Apidura has added one more bar bag to their bikepacking line-up with the small & simple Racing Handlebar Pack. Developed for faster-moving road, gravel & mixed-surface rides, it’s a lightweight way to strap an extra 2L of gear onto your bar with a simple flap closure that you can get into while riding and doesn’t overly interfere with other accessories mounted to the bar.
Check out our exclusive first look review of how it reshapes our Racing series fast bikepacking cockpit setup…
Apidura Racing Handlebar Pack mini bar bag
Apidura has toyed with a number of different ways to carry gear on your handlebar for years – alternately going for massive or minimalist storage. This latest Racing Handlebar Pack is an effort to dial it back to the bare essentials – 2L of weatherproof storage you can reach while riding.
How did they get here?
The lightweight Racing series first had the bigger 5L Handlebar Pack, but fully packed that seemed most stable under aerobars making it less accessible while riding and it crowded the cockpit (and is no longer offered). Then, a smaller forward-facing flap 2.5L Handlebar Mini Pack, but that didn’t really work with a GPS mounted on your bar. lastly, there was the more refined 2.5L Aerobar Pack that settled for security over quick access.
But also hidden in 2020’s Backcountry reboot was a new simple Accessory Pocket that attached over their biggest bar roll bags with a simple flap closure for easy access, yet a secure protected closure. I apparently wasn’t the only one hacking one of these as a stand-alone mini bar bag (in my older Expedition variety), and Apidura since turned their newer Accessory Pocket into the quick release City Handlebar Pack.
Tech details, pricing & availability
Now the lighter, racier Racing family gets its own iteration of the same thing. The small 2L back gets a full-width one-handed flap closure that secures with two velcro tabs and stays shut well, whether empty or over-stuffed full. The Apidura Racing Handlebar Pack is made from the same durable, waterproof black Hexalon fabric as the rest of the line, with reflective details and an attachment for a small clip-on front light.
Inside a mesh pocket offers a tiny bit of internal organization, and light-colored yellow & gray fabrics make it easy to see individual items. The bag has a tapered, structured shape with a plastic back insert and reinforced sides & bottom panels.
It is held in place securely on your bar with the same proprietary (and removable) padded strap spacers as the City version for a stable fit onto a wide range of bar sizes with simpler velcro straps, and a third webbing strap to loop around the headtube.
The new Apidura Racing Handlebar Pack sells for $93 / £68 / 78€ and is available to order now. It gets a claimed weight of 190g for the 15-20cm tall x 23cm wide x 10cm deep bag, and our sample was just a few grams lighter.
First Impressions of the Apidura Racing Handlebar Pack
The flap closure is a pretty basic approach to keeping water out, so I wouldn’t probably store sensitive electronics in here to riding in heavy rain, especially since opening it while riding would let water in directly. But so far, it has kept everything I’ve stuffed inside protected from the elements.
The tapered wedge shape of the bag keeps the frontal area to a minimum and is a reasonable attempt to limit the aero impacts of strapping a 15x23cm bag in front of your headtube. But while a small canister-style bar roll may have a bit less impact in the wind, I do really appreciate the ease of access with this flap setup. And the padded bar-mount strap is super stable and easy to install, while offering just enough space away from the bar so I can comfortably tuck my fingers behind the edges to not lose a bar-top hand position on a narrower dropbar.
And the best feature for me is probably that it works under my out-front GPS mount. It’s a little harder to get into the bag (mostly that I can’t see in it while riding). But I’ve still managed to rummage around inside blindly while riding, and can easily access everything when I’m stopped.