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  1. #1
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    Backpacks vs Racks

    I find that backpacks are a pain towell use when riding. They tend to shift around even when adjusted well, and the extra weight on my back isn't something I really need there. I recently tried strapping my backpack onto my rack. This is nice because it saves my back and the extra weight isn't noticable.

    What do you use on your commute and why?

  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by Eroick
    I find that backpacks are a pain towell use when riding. I recently tried strapping my backpack onto my rack.

    What do you use on your commute and why?
    A basket permanently attached to the rack, into which I drop the backpack.

  3. #3
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    Rear rack and an Arkel Bug. That way I have a pannier while I'm riding and as soon as I lock up I can open up the panel on the Bug and get backpack straps to carry the bag into work with me.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Eroick
    I find that backpacks are a pain towell use when riding. They tend to shift around even when adjusted well, and the extra weight on my back isn't something I really need there. I recently tried strapping my backpack onto my rack. This is nice because it saves my back and the extra weight isn't noticable.

    What do you use on your commute and why?
    I've had similar experiences. For now I'm satisfied with loading most freight in a rear rack trunk (I don't carry a lot, really), and optionally packing light or delicate cargo in a backpack. At destinations where I'm off the bike for a long time, I can store the trunk in the backpack easily enough.

    How long is your commute? I find that a well-stocked backpack is relatively comfortable on trips up to ~8km, but does cause a bit of grief on my 10-14km commutes.


  5. #5
    Mmmmm potatoes idcruiserman's Avatar
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    I bought a rack and panniers. A bit overkill for the amount of junk I carry, but nice to be able to leave the backpack at home.
    Idaho

  6. #6
    Grumpy Old Bugga europa's Avatar
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    I don't like a thermos pounding me in the kidneys.
    I don't like my back being a bath of sweat because a backpack has stopped the airflow.
    I have this weird idea that my bike is supposed to be carrying the load, not me.
    I ...

    arrrr, you know what I'm getting at.
    A rack and panniers for me.

    Richard
    I had a good bike ... so I FIXED it

  7. #7
    Life is short Ride hard
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    spottings of motorcycle peoples actions arround west mi and other parts of this country. Would lead me to belive that most backpack people are the ones on the race bikes that are doing wheelies in the street. Which means that they bought the wrong bike. Then the low CC utility bikes I see have panniers and diffrent hard case boxes that go on the bikes which means they bout a bike to fit their needs to carry weight
    The Ferrari ('05 Bianchi Forza) had a flat (Stupid Glass) the Japanese wagon ('77 Nishiki with Arkel Utility Basket) was in the body shop (On my bench being repainted...repent ye rust)
    so I took the SUV ( Cannondale V2000 Active 100SL)

  8. #8
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    umm chocolate or vanilla?

    I use a backpack because I only carry my lunch and clothes, my ride is only 11 miles, and I'm not a fan of the rack look. Having a sweaty back is annoying though, which is why I love winter.

  9. #9
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    I use I use a bicycle-commuter briefcase that hooks onto the right side of my rack (Carradice Bicycle Bureau). On the left side I leave a Nashbar Townie Basket (currently on sale for $17--great deal); it stays there all time.

    I use the Bicycle Bureau for most of my work-related stuff, tools, rain gear, etc, and I use the Townie Basket for whenever I need a little extra capacity. The cool thing about the Townie Basket is that it folds tightly against the rack so it is never in the way. It is great for that unexpected trip to the grocery store on the way home. Most often, however, I use it for my gym bag. My gym bag is just an old backpack, but it conveniently drops into the townie basket, and I just lift it out when I get to the gym.

    This system is very convenient and satisfying for me.

    -D

  10. #10
    Jet Jockey Banzai's Avatar
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    I think you'll find that the great majority use racks, for precisely the reasons you outlined.

    Backsweat, other nastiness.

    Awkward burden on back/body.

    Early in my commuting experience, moving my load to a rack and panniers was nothing short of liberating. I felt lighter and more nimble without the load on my back. I certainly felt more easy going and relaxed. It was a breath of fresh air, and I recommend racks and panniers to people unequivocally. Best thing I ever added to my commuter bike.
    Good night...and good luck

  11. #11
    Perineal Pressurized dobber's Avatar
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    -I have a rack & panniers on one bike
    -I have several backpacks
    -I have a couple messenger bags
    -I have a rack and front basket on another bike

    I keep it mixed up, never really had a preference, the method is often dictated by the load or the ride.
    This is Africa, 1943. War spits out its violence overhead and the sandy graveyard swallows it up. Her name is King Nine, B-25, medium bomber, Twelfth Air Force. On a hot, still morning she took off from Tunisia to bomb the southern tip of Italy. An errant piece of flak tore a hole in a wing tank and, like a wounded bird, this is where she landed, not to return on this day, or any other day.

  12. #12
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    A basket permanently attached to the rack, into which I drop the backpack.
    +1

  13. #13
    your nightmare gal chipcom's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dobber
    -I have a rack & panniers on one bike
    -I have several backpacks
    -I have a couple messenger bags
    -I have a rack and front basket on another bike

    I keep it mixed up, never really had a preference, the method is often dictated by the load or the ride.
    +1 I prefer to ride light, just carrying my lunch and having clothes pre-staged at work, so when I have to haul a bunch of clothes, I use my touring bike with panniers, otherwise I am on my xcross (or now the new winter SS) with nothing but a Pendle saddle bag. I was using the messenger bag when I need to tote the laptop, because backpacks always seem to block some of view through my glasses mirror, but I just ordered one of these to try out: http://bbpbags.com/
    "Let us hope our weapons are never needed --but do not forget what the common people knew when they demanded the Bill of Rights: An armed citizenry is the first defense, the best defense, and the final defense against tyranny. If guns are outlawed, only the government will have guns. Only the police, the secret police, the military, the hired servants of our rulers. Only the government -- and a few outlaws. I intend to be among the outlaws" - Edward Abbey

  14. #14
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    I am slowly converting to the method chipcom mentions. While I have only one bike (a touring bike) that I like to ride, I haul my clothes in on Monday and haul the previous week's clothes and Tupperware back using two panniers. The rest of the week will be using a rack trunk bag. Eventually, during spring and summer next year it will be the touring bike on monday and the roadie the rest of the week.

  15. #15
    Banned Bikepacker67's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by chipcom
    (or now the new winter SS)
    How's that working out for ya?
    After last week's blast of arctic air (-5F for highs) froze the pawls in my freehub, I'm beginning to appreciate the idea of a fixie.

    Got any pics?

  16. #16
    Play all day
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    I like to mix it up. I usually use a messenger bag, which I find really comfy, but when I get sick of the sweaty back and the load, I use my rack with trunk bag or pannier. But then I get sick of the loss of maneuverability and how cumbersome the trunk/pannier is to load and unload...

  17. #17
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    I got an Xtracycle... it carries anything!


    Ben

  18. #18
    your nightmare gal chipcom's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bikepacker67
    How's that working out for ya?
    After last week's blast of arctic air (-5F for highs) froze the pawls in my freehub, I'm beginning to appreciate the idea of a fixie.

    Got any pics?
    Not a lick of snow here yet...which is good cuz I need to get a new set of studded tires for this bike!
    "Let us hope our weapons are never needed --but do not forget what the common people knew when they demanded the Bill of Rights: An armed citizenry is the first defense, the best defense, and the final defense against tyranny. If guns are outlawed, only the government will have guns. Only the police, the secret police, the military, the hired servants of our rulers. Only the government -- and a few outlaws. I intend to be among the outlaws" - Edward Abbey

  19. #19
    DNPAIMFB pinkrobe's Avatar
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    Ah yes, the monthly [or is it weekly?] backpack vs. pannier thread...

    Backpacks kick ass, etc.
    Proud Member of the HHCMF
    '06 Cervelo Soloist Carbon | '09 Titus El Guapo | '09 Misfit diSSent | '09 Wabi Lightning

  20. #20
    not a role model JeffS's Avatar
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    A backpack, only because I've been too lazy to get a bike setup with a rack.

  21. #21
    Tail End Charlie Ritehsedad's Avatar
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    I've done both. One knock on panniers is the wind resistance. Having said that, I prefer panniers.
    Why isn't 11 pronounced onety one?

  22. #22
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    I forgot one item. I use backpacks for short around town errand trips. Hauling panniers off the bike and back on is annoying. That and they look like man purses if you have only one.

    Early next year I will add a messenger bag for the roadie. Then I will have every category covered

  23. #23
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    i have been using both front (not "low-rider" ) rack for front panniers and a rear rack for panniers and rack pack. tempted to use handlebar bag, but air-zound may not be heard as well.
    let the bikes frame carry the load, not your back!

  24. #24
    Baka dakara supercub's Avatar
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    I have two backpacks and two sets of panniers. One set of panniers is attached to my bike, and a backpack goes in there. The other backpack is on my back, and the other set of panniers goes in there. Panniers in backpack. Backpack in panniers. I've got all my bases covered.

  25. #25
    actin' the foo ragboy's Avatar
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    Backpack for me. I'm planning on getting one of these, if Santa isn't too broke

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