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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 02-24-08, 10:25 AM   #1
macteacher
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Pannier & rack

Hi all, i'm looking around for a rear rack and pannier (for MBP and clothes, etc).

I'm not looking to spend a fortune as my bike is quite old...how much does a basic rear rack go for these days? I've seen them range from $14.00 to $90. Like what gives? Bags are even more at the $250-300 level mark. I don't want to spend that much money on a bag...at that price point, i might as well just put gas in my car and go. I have a 17" MBP to carry to work, along with lunch pale and some misclilaneous goods. I currently pack everything into my backpack
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Old 02-24-08, 10:51 AM   #2
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Originally Posted by macteacher View Post
Hi all, i'm looking around for a rear rack and pannier (for MBP and clothes, etc).

I'm not looking to spend a fortune as my bike is quite old...how much does a basic rear rack go for these days? I've seen them range from $14.00 to $90. Like what gives? Bags are even more at the $250-300 level mark. I don't want to spend that much money on a bag...at that price point, i might as well just put gas in my car and go. I have a 17" MBP to carry to work, along with lunch pale and some misclilaneous goods. I currently pack everything into my backpack
check out eBAy for both panniers and rack to fit your required size/use. i just watched a "new" set of REI panniers (+/- 2500ci) go for $22 + $8 s/h. a used rear blackburn (or equal) rack will cost about the same, maybe less$, like $15 + $10 s/h. a rack pack and/or handlebar bag may be another angle for you to explore, depending on use, carry volumn needed, etc. look for "lightly used, as new", etc along with seller feedback score.
check bike nashbar to compare costs.
get your gear off your back!
t
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Old 02-24-08, 11:00 AM   #3
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I get by with just a rack and trunk bag, and a cheap set of avenir panniers if needed, for everything I need to carry, except my laptop. For that I use a bum bag (http://www.bbpbags.com). Pricey, yes....what's your laptop worth?

You can find decent racks, trunk bags and even small panniers at Nashbar or Performance for under 40 bucks each.
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Old 02-24-08, 01:06 PM   #4
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I have Trek Interchange racks and bags. They are a bit pricey, but I find them more convenient than hook-and-strap panniers I've had before. (Edit: they have held up OK, not great. After 2 years of daily abuse, I need to replace a couple of zipper pulls and zippers.)

I presume the higher end bags you are looking at are Ortlieb and Carradice? Some of these are high quality gear -- someone around here posted that he anticipates willing his Carradice to his grandkids in about 50 years.

Last edited by newbojeff; 02-24-08 at 01:06 PM. Reason: Adding information
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Old 02-24-08, 01:45 PM   #5
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Transit Pro rack and bag combo 89.99
plus there's a 10% coupon good thru friday, check the coupon forum

http://www.performancebike.com/shop/...TOKEN=84945882

Been using these for years, not the best but they work fine for most everything. Come with rain covers, a nice feature.
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Old 02-24-08, 04:55 PM   #6
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Performance has some nice stuff. I have the transit rack and grocery panniers that carry alot of stuff. As far as my laptop goes, I always carry it in my bookbag that goes on my back and I roll out!
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Old 02-24-08, 05:25 PM   #7
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For commuting I wouldn't worry too much. The more expensive racks are beefier and often chromoly for touring. I've been commuting year round in Colorado for 6 years with the same cheapo aluminum rack and Nashbar truck bag. Caveat: It doesn't rain here much and I don't schlep my laptop around. The heaviest thing I've ever strapped to it is a case of beer. If you want a grocery getter I'd pick up a cheap Burley off of craigslist. You can get a huge used Burley trailer for less than $100, which is cheaper than a new set of pannier bags. That's what I did and my only regret is that I didn't do it sooner.
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Old 02-24-08, 08:29 PM   #8
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For somewhere around $20, the Axiom Journey rack has the best apparent quality I have seen. (No, I have not ever seen the premium/serious touring brands in real life.) The Journey's wide pannier supports keep my bags from ever getting into the spokes, which was a problem I had with my old rack. The support arms that connect to the seat stays are made from tubular aluminum, instead of the typical stamped steel; whether or not this makes an actual difference in the rack's hauling abilities I don't know, but it I really like it. The whole rack has a kind of an unusual shape to it that looks great on a mountain bike, but might seem strange on something more sleek.

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Old 02-24-08, 09:55 PM   #9
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macteacher... it's your patriotic duty to shop mec, 'cides they rock for accessories and don't sell junk.

http://www.mec.ca/Products/product_l...=1203911479085
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Old 02-24-08, 11:19 PM   #10
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macteacher... it's your patriotic duty to shop mec, 'cides they rock for accessories and don't sell junk.

http://www.mec.ca/Products/product_l...=1203911479085
I do shop at mec, but to be honest with you, I don't find all of their stuff to be that great. They have some racks and I will take a closer look tomorrow in the store, but as for bags, nothing that can fit my 17" MBP

I do like the look of that axiom rack and the price is right!!!
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Old 02-24-08, 11:50 PM   #11
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I do shop at mec, but to be honest with you, I don't find all of their stuff to be that great. They have some racks and I will take a closer look tomorrow in the store, but as for bags, nothing that can fit my 17" MBP

I do like the look of that axiom rack and the price is right!!!
My rack of choice is the Delta Universal mega rack, Sunlite Trunk Bag(small), and an old pair of cannondale 'front' bags on the rear. On my #2 commuter I use the same rack w/Jandd Saddlebags which I don't recommend as they don't hold very much. On #3 commuter I've got the Delta w/Jandd Mountain Expedition Expandable...a little overkill for a commute but I NEVER seem to run out of room. I swap the bags from bike to bike according to mood, but the Universal Mega has a 6 bolt system to accomodate 26" and 700 wheels. They're about 35.00 from the delta website in black or silver. I always do blue 'Loctite' on the bolts, too. Don't do the red Loctite, you'll NEVER get them off.
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Old 02-25-08, 02:07 PM   #12
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Okay peeps, I need some advise:

Here is where I am coming from: 10 Mile Commute from Melrose, MA to Boston, MA. Roads: crap, Traffic: crap, Weather: sometimes crap.

I have been doing this for a couple of years and love it. I have a Hybrid Trek 7.5FX to do the job and it works perfectly. Plus, I will occasionally take off all my commuter stuff and head out for a weekend tour. It is not a road bike, but it works for a 30 miler or two.

I don't carry a big load just my work stuff (really only shoes, clothes and toiletries, so minimal) and I have been wearing a camelback backpack that I bought in 2000 for a different reason and it has worked so far, but I am looking for more of a real solution, if there is one...

I tried a blackburn rack and tethering my backpack on to that to test it out, but it seemed to reduce the bike performance and in Boston traffic I need all of the bike performance possible. So my solution was to free the bike of extra weight and strap it tight on my back. It works well, but it would be great to not have to wear the pack.

I am looking for something that can quick release for weekend rides and not reduce weekday commuter bike performance...any suggestions.
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Old 02-25-08, 02:51 PM   #13
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Banjo Brother's saddle bags. Great panniers, tons of room, $50.
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Old 02-25-08, 03:11 PM   #14
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Have you seen the Ortlieb Office Bag 2? It is a hard briefcase that mounts directly to the top of the rack, and it has room for your MBP. TheTouringStore.com probably has the cheapest price at $166 with free shipping.



Genova35, does your bike have a suspension fork? If it doesn't, a front rack like the CETMA racks may be better for placing your backpack in. A hard case, similar to the above Office Bag or the trunk bag that Chipcom mentioned may work well too.

Last edited by Ken Wind; 02-25-08 at 03:19 PM.
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Old 02-25-08, 03:39 PM   #15
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If you need to carry a 17-incher, you might as well spring for an Xtracycle.
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Old 02-25-08, 03:45 PM   #16
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Originally Posted by macteacher View Post
I do shop at mec, but to be honest with you, I don't find all of their stuff to be that great. They have some racks and I will take a closer look tomorrow in the store, but as for bags, nothing that can fit my 17" MBP

I do like the look of that axiom rack and the price is right!!!
I have MEC's basic $15 rack on both my touring bike which I've loaded down with camping gear, and on my city bike which gets anything and everything transported with it. I've never had any problems with the rack. They sell a more expensive version if you have disc brakes as the rack needs a different design.

For commuting, not as aerodynamic of course as having panniers, but for a cheap solution you could use a milk crate and throw a backpack/bag you already have inside of it. I attach the milk crate by tying it to the rack with old inner tube. Some people use hose clamps but the inner tube is easy to remove for rides when you find it to be cumbersome.
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Old 02-25-08, 04:17 PM   #17
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Depending on your accepted level of dorkiness, a simple rack with a Wald basket can carry quite a bit.



In this case the rear rack was a Nitto, a little pricey (~$80) but it was required to match the front Nitto.

Extra points for a matching front basket set up.
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Old 02-25-08, 04:21 PM   #18
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I'm not a fan of mustache bars, but that is a very nice ride.
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