stories • happenings • adventures

March 10, 2021

Sweetrolls and Drop Bars

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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 15L Sweetroll works best with drops as you take advantage of the most volume in the narrow space. The 11L works great too, just a little smaller in diameter at 6.25 in / 15.9 cm. Both sizes have the same maximum length of 22 in / 56 cm, but in this case the maximum length will actually be determined by your drop bars and the space you need to create to use your shifters.

This is the 15L Sweetroll shown on a Salsa Fargo.

The Sweetroll uses foam spacers to offset the bag from the handlebars. This style of mounting provides room for your cables as well as adds additional room for your levers to function and also leaves plenty of hand clearance.

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. 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.

15L next to 11L for size comparison.

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 15L trumps the smaller size as the opening is bigger and overall lower than the smaller size. 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 one or both of the top 2 mounting buckles enables the bag to swing free from the drops and you’re good to go.

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 a little trickier but the Manta flap with bungee makes the perfect place for a quick to grab layer!