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76 Projects A.S.S top tube bag review

76 Project’s bag combines top tube placement with strap-free speedy slide-on/off mounting for ultimate essentials carrying convenience

76 Projects A.S.S top tube bag review
(Image: © Guy Kesteven)

Our Verdict

A few minutes set up pays back with endless easy fit convenience and security on this very well designed and executed top tube bag

For

  • - Instant fit and removal
  • - Secure and stable
  • - Stiff sides stop flop
  • - Weatherproof
  • - DIY fit kits are available

Against

  • - Initial fit takes a few minutes
  • - Zip rattle
  • - Bit of a fight to get into
  • - Currently just one size and color

76 Projects has grown into a specialist storage and aero solutions provider with an ever-widening range. The super-convenient A.S.S top tube bag is a prime example of its innovative design and neat execution skills to compliment your best bikepacking bag set-up.

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76 Projects A.S.S top tube mounting bracket

A neat mounting bracket bolts to the top tube mount (Image credit: Guy Kesteven)
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76 Projects A.S.S top tube bag headtube mounting bracket

A 76 Projects specific spacer is the mounting point on the steerer (Image credit: Guy Kesteven)

Design and performance

Given how many of the best gravel bikes now come with top tube mount bolts as standard, there is surprisingly few bolt-on bags available. Most of the ones that are, need to be bolted permanently in place which means you have to scoop any valuables out of them if you leave the bike. The A.S.S gets around this issue by using a 3D-printed (that’s the 76 Projects specialty) shoe that bolts onto the bike. A matching shoe on the bag then slides onto the bike mount to keep it attached without the need for straps. Hence ‘Anti. Strap. System.’. Even better if you don’t have bolts you can glue the shoe onto the tube with the provided 3M sticky strip and no bag on frame contact means no paint damage either.

Securing the bag on the top tube is only half the ‘strap dodging’ story though. 76 Projects also mount a vertically adjustable plastic circlip on the front of the bag which clips around a dedicated stem spacer to hold the bag in place. It comes with a 1.125in spacer but you can get oversized ones for 1.25in or even a dedicated Specialized Future Shock one. Even better if you’ve got a bag already, or want to use the bag on two or more bikes 76 Projects will sell you the shoe mount and/or spacer and clip separately for £21.50.

76 Projects A.S.S top tube bag headtube spacer mount

The bag clips into a dedicated stem spacer to hold the bag in place (Image credit: Guy Kesteven)

The bag itself is really well thought out, too. At around 1L capacity with a bit of height added by the mount it’s pretty tall but the stiff structured box design means while we skimmed our knees on the sides occasionally there’s very little bulge or top tube overhang. Small skirts either side hide the mount and make it all look more integrated. The fabric is a tough, waterproof 600D material with welded seams and a DWR outer coating that helps shrug off rain and stops mud and stains spoiling the clean but looks. The zip is a YKK Aquaguard with a garage on the front to stop water getting in that way.

In terms of organisation, there are two stash sleeves on either side for empty wrappers and then a mesh pocket on the left and a phone/pump strap on the right inside. We’ve managed to get a phone, gravel tube, multi tool, small pump/C02 and keys (basically a jersey/jacket 3 pockets worth of stuff) in there and still have some space. The bright pink interior helps you see where things are inside, too.

Our only slight grumbles are that the zip doesn’t go all the way up the spine so it’s hard to pull the stiff material apart far to get inside for a rummage when riding. The zip puller also rattles against the zip which is hardly a deal breaker but enough to irritate when everything else is quiet. While the grey looks smart if it’s the only bag you’re using black would be easier to color match with other bags (including 76 Project’s own seat packs), too. We’d like to see a lower profile 5/600ml ‘essentials’ option added to the range too as the current bag is more than some riders will need.

76 Projects A.S.S top tube bag headtube unzipped to show the inside

There are a bunch of pockets to stash wrappers, secure valuables and carry riding essentials (Image credit: Guy Kesteven)

Verdict

Being able to slide your loaded top tube bag on and off in a few seconds is brilliant for convenience and security. There’s no worry about bag flop, wobble or paint scratching either. The bag itself is tough, weatherproof and gives plenty of capacity without getting in the way too. We love that 76 Projects sell a full range of clip and shoe kits to fit other bikes or other bags. Considering the extra work in the mounting system and overall quality, pricing is really good too.

Check out the 76 Projects A.S.S top tube bag on 76projects.com.

Tech Specs: 76 Projects A.S.S top tube bag

  • Price: $TBC / £59.50
  • Color: Grey
  • Sizes: 1-liter

Guy Kesteven is Bike Perfect and Cyclingnews’ contributing tech editor. Hatched in Yorkshire he's been hardened by riding round it in all weathers since he was a kid. He spent a few years working in bike shops and warehouses before starting writing and testing for bike mags in 1996. Since then he’s written several million words about several thousand test bikes and a ridiculous amount of riding gear. To make sure he rarely sleeps and to fund his custom tandem habit, he’s also penned a handful of bike-related books and talks to a GoPro for YouTube, too.


Rides: Pace RC295, Cotic FlareMax, Specialized Chisel, Vielo V+1 gravel bike, Nicolai FS Enduro, Landescape custom gravel tandem

Height: 180cm

Weight: 69kg