On paper the Sportive bar bag looks like a good bet, compact and lightweight for a day ride. And it mostly lives up to expectations, but sadly the bracket is badly flawed and needs redesigning, which makes it hard to recommend.
The Sportive has a semi-hard construction in common with many bags, and the 600 Denier nylon shell is well put together with weatherproof zips. There's a map holder up top and you also get a clear GPS case, a phone holder, a carry strap and a rain cover. Inside the main compartment there's a padded pocket for a camera or phone and some lid pockets for odds and sods, and there's a legre pocket at the front of the bag too. The mount is a twin banded affair with a cable lock to stop the bag rotating round the bars.
The six litre capacity is about right for day riding, it swallowed a spare windproof and gloves, an inner tube, some wine gums, a mini pump and a malt loaf and there was room for keys and money in the top pocket and a camera in the padded one. I zipped it all up and set off, and I was glad I zipped it up as the second speed hump sent it cartwheeling down the road.
The plastic sprung lock on the mount isn't strong enough, and doesn't engage with a close enough tolerance, to stop the bag coming off when you hit a pothole or bump. I thought I'd just put it on wrong but even a cursory examination was enough to discover that it's really easy to dislodge. That spoilt the ride for a few miles until I realised that I could jam a stick into the mount and make it more secure and, happily, it worked a treat. however, as Avenir don't supply it with a stick I'm guessing they think the bracket is okay, and it's not.
Other than that it's a decent bar bag, and the other niggles – the map holder tends to flap up at the front at speed, and the plastic sub frame could do with being a bit stiffer – are more minor. But the mount ruins it, and it needs to be addressed for next year.
Good bag but poor mount spoils the package
road.cc test report
Make and model: Avenir Sportive bar bag
Size tested: 6L
Did you enjoy using the product? Yes apart from the one major flaw
Would you consider buying the product? not without a bracket rethink
Would you recommend the product to a friend? no
About the tester
Age: 36 Height: 190cm Weight: 98kg
I usually ride: whatever I\'m testing... My best bike is: Trek 1.5 with Ultegra 6700
I've been riding for: 10-20 years I ride: Every day I would class myself as: Experienced
I regularly do the following types of riding: time trialling, commuting, sportives, general fitness riding, fixed/singlespeed, mtb, Mountain Bike Bog Snorkelling, track
Dave is a founding father of road.cc and responsible for kicking the server when it breaks. In a previous life he was a graphic designer but he's also a three-time Mountain Bike Bog Snorkelling world champion, and remains unbeaten through the bog. Dave rides all sorts of bikes but tends to prefer metal ones. He's getting old is why.