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Commuting Bicycle commuting is easier than you think, before you know it, you'll be hooked. Learn the tips, hints, equipment, safety requirements for safely riding your bike to work.

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Old 09-27-07, 08:10 AM   #1
mulchie
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arkel bug and blackburn rack?

Pardon me if I'm retracing old ground but I'm wondering about the Arkel bug for general commuting needs (no laptop, some fragile stuff) and see from some outdated posts that they used to not fit on blackburn racks which is what I have and don't want to replace. Has this issue been solved in Arkel's new designs?

I want a durable pannier. Single or double. But I want to buy quality... and buy once. One priority since I bike in the dark is that I really don't want anything to block my DiNotte taillight (mounted under the seat) so I have ruled out some options (like Axiom columbus) that sit on the top of the rack.
FINALLY, I haven't ridden with a single side pannier and it's hard not to think this thing wouldn't leave me chronically off balance. )(*&#!!
Anybody out there have insights into these questions?
Thanks,
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Old 09-27-07, 02:40 PM   #2
modernjess
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I use an Arkel commuter with the older style mount (last years) on an older (circa '94?) Blackburn MTN rack. It works great. The Arkel mounting system is really adjustable, and allows you to move the hooks etc. The Arkel stuff is spendy, but well worth the money. I think you'll be OK.

As far as the un balanced feeling of a single pannier thing goes, I never notice and I ride with a laptop in mine. I notice it only when I'm walking it, or leaning the bike against something. Once you're rolling it magically disappears.
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Old 09-27-07, 03:31 PM   #3
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I use the arkel utility basket for groceries and such, and i have a blackburn rack also. Both items were purchased new this year. The attachment system works well with the blackburn rack. The only issue i have is that sometimes the clip gets caught on the back corner of the rack and if I hit a big bump going fast when the clip is like this it sometimes allows the cam to open and the bag will pop off from the rear clip. It has not really been an issue since i adjusted the position of the clips, but it is something to think about.

Riding with a single pannier takes just a few seconds to master. You just need to be rolling and then you don't feel the weight. If you like to ride with no hands on the handlebars you might have a problem.

I just got a pair of ortlieb waterproof backroller classics, and they were only about $15 more than the single arkel with shipping included, ordered online. The attachment system on these bags seems a bit better than the arkel simply because if there is pressure on the cam it doesn't seem like it will pop off like the arkel.
Don't get me wrong....i would not trade the utility basket for anything, i still love it!
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Old 09-28-07, 06:20 AM   #4
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Thanks. I'm actually now thinking about the tail rider since I don't usually haul much stuff at all, but bungee cording those things I do have on the blackburn is a pain and stuff is often getting loose and rubbing up against the tires. The tail rider looks ideal. And I've figured out how to securely attach my taillight to the rack with no sweat.
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Old 09-28-07, 08:34 AM   #5
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Thanks. I'm actually now thinking about the tail rider since I don't usually haul much stuff at all, but bungee cording those things I do have on the blackburn is a pain and stuff is often getting loose and rubbing up against the tires. The tail rider looks ideal. And I've figured out how to securely attach my taillight to the rack with no sweat.
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Old 09-28-07, 05:26 PM   #6
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I have basically exactly the set up you've been looking into; an Arkel Bug and a Blackburn rack. The Arkel is superb at holding different things because of the pockets at the front, side and the main compartment has a plastic backplate to reinforce it.

I cycle to school with all my books, laptop, lunch, change of clothes, I have large feet so school shoes go on top of rack in a bag! It's mega easy to get used to the weight on one side like the others said. I also got the rain cover to go with it which has been useful and you can just store it in this small pocket when its not it use. The hooking system is brilliant because I could adjust it so its far back to accommodate my large feet and is easy to take on and off. And lastly the bag is comfy as a rucksack to, the hooks and everything don't get in the way at all.

This post is probs a bit too late but hey, it might be not!

Sam
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