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  1. #1
    mtbr member
    Reputation: chrisbtsc's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2010

    How do you mount on your handlebars without crushing cables?

    So, I'm getting into this bikepacking thing and doing my first overnight trip this weekend. I don't have good bags or anything like that as it's my first time trying this. I didn't want to go out and buy a bunch of stuff if I end up not liking it. So, I want to mount my sleeping bag on my handlebars, but can't quite figure out how to do it without smashing my cables. Any advice?

  2. #2
    A guy on a bike Moderator
    Reputation: TobyGadd's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    I just smash them. Seems to work OK.

    There are some commercial bar harnesses ( that have spacers and such. But my basic sling doesn't have them, and it works fine.

  3. #3
    mtbr member
    Reputation: stevland's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Smash. I can't imagine cable housing is ever going to pinch or kink the cable.

  4. #4
    Slothful dirt hippie
    Reputation: verslowrdr's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2004
    Just try it ASAP and ride around in the driveway for a quick check. My Ibis works fine with everything smashed, but the old Cannondale with V brakes didn't... it closed the front brake.
    "...Some local fiend had built it with his own three hands..."

  5. #5
    mtbr member
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Same as with everyone else, I just push the cables back toward the headset with the bag I am mounting and strap that puppy on. Never had any problems.

    Remember that the bag needs to be strapped underneath the bars such that it is pushing up against the headset (or close to it anyway - depends on the length of your stem - that's what she said!). When I first tried mounting things to the bars, I had the bag more in front, but after time, it slips down anyway. So, don't fight gravity. Put it where it wants to be.

    The main challenge I have is avoiding rub by brake levers and shifters on the bag itself as it may rub a hole in the stuff sack (and harnesses avoid this by holding the bag out away from those components)

    I say, try it however you can manage and take it out for a spin in the 'hood and see how it feels. Modify as needed. The harnesses are nice, but pricey for me so I haven't bothered. Working on a homemade version and will post up if successful. SUPER simple and involves velcro straps and PVC pipe.

  6. #6
    mtbr member
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Strapping the bag on my handlebars puts my brake cables at almost right angles to the brake housing which makes me nervous. I cut pieces of thick plastic about 5 inches long and wrapped one around each housing/cable junction and then zipped tied it tight to the housing. The bag then pushes on that instead of the cable.

    It's probably overkill but I sleep better at night.

  7. #7
    mtbr member
    Join Date
    Dec 2004
    I had issues last year on the Tour Divide with cables kinking and poor shifting. Just lived with it, but I hate poor shifting.
    Now I mounted up my front sling bag with my gear and THEN put on new cables and housings so they looped around and under. Makes for some long cables but hopefully longer lived smooth shifting.
    Some front bag and sling makers include foam blocks to move the bag or sling down away from the bar to avoid interference where the cables come out of the brake or shift levers.

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