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Transports a bottle of wine — which is arguably classier than a six-pack of beer

Gradually, more and more cycling accessories and gadgets are becoming booze-friendly. The Timbuk2 Sunset Handlebar bag ($79) is one of them—only it transports a bottle of wine which is (arguably) a lot classier than a six-pack of beer.

If that isn’t a sign of progress, or of gear manufacturers listening to their customers, then I don’t know what is!

What I like

  • Attaches to the handlebar via two leather belt buckle-style straps. They’re eye-catching and keep the bag securely attached to the handlebars. (Note: if you have a bell, light, computer, you may have to move things around).

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    If your handlebar has a light, bell and computer, you may need to move things around

  • Main zippered compartment. It’s roomy, the zipper is sturdy and durable (and glove-friendly) and allows fast and easy access to bag’s contents when on the bike.
  • Smaller internal zipper
    ed pocket.
    Great for holding keys or wine bottle opener. 
  • Leather handle transforms bag into a purse. When I go off on my long urban rides, I normally make several stops along the way—brew pubs, coffee shops, café’s, etc. It’s much more convenient to detach the handlebar bag then to 1) carry a purse or 2) lug a larger pannier or 3) detach the Timbuk2 Sunset Rack Trunk.

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    Nice leather handle transforms handlebar bag into purse (with a bottle of wine sticking out)

  • You’re not limited to carrying just wine, you know. You can carry tools, wallet, phone, snacks, spare tube, the list is endless.
  • Great conversation starter #1. Random stranger outside Angry Catfish Cyclery: “Cute handlebar bag. Looks like it could hold a bottle of wine—wait! It is holding a bottle of wine!”
  • Great conversation starter #2. Random cyclist locking up his bike at Surly Tap Room: “Love the purse! It looks like it could hold a growler of Darkness during Darkness season.” (Note: When Darkness season comes this fall I’ll be putting that to the test.)
  • It’s unique. It just is.
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It does lose it’s wine-bottle shape when it’s carrying a bottle of wine

Little Nuances of which to be aware when Transporting Wine

  • It only stays round and perfect on your handlebar until you add a bottle of wine or fill it with weighty objects. Then it just kind of sags into another handlebar bag. I think in future iterations, Timbuk2 should add something that retains its round structure.
  • Keep in mind that whatever liquid-filled objects you carry, they will still jiggle and jostle as you ride over rough trail or bumps. I found out the hard way carrying a couple of beers enroute to a Memorial Day picnic in the park.

    Not for carrying just wine! It carries beer, too

  • If you carry a bottle of a wine and a wine bottle opener together you will hear the continuous Clink! Clink! Clink! when riding over bumps or rough path. Just wrap the wine bottle in a cute little lightweight tea towel. There’s a small internal zippered pocket you could also use to stash the opener but mine didn’t fit.

An Observation in Search of a Low- or Zero-priority Answer

There are two ways in which to enter this bag. The first is via the main zipper compartment with a very high-quality, heavy-duty zipper. This makes it a cinch to access the bag from your bike without opening the flap.

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“Multiple access points for your convenience!”

The second way is via two snaps on the leather straps on the bottom of the bag. Augmenting this is a zippered flap that, when unzipped, creates a wider space to insert a bottle of wine or whatever you’re carrying.

I have no idea why the second entry method is needed other than Timbuk2 just wanting to say, “Multiple access points for your convenience!”  It’s faster and easier to just dive in from the main zipper. Regardless if the flap is open or closed, you’re still going to easily get your bottle of wine or cargo in and out.

Final thoughts

Handlebar bags are not a new concept to cycling accessories. But one that holds a bottle of wine? Now that’s something cool with a dash of quirk! I am in love with this bag because it’s unique and it’s useful. It also makes a fantastic gift for the wine-loving cyclist in your life. Father’s Day is coming up, yo.

It’s also backed by Timbuk2’s lifetime warranty which means you’re guaranteed to have many years of biking and wine ahead of you no matter what environmental or political disaster the Universe dishes up.

  • Timbuk2
    This Timbuk2 satchel is perfect for little adventures in the big city. ; Main compartment with top flap and magnetic closure. ; Internal padded pocket is perfect for mini tablets or smartphones. ; Premium liner fabric. ; Faux-leather accents. ; Padded grab handle. ; Adjustable shoulder strap. ; Imported. Measurements: ; Bottom Width: 11 in ; Depth: 5 in ; Height: 11 in ; Strap Length: 51 in ; Strap Drop: 20 1 2 in ; Handle Length: 6 in ; Handle Drop: 1 in ; Weight: 1 lb 2.4 oz ; This product may have a manufacturer's warranty. Please visit the manufacturer's website or contact us at for full manufacturer warranty details.
    $59.99  from 6pm.com
  • Timbuk2
    You've got a big day ahead of you: first stop, some fresh air in the park with your four-legged adventure partner, then a wander through the farmer's market to pick up some fresh veggies and organic dog treats, with maybe a fruity smoothie to beat the heat. After a quick stop at home to drop your furry pal off, you're heading back out to scour the flea market with a friend for some one-of-the-kind finds. Your relaxing morning spent cruising around on your steel commuter will be all the more pleasurable if you're equipped with a pannier that can keep up with your full day, and Timbuk2's Sunset Pannier is more than prepared for the job. Designed to function as a pannier on the bike and an easy-to-carry tote when you're walking around, the washed canvas bag easily fits up to a 15-inch laptop in addition to your flea market finds, and it comes with an additional strap so you can convert it into a crossbody messenger bag if that's more your style.
    $149.00  from Backcountry
  • Timbuk2
    Riding to work is a joy, but it's even better if you don't have to sling your gear over your back on the way there; instead, slip it all into Timbuk2's Sunset Frame Bag, a sleek, briefcase-style bag that works as well off the bike as it does on. Belt buckle attachment straps lash the Sunset securely onto virtually any frame, and the carry handle makes it easy to take it into a meeting when you have to leave your riding pleasures at the door. Timbuk2 integrates a zippered pocket into the top of the Sunset, making it easy to stash your keys, phone, and wallet for quick access. Internal organizers provide a more permanent space for electronics, pens, and maybe a snack or three.
    $99.00  from Backcountry