Now that bikepacking is popular, everyone is getting on the extra bags or long rides game. If you are a reformed (or unrepentant) fixie kid, that means you've got a track bike kicking around with no waterbottle mounts.
Enter the handlebar bag. Not only does it let you carry water or beer while busting sweet skidz, you can put it on your mountain bike on the weekend for some bikepacking action.
I have been a fan of what Godandfamous has been up to since I was busting sweet skidz on the reg myself, and I've had to delay this purchase for a while, but I finally caved (pun intended) and got the Roadrunner x Godandfamous Paincave Handlebar bag.
When I tore into the package, I was not only surprised to find a patch and stickers included (thanks!), but also was impressed at how well built this is. Handlebar bags like this aren't exactly uncharted territory, but this has some nice details.
It uses three straps to attach to your bike, and the velcro is ruin-your-kit sticky, so I never worry about this coming loose from my bars. It has a drawcord at the top, so if you want to really lock things in, you've got that option too. There's a nylon daisy chain sewn on the side, which I use to keep a carabiner on; that way I can take it off the bike and clip it to my pants for the always classy water-bottle holster look.
My only gripe with the design is that it will only mount on the right side if you want to use all three straps. You can put it on the left, but then you can't use the strap that secures it to the headtube. It still works, but it swings around a bit more.
In terms of size, its a bit on the long and skinny side, so I won't be using it to hold my Snowpeak Ti mug. Small loose items will fall to the bottom, where you will have to (pardon the pun again) dig deep to get at them. It fits just about any water bottle that fits in a standard bottle cage. I've also tested it with super-size beer cans and whipped cream as well.
I got this sucker in preparation for Devil's Backbone Mountain Cross; my gravel race bike has two bottle cages of course, but after a bad singlespeed-related dehydration bonk at Monstercross, I wasn't taking any chances. If it was going to be hot, I was determined to be hydrated.
It turned out not to be hot at all (in fact, I spent the last hour riding through a thunderstorm), so I ended up using it to keep all my snacks within easy reach. You can never have too many shot bloks or stroopwafels.
Throughout the whole race, the bag never rattled around, and I never had a problem getting stuff out of it when needed. Sure, I could have put this all in a jersey pocket, but when you're doing a gravel century, little things like weight on the back of your jersey start to get annoying after a while.
And lastly, but most importantly, the paincave emoji print is on point, and perfect for any bike that doubles as a personal torture machine.
Highly recommended, 4.5 out of 5 paincave emojis. Get it (and the matching cell phone pouch and saddle bag) at godandfamous. Tell 'em we sent you. You won't get a discount, and we don't get a commission or anything for it, but tell' em anyways.