Friday, April 22, 2011

Handlebar Real Estate

You've heard of home real estate, and even desktop real estate (that's when you have too many windows open or too many icons) but have you heard of handlebar real estate? At least that's my term for what happens when there are too many items lined up on the flat bars of my bike.
Picture this bar with the addition of bell and light bracket - phew!

A bell, thumb shifters, a re-purposed wire frame from an old handlebar bag used for supporting the green front bag (connected with leather straps-one more thing on the bar), a connector to house the front light, even a mirror. All this cluttering my bar. When I go ring my bell I have to search for where it is. Ringing a bell should be second nature.

I'm keeping the shifters and the mirror - a mirror is a necessity. I disconnected the light bracket. I can easily attach it should I ride after dark. After some experimenting I moved the bell lower, relegating it to a more prominent position (albeit further from my hand) on the stem.

In this new position it's much easier to flick with my thumb, though usually I roll the bell with one hand.
handlebar without the front bag

I'm working on getting rid of the black wire frame - I have, as a replacement, a simple front rack in mind. Once I install one on the Miyata (already purchased) I intend to put a black one on the Ross. This will then support the weight of the front bag.

I'm not sure how I ever got to this point of so much stuff on the handlebar bar, but I guess it's like anything else, it's easy to accumulate things. I love the handy front bag so that will stay.

Does anyone else have this problem with their bike?


  1. Does anyone else have this problem with their bike?


    On my Long Haul Trucker I have a cycle-computer, bell, and light on the bars. It's drop bars, so there's not a lot of available real estate. I got a stem-mounted bell from Velo Orange, so that frees up some space. Next step is to get dyno lighting and a light mounted off the bars.

  2. I guess we all like our "toys", though I consider bells and lights as necessary safety equipment.

    Adventure - I used to live in Portland, from 1985-1996. The biking scene was just it's totally awesome, at least it was 4 years ago when I last visited.

  3. I love that - Handlebar Real Estate :). The one thing that I would like to get is a mirror for the roadsters. I haven't had the chance yet. I have a basket for the Pashley and a light for the Raleigh. The Pashley has a lamp, but I have to purchase a new Halogen bulb. I think I'm lacking in the Handlebar real estate department :)

  4. Annie-
    85 to 96? Did Portland even exist then? ;-) (Seriously, it didn't exist in the collective consciousness then.)

    Don't worry, we'll bring some Portland style bike love when we tour through Burlington as part of our cross-continent tour this summer/fall. Just promise to not talk too much about your Miyata around April! ;-)

    (Two "winking smileys" in a comment. A new record for me!)

  5. Portland in 95-96 was just beginning to crank up the bike love. I started volunteering for BTA then, stuffing envelopes, etc. I was also part of a group to shadow cyclists on Hawthorne at 7:30 am to try and get commuters to go to work. In the four weeks that I did this no one showed up!

    Yay to you for cycle touring across country. Stop by and say hi. We're on the list for Burlington. This is a cool, happening sort of college town and right on beautiful Lake Champlain.

  6. Annie--Nowadays we give out donuts to bicyclists on the Hawthorne!

    I will definitely look you up on Warmshowers!

  7. Annie--Sent you a message through Warmshowers, hopefully you got it!


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