Continuing on from Part 1 where I adapted an old brake arm to make a light bracket, in the next two parts I'll document how I modified off the shelf parts to make a quick release handlebar bag.
Firstly I'll explain why I've gone to these lengths to install a handlebar bag. There are many ways to mount a handlebar bag. Modern handlebar bags attach to the handlebars by a clamp, the problem with this is twofold; Firstly, it places the handlebar bag too high up which is problematic because it affects handling, secondly the entire weight of the bag and contents is held by a pair of plastic clamps resisting rotation on the handlebars, this has the potential to rotate down. As you can see the picture below, the handlebar bag would be sitting another 5cm higher if it was mounted on the handlebars as intended by the factory. The handlebars I have also are too large a diameter where the handlebar clamps would go, also I would prefer not to have the handlebars cluttered up by a clamp.
The traditional method is to sit the bag on a rack and use a decaleur mounted to the stem or the rack which acts as a type of quick release. This method is a lot better as the weight of the handlebar bag is supported by the front rack which also places the weight as low as possible which helps with handling. The only advantage of the new style system is that the modern quick release system is very handy, a press of the red button locks or releases the bag. I decided to modify it to get the best of both worlds.
I searched for a while online to find this bag, it is the Rixen and Kaul daypack box, this is unique in that it has a polycarbonate frame which helps to keep it's shape. Traditional handlebar bags have stiffeners inside them to hold their shape, however in this design the quick release fittings attach directly to the frame which gives the bag good structural integrity.
The quick release fitting, known as Klickfix is fixed to the frame by four bolts. However the problem is that it sits too high to be able to be fixed to the backside of my Nitto rack. I went ahead and drilled some more holes lower down in the frame to move the mount down another 5cm or so.