Handlebar Bag a la Frite

I’ve seen Rickshaw Bagworks’s sweet little Pipsqueak handlebar bag at bike expos, and on their website, but features that others love weren’t going to work for me (or for Basil, my Brompton bicycle).

rsps3The Pipsqueak is infinitely variable, colorwise, if one emails the company and requests other hues, and it has other great features, too.  Unfortunately, the straps aren’t optimized for a Brompton bicycle* (shocking, I know); the bag’s too small for my humongous phone or its even more humongous case; I wanted buckles instead of snaps on the straps; and I wanted a buckle closure instead of hook-and-loop.


So I made my own version.  (This is the curse of getting used to making things oneself:  Really, it’s easier to order online!)


It’s the “frite” bag, because it bears a strong resemblance to the paper carton French fries are often served in.

I hand-drew the pattern to the dimensions I needed, and then cut the bag out of black Cordura, and a lining of yellow ripstop nylon. (My Frite bag is taller than the Pipsqueak, and quite a bit thinner, front to back.)  Then I added a Cordura pocket on the inside for Basil’s cards.

fb-pkHere it is, partially assembled.  That’s the card pocket on the inside; you can see the buckle closure at the right.  The edges are bound in polyester twill tape.

The Pipsqueak can be worn as a belt bag, using the handlebar straps.  I almost never wear belts but I did need a loop to grab when the bag isn’t on Basil, so I added one to the top, incorporating it into the straps.

fb-st In theory, my bag could be worn on a belt, too, but those buckles wouldn’t be nearly as comfortable as Rickshaw’s snap loops.

Here’s another view of the bag, with the handlebar straps, grab loop, an embroidered patch, and the front buckle attached.


I made several mistakes:  I wish the patch were about a quarter inch lower, and I probably should have made sure that the buckles opened the opposite way.  Then there’s this:  I haven’t road-tested it yet, so that list may grow.  But, all in all, not bad for a couple hours of evening amusement.


For those with better things to do, the Pipsqueak looks like a great value, and involves much less fussing.

*Due to the cabling on Basil’s M (Brompton) handlebars, one attachment strap on this bag is longer than the other; using the buckles made it adjustable.  Snap closures would be trickier in this instance.  Cables are, of course, a very different matter on a folding bicycle like a Brompton than they are on other two-wheeled creatures.

7 replies on “Handlebar Bag a la Frite”

How could it not have been great. Mme. Diarist and I, along with Dr. D, rode together for a few miles.

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