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Thread: New commuter

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    ***** Newbee
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    New commuter

    Ive been lurking for a while and have just started commuting again this spring after taking the harsh chicago winter off. Im sick of using my backpack and have been looking around for something waterproof that is more of a messenger bag than a back pack.

    I have heard some recommendations for Timbuk2's. I like the look, but how do they hold up to the rain and everyday wear and tear?

    Anything else recommended?

  2. #2
    Senior Member tarwheel's Avatar
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    Yes. Get the weight off your back. Get a large seatbag such as one of the Carradice models like the Barley or Pendle. It will be waterproof, hold lots of gear and won't effect bike handling.

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    Thanks for the idea. That would be really nice for hot summer days. However im stubborn and dont want lots of stuff straped to my bike that can easily be stolen from if I leave the bike out.

    Anything else out there?

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    your nightmare gal chipcom's Avatar
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    "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

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    http://www.chromebags.com/products/bags/show/14/

    I have heard good things about Chrome bags. They are waterproof while the BBP bags are only water resistant. Of course they are also twice as expensive. If I end up getting one it will probably be a messenger pack rather than a bag.

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    POWERCRANK addict markhr's Avatar
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    pac designs ultimate oversize
    massive load carrying capacity
    totally waterproof
    bombproof
    the couriers' favorite

    http://www.pacdesigns.com/oversize.htm


    shameless POWERCRANK plug
    Recommended reading for all cyclists - Cyclecraft - Effective Cycling
    Condor Cycles - quite possibly the best bike shop in London
    Don't run red lights, wear a helmet, use hand signals, get some cycle lights(front and rear) and, FFS, don't run red lights!

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    Senior Member Quel's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tarwheel View Post
    Yes. Get the weight off your back. Get a large seatbag such as one of the Carradice models like the Barley or Pendle. It will be waterproof, hold lots of gear and won't effect bike handling.
    How big are the large Carradice saddlebags? From the pictures I've seen, I can't quite tell if they are big enough to hold a pair of shoes plus a little more.

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    Senior Member powitte's Avatar
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    How much stuff are you planning on hauling around? Just a change of shoes and a lunch, or trips to the grocery?

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    I lug my 17" laptop, clothes, pump, lunch and assorted junk each day (about 16 pounds). I used to use a Messenger bag (Spire), but the weight on one shoulder was uncomfortable, and quick starts/stops or foot down could make the bag swing to the front. I bought a Banjo Brothers bag that is a back pack with a single top-loaded space (which is basically a very waterproof big plastic sack) with fold-over enclosure with 2 shoulder straps, chest and waist straps. It took a little getting used to, but I like it now.

    You can see it at http://banjobrothers.com/products/01150.php
    Last edited by dbelcher; 04-16-08 at 04:52 PM.

  10. #10
    Senior Member Quel's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by powitte View Post
    How much stuff are you planning on hauling around? Just a change of shoes and a lunch, or trips to the grocery?
    Shoes and a change of clothes for work.

    And a pump, 2 tubes, toolkit, but thats pretty minor volume, just weight.

  11. #11
    ***** Newbee
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    Thanks again guys.

    Im going to try a timbuk2 because I found a great deal on ebay for one. If that doesnt work out i might explore some more options.

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    Have you considered a rack and panniers (saddlebags) ? I have a small set, and I can't even imagine carrying any weight on my body, when the bike can take the weight so much better. But, it all depends, I guess, on the distance you want to commute, so I suppose a backpack would be great for only a couple of miles.

  13. #13
    YAT-YAS devildogmech's Avatar
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    MILKCRATE!!!!!!!!

    Sorry....

    Billy
    Master Guns Crittle, You out there??
    "A human being should be able to change a diaper, plan an invasion, butcher a hog, conn a ship, design a building, write a sonnet, balance accounts, build a wall, set a bone, comfort the dying, take orders, give orders, cooperate, act alone, solve equations, analyze a new problem, pitch manure, program a computer, cook a tasty meal, fight efficiently and die gallantly. Specialization is for insects." -Robert A. Heinlein

  14. #14
    Drunken Master amit_shah25's Avatar
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    I would recommend milk crates as well !! Not because of the cost factor but more due to convenience factor for me !! They look very "homelessy" !!! But I carry a laptop backpack and clothes that I throw in milkcrate. I run around and do groceries and errands on my bike and milkcrate is very very handy. Not just that, I got to tennis courts and I can throw my ball hopper in that milk crate !! So far, I LOVE the usability of milk create

    And another very handy thing is to have a few small bungy cords. I always leave them in the milk crate. They make sure that stuff dont fall out of the crate on bumpy roads.
    Nothing to say !

  15. #15
    Luggite bsyptak's Avatar
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    I have a bike with panniers and I have another without. When I know I need to carry major weight/mass like winter clothes back home in the afternoon, I use my bike with panniers. When minimal weight/mass, I use my fast bike with a Timbuk2 Commute XL messenger bag. I used to carry it over one shoulder like a messenger bag, but I ended up injuring my shoulder (tingling) from the weight. So I discovered a way to convert it to a backpack. Pic attached. This only works on the bags that have a removable shoulder strap (via clips) as well as the lower removable chest strap (via clips also).

    By the way, the Commute XL (now sized Large I believe) is an excellent messenger bag. It has a a nice vented cushion on the back side of the bag which also provides some structure to the bag. When the bag is full, very little of the pack actually contacts my back. No wear whatsoever in 2 years of daily use. Daily use in that if I use my bike with panniers, I shove the Timbuk2 into one of the panniers until I get to work.

    Best of both worlds IMO.
    Attached Images Attached Images

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