hope these sell well enough that you guys can start offering a few options in different colors.


Dave said...

Very nice! Any plans to complement this with a matching saddlebag or 2 for those of us who like luggage on both ends of the bike?

somervillain said...

Very nice! Would you consider making a "little brother" version with all the same features and design, but with a capacity of 6-7L? Lots of us like this style of bag but in a smaller form. I got rid of my Ostrich bag because it was too big for my typical day rides.

Anonymous said...

Very Nice 2 questions
1. Why so tall? 25" is larger than small frames can fit.
2. Do you have plans to have a decailluer with long posts to accommodate your current rack and taller bag?

John Hawrylak
Woodstown NJ

ColonelJLloyd said...

I will say that I am very happy to see that this bag is not smaller than it is. At least not shorter. There are plenty of smaller options out there.

One issue I have had using the Pass Hunter rack with integrated decaleur is that the height of the decaleur doesn't match up well with any bag I've used. Was this bag designed to work well with your own integrated decaleur racks? Can you provide a pic of one mounted?

VeloOrange said...

If you have a smaller frame you can use a rack with an integrated decaluer. Integrated decaleurs are so simple and solid that they are the only type I'd use on my own bikes.

VeloOrange said...

The integrated decaleur works well with most bags including VO, Grand Cru, Ostrich, Alps, TA, Acorn, Berthoud (med), etc. Just mount the decaleur bar a little lower or higher as needed; the leather strips are usually pretty wide to allow this.

Anonymous said...

I recently purchased the Grand Cru bag and the Pass Hunter decailluer for my cyclocross/rando bike. Very nice piece of gear. Don't be too hesitant about front end geomentry. My bike has about 64mm of trail and handles just fine with 5lbs on the rack. I'm very happy with this setup.

Tom in MT

kG said...

Any feedback on water - resistance? Looking for that "magic" rando front bag, and the price is hard to ignore here! What's the canvas 'treated' with; dry wax, chem, other? Anyone had it out in the rain for a few hours?

VeloOrange said...

Hi Keith,

I've been riding with the bag from the original prototype in all weather. The bag is DWR treated (durable water repellant) so in normal rains and drizzles your stuff will be dry. If it's a serious downpour, a stuff sack or even a plastic bag (in a pinch) will keep your stuff dry.