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Old 08-15-07, 08:49 AM   #1
Itsjustb
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Trunk/pannier combo to hold laptop

I've been using this Trek bag:

http://store.trekbikes.com/jump.jsp?...&bShopOnline=0

for the last two years, and I love it. The trunk portion is the perfect size to hold my lunch & clothes, and I can get my laptop in the fold-down panniers when I have to transport it. Unfortunately I've completely killed the zipper on the trunk portion. I'd replace it, but it's expensive as heck for what it is--around $80. Plus my LBS has done a terrible job of getting one in.

I've seen many other trunk/pannier combos that are cheaper, but I haven't found any others where the pannier pockets are wide enough to fit a laptop. The few that do have them are usually at least as expensive if not more.

Does anyone have a recommendation? Or....is it possible for a non-handy person to replace the zipper with good results?

Oh, before anyone says "messenger bag" or "backpack", I hate riding with stuff on my back if I can avoid it.

TIA!
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Old 08-15-07, 10:03 AM   #2
Spreggy
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Carting a laptop has been annoying on the bike, I eventually stumbled onto a laptop backpack that has stowable shoulder straps, and I clip it to my rack with carabiners. Works like a charm, cost me five shmooks.

I couldn't find a briefcase pannier under a hundred.
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Old 08-15-07, 10:42 AM   #3
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http://www.modernbike.com/itemgroup.asp?IGPK=2126175268

For a little more you can get a Quick track setup, which IMHO is well worth it.

I have had this one for a couple of years and love it. I am not sure how long of a warranty comes with them, but I had a zipper break last year and they sent a new one within a week.
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Old 08-15-07, 10:49 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by AllenG View Post


I cobbled this together last year and it's been great. It's an Osprey Transit bag, has simi-ridgid sides, and has preformed flawlessly lugging cameras and a laptop. I've used it as both a pannier and messenger bag, depending on which bike I'm riding.
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Old 08-15-07, 11:17 AM   #5
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I bet someone that can sew could replace the zipper. Search for sew or sewing in the yellow pages.
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Old 08-15-07, 01:32 PM   #6
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It's probably cheaper to find someone who can replace the zipper for you, however I use some really big Lugger Cycle bags which I use high-density foam padding (the type you can buy cheaply for mattress-tops) cut to fit around the laptop with some extra length folding around the side nearest the rack and along the bottom - it works quite well.
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Old 08-15-07, 01:38 PM   #7
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If you can't replace the zipper, you could probably rig some sort of clip or velcro attachment to hold the trunk part closed. Waterproofing might be a problem, though, depending on your weather and your ingenuity with the design...
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Old 08-15-07, 01:41 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AllenG View Post
I cobbled this together last year and it's been great.
Allen, where did you get the two gizmos that you added (visible in the second picture)?

I need to find one of those to replace a broken part on one of my panniers.
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Old 08-15-07, 01:59 PM   #9
ericy
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Itsjustb View Post
I've been using this Trek bag:

http://store.trekbikes.com/jump.jsp?...&bShopOnline=0

for the last two years, and I love it. The trunk portion is the perfect size to hold my lunch & clothes, and I can get my laptop in the fold-down panniers when I have to transport it. Unfortunately I've completely killed the zipper on the trunk portion. I'd replace it, but it's expensive as heck for what it is--around $80. Plus my LBS has done a terrible job of getting one in.

I've seen many other trunk/pannier combos that are cheaper, but I haven't found any others where the pannier pockets are wide enough to fit a laptop. The few that do have them are usually at least as expensive if not more.

Does anyone have a recommendation? Or....is it possible for a non-handy person to replace the zipper with good results?

Oh, before anyone says "messenger bag" or "backpack", I hate riding with stuff on my back if I can avoid it.

TIA!
The direction I am heading is to simply carry a small USB drive with the stuff I need for work on it. That way the laptop can stay home, and I don't need to carry the few extra pounds.
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Old 08-15-07, 02:56 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by divergence View Post
Allen, where did you get the two gizmos that you added (visible in the second picture)?

I need to find one of those to replace a broken part on one of my panniers.
They are Ortlieb small parts.
Wayne at the Touring Store and Wallingford both can get them in for you.
http://www.ortliebusa.com/cartgenie/...st.asp?scat=21
^^^^
And that's the link to get them direct from Ortlieb USA.
They are really fairly cheep. I've used them to cobble together several different types of panniers and rack trunks.
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Old 08-15-07, 03:24 PM   #11
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I ended up going with a backpack too, after trying panniers with the laptop. They're just not designed to stay on with that kind of weight density, I guess.
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Old 08-15-07, 03:59 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AllenG View Post
They are Ortlieb small parts.
Wayne at the Touring Store and Wallingford both can get them in for you.
http://www.ortliebusa.com/cartgenie/...st.asp?scat=21
^^^^
And that's the link to get them direct from Ortlieb USA.
They are really fairly cheep. I've used them to cobble together several different types of panniers and rack trunks.
Thanks for the links; that's exactly what I needed!

Quote:
Originally Posted by lil brown bat View Post
I ended up going with a backpack too, after trying panniers with the laptop. They're just not designed to stay on with that kind of weight density, I guess.
I used to have that exact problem. I got a great deal on a set of panniers from Performance, but not great enough to pay for the repairs to my laptop when the panniers popped loose on a rough road.

After that I went to my LBS instead, where I can muck around and try different rack/pannier combinations to see how they fit. Found a setup which works great: the bags clip solidly to the rack at three points, and stay attached through any craziness I can put them through, then unclip instantly when I want to take them with me. They work fine for dense loads; I've almost always got a laptop in them, often along with papers, books, power tools, and other heavy objects.

So if the backpack is working well for you, no need to fix what isn't broken...but if you'd rather have the weight on the bike rather than on your back, don't give up on finding a pannier setup that works.

Last edited by divergence; 08-15-07 at 04:07 PM.
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Old 08-15-07, 08:31 PM   #13
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So far I've had great luck with the Deuter Rack Pack I panniers I picked up at Sierra trading post. I'm using a laptop sleeve that came with my PI Velocipak (it just got too damn sweaty). The Deuters use the Ortleib attachment system and it's dead simple and reliable. I can stuff my laptop, clothes and lunch in just one and leave the Nashbar grocery pannier on the other side for when I have to stop by the store on the way home.
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