Since I started looking into this whole “bikepacking” scene, the DIY webpages starting popping up more and more. I’m not really surprised, as purchasing bikepacking bags is an expensive investment that isn’t for everyone. There are now how-to tutorials on some pretty sophisticated pieces of gear (frame bags, top tube bags, saddle bags, and handlebar harnesses) , giving those daring enough to get the old sewing machine out a fighting chance at making some incredible gear.
The Cheapest Bikepacking Handlebar Harness on Earth
My friend Dylan and I have been looking into ultra-cheap options, that can be made by pretty much anyone with a needle and thread. We also used this as a stepping stone to potentially more complex projects… a very small and inexpensive stepping stone.
What you need:
- 3/4″ nylon webbing (4 feet total) 1 dollar
- 20mm tension lock buckle (x2) 50 cents each
- Spectra Fiber Thread (1 foot total) 1 dollar
- Sewing Needle (Are there different kinds?) 1 dollar
By now you might see where we are going with this… the best part about this super simple design is that it works! You can certainly go out to pretty much any store and buy some pre-made strapping yourself, but trust us, it feels really good to make something from scratch. It’s also cheaper this way as well.
How Dylan Did It:
Start by putting about 1.5 – 2 inches of webbing through the back part of the buckle and fold it back onto itself. Hold it in place with a pin, you want it as aligned as possible to impress those jokers you meet on the trail!
Ready your needle by threading the fishing line through the eye, pulling it so that the needle fits directly in the centre of the line. Then tie a series of knots, overhand or figure of eight, (it really doesn’t matter, we aren’t climbing a mountain here!) as long as the knot is big enough so that it won’t slip between the stitches of the webbing when you pull the needle tight through the other side.
Carefully stitch along all four sides, and go ahead and stitch an X in the middle to make sure that thing holds.
Finish by tying another knot to seal the deal and trim the excess thread. It’s super important to make sure this knot is as close to the webbing as possible to prevent the stitches from loosening.
Dylan and I both decided that adding a horizontal strap (or maybe shock cord) on the rider’s side of the harness, that loops around the head tube of the bike, would pull the load in nice and snug. Definitely an essential step for longer, multi-day trips.
So there you have it. Two ~23 year olds put together a bullet proof bikepacking handlebar harness in about 20 minutes, using materials you can get from a store in your town, give it a shot!