After spending almost a YEAR looking for a handlebar bag WITH a map case, I finally bought this bag (Ultimate 5 classic) to use with two bikes, a touring bike and on a road bike which I use on supported rides, for rain gear, camera, snacks, etc. I bought two brackets, one for each bike so that I did not have to deal with the cable issue and moving the bracket back and forth. I still had to deal with it! After tightening the cable, I realized after tightening and fastening the screws that the bracket had elevated considerably so had to fix that by loosening the darned thing. If not, the bag would have been sticking out way too far. I made sure that on the second bike that I watched when tightening the cable that it did not happen again.
I originally bought the bag with the little side mesh pockets (Ultimate 5 Plus) but with a woman specific road bike, the handlebars did not give me enough clearance to allow the pockets, so I exchanged the bag for the one with no pockets. I would have loved the pocket in the front of the bag, however. :-(
After spending the month of August in Oregon on the road with this bag, I reiterate all the problems that others have had...the lid takes two hands or a special effort to close without the edges curling under, making it difficult to close easily. I DO use the pegs on the side for the carry strap, but make sure they "click" or the strap falls off, and it sometimes does anyway, which is really a pain in the neck. The bag insert that came with it was useless to me.
The problem of the tight snaps was at least partially solved by tying a short piece of 3mm p-cord in a loop through the black loop, giving me a little more length and leverage to pull it open using a finger through my extra loop. However, I do worry that this is putting undue stress on the snaps and black loops, but I have much trouble opening it if I do not do this. And, as several have mentioned, I do not snap both sides, just the side with my little added loop.
One last thing about the map case...It is very waterproof with the rolled velcro end and holds a good sized map. I agree with those who say it flaps. I noticed the noise issue the first day I used it and again, used a piece of p-cord and ran it through the folded edge of the map case with each end tied to the loops near the snaps on the bag (not the mapcase snaps). This scrunched the edges of the case and it did not entirely solve the problem, only decreased the noise. With speed, the case drove me batty with the noise. It already shows some signs of the darkening /opaqueness that another writer mentioned...after two weeks on the road.
I never use the lock...it is a waste of space, and would not keep someone out of the bag. I take it with me all the time if I leave the bike.
Would I buy the bag again?...with all the problems...yup! There is nothing else out there that is water proof, fits the bike well, has a waterproof mapcase (all others I have used leaked sooner or later in the day), and holds my stuff! I think there are many, many problems with the bag and would welcome the opportunity to have my thoughts passed on to Ortlieb, who ought to replace all of our bags with something functional and without all the problems noted here.
Those darn kids...now they are in MY yard...gotta go.