Bicycles

The Bag Buddy makes shopping on a bicycle less of a chore

The Bag Buddy is a simple handlebar clamp designed to make carrying shopping bags on a bicycle easier
The Bag Buddy is a simple handlebar clamp designed to make carrying shopping bags on a bicycle easier
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The 3D printed prototypes of the Bag Buddy put through their paces
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The 3D printed prototypes of the Bag Buddy put through their paces
A shopping trip with the Bag Buddy grips in place – more comfortable, less prone to accidents
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A shopping trip with the Bag Buddy grips in place – more comfortable, less prone to accidents
The finished Bag Buddy, with three different colors available
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The finished Bag Buddy, with three different colors available
The initial Bag Buddy concept sketch, which closely matches the final design
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The initial Bag Buddy concept sketch, which closely matches the final design
The Bag Buddy is a simple handlebar clamp designed to make carrying shopping bags on a bicycle easier
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The Bag Buddy is a simple handlebar clamp designed to make carrying shopping bags on a bicycle easier
The Bag Buddy as viewed from the side, showing how they leave plenty of room for a strong grip on the handlebars
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The Bag Buddy as viewed from the side, showing how they leave plenty of room for a strong grip on the handlebars
When not in use, the Bag Buddy can simply be clamped to the bicycle frame
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When not in use, the Bag Buddy can simply be clamped to the bicycle frame

The Bag Buddy is a simple device developed by industrial designer Nicholas Fjellberg Swerdlowe. He lives in Brooklyn, New York and regularly uses his bicycle to go grocery shopping – a practice that can be tricky if one's bike doesn't have racks or a basket. While Nicholas' product may not be a bicycle that turns into a shopping cart, it does reportedly make carrying bags on a bike safer and easier.

The main problem with hanging grocery bags over the handlebars is that they invariably swing into the front wheel. The Bag Buddy switches the orientation so that the bags will swing forwards and back rather than side to side (for the most part), thus preventing them from getting close to the spinning front wheel and potentially ripping open or even worse, causing an accident.

The Bag Buddy also helps increase the number and weight of the bags that can be carried. It is designed so that the weight of the bags – up to 30 pounds (13.6 kg) each side – tighten the grip on the handlebars. The Bag Buddy grips are small enough to sit on the end of the handlebars, allowing your hands to sit comfortably without plastic carrier bags getting in the way.

The Bag Buddy as viewed from the side, showing how they leave plenty of room for a strong grip on the handlebars
The Bag Buddy as viewed from the side, showing how they leave plenty of room for a strong grip on the handlebars

When not in use, you can either store the grips in a pocket or backpack, or clamp them to the frame. The video embedded below shows Swerdlowe discussing and demonstrating the Bag Buddy.

He has taken his creation to Kickstarter in order to raise US$20,000 for tooling and materials for the first production run. Pledges start at $5 for a sticker, with $20 getting you a pair of Bag Buddy grips – which is a steal if it prevents even one accident or lost bag of shopping.

Source: Kickstarter via Core77

31 comments
adamtx
That looks dangerous as hell, the weight would have to be equally distributed on each side. Also don't even think about making any sudden turns to avoid a pothole, animal or small child.
TheCapt
Hmm, not much different than what we did as kids - put the bags on the end of the handle and attach a giant binder clip. My friend used a large rubber band to hold them on. The problem with having them on the handles though is you have to balance them out and you tend to kick the bags with your knees. I think I'd rather just strap a milk crate to the front.
sascha.kremers
Ridiculous! The problem isn't how to get the bags on the handle bar. Heavy bags (2 x 13kg) on the handle bar give you bike a will of it's own. After driving around a corner or avoiding an obstacle the bags will be swinging around and you'll have massive problems keeping direction. I cannot see how these things will prevent any sideway swinging.
Alien
Carrying anything attached to the handlebars of a bike seems inherently dangerous to me. Even if attached securely, and roughly balanced at each side, shopping bags (e.g. plastic carriers as illustrated) will tend to swing with the motion of the cycle. This swing makes the weight of the contents, acting at the bottom of a bag act like a pendulum, making it more difficult to steer and also creating a varying force that can reduce stability, so increasing the risk of an accident. So, while this might appeal to the occasional shopping cyclist, regular bike riders will know better and will equip their cycles to carry such loads safely. Sorry but I see this invention as a dangerous option, to be avoided.
The Hoff
Dude, to start with get some canvass bags cause the wagging will break the bags and probably send your groceries flying. I suppose if you keep it low speed and you are athletic enough this might be an option but a rack or basket is a far better option. I don't buy that this orientation keeps the bag away from the wheel, gravity and inertia will not be changed by this. I see he has a bike without shifters and to create room for his hands he shoved the brakes so far inside that they are pointing forward because of the bend in the bars. Safer and easier? Just get a rack.
Chuck Anziulewicz
Why not just use your backpack? I always have my Dakine backpack on when I'm bicycling, and if I need a few things from the grocery store on the way home, I just park and lock my bike, and take my backpack into the store and buy what I need. It's comfortably balanced on my back for the rest of the ride home. These little "Bag Buddy" thingies, by comparison, make carrying groceries on your handlebars seem awfully unwieldy.
RaverWild
This seems cute, but it's a complete non-sense. I've tried once to put my groceries on the handlebars and just did 5 meters from the superstore door out on the parking lot and canceled when tried to avoid few cars - as you begin maneuvering and everything starts to flip like crazy. Doing it on a speed == suicide. Forget it. Just a "cute non-sense". Best solution for groceries: 1) Cycling panniers 2) Handlebar basket 3) Rack basket 4) Trailer (but this is too expensive) That's it. Proven. However I like the guy's enthusiasm.
davem2
Accident waiting to happen. Manufacturer would get sued sooner or later.
Slowburn
This guy prefers to suffer all the consequences of continuing with a bad idea rather admit that he had a stupid idea. I got less than 100 feet before stopping and figuring out how to hang the bags over my shoulders. Where does he shop that gives bags that you would trust to get you out of the parking lot?
Gethin Coles
Fine for noodles, but forget the milk
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