On my bike I have installed an handlebar bag (the Ortlieb Ultimate 5). Since I am also considering installing lights on the handlebar, I am afraid they will be simply shielded by the bag.

The clerk of the bike shop where I asked for information assured me the handlebar bags are designed to ensure handlebar lights can be used, but I am not sure and I don't want to try it by buying an expensive light that I cannot then use.

In the picture you can see the bag holder as installed on the handlebar. The bag will exceed its level of few centimeters.

enter image description here

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    Picture is confusing - I suspect the rear rack is on a bike behind your one? What part is the bag/bag holder? – Criggie Feb 20 '17 at 8:59
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    @Criggie I assumed the black block with the grey thing sticking out the top But you're right, it's not very clear. – Chris H Feb 20 '17 at 9:06
  • I was sure this had come up before but I can't find anything to call this a duplicate of. Maybe it was only in the answers to a question with a very different title – Chris H Feb 20 '17 at 9:14
  • the rear rack belongs to another bike. The bag holder is the black block with the grey lock. – L.Dutch - Reinstate Monica Feb 20 '17 at 10:09
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    Please strongly consider taking a new picture showing only one bike. – Lyndon White Feb 21 '17 at 1:17

As Chris H notes, the clerk was wrong. And he suggests a good suggestion to raise the light above the bag. However, you can also mount the light below the bag as well. Operating on the same principle as fog lights on cars, low mounted lights can do a better job of showing some road hazards. They are also much less likely to blind drivers and pedestrians (StVZO-compliant handlebar lights are still sadly rare).

There are lights that will mount on the crown of the front wheel fork (where the bolt for caliper brakes and mudguards attaches), but those might still hit the bottom of the bag -- although the Ortlieb bag shown in Christian Lundvig's photo is quite small and thus compatible with fork crown mount lights.

Here's a google image search for "bicycle lights fork mount". In addition to the fork crown lights, there are also front fork adapters that let you mount handlebar lights on one of the legs of the front fork.

Front fork lights

Here's a blown up image of the top left two -- a fork-mount adapter and a light mounted on said adapter. Note that this placement is just about where ye' olde friction dynamo lights used to be mounted.

Fork mount

Another option is of course a helmet light:

Helmet light

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    Just backing up the low-mounted light point: I sometimes ride a bike with a mudguard-mounted front light. It puts out a little less light than my big front light on low (which is what I use for most dark commuting) but the low position combined with a well-designed lens makes it at least as useful. – Chris H Feb 20 '17 at 9:16
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    @DavidRicherby Only from a very narrow angle, and if the light is thin enough. Mine, nothing particularly broad, is always visible; and it will always shine on the surroundings. – Davidmh Feb 20 '17 at 15:17
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    I am of the more lights (N+1) are better camp. :-) – RoboKaren Feb 20 '17 at 19:06
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    All these photos show one light - there is a legal minimum of one, and there is no maximum as long as they don't blind or distract. ADD MOAR !! – Criggie Feb 20 '17 at 19:23
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    I only have three front lights on my current bike: crown mount, handlebar mount, and helmet mount. I have to figure out where to add a few MOAR. – RoboKaren Feb 20 '17 at 19:23

Ortlieb is selling an adapter for this problem: Ortlieb Aufsatz für Ultimate6 Montageset -- this is in German, the link to the English language page was broken. The second image is a view from the front and how the adapter fits into the bag-mounting fixture. The price is below 20 Euro.

enter image description here

enter image description here

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    What an ugly hack! :-) – RoboKaren Feb 20 '17 at 9:26
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    One review I read said this is a bit too wobbly for a camera in most situations but I would assume it would work for a light. I'd agree it is not pretty but it fits exactly the situation of the question. – Christian Lindig Feb 20 '17 at 9:35
  • One of the benefits of going with a big brand, perhaps. – Chris H Feb 20 '17 at 9:43
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    Well, that's simply dangerous. You'll get a light in the face at some point, and if you crash the light will remove your ability to have children. – andy256 Feb 20 '17 at 12:31
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    TBH, all that riser is going to do is look silly. the handlebar bag will still cast a shadow exactly where you need to see. (I have a cross-check with an 8-pack rack up front, so I have similar issues... solved my problem by mounting headlight to a bar bolted to the rack). If you mounted this upside down to drop the headlight below the bag... that would be an improvement.... although using a light designed to mount to the front forks or the bag itself will be a better solution. – david1024 Feb 20 '17 at 21:46

The clerk was wrong, in the sense that modern lights sit very close to the bar, as do bags. Very wide bars might give you an option but your picture suggests you don't have very wide bars.

I saw a product the other day (while in the bike shop buying grips) designed to sort this out by lifting the lights over the top of the bars. A search for "handlebar light extender" turned up a few including this one from Topeak. There are also lots designed for mounting lower, for example built in to a front mudguard or mounted on a front rack (if you have either of these accessories).

Most bike shops should be able to try things together if you take the bike in with the bag fitted.

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  • Some people also use those handlebar extenders because they have too many gadgets on their handlebars. :-) GPS, gopro, bike computer, light, etc. etc. – RoboKaren Feb 20 '17 at 9:37
  • @RoboKaren good point. I use a top-tube bag for my GPS (phone) on flat bars so don't have to face this issue unless I carry the front bag itself the bracket stays on but I could still fit at least 2 lights and a camera. But my primary light is slung under the bars, saving space. – Chris H Feb 20 '17 at 9:42
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    I have the Topeak bar extender. It's not very big, but it's surprisingly stable and I think it would do the job perfectly. – Paul Spangle Feb 21 '17 at 13:31
  • @PaulSpangle I think not being too tall would help with the stability, and topeak stuff is generally quite sturdy – Chris H Feb 21 '17 at 13:36

Since your bicycle frame is made of tubes and most lights approximate tubes, our problem is basically "attach tube to other tube" and is a pretty straightforward piece of design work in any CAD software.

A basic approach to attaching one tube to another tube

If you know somebody with a 3D printer, you can sketch up a mount pretty easily and have them run one off for you regardless of what Ortlieb makes. If you don't, you can try 3DHubs, Shapeways, and other sites in that vein. If you have access to a wood or machine shop, you could make something appropriate out of almost any stock. with just a few operations.

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  • Hi William, and welcome to bicycles.stackexchange.com! This site works differently than typical forum-style chat sites; take the tour to get the idea. Unfortunately your post doesn't answer the question, which is implied in this case, so your question will get dinged or even deleted until you modify it. So welcome again, and we'll look forward to more from you! – rclocher3 Feb 21 '17 at 2:10
  • @rclocher3: The question as I understood it was "How can I mount this light so that it's not obstructed by my bag?" The most upvoted answer is basically "buy a bracket to let you mount it somewhere else" and my answer is instead "build a bracket to let you mount it somewhere else". It's possible that that's better as a comment in response to the answer by Christian Lindig, but both seem like equally viable ways to get to the same goal of having a usable headlight and a bag. – William Feb 21 '17 at 6:06
  • @rclocher3 I think this is a useful answer (+1, though it could use a little more detail, for example on a source of suitable tube). It's the only answer that even hints at a DIY solution. Another DIY option might involve P clips mounted back-to-back, – Chris H Feb 21 '17 at 13:35
  • @ChrisH - Your comment made me ralized exactly where the clarity was missing. More specifically, I was thinking of one tube as the frame and the other tube as the light. – William Feb 21 '17 at 17:57
  • @William-Rem The community has spoken with their votes, and clearly they agree with you ;) – rclocher3 Feb 22 '17 at 4:20

I have an MTB w/60cm flat bars, Ortlieb handlebar bag, and a mudguard that clips to the bottom of suspension fork’s the steerer tube. I kept unsuccessfully trying to mount the headlight high or low along the centerline of the bike, but finally figured out that if I used multiple shims between the light clamp and narrow outboard part of the handlebar, I could mount it on the outer part of the bar - inboard of the grips/bar-ins/brake lever, but outboard of the bar bag. enter image description here

Mounted at angle shown above, the light throws the pattern shown below. enter image description here

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  • I'd be worried that the front light is hard to see from your right-hand side if its your only front light. Has that been a problem? – Criggie Oct 6 at 11:46
  • I would mount it on the side of the bar matching the roadside where I am supposed to ride/drive, so that I can better light incoming obstacles. – L.Dutch - Reinstate Monica Oct 6 at 11:52

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