The Texrex™ Handlebar Harness and Dry Bag is a minimalist pack system for clothing and a sleeping bag on bikepacking trips. The harness fits both mountain and gravel bikes, securely holding the dry bag in place on the bumpiest of sections. The design went through several iterations and we’re chuffed with the outcome. See description below and works with the Flatty Handlebar Pouch.
Dry Bag, R482.00
The harness is constructed from durable and lightweight XPAC fabric, reliable hardware and stitching is reinforced at high stress points.
We’re using 20mm non-slip webbing on handlebar attachment points. The high density foam spacers (4 per side) create an offset for cable routing and hand positioning. You could get away with 2 foam spacers per side if tyre clearance is an issue – see “Fit & Dimensions” for more info. The straps can easily be substituted for Voile straps or G3 ski straps.
A round tubing brace (aluminium) connects the handlebar attachment points to each other for a significant improvement in stability. The brace (not shown on images) is located below the XPAC fabric.
The harness is supplied with a head tube protector. This is an industry first (to the best of our knowledge). The outer face is constructed from abrasion resistant XPAC and the inner is a grippy tarpaulin textile. Some bikes have head tube badges which can wreck havoc on bags. And vice versa; bags abrade paintwork on the head tube. The 170x130mm protector panel attached by bungee cord is our problem solver.
Two adjustable bungee cords looped over the fork crown keep the system from swaying forward over bumpy terrain. This may seem minimalist but it works exceptionally well.
Field replaceable hardware on the harness. The side release buckles and bungee cords are replaceable in minutes without sewing should anything go wrong.
There are lash tabs and points on the harness designed to accept 20mm webbing. We use these to attach our Flatty Handlebar Pouch.
We make 3 dry bag sizes (consult “Fit & Dimensions” for more info):
– MTB 13L Dry Bag, 205g
– MTB 9L Dry Bag (for limited tyre clearance on small frames), 190g
– Gravel bike 10L Dry Bag, 185g
The dry bags are constructed in a mid weight black waterproof fabric (10 000mm water head) and there’s a roll closure on either end. The single flat seam along the length of the bag is taped (on the inside) for added water protection. The bag’s interior will remain dry in wet weather when correctly closed. We don’t recommend river crossings though and we’d be happy to help with a custom bag for such endeavours.
The bag’s shape is cylindrical which is ideal for the application. Big brand dry bags are often oval in cross-section and dimensions may be unsuitable.
Inside is a bright yellow liner. The liner fabric is slippery, a useful feature when stuffing clothing and soft items into the bag. The liner also protects the waterproof coating which would otherwise be exposed on the bag’s inside.
All dimensions are nominal and in millimetre (mm).
Harness dimensions are such that the dry bag is protected from chaffing at the head tube and fork crown.
The harness handlebar attachment points are 150mm apart (centre to centre).
The minimum tyre clearance (T) required is measured from top of tyre to the handlebar’s centre as indicated. Important note: on suspension forks the tyre clearance must be checked in the “bottomed out” position.
Mountain Bike 13L Dry Bag
560L x 180Dr
Minimum tyre clearance (T) required: 270
Mountain Bike 9L Dry Bag (for limited tyre clearance on small frames)
560L x 145D
Minimum tyre clearance T required: 230
Gravel bike 10L Dry Bag
400L x 180D
Minimum tyre clearance T required: 270
About centre of gravity and bike handling. The optimum position for a handlebar mounted bag is directly below the bar and as far back as possible. I’m not a huge fan of rigid harness systems that tilt the bag up and forward.
Hand positions. I like that our harness makes a minimal intrusion on precious handlebar space.
A loosely packed dry bag won’t be stable. Pack the dry bag tight and stick to soft compressible items. It’s okay to pack 1 – 2 odd items padded between clothing but don’t overdo it and keep the load balanced. Pack the dry bag from the top with a closed end resting on the floor.
I like that the dry bag is quick to remove and refit. Take it into your tent or the B&B. The routine at the start and end of the day is so much easier.
Dual closure – I pack clothing layers for the day’s ride at bag ends. For example; warm gloves, a beanie and leg warmers on the left. And a mid layer on the right. I prefer to keep rain gear elsewhere.