It all started a few years ago. Bags began popping up on handlebars everywhere, often for nothing more than casual coffee rides. Then again, maybe they were always there, and we just weren’t paying attention. Either way, these days we notice handlebar bags all over the place. We’re not talking about spacious ones meant for bikepacking, though you could certainly use these bags for simple overnighters. Rather, these ones are just big enough to carry along extra snacks, layers, a wallet or a flat kit. And more importantly, they look quite stylish doing it.
For many riders, a handlebar bag’s main purpose seems to be signaling to other cyclists of a discerning nature that they’re in the know—much like handbags in fashion. But regardless of the seemingly trendy roots of handlebar bags, it’s hard to deny the functionality of extra storage space.
One bag brand that has been standing apart from the big names is an outfit out of Los Angeles called Road Runner Bags. Established about a decade ago, the brand makes its bags—everything from backpacks to bikepacking gear—by hand.
We got our hands on the Road Runner Burrito Supreme, a 2.58-liter bag made of 1000D Cordura nylon, measuring 8″ x 5″ x 5” and weighing 202 grams on our scale, with straps included. Like our favorite duffel bags, this handlebar bag keeps it simple: no pockets or dividers, just one big, cavernous section.
The bag features a strap system that should be able to fit nearly any bike model out there. In our long term test over the last half a year or so, we have attached it to more road and gravel bikes than we can remember, all without issue. A velcro strap secures the bag to the head tube, while two straps with locking buckles secure it to the handlebars. Four daisy chain loops on top of the bag provide multiple strapping points on the bag, allowing you to work around cables, lights or anything else taking up real estate on your bars. That simple feature has been huge.
In addition to offering flexible mounting options, the strap system keeps the bag put over rough terrain. We would be a little hesitant to throw this bag on a mountain bike, but for gravel and road riding it is more than up to the task.
All the straps are removable, allowing you to attach a shoulder strap to the 550 parachute cord loops to use it as a shoulder bag. It wasn’t something we found ourselves doing a lot, but it’s nice to be able to easily bring the bag with you at a rest stop, especially if you’re packing along valuables.
Speaking of packing along stuff, the Burrito Supreme’s 2.58-liter capacity will hold a large burrito or sandwich, with room for a few small extras like a vest. But even for short rides, we still find ourselves using the bag all the time. Being able to toss extras like keys or a wallet into it frees up jersey-pocket space. On longer days, we have used it to bring along extra food and bulkier items like water and sunscreen. If nothing else, it can always hold your flat kit, letting you ditch the saddle bag. Four daisy chain loops on the front of the bag add a bit more versatility, letting you lash on extra gear, or attach a light.
We’ve found plenty of reasons to tote this bag along for nearly every ride. Be it picking up some borrowed gear from a friend or grabbing some ingredients at the farmers’ market, this bag allows you to do a little more on your rides.
This structured bag has held up quite well to the elements and feels built for the long haul. And though not claimed as waterproof, in light drizzles this bag has you covered.
The only thing keeping this bag from earning a perfect score is the lack of a locking zipper; on rough roads the zipper tends to jingle around. We have solved the noise issue by unzipping it slightly and tucking the zipper into a fabric cover on the end, though it’s still not perfect on gravel rides. Closing the bag with one hand can also be difficult. But that’s not a huge issue, especially because the bag is structured enough to securely hold your gear even while open. Plus the zippered opening is on top, making it harder for gear to get away.
With colors ranging from standby classics like navy all the way to turmeric pink, there’s an option that fits your style. And you get all this for less than the price of a high end tire. This handmade bag might be the best $75 you spend on bike gear.
$75; 202 grams; roadrunnerbags.us