Commuted for the first time with panniers today and it was awesome! I have been commuting once or twice a week, 30mi round trip with a messenger bag. I recently bought a chrome back pack and used it once. It was better than the messenger bag but still not great. I put my bike in the shop for a tune up and just decided to have them put a rack on it. It's a cannondale r500t (t is for triple chain ring). There isn't a lot of clearance but I found a small set of panniers with plenty of room in them and plenty of heel clearance still. They are Avenire brand and are pretty cheaply made, but as long as they hold up for a little while I'll be happy with them. I think ortlieb makes a similar sized pannier I might upgrade to when these wear out. Riding with panniers is so much better than with a bag.