Top tube bags?

Got some longer gravel rides/races coming up and thinking to add a too tube bag for an aero and practical way of storing food and bits.
What’s the recommendations from the community?
I don’t have bolt bosses (Ribble CGR SL) so need strappy types, and preferably one that doesn’t need loads of spacers under the handlebars.


1 Like

apidura racing. sturdy shape, easy access, waterproof. one of my favourite piece of kit.


I’m not a gravel racer, but I really appreciate the Apidura TTB/bento box. It has two main benefits over the rest: a large opening which makes putting/grabbing stuff far easier, and the magnetic closure.

Regarding the steerer tube strap: you may want to consider a TTB stabilizer: Top Tube Bag Stabilizers: Are they worth it? -


Alternative option: use a bag made for bottle cage mount and a bottle cage mount adapter. I have a zefal one that strap my bottle cage so securely that even a full 800ml stainles steel water bottle wouldn’t move. And it is strapped on my trail bike that see much more hairy stuff than your gravel bike will ever see.

1 Like

That’s what I had my eye on, glad to hear Recomended


Bottle cage mount adapter as in the metal like jubilee clips that go around frame tube?
My top tube is carbon and not round, which would worry me to clamp to.
Or do you mean something else?

The one I have is made of silicone like material straps and wouldn’t damage a carbon frame. A quick look at their website showed me it doesn’t seem to be sold anymore though.

What brand is it? Or do you have photo? I can then look for equivalent

I thought it was from Zefal but it is from Decathlon:

Btwin universal bottle cage mount

Only thing you need to make sure if you aren’t using the provided bolts is to not insert longer than it is designed for otherwise your bolts will dig into the frame. So first the fitment between the bag need to be tested out of the frame and spacer might be needed if probided bolts are too long. Or use the bolts provided with the adapter if needed.

1 Like

Does it need to be waterproof? Padded? I’m mostly happy with my apidura racing top tube flappy Pack. However, i bought the 1l and can’t help but hit the bag when standing and pedaling. There’s a 0.5l version but it does not fit my cell phone, so it’s out too. Decathlon makes a similar version for only €20 and it even uses the same magnetic closure.


I have the Bontrager Adventure top tube bag. Comes with velcro straps. Fits an iphone 11 (tho probably won’t fit larger Max sizes). Green interior lining so you have a little contrast. Affordable.

The 1L apidura racing looks like it could be the badger, maybe I’ll try find a retailer to see how it sizes on my bike though.
The magnetic flap feels like a much more sensible solution to me than pulling on a zip that could shift on the bike and be a pain to open/close. (I’m imagining opening closing a zip on my coat with just one hand)

Good idea. The top tube on my Santa Cruz is flat so the bag fits nicely. Come to think of it now I want to check the fit on my steel tourer.

Many top tube bags are marketed as waterproof but water tends to find an ingress through the zipper, even fully sealed ones. The apidura style is one of very few that gets around this with the flap.

many have ring pull zippers so it’s pretty easy

I’m sure Apidura’s model is as good as their other products, but for what is essentially a glorified pouch strapped behind a stem I’ve just bought this one on Wiggle for less than 20€

It’s sturdy, not too large so my thighs don’t rub against it. And it is fully waterproof, a feature I did not mind at first buy really saved my wallet on one occasion

Enjoy your gravel!

Can you do a quick test? Can you hold the bag under a shower head to simulate rain and see if water gets in? I tested several waterproof bags and found that the only ones which are rain proof are the floppy tops. Unfortunately fully sealed zippers generally do not work if there is a bend in them.

1 Like

What about a small frame pack? A little more storage room, just as aero as a top tube bag and no worry about your knees hitting it when standing and pedalling. I use the Apidura Race and have no issues using it one handed while riding…

I did consider a too tube bag, my worry being my frame triangle isn’t massive, and I don’t want to obstruct my bottle.

As an old roadie and a keeper of the cog (tongue firmly in cheek here!) I just cannot countanance strapping some container to my bike, especially not on the top tube. I’ll just stuff it in my pockets, thanks! Why do gravel bikes suddenly make these abominations acceptable? Hell, even frame builders are in on it with their top tube bosses. Have you no shame!?


I thought I was the same, but with the extra weight of items I’d like on a long ride (mainly nutrition) I’d be much comfier not having it in my bulging jersey (which already has my raincoat etc.)