Does anybody know if there may be in commerce anything similar to the roadbook holders they use on offroad motorbikes, but for use on bicycles?

I know there are some electronic versions in commerce that include a GPS system, but I was looking for a cheaper solution (possibly smaller than the one below).

Here's a sample: manual roadbook holder

An installed roadbook:

  • Here's a related post asking about using maps during touring: bicycles.stackexchange.com/questions/2940/map-during-touring
    – user313
    Mar 28 '11 at 19:26
  • read this answer about using map with touring bikes[1]. Is it something you are looking for? [1] bicycles.stackexchange.com/questions/2940/map-during-touring/…
    – user652
    Mar 28 '11 at 19:39
  • @wdypdx22 @hhh I've already read that post, but I feel this solution would be better by far, since you would have more control, you could store longer trips (100-150Kms) and add some graphical aids and clues as well. Resorting to maps, on the other hand, forces you to stop too often, especially when you are not familiar with the places, there are lots of crossroads, and road signs are very poor (they really suck in Italy).
    – Lucius
    Mar 28 '11 at 22:33
  • the box has the word "tour", apparently some sort of motorbike touring box, added the label "touring" because your question in a way is related to it in terms of long trips. +1 Excellent question! Suppose the box had flashlights' holders attached to it so every time you leave you remember to take your arsenal that is maps, flashlights and perhaps something else like a comp or a chip in the box, getting excited... now I know where I put my dev-board, thanks!
    – user652
    Mar 29 '11 at 0:40
  • how is that box attached to the motor bike? Can you use it in a bicycle like that? Have you tried it? If you have, why does it not work with bicycle?
    – user652
    Mar 29 '11 at 0:46

Personally I just use the map case on a handlebar bag (needs to be oriented properly to work), but here's a clever DIY solution by Raymond Parker:

Handy Rando Route Sheet Caddy

Basically it's a piece of wire bent to prop the cue sheet at the right angle. Put your sheet in a waterproof case or ziplock and a couple of binder clips hold it in place. A shock cord keeps the whole assembly in place. Full instructions here: http://veloweb.ca/garagepages/sheetholder.html


I've never seen anything quite that complicated for directions on a bicycle. I think that the lower speeds on a bicycle compare to a motorcycle make simpler solutions fine. If you've got a very long trip, plan breaks where you stop to coincide with when you need to flip the directions around.

A few suggestions:

  1. Just stick the directions in a pocket. With some careful folding you can fit quite a bit of directions on something in your pocket. Note the distance and directions for the next turn after you make the turn instead of fumbling in your pocket before the turn. Something you're going to hold in your hand can be printed smaller than something that's going on the handlebars.
  2. Look for a "map case". This is a flat bag that attached on the handlebars somehow with one side all transparent. Example Commonly available for 10-20 USD.
  3. Make your own map case. A gallon (4 liter) ziploc bag will let you show almost a full size piece of paper. Use some binder clips or something like that to attach it.
  4. Get a handlebar bag that has a map case on top. While not smaller, you might mind the size less if it fits your cellphone, some snacks, etc...
  • 3
    I had a handlebar bag with a transparent plastic map case on top, but it was virtually impossible to read anything in it whilst riding as it was at completely the wrong angle.
    – Amos
    Mar 28 '11 at 20:12

There's nothing like the machine above available for bikes that I'm aware of. That holder looks pretty nifty, if heavy. Before I got an Ortlieb map case, I made my own map holders with office supplies: Plastic sheet protectors, duct tape, and velcro (to keep it on the handlebar).

I experimented with using a paper clip on the side to mark my place, but it turned out to be just as much work to fiddle with the paper clip as it was to just find my place.

Freiheit's point about bicycle travel being slower is a good one. Generally, you don't need to think more than two or three turns ahead on a bike, and usually just one or two.

For some time, I was using text output from Bikely and pasting it into a spreadsheet, where I could manipulate the columns, format the text, and print out cue sheets on any size paper I needed; I usually made a map holder every few months, and would often improve the design to be simpler. The best ones used 8 1/2" wide paper, requiring less trimming on my part. (That's what the Ortlieb holder uses.)

The scroll-style cue sheet seen above looks pretty handy, but I suspect that making one for a bicycle would be more trouble than its worth; you'd have to tape pieces of paper together to make the cur sheet. When I had access to a laminating machine, I used it to make half-sheet (8.5x5.5) cue sheets that I could swap out in the rain.

Jury-rigged cue sheet holder:

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Cue sheet I wrote up on the road in a bike shop, using the back of a "real" cue sheet:

enter image description here


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