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One of the most contentious and highly subjective subjects commonly found on bicycling blogs are gear reviews. They are often nothing more than personal preferences based upon unique experiences using individual products. Well dear reader, I will offer you nothing more than my highly opinionated reports based upon my very limited and unprofessional experience with just the stuff I have.

Handle Bar Bag Repair

Summer 2015
Over the past summer, my Arkel handle bar bag began jiggling excessively. Every little bump seemed to make the gear inside rattle and clink. And I hate that! So... after some close inspection, I noticed that one of the support arms which run along the sides had snapped off at the corner! What to do?!?!

Now I love, love, love my Arkel handle bar bag. I've had this one since I first purchased my Dawes bike back in 2012 and she's been on the road with me for coming up to 25,000 miles.

At first I was pretty upset when I discovered that my beloved friend was broken. The bag itself takes a quite a bit of jostling from normal use (and it's kinda bouncy to start with), so it's understandable that after a few years the aluminium just fatigued.

So I put my noodle to work and thought I'd give it a shot at fixing her... I purchased a few nuts & bolts and a couple of steel "L" brackets from the local hardware.

To start, I drilled eight holes in the aluminium support arms AND the interior plastic body using the "L" brackets as guides. Easy enough. Then I simply slotted the bolts through all three layers (steel bracket, aluminium support arm, and plastic body), placed the nuts & washers on, tightened everything up, and voila! She's beginning to take the proper shape again...

Note too, I went ahead and did this for both sides. I figured that I might as well not worry with it again, right?

Then I sawed off the excess bolt shafts. Having the steel braces definitely improved the strength of the support arms AND having all three elements bolted together reduces the amount of vertical movement. The frame itself is a tad heavier, but the overall structure is much, much stronger.

Next, I just had to put the frame and support arms into the bag itself. I chose to put the nuts on the outside thinking that the heavy cordura canvas could withstand any abrasion better than the nylon would on the inside. (Not sure if that was the best idea...?) Here's a little peek.

On the outside it's kinda bumpy from the nuts and the bag was a little harder to slip over the frame, but it does fit. And it works! Now my Arkel bag is as good as new (well, not as clean), and she has much less jiggle and bounce.

Ready for the next adventure!

You too can enjoy an Arkel handle bar bag. Check out all their excellent products at:
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