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Sweet Cycle's Review of the Handlebar Jack Tool Pack
"Thanks for tuning in, today we will be reviewing The Handlebar Jack tool pack bicycle saddleback.
Handlebar Jack broke into the cycling scene with their innovative and cleaver bicycle handlebar jacks. These simple tripods attach to each side of your handlebar and allows you to flip your bike over and do repairs at home or on the road. It’s a really cleaver design, accept the question, how are you supposed to carry these. The answer to that is a new tool pack which is a roll up saddle bag with compartments specifically designed to hold the handlebar jack as well as other accessories such as the saddle jack which is a little fabric cover for your saddle. Now you can purchase all these separately or as a bundle as we’ve shown here, but on this video, we are going to focus on the tool pack itself. In terms of packaging its very simple we just have a cardboard backing attached to the Velcro straps basic specs printed on there and you can see uses US materials and assembled in Mexico. So go ahead take this off and go over specs. Retail price on this is $74.95, again you can get it a little bit cheaper if you buy it as a bundle. This is a roll up saddle bag so you can see fabric construction that compresses or easily expands depending on how much stuff you are carrying it has as three storage pouches with zippered pockets as well as a separate mesh one, so plenty of storage space. You also have a taillight clip on the rear and this nice reflective strip that goes around, so a lot of versatility. It’s constructed of a water repellant nylon fabric so you can see its meant to be durable and be all weather. Nothing comes with it; you don’t get any of the accessories you have to purchase all those separately. you just get the saddle back and all the velcro and attachment points are directly built into the saddle bag itself.
Fit and Finish
The Handlebar Jack tool pack utilizes a compact and attractive tool roll fabric construction. Compared to bulky hard-shell saddle bags this means the tool pack is smaller and sleeker as it actually compresses down when empty and can easily expand when you have more tools. The exterior of this is only available in this one color, black finish. You have the Handlebar Jack logo in orange on top and then a nice reflective strip that goes all the way around the sides that keeps you visible during the night. Otherwise very understated design with this fabric construction. What I like about fabric construction is that is a nice texture, so, you can actually see the fabric, texture is very obvious on here and gives it a sleeker look. In terms of attaching it to your bike you use these velcro straps. You have two straps, one of each side and that goes around on each of your rails. So, if you have a rail here and there, it goes up and around and as you can see its very long so it can accommodate different bikes. You have these fabric loops built directly in so you can easily adjust this back and forth as needed. Then a third attachment point around your actual seat post so you can wrap this around and that gives you a little extra security, so this goes through the buckle and around the back. Now with the saddle roll design the one downside to this is you can not access this while its on the bike, you actually have to remove it as all the pockets are in the interior. So, you want to remove from the bike you have to take it off and unroll it. You can see once its unrolled that reveals the four storage pockets, have three zippered ones, as you can see nice and long and again these are specifically designed for the Handlebar Jacks, they’ll fit right in here and you can also put any other tools. So nice and wide and about equally sized. You also have this zippered fourth pocket, so for smaller items you can easily put that here which is money, keys. There is plenty of storage in here, fairly small storage bag not bulky as other ones as you really limited to these sizes so if you have a bigger tool obviously it won’t fit, but smaller compact tools will usually fit in here, smaller snacks and other things are a good option.
Then when you’re done with it you simply zip up each of the zippers and then roll it up again. That’s what’s really nice about these roll up designs that they just, they’re very compact especially if you don’t have to carry a lot of stuff, they compress it down. There are two plastic buckles that compress the actual saddleback so you can see theses are adjustable, they even have little straps here to hold the extra length of the strap which is a nice feature and then reattach it to your actual bike. Again, you have that reflective stripe and the nice clip here so this is great if you have a rear bike radar or taillight as you can just slide it on there.
On the Bike
Now let’s take a look at the Tool Pack on the bike. Installation is pretty straightforward; you just have a couple Velcro straps the hardest part is just rounding it through your saddle rails once you have each one routed through you just pull it down so its nice and secure and the attach the Velcro to the bottom. Its’ pretty easy to determine the orientation on this because you have that front strap as well, so you want to keep the logo on the top and then the front seat post strap obviously next to the seat post and you have the nice reflective strip going all the way around. To remove it from your bike is equally easy obviously just do the reverse order when you want to remove the strap so take off the seat post. Then take it off the saddle rails. Now obviously you have to actually take it off the bike to do anything with it, you can’t access any of the pockets that’s just one downside to the roll-up design. Nothings really accessible until you unroll it. On the inside you have these four pockets and here you can see the Handlebar Jack fits perfectly. It has this nice magnetic design, and they fold into each other. You can see the nice tripod design so it’s pretty cool, they’ve made this the perfect length to fit this. So, if you already have the Handlebar Jack this is a great tool bag to have or saddlebag to use it with. Even if you don’t have it, you can see you can fit other tools in here, nice big pockets as well as tubes with the multi-pocket design. The width is the limiting factor here so obviously I couldn’t fit another tube in the same pocket, you’d have to put one in each and anything really wide obviously it wouldn’t really fit here, but for most bike things, things are pretty compact, so it fits well. Each one’s zippered and secure so nothing’s falling and everything’s in a separate compartment. You also have that mesh pocket which is nice so for small things like tools or money, its easily visible and accessible. So, you can see our little Topek multi-tools fits in there really well. The only really downside we found that saddlebag is the fact that the taillight clip doesn’t really work that well because of the way it’s designed. It’s not that taut so you can see the tail, it kind of flops around and instead of being horizontal it’s tilted downward which is one downside.
This vs That
Now let’s compare the Handlebar Jack tool pack with other saddlebags on the market. First one we have here is the Topeak Burrito pack you can see a very similar size. It’s a little bit smaller than the Handlebar Jack but very similar construction. It has this fabric construction which has this different texture to it you can see it looks pretty cool with these yellow embroidery on the edges. Instead of buckles Topeak uses just an elastic strap and that’s what compresses the bag together a little bit quicker to put on and off but doesn’t expand quite as much as the actual straps would. You don’t have any reflective detailing on the ToPeak though which is a nice feature of the Handlebar Jack. With the Topeak you have a single attachment point, you have that one velcro strap because of that smaller size it holds it in place fairly well. So, you open that up, pull the elastic off and then you can see it’s different interior shape so with the topic it’s a roll-up design with three compartments, but they’re all compressed within one overlapping pocket. So, this nice cover keeps everything in place then you have this bright yellow interior that makes it very obvious what you have in here. This would have been one nice feature of the Handlebar Jack, this black on black makes it hard to find things so if you have a small item in here it’s really hard to find especially if it’s black as well while this high visibility yellow lets you see all the way in the bottom and ensure you have everything you need. The limiting factor with the Topeak though is that every item in here is limited to about that space while The Handlebar Jack is a little bit wider and win the zippered pocked design you can actually expand this slightly a little bit more versus the Topeak which would be bulkier. Again, the Topeak does have the nicer feature such as embroidery and then high visibility color. The other option is the KOM Cycling so they have an Atop dial which is pretty cool so rather than using a Velcro strap you actually have a dial just like you have on your shoes. This goes on a little hook so if we pull that out you can see then two Velcro straps on each side or one that goes around to compress it down and then it opens up. So similar to the Topeak it has more of this overlapping pocket design, so you flip it open and then three compartments versus the four compartments with individual zippers on The Handlebar Jack. It’s a little bit different design and again you’re limited to about that height that width for anything you put on the KOM, and you can see this is black on black, so you can’t really see inside, you have to go check and feel what’s in there. The exterior though does look cool, you have this almost honeycomb fabric texture to it and obviously the atop dial is really cool feature. So, when you’re done with it you simply compress it down and you flip this around put it on the hook and then just like your shoes you just dial it in. So very simple and effective design. It is smaller again than The Handlebar Jack, so it fits a little bit more compact, a little bit shorter and little bit less wide.
Now let’s go over the pros and cons for the Tool Pack. What we like about it is as a multi-pocket design, so each item is in a separate compartment. You don’t have to go searching for things it also has a roll-up design which will look sleep and modern so it compresses down when it’s empty and it can expand if you have more items in it. We also appreciate the reflective stripe on the outside which ensures you’re visible during the day and night. Some of the cons for this Tool Bag is the fact that it has a fully black interior, so it doesn’t have a high visible interior like we’d like, which means it’s hard to see what’s inside there. So, you have to actually look in there or use a light if you had to. Also, the taillight clip doesn’t really support lights that well there’s nothing below it so your taillight may be angles downward depending on the shape of the light. Taking everything into account would give the Tool Pack an 8.9 out of 10. It’s a sleek multi-compartment roll up saddle bag that’s great for storing the Handlebar Jack or any other tools you have.
Thanks for watching this review, don’t forget to like and subscribe. You can see more content from us on our website at thesweetcyclists.com as well as follow up on Instagram at @TheSweetCyclist. This is The Sweet Cyclist reminding you to enjoy the ride!"