If you have a hard time keeping your cables from crowding or kinking with your current handlebar bag setup, the Salsa Anything Cradle just might be your solution.
The Salsa Anything Cradle does not interfere with your cables, and it keeps your gear just far enough away from the bars.
If your bike has Shimano STI levers or drop bars, the Salsa Anything Cradle can come in handy so long as you minimize the dry bag length that you strap to the Cradle to prevent it from blocking the shifter’s range of motion.
Using the Salsa Anything Cradle is easy. You can use it safely on carbon bars, and it does not come close to the brake levers, so long as you don’t use an extremely large dry bag.
This handlebar rack does not interfere with a bike’s cables, for the most part. Anything you carry will press gently against the cables.
After a few rides while using the Salsa Anything Cradle, it is advisable to check your cables for wear and adjust them accordingly.
If you have tried strapping a dry bag to your handlebars but find that the bag gets in the way, consider using the Salsa Anything Cradle. It is possible but strapping the bag on by itself is awkward.
Besides, it is challenging to avoid interfering with your shifter and brake cables. You can use foam blocks or a rack to offer more cable clearance. Most people prefer between 22″ and 32″ Voile Straps when configuring this kind of system.
However, as mentioned earlier, lashing your gear without a frame is awkward.
Another option is trying various handlebar bags such as Ortlieb Handle-Bar Pack or the Revelate Design’s Sweetroll until you find the one that can fit between your drop bars.
The process can be frustrating since manufacturers design most of these bags for mountain bikes with flat bars where the size of the bag is not limited.
This path leads most bike owners to Salsa Anything Cradle. However, what most bike owners with gravel bikes that have drop bars go through when adding a handlebar bag is not typical.
The Salsa Anything Cradle is designed to be a practical bikepacking solution to handlebar rolls and dry bags with straps that riders have been using for decades. The Salsa Anything Cradle holds your packed bag away from the bars.
It provides room for your cables without stressing, kinking, or damaging them. You can adjust your cockpit as you please.
The Salsa Anything Cradle is compatible with 31.8 flat or drop handlebars. It would be best if you had a torque wrench with a 4mm hex head to install the unit.
Begin by wrapping a pair of cradle clamps around your handlebars and focus on centering them relative your stem. When doing this, decide either to run the cable housing inside or above the cradle clamp cutouts.
The next step is installing the Salsa Anything Cradle. It involves attaching the plastic Cradle at the end of the cradle clamps using screws that the Salsa provides. Ensure to loop the webbing straps supplied by the manufacturer through them. Remove the plastic clips on your webbing and loop it through the frame’s slots.
Don’t forget to reattach the clips. It would have been better if the Salsa Anything Cradle would pack the clips attached to the webbing since removing them and placing them back on again is a bit of a task.
After installation, attach a packed bag to the Cradle before continuing to the last step. After strapping in your bag, twist the Cradle down and leave at least 6 to 10mm of clearance above your front tire.
When you rotate the Cradle further downwards, the less it will be cantilevered over the front axle, and it will improve handling. Be sure that there are no dangling straps that will interfere with your brakes and wheels.
When attaching your packed bag to your Salsa Anything Cradle, ensure it is well connected to the webbing. Getting a dry bag with a daisy chain sewn at the side is advisable since you can slip the straps through the webbing.
However, it is not easy to find such a bag in the camping and backpacking industry. Salsa has a waterproof dry bag “Salsa EXP Series Dry Bag” with compatible attachment points but it is a little expensive.
I discovered that for bikepacking dry bags to stay put, pack them slighly loose. This is to ensure that the surface of the bag has some give for the webbing to get some space when tightened.
Installing and uninstalling the Salsa Anything Cradle is easy. If you want to install it on another bike or uninstall it from your bike, you can easily access the bolts.
Salsa Anything Cradle is a versatile carry system that allows you to carry unique items. It does not limit the bike rider to just the dry bag. Those with mountain bikes even carry their fishing rods since the Anything Cradle is not confined with the dimensions of a bag.
The Salsa Anything Cradle holds on very well to the handlebar when properly installed. One may expect that the long arms of Anything Cradle can rotate down when loaded on rough terrain. Even with 3 to 6 pounds of load, there is enough clamping to keep that from happening.
Most people claim that Salsa Anything Cradle rack and the stuff sack block their front light when attached to the handlebars. The solution to this is to get a light that can be strapped to the dry bag.
The Salsa Anything Cradle has some cons though. To begin with, it is only limited to one color. The straps, arms, bag, and Cradle are all black. It’s not easy to locate the straps or the cradle at night or early morning due to its color.
The strap system is time-consuming since it has to be weaved into the Anything Cradle. The process of removing part of the clip, weave it through and reinstall the clip again can take close to 10 minutes.
It can be difficult for new users to adjust to the Salsa Anything Cradle. You have to weave the entire length of the strap through the ladder of the cradle so that the male and female parts of the strap make up.
In addition, most people don’t like having weight in front of their bars. That is because steering becomes hard, and the weight magnifies the effects of the bike’s suspension.
That is why the goal in most bags is to keep contents as close to the steering axis as possible. However, this cradle has its way of handling that issue.
Most riders angle the Anything Cradle downwards and tuck it closer to the frame. They also lower it a little to keep it from swaying side-to-side too much. The goal is to ensure there is adequate clearance for the tire.
However, that relays another Salsa Anything Cradle feature. It is held in place with bolts and not straps.
No matter where you place it, it will still stay put. It has a maximum capacity of eight pounds and that falls short of several other handlebar bags.
Use it to carry light-weight items, which are bulky. Some riders have compression bags where they keep their sleeping bags, a bivvy sack, or an air mattress.
The way you carry that weight on Salsa Anything Cradle is your decision. The Anything Cradle allows you to remove what it’s holding with only two fasteners instead of a bag designed to stay on the bike.
After getting back home from your adventure, you only need to unbolt two bolts to remove the Salsa Anything Cradle.
Apart from that, most bikepackers love the Salsa Anything Cradle since it solves both the drop bar and handlebar bag dilemma that most people struggle with.
When it comes to price, the plastic rack is cheap compared to a combined handlebar bag system that locks riders into a bag and rack from the same manufacturer.
Most riders own backpacking gear and stuff sacks that they would rather use instead of purchasing a heavy waterproof dry bag.
All in all the Salsa Anything Cradle is an excellent option if your looking for a more secure way to strap a dry bag to your bars but need that extra bit of space for your cables.
For more info on the Salsa Anything Cradle check it out at SalsaCycles.com