If you want to add flexibility and carrying capacity to your bike, but aren’t familiar with bike racks, don’t own a tool set, or are looking for something to switch between a few bikes, Velcro bike bag attachments can be great options that are easy to install and lightweight. We particularly like a few handmade in the USA options from North St. Bags.
North St. Fuel Pouch
This clever bag velcros right where your headset meets your toptube (on the backside of your handlebars). As the name might have you imagine, North St. Designed this small bag, just over 6 inches long, 3 inches tall, and almost 2 inches wide, for mid-ride “fuel.” It’s a perfect little bag for energy shots, workout waffles, and energy bars. But, while you might not be taking rides long enough to necessitate a mid-ride snack, this bag is still tremendously useful.
First off, we love how easy it is to install. Two Velcro loops go under the top tube, and a third goes around the headset ensuring that the bag doesn’t tip over in any direction. The Velcro also makes the bag easy to remove if you’re worried about anyone walking off with it while you’re in the store.
A zipper tops the length of the bag with a generous nylon pull that makes it easy to open and close, even with gloves on. And the very central, easily accessible location means you can get what you need without taking your hands too far off the handlebars, or reaching past them.
It is not a huge bag, in fact it won’t fit most iPhones, but it still has plenty of space for small to midsize essentials like a billfold, keys, chapstick, Airpods, bike lights, etc. It’s not large, but it’s not supposed to be. It makes those small things you really need convenient, while keeping the bag at a size that won’t get in the way. And for those more serious aerodynamically-concerned cyclists, it’s less of an aero hindrance than a handlebar bag since it sits behind the headset.
$40; 7 colors; northstbags.com
North St. Pioneer 9 Handlebar Bag
The next evolution of the fanny pack. While you can wear this bag behind you as a hip pack, we particularly like the handlebar kit that allows you to velcro the bag to the front of your bike’s handlebars. This gives you plenty of space for all of your bike tools as well as everyday essentials like wallets, phones, masks, mints and whatever else you can fit in the generous 2.65 liters.
The key feature of this bag is its versatility. It’s easy to attach and detach from the handlebars, you can add a hip belt to it to carry your things with you after locking your bike up, or you can remove all the straps and use it in the off season as a dopp kit. The bag has heavy duty and easy to open zippers, a large interior pocket with key loop and internal divider as well as an additional zippered front pocket.
While the function of the bag makes it worth the money, we also love the thought that went into the form. The bag’s exterior cloth is made from recycled, waterproof sailcloth to help keep the environment, and your electronics, safe. The internal dividers are also made of recycled material.
The ease of mounting, convenience, copious storage, and versatility all make this bag a winner. Plus this all-black version looks pretty mean. If you want different colors, though, North St. has plenty.
North St. Bottle Sleeve
This bottle sleeve is a small addition that makes a big difference. Maybe you already have the fanny pack or backpack that you love to use while riding your bike, but it conspicuously lacks a good place for your water bottle. This bottle sleeve is the perfect, and simple, solution.
Two Velcro loops attach the sleeve to a bag’s waist belt, your own belt, or a strap system like molle. Just attach, slide your water bottle into the cordura sleeve, and cinch the top drawstring tight. Bingo bango, water on the gogo.
While it does work best with other North St. products that have dedicated slots on their belts for the sleeve’s Velcro straps, we love how well it works as a bike specific addition to your other general outdoors gear.
$30; 6 colors; northstbags.com