Brooklynite and industrial designer Nicholas Fjellberg Swerdlowe does what many of us do, when saddled with plastic bags and riding home on a basketless bike: He hangs the bags off of the handlebars. I did this often in Japan, where a mountain bike was the quickest way to my local grocery. But I quickly learned that you can't let the bags hang too low, and you have to occasionally wrap the bag handles around the bike grips to shorten the bag's hang. You're also limited in the amount of bags you can carry.
Swerdlowe documents the problems with this method of mobile transport:
This bad habit has left me with ripped bags, wheel pinches, and near accidents which could have seriously injured both me and my cargo. I wanted to design something lightweight, easy to carry in my bag or on my bike which could be used in a moment's notice and removed immediately after my journey.
His solution was to design a simple clamp that sits on the bike's handlebar grips.
By positioning them on the further edges of the grips, he's able to keep the bags away from the front tire, while still providing enough room for his hands to grab the grips and work the brakes.
Furthermore, the design of the clamp is such that the weight of the bags increases the clamp's tightness.
The clamps are small enough that you can toss them in a bag or pocket when not in use, or clamp them elsewhere on the bike's frame, if you're not worried about light-fingered passersby.
Swerdlowe's Bag Buddy has just been posted on Kickstarter, and he's seeking to hit a $20,000 target by mid-February.