Homemade front bag?

Anyone made their own bag for the front end?

Looked at Swift and Ocean Air Cycles bags and while they look the goods, they don’t look like they’d do the job I think I need, which is to replace the Topeak MTX Drybag from the rear MTX seatpost rack I currently use. It only fits my work laptop (a once a week portage) in if I forgo the weatherproof rolltop folding over. Other duties would be hauling a change of clothes/dirty clothes/towel a couple of times a week and maybe a bottle of red/sixer on the way home.

Seeing a BOGear dufflay on the front end of another users bike started me thinking about a fit for purpose bag made by myself that’d sit onto a Nitto Marks rack, slipping over the loop and just velcro around the handlebars for easy removal. The Topeak fits within the width of the Salsa Cowbell 2 44cm bars I have, so I can use it’s size for a guide.

Corflute and zipties

I’ve been thinking of sewing straps onto the back of my Chrome messenger bag so I can strap it to my Soma rack. It fits perfectly, but I have to use a cargo net to hold it in place.

What Zach said. And if the laptop is an infrequent tote, don’t build your bag around it, unless it’s a small 11" job.

JLN: ortlieb rails

Can you elaborate further? I was thinking something like the Chrome duffle and ILE bags have, just two straps that have buckles to hold onto the rack rails.

To make a box? How weatherproof is that for us in Summer here in Brisbane? Had already thought of using corflute as a stiffener, maybe for base or sides.

Nah it’s one of the those typical corporate Lenovo jobbies, a T410 unit IIRC, 372.8mm x 245.1mm x 35.8mm (max).

Still liking the idea of making my own bag. Spose it’s the challenge of it.

Yeah to make the shape, won’t be waterproof but x-pac / cordura is, ripstopbytheroll.com sells everythaang or maybe sus a local supplier, if you aint got a sewing machine maybe use seam sealing tape (man DuPont is the IG Farben of today)

How weatherproof is a typical rando bag? Not waterproof.

Chrome duffel is a rolltop and fully welded seams, but needs a rack the size of the soma porteur to support it properly. An m12 or so is too small.

Waterproof and infrequent… Tubus fly and a small waterproof pannier or just a waterproof backpack.

I have an xl swift and it can’t take an a4 item without flexing it. Even diagonally I think it either won’t fit or be super tight and protrude above the top of the bag.

Your dry bag might fit between the bars, but will it let the shifters operate?

Have a sewing machine in the house and IIRC an overlocker too.

Front pannier and rack is option 2. Trying to avoid backpacks due to hating a sweaty back for commuting.

Won’t know if the shifters operate with the drybag size until I buy some of the hydro ones and check. It is something I know I need to check.

may even try this myself. But here’s a pretty good step-by-step with patterns for making your own


Good find Lachlan, cheers for that.

Yeah, that homemade jobbie looks really great. Wonder if I can talk my mum into possibly destroying her sewing machine to make me one. The beauty of home-made is you can get the exact height/width you want, which is appealing to me.

Did you get a haulin colin rack too heavymetal? Are they 10x10"?

Can’t remember exactly, but yeah, I’ve got one coming. The limiting factor for bag width is the sweep of the Shimano hydroshakes. My initial experiments show that 42cm bars and my ILE rackbag won’t quite be compatible. I’ve got some 44s to try, and can always go to 46cm cowbells if needed.

Sirkev has measured the sweep on his hydroshake Colin swift combo already. Paging…

Spotlight at Springwood QLD had all #onpoint camo fabrics marked down to $4/m a few weeks ago. It’s a seems semi waterproof with a screen printed? backing. Might be good for your bag (click for big image).

I made a little tool and tube jersey pouch as a test run. My hobby sewing machine handled the fabric and velcro so next will be a DIY bag.

that’s awesome dan. Would be keen to try and do that too.

Yep that’s great.
I’m keen to try to make my own camera case for the bike ala Porcelain Rocket’s Mini Slinger.

I forgot a zip bag for my phone yesterday’s CX race. I poured water over the pouch and it was repelled completely, splash resistant at least.

This pouch is super simple one piece of fabric, next up is a belt mounted version with top flap to close it up for a friend. Watch out Dave, WOSM (winter of sewing machines) has begun.

Swung past Spotlight yesterday and went material hunting, found Aus Camo and Aus Desert Camo in a bunch of different materials, some very thin and synthetic and some very canvas like, one Auscam looked like it even had a coating on the non printed side that’d help with weather proofing.

Food for thought.