Like this site? Help us to make it better.


Topeak Tour Guide compact bar bag



Great little bag needing wider choice of shims and hardware

At every product is thoroughly tested for as long as it takes to get a proper insight into how well it works. Our reviewers are experienced cyclists that we trust to be objective. While we strive to ensure that opinions expressed are backed up by facts, reviews are by their nature an informed opinion, not a definitive verdict. We don't intentionally try to break anything (except locks) but we do try to look for weak points in any design. The overall score is not just an average of the other scores: it reflects both a product's function and value – with value determined by how a product compares with items of similar spec, quality, and price.

What the scores mean

Good scores are more common than bad, because fortunately good products are more common than bad.

  • Exceptional
  • Excellent
  • Very Good
  • Good
  • Quite good
  • Average
  • Not so good
  • Poor
  • Bad
  • Appalling

The Tour Guide might be the solution for day riders or those wanting to keep valuables close to hand. Measuring a mere 16.5 x 10 x 18.5cm, the bag demands efficient packing but the main compartment swallows a compact camera, MP3 player, energy bars and a multi tool, whilst the convenient side pockets are great for stashing credit card, keys and notes/change. It converts into a bum-bag but mercifully there’s an integral carry handle and shoulder strap for those of us who regard “Fanny packs” as the height of fashion faux pas.

The hinged two piece handlebar bracket is something of a mixed blessing It is undoubtedly very robust, offering excellent rigidity and designed to accommodate bar diameters between 25.4 and 31.0. However, fitting wasn’t quite as straightforward as the design and accompanying instructions suggest-thanks largely to the limited shim choice. Achieving a satisfactory fit on a pair of Nitto Randonneur type drops required judicious modification of the beefier inserts using a Stanley knife and I felt there could’ve been a wider choice of bolts to lock everything in place.

The computer mount is a nice touch but is potentially problematic with some wireless units as it puts the head unit further from the sensor. I employed it as a lighting mount although thoughtfully there’s also an LED tab woven into the front.

Aboard the bike, it’s reassuringly rigid and the tactile fabric will resist moderate showers, although heavier rains demand the yellow cover, especially if your cargo consists of expensive camera or similar electrical goods. Removal and fitting is child's play: simply engage the yellow quick release and pull upwards to remove.


A great little bag needing a broader choice of fitting hardware

If you're thinking of buying this product using a cashback deal why not use the Top Cashback page and get some top cashback while helping to support your favourite independent cycling website test report

Make and model: Topeak Tour Guide compact bar bag

Price: 29.99

Weight: 470g

Size tested: n/a

Tell us what the product is for, and who it's aimed at. What do the manufacturers say about it? How does that compare to your own feelings about it?

In short, it's a compact (2 litre) bar bag aimed at day riders wanting to keep their valuables close to hand. To this end, it lives up to its design brief but by the same token demands efficient packing.

Tell us some more about the techincal aspects of the product?

Secured using a hinged clamp "Quick Click" quick release clamp, the main bag is made from a very tactile 2520 denier nylon softshell and includes a yellow, waterproof cover.

Rate the product for quality of construction:

Typically Topeak in terms of design and build quality.

Rate the product for performance:

Quick Click system eliminates annoying bag sway very effectively whilst consuming comparatively little handlebar space.

Rate the product for durability:
Rate the product for weight, if applicable:

Feels lighter than its 470g would suggest.

Rate the product for comfort, if applicable:

Very unobtrusive.

Rate the product for value:

Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose

Performed very well, although not completely sold on the computer mount in practice. Insulates very effectively from shock which has to be good for delicate cameras and related equipment. Loose eggs packed tightly together survived a couple of miles of farm track, emerging completely unscathed!

Tell us what you particularly liked about the product

Bulging with features and a nice, solid hinge-clamp bracket ensures impressive rigidity.

Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product

I felt the choice of mounting hardware could've been broader-especially the nylon shims.

Did you enjoy using the product? Yes

Would you consider buying the product? Possibly

Would you recommend the product to a friend? Possibly

Overall rating: 8/10

About the tester

Age: 35  Height: 1m 81  Weight: 70 kilos

I usually ride: Rough Stuff Tourer Based around 4130 Univega mtb Frameset  My best bike is: 1955 Holdsworth Road Path and several others including cross & traditional road

I've been riding for: Over 20 years  I ride: Most days  I would class myself as: Experienced

I regularly do the following types of riding: cyclo cross, commuting, touring, fixed/singlespeed, mtb,

Shaun Audane is a freelance writer/product tester with over twenty-eight years riding experience, the last twelve (120,000 miles) spent putting bikes and kit through their paces for a variety of publications. Previous generations of his family worked at manufacturing's sharp end, thus Shaun can weld, has a sound understanding of frame building practice and a preference for steel or titanium framesets.
Citing Richard Ballantine and an Au pair as his earliest cycling influences, he is presently writing a cycling book with particular focus upon women, families and disabled audiences (Having been a registered care manager and coached children at Herne Hill Velodrome in earlier careers)

Latest Comments