In this video review, we take a look at the “small” handlebar bag by Arkel. I use the air quotes because for a small bag it is fairly big! The current trend is to get all rando with a small front rack and boxy style bag that sits on the platform. I’m a big fan of rando bags. I am NOT a fan of having to buy and install a small front rack for every bike I want to use the bag on. Thus began the search for just a Plane Jane handlebar bag.

What led me to the Arkel handlebar bag was primarily its aluminum quick release system. I despise the current “smash a wire” technology employed by every other handlebar bag maker. They are essentially single use and a pain to move from bike to bike. Arkel’s system seems more elegant (and weighs less than a mini front rack) but I could never find a good video of how they actually worked. So I made one.

I won’t go into too much detail (that’s what the vid is for!), but here’s the executive summary.


Great mounting system
Roomy for a small bag


Straight out of the 70s styling
No rain cover for $120
High position on the handlebar takes getting use to after rack bags

After an exhaustive search in Portland, I could not find a small black one in person so I had to order it sight unseen from the good folks at Arriving By Bike in Eugene, OR. Buy yours local or get one from them.

(Keep our adventures going and the site growing! If you’ve enjoyed our stories, videos and photos over the years, consider buying our ebook Panniers and Peanut Butter, or our new Brompton Touring Book, or some of the fun bike-themed t-shirts we’re designing, or buying your gear through our Amazon store.)