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Cycology Secret Garden Aqua Handlebar Bag



Stylish and secure way to carry extras up front, at a great price
Very well made
Good water resistance
Outer mesh & inner zip pockets
Adjustable straps with two positions
Not fully waterproof

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.

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The Cycology Secret Garden Aqua Handlebar Bag looks great, works well, and fits easily and securely to your handlebar. It's also very well priced compared with many we've reviewed, and don't be put off if the flowery look isn't for you – it's just one of a number of designs available, though none of them are exactly 'muted'.

For more ways to carry stuff on your bike, check out our guide to the best bikepacking bags.

> Buy now: Cycology Secret Garden Aqua Handlebar Bag for £35 from Cycology

Though it's only £35, the Cycology bar bag includes a few features that some more expensive bags don't have – such as the ability to reposition the straps so they work with your bar setup and cables.

It attaches to the bar with two straps that double back through buckles and then Velcro down, but there are two positions for these on the bag itself; if you have a light or computer in the way, you can shift the strap slightly. You just remove it and thread it through the alternative loop.

It also comes with a third strap (all three are interchangeable) that goes around your head tube, or just your cables if that makes for a better fit. There's not a lot of head tube space on my gravel bike, but the strap fitted anyway.

The straps have a plasticky, slightly rubbery backing (stop me if I'm getting too technical) to protect your bar and paintwork, though you might still want to apply some tape first, to stop dirt or grit getting in and spoiling things. You might even want to choose black tape rather than stripy yellow and green insulating tape...

2023 Cycology Secret Garden Handlebar Bag - end pocket.jpg

Once attached it sat very securely, and low enough that it didn't interfere with my light. The only slight oddity was the noise it made against my cables, though I only noticed it when cornering slowly through barriers on the cyclepath – it sounded like the squirmy noise of a deflating tyre on tarmac, and had me worried for a moment.

Other useful features the competition sometimes lack include the little mesh side pocket (ideal for energy bar wrappers, if not that secure for valuables and obviously open to the elements) and the elastic cord for strapping stuff on. This threads through six reflective loops and cinches with a toggle.

2023 Cycology Secret Garden Handlebar Bag - bungee.jpg

There's also scope to fix or hang things via three loops in the ribbon. One of my bugbears with bar bags is not having anywhere to attach a light; that's not such a problem here as the bag sits low enough not to block bar-mounted lamps, and it's quite squishy too. But you could attach a light to these loops on the side if necessary.

It also comes with an adjustable shoulder strap for carrying it off the bike; you just attach it to the plastic loops each end of the zip.

2023 Cycology Secret Garden Handlebar Bag - with strap 1.jpg

These loops also come in handy when opening the zip one-handed, giving you something to pull against if the zip's reluctant. It's a waterproof zip so isn't the easiest to open, but that's better that than letting in rain.

2023 Cycology Secret Garden Handlebar Bag - inside.jpg

The bag itself is made with what Cycology lists as '900D waterproof polyester' but don't expect miracles; whether it's the lack of taped seams or the material itself, persistent heavy rain will eventually get through. It's fine in showers, but wrapping valuables in a plastic bag is a good idea if rain is forecast.

Inside, there's a zip pocket for separating stuff, and it's quite roomy – about 10cm deep and the full width of the bag; the zip also runs the full width so it's easy to get things in there.

2023 Cycology Secret Garden Aqua Handlebar Bag - internal zip.JPG

The bag's nicely padded all over, so the contents are well protected. And it all looks very well made – the stitching is neat and tidy, and the seams each end are overlaid with binding tape, so no untidy exposed edges.

2023 Cycology Secret Garden Aqua Handlebar Bag - tape binding.JPG


At £35 it's good value compared with many we've tested – half the price of some, a third the price of others, though some of those (but not all) are more waterproof. In our round-up of bikepacking options, for example, our 'best bar bag', from Route Werks, is £165, and though the Topeak BarLoader is our 'best value' bar bag, it's £66.99.

It's a little bigger at 3.5L (the Cycology is 2.4L), but the Carradice Baja Bar Bag that Stu reviewed recently is £52 and sounds close on the waterproofing front, while the similarly designed (but 3.8L) Topeak Tubular Bar Bag is £67.99. That's a 6000D polyester which Stu said stood up well to heavy rain, though.

Lara really rated the Camelchops Blimp 2.0 she tested back in 2021, and it looks a very similar option. But it doesn't have an internal pocket and has gone up to £54, though they are handmade in Scotland.

It's not perhaps as good value as the £19.99 Lomo that Tom tested, but that's quite a different proposition (and also not as flowery).


This is a great little bar bag with plenty of features you don't always get, even with more expensive options. I think it looks great – and if you don't agree, there are plenty of other designs to choose from.


Stylish and secure way to carry extras up front, at a great price test report

Make and model: Cycology Secret Garden Aqua Handlebar Bag

Size tested: Capacity 2.4 L

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?

Cycology says: "Offering a stylish and practical addition to your ride, our handlebar bag will keep all your riding essentials within arm's reach. Easy to install by attaching to your handlebars and available in a variety of colours and original designs.

This durable and functional handlebar bag is water-repellent and made from waterproof polyester with a waterproof zipper to protect the contents in light shower conditions. Attaching the bag is easy with three self-engaging Velcro straps, two on the bar and one on head tube for stability.

The main compartment has a 2.4 litre capacity with a wide zippered opening and the bag measures at 24cm long and 10cm wide. An elasticated cord on the front provides additional accessible storage for lightweight accessories and the adjustable shoulder strap converts the pack into an over-the-shoulder bag for off bike use.

Whether light packing with some nutrition, or handling your essentials on a long ride, our handlebar bag will de clutter your back pockets and free you up for any type of riding."

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

Cycology lists these features:

Size: 24cm length x 10cm width

Material: 900D waterproof polyester

Durable waterproof zipper

Three removable Velcro straps 25cm in length for easy attachment.

Interior zipper pocket + side mesh half pocket

Removable adjustable shoulder strap for off bike use. Length:130cm

External cross elastic cords suitable for attaching additional items.

Reflective detailing for increased visibility to oncoming traffic

Capacity 2.4 L

Weight: 280gms

Rubber Cycology logo

Rate the product for quality of construction:

All seems very well made.

Rate the product for performance:

It's great apart from on really wet rides. It looks great, carries stuff securely, attaches easily (with some adjustability), holds its shape when opening one-handed, and includes a shoulder strap for easy carrying off the bike. It also offers some water repellency – but wrap precious things in plastic bags in heavy/persistent rain.

Rate the product for weight (if applicable)
Rate the product for value:

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

It performed very well. It's not fully waterproof, and isn't claimed to be.

Tell us what you particularly liked about the product

The colours! And the shoulder strap for use off the bike.

Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product

That it's not more waterproof, and the creaky sound against my cables, which made me think my front tyre had gone flat.

How does the price compare to that of similar products in the market, including ones recently tested on

It's well priced compared with many we've tested – half the price of some, a third the price of others, though some (but not all) of those are more waterproof.

Did you enjoy using the product? Yes

Would you consider buying the product? Yes

Would you recommend the product to a friend? Yes

Use this box to explain your overall score

Overall, it's very good. It's well priced, well made, comes in a variety of colours, attaches easily, and is easy to open on the bike (easy to carry off the bike, too). It's not as waterproof as some, but then it's not as expensive as some either.

Overall rating: 8/10

About the tester

Age: 56  Height: 169cm  Weight: size 10-12

I usually ride: Vitus Venon  My best bike is: Paulus Quiros

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: commuting, sportives, general fitness riding,

Tass is our production pedant, who boldly goes hunting for split infinitives, rogue apostrophes and other things up with which she will not put. She joined in 2015 but first began working on bike magazines way back in 1991 as production editor on Mountain Biking UK, then deputy editor of MTB Pro, before changing allegiance to road cycling as senior production editor on Cycling Plus. She's ridden off-road but much prefers on, hasn't done half the touring she'd like to, and loves paper maps.

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huntswheelers | 5 months ago
1 like

I'm a camelchops fan.... I've used Restrap and Alpkit previous but they all suffer "saggy bag" syndrome...where the excellent Camelchops stay stiff at all times....oeerr mrs....  Seriously the Camelchops is better that way due to capacity, yes it doesn't have internal pockets but then I put my cycle wallet in there along with usual paracetamol, anti histamenes etc, packaway jacket.... I have the lovely Prairie design ..... anyway... whatever you choose and use.... ride safe

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