A frequent question we get is how or if the Sweetroll works with drop bars. This post will help to explain the setup.
First some basics, with drops you are limited in width but not so much in tire clearance. This is the opposite of mountain bike flat bars where width is basically limitless but clearance can be an issue. With that in mind, the size large Sweetroll works best with drops as you take advantage of the most volume in the narrow space. The large size is used in all the photos below to show maximum storage space, the smaller sizes will work similarly just be… smaller!
First – conventional road drops with STI levers:
A few things become clear – the offset mount of the sweetroll gives more room than you’d think at the lever hoods.
The key to all this is keeping the packed width of the sweetroll to a manageable size so it does not mess with your shifting. These next photos shows the STI lever swing-in. The small one is fine but the larger does brush bag when pushed all the way for a front ring upshift. Works fine with appropriate packing.
The second thing to keep in mind with sweetroll & drop bars is the end access. As the bag is designed for flat bars the dual end opening is a bit less than ideal for drops. It’s here again that the size large trumps the medium & small bags as the opening is bigger and overall lower than the smaller sizes. You don’t have a straight line for your arm to shove when trying to while it’s mounted to the bike. This is only really an issue if you are trying to access the bag during the ride. Simply popping the one or both of the top 2 mounting buckles enables the bag to swing free from the drops and you’re good to go.
Next are a few photos showing the large Sweetroll again (with LG Pocket) on the Salsa Woodchipper bars. This setup uses bar end shifters so the lever swing-in is not an issue.
Tons of hand clearance on top:
Overall, it’s a system originally designed for flat bars, but works well with various drop bars, you just need to be mindful of the packed width. The drops interfering with on the bike loading may or may not be much of a concern depending on personal preference on loading. If sleeping gear is stored then it’s a non-issue. If used for clothing layer changes during the day while on the bike then the side access is not as good as with flat bars.