Review & Contest: Vaude Road I Handlebar Bag

For nearly a year now, Friedel’s been searching for a handlebar bag. There are many to choose from but for a long time, none of them seemed ‘just right’.

They were all too big, too expensive or too hard to open and close. It wasn’t until she saw this – the Vaude Road I Handlebar Bag – that she took the plunge.

Friedel's New Handlebar Bag!

Here are some of the features:

  • Weighs 595 grams
  • 5 liter capacity
  • Klick-fix attachment (very sturdy)
  • Includes a map case and rain cover
  • Shoulder strap (removable)
  • Reflective details
  • Retails for €60 (about $80 U.S. dollars)

Inside the main compartment is a:

  • primary storage space
  • zipped pocket along one wall
  • pocket with a velcro closure along the other wall.

The two side pockets are handy places to stash a passport or emergency cash. The whole compartment is padded with foam (behind the polyester liner), and this gives a bit of shock protection to whatever you put inside.

Friedel's New Handlebar Bag!

The main pocket is fairly spacious. Friedel typically carries a small camera, wallet, keys, sunglasses and a mobile phone inside. You could fit a small DSLR camera inside, though there wouldn’t be much room left over.

On top of the main compartment is another pocket. It’s perfect for a few papers, or a set of keys. On the front of the bag, you find another similar pocket, with more separated areas. These various pouches and slots make it easy to categorize and sort your stuff.

Friedel's New Handlebar Bag!

The bag isn’t waterproof but it does come with a rain cover. Even in fairly heavy rain (without using the rain cover) the inside stays fairly dry. It makes sense, of course, to put things like cameras and passports in a plastic bag, or remember to put the rain cover on at the first sign of a shower.

All in all, we really like this bag. It’s sturdily constructed, big enough to carry everything you need, and the zippers make it very easy to open and close – even while riding. Highly recommended.

*** Win A Vaude Road I Handlebar Bag! ***

Note: the contest is now closed. Click here to find out who the winner was.

For our wonderful readers, Vaude has agreed to give away a Road I Handlebar bag! It will be black with red trim, as you see in the picture below.

Vaude Road I Handlebar Bag Want to win? Here’s what to do:

  • Leave a comment below. Tell us why you’d love to win one of these bags.


  • Tweet the following message about the contest: Win a Vaude Road I Handlebar bag from @travellingtwo and @VAUDE_nl

Good luck! You can enter twice: once by leaving a comment on this page, and once by Tweeting about the contest. We’ll pick a winner at random from the comments and tweets. The deadline for entries is 5pm (European time) on Sunday, December 4th, 2011. We’ll announce the winner on Monday, December 5th, 2011.


  1. Rob Thomson
    29th November 2011 at 7:54 am #

    Interesting review. Great that the bag comes with padding – this is an optional extra on many others.

    I would love to win this handlebar bag so that we have a handle-bar bag for my wife. I have an Ortlieb handlebar bag, which is great, but it would be great to try something different out.

    • Neil Parry
      29th November 2011 at 7:40 pm #

      Gread contest.

  2. Harlan Greene
    29th November 2011 at 8:23 am #

    I’d dearly love to win a Vaude Road I handlebar bag so I would have a way to carry my needed items with me in safety, convenience, and security. What might those be? Why, the very things I currently carry in my jersey pockets…and have sometimes lost out of those same pockets. Things like my phone, some change for getting a soft drink at a store, an energy bar, a patch kit, my house keys. My jerseys are old, and now the pockets are beginning to tear at the corners. I’d love one of these before I lose something really valuable or needed along the way. The sturdy construction, those easy-open zippers, the rain cover here in the wet US Pacific Northwest would be ideal. Those separated areas, pouches, and slots would be perfect for the smaller things like a patch kit, some lip balm, or a pair of sunglasses in the lid-top compartment. I didn’t know Vaude made such a bag before your review, but now I’ve seen and read about it, I find it hard to imagine a better example. Just think…I wouldn’t get lost if I could carry a map in the case on top, and the reflective features would keep me safe on my evening commutes as the days grow shorter. I hope you’ll keep me in mind. Thanks for the opportunity! Harlan.

  3. Paul Everitt
    29th November 2011 at 8:46 am #

    I have to agree with Rob wit it being an interesting review made me wish I had one for my bikecar as I would be constantly miss placing bits and bobs and when it rained my maps would get soaked along with my not so waterproof camera. Even nice little pockets to hold them handy business cards to promote the adventure 🙂

  4. Cattrysse Manu
    29th November 2011 at 8:50 am #

    I would like to have this handlebar-bag because i used to have one like these but it got stolen when i left my bike for just a minute.i was really happy with this bag because the size is perfect,low weight and easy to open compared with some ortlieb bags with push buttons.
    And also because i am leaving on 29 december for a solo bike trip from santiago de chile to ushuaia and i for the moment i still dont have one so it would be MORE than welcome 😉

  5. Carl Ray
    29th November 2011 at 8:52 am #

    I currently have an old beat up handlebar bag on my commuter bike. If I won the Vaude bag it would be put to good use immediately. I am in a money pinch in my cycling budget right now. If I won the new vaude, I would update you guys from time to time on how it is holding up to the mean streets of So Calif.



  6. Blanche
    29th November 2011 at 9:02 am #

    You’re already so dutch! Carrying a keyset wit the AH label :>

  7. Adrian
    29th November 2011 at 9:06 am #

    Amazing handlebag, great review!

    I particularly like its size, it would be perfect for my needs and the extra padding would protect my favourite gadgets, especially my camera.
    It also has the ideal size map holder- the right size for my favourite Ordonance Survey maps!
    And what a great idea those mini-pockets are- no more loose keys,batteries, cards and bits and bobs flying around in a big compartment!

    Looking forward to trying it out!
    Many thanks for the opportunity!

  8. Max Lian
    29th November 2011 at 9:10 am #

    I’d love to win this bag because I’m currently in the market for a handlebar bag. My mum and I are just getting into bike touring. We’re building up our bike touring inventory (panniers: check. tent: check. sleeping bags: check), but we have to make every dollar count. Winning this bag would mean one less expenditure, leaving us a few spare dollars to spend on something else (like a rack for my mum’s bike, or a camp stove).

    I love reading your reviews. Keep them coming!


  9. Wendy Creed
    29th November 2011 at 9:13 am #

    As a cycling coach and Bikeability instructor, I would love to not have to worry about which pocket my keys and things are in when I go out but have peace of mind knowing they are safely tucked away in the Vaude handlebar bag.

  10. Hendrik von Wielligh
    29th November 2011 at 9:18 am #

    Since my wife and I are cycling through Africa to save rhinos, we would love to carry a rhino in our handle bar bag to show people in Africa what a rhino looks like … On second thought, maybe a rhino will be to heavy to carry around, but this handle bar bag will be just fine to carry Hendrik’s video camera safely over all the bumps and dongas. Currently, the video camera bag is clipped onto his saddle and take a lot of shots. Even a handle bar bag can contribute towards conservation awareness in Africa!!

  11. Jordy
    29th November 2011 at 9:18 am #

    Nice review, really helping me out in separating the wheat from the chaff.

    Simply put, I wouldn’t mind having a Vaude handlebar bag sent my way because my current one is starting to give up after long service and it appears to fit my mounting bracket…

  12. John Houvardas
    29th November 2011 at 9:25 am #

    Getting ready for my first big tour this summer. I already have a set of rear panniers. Economic crisis in Greece has kept me from buying a handlebar bag. It wouldnt hurt me to have a nice bag for free,

  13. irfan murat
    29th November 2011 at 9:29 am #

    great bag. it should be mine cause it is too difficult to find it in Turkey

  14. kurien
    29th November 2011 at 9:57 am #

    I need this bag because with Vaude’s build quality I am sure that this bag will last much beyond the current economic crisis! Also, the clear cover on top can accommodate my Galaxy Tab, which I use as my cycling GPS along with MapMyRide! 🙂

  15. Alice
    29th November 2011 at 10:01 am #

    I like free stuff so why not enter 🙂

  16. Alberto
    29th November 2011 at 10:10 am #

    I´d love to win the handlebar bag to take it to our France-Northern Spain trip this coming summer. Never tried a handlebar mounted bag before, but can see why it would be very useful to keep some things in a handy position so that you can access them while cycling. The economic crisis, being a student and London hefty prices do not help acquire touring gear!

  17. nick scaife
    29th November 2011 at 10:14 am #

    Wanting to do an 18,000 km ride around Australia in 2012 and would love to be handling a Vaude handlebar bag, perfect place to have a good camera ready to use and a bottle of water ready to drink 🙂 🙂 Vaude normally have amazing quality and am sure it would not let me down 🙂

  18. James Penney
    29th November 2011 at 10:15 am #

    These bags look fantastic, far better than my present one which sheared off whilst popping down a hill at 40mph, and they look pretty swish too. I’m trying to plan a big cycle next year too, therefore I would love to win one!!

  19. paul
    29th November 2011 at 10:15 am #

    You can never have too many bags.I’m Friedel understands the logic.

    • paul
      29th November 2011 at 10:17 am #

      That should have read “I’m sure Friedel understands the logic”

  20. Don Doornbos
    29th November 2011 at 10:18 am #

    What an unobtrusive way to add more storage space when traveling. It looks easier to access than most other locations on a bicycle too.

    It would help me in my plans to travel from the southernmost to the northernmost point of New York state this upcoming summer 2012!


  21. Ken
    29th November 2011 at 10:35 am #

    I’d love to win the Vaude handlebar bag, as this was the one that I was going to buy after weeks of research. I totally agree with Friedl. This will be perfect for my daily commute and my proposed Mongolian Adventure.

  22. liva
    29th November 2011 at 10:37 am #

    Handy handlebar bag is essential for comfortable bike ride. Doesn’t matter if it is just a 5 minutes ride to the workplace or 235824896982 km arround the world.
    I would really like to win one of these!

  23. Marcello
    29th November 2011 at 10:39 am #

    This bag seem sto have all the fixings other bags don’t have, like the reflective coating.
    I’d like to win it, since it would be perfect size for my commute to work: backpacks make me sweat even in winter, and panniers are too big.

  24. Kim
    29th November 2011 at 10:47 am #

    That looks like just the bag that Ulli has been looking for, she is always wanting to have an easy access bar bag when we are out on our wee cycle tours.

  25. daniel cupryna
    29th November 2011 at 10:55 am #

    would love a free handle barbag as my dad has had his stolen along with his bike and panniers

  26. Kalilileth
    29th November 2011 at 10:56 am #

    Greetings from the Irish West,
    A land of sun and rain.
    Of mountains, rivers, hills and lakes,
    Swans, gulls, egret and crane.

    The Connemara coast I ride,
    A route I really like,
    A new Vaude Handlebar Bag,
    Would suit my much-loved Peugeot bike.

    With pockets for all necessities,
    And everything at hand.
    I’d be the happiest cyclist,
    In the whole of Erin’s land.

  27. Eric
    29th November 2011 at 11:12 am #

    I’m looking for this kind of bag:
    1. There’s no such one like that here in our country.
    2. I need something to put my camera where I can grab it easily.

    This will be a big blessing for me on my first long ride (around 800KM) on December 20, since I don’t have any bag yet except for my backpack.

    I’ve tweeted it already to increase my chances of winning 🙂

  28. Stephen phillips
    29th November 2011 at 11:18 am #

    I simply need a functional, good performing, convenient, discreet bar bag to use cycling around the world next february!

  29. Eko Julianto
    29th November 2011 at 11:25 am #

    I would love to win this handlebar bag so I don’t keep on loosing my keys. They often fell off my pocket 🙁 And I can put my wallet and mobile phone there 🙂

  30. Kamil
    29th November 2011 at 11:34 am #

    Looks like a good bag so it may be very useful on a tour.

  31. Daniel Gee
    29th November 2011 at 11:36 am #

    I would absolutely love this bar bag! Cycled 3000km this summer and it would have saved me from many an energy dip having my snacks at easy reach!

  32. Agustín Rivas
    29th November 2011 at 11:48 am #

    Great review!!!!!! and of course it seems a very very good handlebar bag to come with me in my travels!!!! 😉


  33. Paul Woodward
    29th November 2011 at 11:53 am #

    Hello Fearsome Twosome (due to be threesome)
    I would love this bag, nay, I need this bag! Ever since I lost my job, wife, home from a personal disaster that I feel so traumatised by I unfortunately cannot even bring myself to relay it to you now. And that was 13 years ago!! All I have is my trusty bike, Ned. Ned has been a true friend in times of hardship and sorrow. The very few belongings I now own would most likely fit into the 5 litre, waterproof compartment with a wee bit of room for the odd scrap of food I come across on my journeys. I feel this bag would enable me to rise above my sad and sorry life and give me the will to go on an on and on and…
    Well anyway I hope you consider this pathetic entry into this contest and if you indeed you can find a place in your hearts even consider helping me then that would make me very happy cycle bum.

  34. Gerardo
    29th November 2011 at 11:57 am #

    I would love to win this handlebar bag so that I can compare to the ortlieb bag and if I like it I can buy another one for the other bike

  35. Gerardo
    29th November 2011 at 11:58 am #

    I would love to win this handlebar bag so that I can compare to my ortlieb bag and if I like it I can buy another one for my other bags

  36. Sara
    29th November 2011 at 12:02 pm #

    This is just what I need for my tandem, which I use to take my five year old to school, and the baby to nursery. When I have them both on the bike, there’s nowhere except the handlebars for a bag. And it would solve my need for a map case when out exploring too!

  37. Sean McGurr
    29th November 2011 at 12:15 pm #

    Starting to plan a big tour for my 40th birthday and think this bag would be a nice addition to my ride.

  38. Matt P
    29th November 2011 at 12:15 pm #

    I need the bag because I am using a saddle_bag and haven’t taken the plunge to get one yet. If for some reason I couldn’t use it, my group would put it to use. Pants Richmond!

  39. Sarah
    29th November 2011 at 12:36 pm #

    I’d love to win this handlebar bag because I have never had one and although I’ve recently been researching loads into them I couldn’t decide on one so decided to plan to set off on my next tour of South America without one and see how it goes…now I’m almost certain that was the wrong decision but at the time it seemed better than spending lots on the wrong handlebar bag! I read and enjoy this website and I’m continuously inspired. I have taken up your advice on many things so it would be fantastic to use and enjoy Friedel’s handlebar bag of choice. Thank you for all your work supporting people like me to get up and go on a long bike tour : )

  40. Chris Wolfe
    29th November 2011 at 12:53 pm #

    I would love to win this bag because my husband and I have just moved to Spain from the states with our two dogs, and we are in the process of purchasing dog trailers for the touring bikes that we each built up from scratch. I had not considered a handlebar bag because so many are two bulky, but I really need a place to keep 1) dog leashes, 2) doggie clean-up bags (we are good citizens!), and 3) doggie treats (see entreaty below from Jordan, our hound dog, who asked to add her thoughts on the handlebar bag:

    From Jordan: “I have been told that I will have to ride along behind my people in a small, boxy container. They have told me they will not take corners too sharp and that they will slow down for bumps. They have told me that there will be lots of treat stops and opportunities to check pee-mail. I am struggling to believe my people, but the one thing I know is that IF THERE IS NO BAG FOR MY TREATS, alas, there can be no treat stops. So, please, I do need treats (and so does my sister, Haley).”

  41. Nardus Ferreira
    29th November 2011 at 1:00 pm #

    What a great bag! I just love the rain cover and map holder on top. It would be great for your camera, cell phone, GPS, snacks and wallet. I am from South Africa and we plan cycling southern France in 2012 and I don’t have a handlebar bag yet. This would be the best price ever!

  42. Jerod
    29th November 2011 at 1:13 pm #

    Im just starting to get into touring and Im working on getting all of the gear!

  43. Chris
    29th November 2011 at 1:24 pm #

    Well, I wouldn’t mind winning this bag for the following reasons:-
    1. It’s free and I love a bargain.
    2. My old Karrimor bar-bag has got mould on it.
    3. My bar-bag mount has snapped.
    4. I’m leaving England in two weeks to go pedalling down to Spain with the loose intention of carrying on cycling from there to wherever, after a bit of work on a donkey sanctuary.
    5. I like the colour.
    6. It looks easier to close than the Ortlieb.
    7. I like to win competitions.

  44. Sue Beaumont
    29th November 2011 at 1:31 pm #

    I’ve long hankered after one. At the end of my cycle ride round Wales in the summer I was in windy Bala, had a snack and chatted to 5 ladies. Then went outside as they watched me sort out my little things for ages which could handily have been stored in a handlebar bag. They were so watchful one came out and gave me a big hug.

  45. Stephanie Kaplan
    29th November 2011 at 1:43 pm #

    Our old handlebar bags are all worn out and I’ve been looking for a new brand for our upcoming Europe tour. This one looks great and I may buy it even if I don’t win it.

  46. Avinash Kachhy
    29th November 2011 at 1:52 pm #

    This bag weighs 500gms so seems quite hefty! I don’t have a bar bag and am using a fanny pack as a barbag. This will be a nice replacement for that!

  47. Gerard van Winden
    29th November 2011 at 2:03 pm #

    It’s enough, I love Vaude

  48. Steve Tatum
    29th November 2011 at 2:36 pm #

    Been looking for a handlebar bag for a while. This would work great!

  49. Steve Grossman
    29th November 2011 at 2:43 pm #

    I love handlebar bags and have an Arkel, which is very good, but also heavy. I’d really like to have a second option when traveling.

  50. Keith Browne
    29th November 2011 at 2:44 pm #

    This would be a great place to put the camera, compass, binoculars and maps.

  51. Brian
    29th November 2011 at 2:53 pm #

    I’d to win the bag, as getting one is long overdue for me. I would have gotten one long ago, if it weren’t for the cost of the things.

  52. Bob Schilling
    29th November 2011 at 3:06 pm #

    Deb and I are doing an America By Bicycle ride across America’s Northern Tier next June; a little over 3600 miles from Oregon to New Hampshire. With 50 days on the road and an average of 80 miles per day, having a handlebar bag would sure make road life easier. We’d use it to carrying all the little necessities of daily biking, camera, TP, snacks, spare tire, lite rain gear?. We’d give the Vaude Road 1 a real road test and be happy to provide Vaude some detailed feedback.

  53. Nicole Davis
    29th November 2011 at 3:08 pm #

    My touring bike is in England waiting for me to return from Australia to collect it and take it back to Europe for the next adventure. The handle bag is old fail and with no map case. I need a new one so I don’t get lost!

  54. glenn
    29th November 2011 at 3:09 pm #

    Because nothing like it here in South Africa. Many bicycle shops but little or no touring stuff. And I desperately need one for my next trip to Angola.

  55. Shahla Yekta
    29th November 2011 at 3:09 pm #

    I started biking well over ten years ago now, after an explosion in the chemistry lab where I was doing my doctoral studies damaged my knee and I couldn’t run anymore for a while (I used to be an avid runner). I became addicted to biking fast. It took me another five years to have enough money to buy a decent road bike and ever since, I bike at least five days a week and my mouth still waters at the idea of a ride! In the last two months, I have started reading about long distance bike travelling, something I have never done. This is how I stumbled upon your blog and your book. Now, I am slowly also gathering the accessories for such a trip, so the handlebar bag would be my first handlebar bag toward this trip.

  56. Pedro Quintero
    29th November 2011 at 3:18 pm #

    Si gano esta bolsa de maillar, sera una buena oportunidad para usarla en la ruta de la carretera austral de Chile, que voy a recorrer en el proximo verano. He visto las que usan los cicloviajeros, pero yo no las puedo adquirir aca en mi pais.

  57. Steven F
    29th November 2011 at 3:19 pm #

    Looks like a great bag! I’m getting into bike touring and this looks like a good bag for throwing more important things in that you don’t want to leave on the bike to run into a shop. Better than shoving everything in your jersey and looking like the michelin man! I’d love to win one of these because I’m a student (aka BROKE) and quality parts are hard to come by.

  58. Wade G
    29th November 2011 at 3:28 pm #

    Love the Klick-fix connector!

  59. Kees
    29th November 2011 at 3:35 pm #

    Hey, looks like an excellent and very practical piece of gear. Love the security features: place for keys, extra pockets to stash cash etc (always a problem when cycle-touring), and looks very good!

    Why I’d LOVE to win? My wife is new to cycle touring and we’re going to head to Florida soon for two-week tour. We just brought her a new bike, panniers are on the way – and this would be a wonderfully amazing and fabulous addition! Cheers

  60. Kees
    29th November 2011 at 3:36 pm #

    Hey, looks like an excellent, very practical and quality piece of gear. Love the security features: place for keys, extra pockets to stash cash etc (always a problem when cycle-touring), and looks very good!

    Why I’d LOVE to win? My wife is new to cycle touring and we’re going to head to Florida soon for two-week tour. We just brought her a new bike, panniers are on the way – and this would be a wonderfully amazing and fabulous addition! Cheers

  61. Bike4Beer
    29th November 2011 at 3:41 pm #

    I am preparing for my first unsupported tour in the Spring and am looking for a handlebar bag. This Vaude bag will go nicely with my new vaude panniers that I just got last week. My plan is to ride from Detroit to Washington DC for my first ‘big’ tour and know that this bag would come in very handy.

  62. Scott G
    29th November 2011 at 3:45 pm #

    I, like Friedel, have been searching for the right handlebar bag. In 1991-1992 I rode across the states with a Jandd bag and just retired it a year or so ago. Last September I took the train up to Washington and rode home down the coast to Florence. It was a blast. I’m now planning to do the rest of the state and into California next September. I think this bag would really be a nice addation and would work out nicely – AND it’s got a red stripe which matches my red Axium panniers. 🙂 Thanks!

  63. Malen Lur
    29th November 2011 at 3:47 pm #

    Hi Friedel and Andrew! 🙂

    My name is Malen and I live in the Basque Country (North of Spain). I am 16 years old. This are the reasons I would like to have a Vaude Road I Handlebar Bag.

    First of all, my father and I are making plans for the future. We have arranged that when I’ll finish the high school, we are going to set off around the world on our bycicles. Secondly, as this is a big challenge we are going to start practising little by little. On this Christmas, we are going to make a small trip in Spain.

    It’s our dream, so this handlebar it’s going to be very usefil for us. Our intention is to spend very little money.

    (Sorry if my English isn’t good, but that’s all I know)

    “When I was 5 years old, my mother always told me that happiness was the key to life. When I went to school, they asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up. I wrote down ‘happy.’ They told me I didn’t understand the assignment, and I told them they didn’t understand life.”
    ~ John Lennon


  64. RPSchuetz
    29th November 2011 at 3:49 pm #

    Been looking for a decent handlebar bag myself – winning one would be a bonus!

  65. Loretta Henderson
    29th November 2011 at 4:05 pm #

    The magic bicycle will look too cute sporting one of those on my way through Africa on my world adventure. I hear rhinos are afraid of the colors black and red. It’s the perfect piece of girly girl gear for guys too.