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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 04-16-08, 10:19 AM   #1
Double_take
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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?
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Old 04-16-08, 10:25 AM   #2
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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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Old 04-16-08, 10:35 AM   #3
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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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Old 04-16-08, 10:49 AM   #4
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http://bbpbags.com/
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Old 04-16-08, 11:02 AM   #5
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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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Old 04-16-08, 04:19 PM   #6
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pac designs ultimate oversize
massive load carrying capacity
totally waterproof
bombproof
the couriers' favorite

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


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Old 04-16-08, 04:33 PM   #7
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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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Old 04-16-08, 04:38 PM   #8
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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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Old 04-16-08, 04:43 PM   #9
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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

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Old 04-16-08, 04:55 PM   #10
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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?
Shoes and a change of clothes for work.

And a pump, 2 tubes, toolkit, but thats pretty minor volume, just weight.
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Old 04-17-08, 07:53 AM   #11
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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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Old 04-17-08, 08:04 AM   #12
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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.
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Old 04-17-08, 08:11 AM   #13
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MILKCRATE!!!!!!!!

Sorry....

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Old 04-17-08, 08:49 AM   #14
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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.
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Old 04-17-08, 09:59 AM   #15
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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.
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