Ostrich Handlebar Bag

Ostrich F-106 bag on Racktime Topit
Not precisely “handlebar” bags these Ostrich bags are supported on the platform of a front rack and secured at the top either to the handlebars or by a bracket known as a decaleur. In my opinion the advantages of this style of bag are several:
-The center of gravity is lower than a bag attached to and supported by the handlebars
-The bag is more accessible from the cockpit than panniers.
-An assortment of small pockets make it easy to find the small things you need
-A plastic covered map case is indispensable to the touring cyclist.
-Relatively easy to remove and carry when off the bike. Some come with shoulder straps.

Ostrich bag label

As of this writing their are two sizes of front Ostrich bags (Ostrich also makes a traditional style saddle bag and, I believe, rear panniers); the F-104 and the new, slightly larger F-106.

front view

The Ostrich F-104 (left) and the F-106

 

side view

The F-104 is slightly shorter than the F-106. Both are roughly the same depth.

 

rear view

The overall height of the bag and the position of the leather patches will help determine which size will fit best on you bike.

Determining which size bag will work best on a particular machine starts with knowing the distance from the top platform of the rack to the handlebars. The type of stem on the bike -threadless (Aheadset) or threaded (quill)- and, in some cases, the steer tube diameter – 1″ or 1 1/8″- will tell what type of decaleur to use. Gilles Berthoud decaleurs are available in six different configurations, and Velo Orange decaleurs in two. We carry all of them in the Bike Touring News Store and,as always, are here to help demystify.

The map case on the F-106 snaps on and off. On the F-104 it is affixed.

 

side stiffener pocket

A stiffener is inserted into pockets on either side so the bag maintains its shape. Another stiffener lays in the bottom.

 

decaleur side view

This shows the Velo Orange decaleur for 1 1/8″ threadless stems.

 

from the driver's seat

View from the driver’s seat. The metal bar of the decaleur can be strapped, as shown, or bolted to the bag through the holes on the end and through holes drilled through the bag at the leather patches.

I’ve always liked these bags. I’m a sucker for canvas duck and for the army green color. I like the robust, utilitarian feel and look of these and I think the details are well thought out. The relative voluminous capacities are nice too. When touring it seems as though I’m always looking for the extra pocket or for someplace to lash the rain jacket. These have been unavailable in the US for some time but I’m excited about being able to get them again.

UPDATE 2/19/2013
We will also be carrying the Ostrich Panniers
…..

BIke Panniers from Ostrich- Made in Japan!

….and the traditional style Ostrich S-2 Saddlebag...

ostrich saddle bags

Ostrich Saddlebag

MORE UPDATES! 3/15/2013
We now have the Gilles Berthoud rain covers which work nicely with the Ostrich F-106 and F-104 bags.

berthoud rain cover

The Gilles Berthoud rain cover for the *25* rando bags. Also fits for the Ostrich F-104 and F-106.

{ 4 comments… add one }

  • Sean February 19, 2013, 3:42 pm

    When I purchased my Ostrich handlebar bag (the F-104 model) a few years ago I neglected to purchase a rain cover for the bag. Do you anticipate offering a rain cover for these bags?

    Reply
  • Bike Hermit February 19, 2013, 5:45 pm

    Sean,
    I will attempt to convince my supplier to bring some in. Meanwhile I may get some of the Gilles Berthoud covers in and see how those fit.

    Reply
  • Tim November 8, 2013, 8:07 pm

    where can I buy these osterich bike bags? I have looked every where on line no one seems to want to sell them!

    Reply
  • Bike Hermit November 8, 2013, 9:29 pm

    Tim, We have them in stock at the Bike Touring News store.

    Reply

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