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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
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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
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, having previously worked on Cycling Plus and What Mountain Bike magazines back in the day. He also writes about e-bikes for our sister publication ebiketips. He's won three mountain bike bog snorkelling World Championships, and races at the back of the third cats.