I recently reviewed Chrome’s Helix bar bag, you can find out what I thought about it here. They also sent me their Double track bar bag at the same time and as it’s difficult to run two bags at the same time the review for this one has taken a little longer, especially as i wanted to give it as thorough a test as I did the Helix.
The doubletrack is a 9″ High (fully extended) 9″ Wide and 4.5″ Deep bag made of cordura type material with a polyester lining. The bag will hold 5L of stuff. On the inside there are also two mesh pockets and on the outside there are two easy access side pockets. There is a strip of webbing above each of these outside pockets which form a daisy chain of attachment points. To attach the bag to your bike there are two sturdy velcro straps and a quick release head tube stabilizing strap. The bag closure is of a roll top type with a magnetic clasp. As with the helix bag the doubletrack also converts to what chrome describe as a Sling, which I’d call a shoulder bag.
Carrying Capacity The Doubletrack bag is a little bit bigger than the previously tested helix so I was able to get all sorts of stuff in it. it has had the usual packable waterproof jacket, food, multitool, Gopro, Phone and tubeless repair kit for rides in it regularly but I’ve also been utilising the shoulder bag function by using it to commute to work. So on work days it has had a sandwich box, a collapsible bike lock, my ID cards as well as the packable jacket. In fact the roll top closure means you can cram quite a lot of stuff inside, probably more than it was designed for. The velcro and quick release stabiliser mean that attaching it and removing it from the bike is very easy and so I’ve become more and more used to riding to work with it on the bars, removing it and taking it to my locker and then taking it out to eat lunch in the park or going to the shops with it.
Ride report my concern with the Doubletrack was with the extra size over the helix and the chance that the extra size would mean I over packed it and the stability and steering of the bike would be affected. If you’ve ever ridden back from the local shop with a carrier bag of goodies on one side of the handlebars you’ll know the steering issues with an overloaded bar can bring. I know the doubletrack is in the middle but any sort of side to side movement or swing can give a detrimental effect especially over rough ground.
Well my fears were a complete non starter, even overloaded and made to be deliberately top heavy, the bag properly attached was rock solid. no side to side movement and no vertical “jiggle” either. The magnetic fastener was a breeze to open and close even while riding. Closing it just meant getting the two halves near to each other and then letting the magnet do its thing & this became my favourite thing to do! it’s so satisfying. Even though it was easy to open it stayed firmly closed even when the bag was full. You can also cinch it right down when the bag is empty too keeping everything neat.
Chrome do not claim the bag to be waterproof, and rightly so after all there’s a big opening at the top that just uses the roll over nature of the design to keep the elements out but after being caught in a few rain storms the contents always remained dry, just make sure when you roll the bag over you don’t create a “well” for water to collect as when you open the bag that water will find its way inside.
I’ve done quite a few day rides with the doubletrack and it is perfect for that with just enough room for the things you need for rides for when you are not too far from civilisation, such as cheese sandwiches and cake! i haven’t had the chance to try it but pair the bike with other bags for a light bike packing trip and it’ll stand up to some abuse as the materials are of a real high quality and look like they will last the test of time.
Is the double track the perfect bar bag? this is difficult to judge as riders have so many variables as to what they want out of a bag but there aren’t many downsides. I’d maybe like to see a daisy chain webbing section across the front if even just to add a small LED light to stay visible and not really a drawback but I’d like to see some colour options rather than the black. Other than that it’s pretty spot on. I’d expected to like the helix bag more just judging on first impressions but now I’ve tried both I’d go for the doubletrack every time.
The Chrome Doubletrack Bar Bag would be an excellent addition to your bikes carrying capacity, it’s compact but can carry more stuff than its size suggests and the added shoulder/sling versatility is just icing on the cake.
you can find out more details on the Chrome website here
As with all my tests, this is a real world review. I’m not sponsored and I’m just an average rider like most of you reading this. companies sometimes send me things to test but i always let them know it will be an honest review good or bad