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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 01-01-10, 01:01 PM   #1
surgtech1956
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backpack or messenger bag

What is the best bag for commuting, backpack or messenger? I wish I could put a rack on my road bike, but theres no where to attach it to the frame. I don't really need to carry much. I change into scrubs at work, I have a locker so I can store a few things. But would be bringing my lunch, lock, etc...
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Old 01-01-10, 01:04 PM   #2
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Seat post rack.

http://www.ebikestop.com/topeak_beam...mes-RK2541.php

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Old 01-01-10, 01:26 PM   #3
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I am a backpack person... The messenger bags wear on one shoulder causing some discomfort. Also I have a rack and trunk bag and took it off cause I could feel the weight when pedaling hard. my.02
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Old 01-01-10, 01:37 PM   #4
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Backpacks are too high up on the back. I prefer a mess bag (or really any shoulder bag) that has a long strap so that the bag is low, around my waist in a riding position.
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Old 01-01-10, 01:38 PM   #5
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i am now a backpack person. i use to use messenger bags, but the one strap on the shoulder with ~15pounds in it or more became to much of a hassle. moreso for quick stops the bag would swing around and would almost throw me off my bike. just the stuff inside moving around was anoying. so i switched back to backpacks, and then a rear rack with a basket and now i keep my bag in that. best soultion so far, back is free of sweat, less aches and pains(btw i'm 23) and really just makes sense. the rear rack has more uses. for rain i just put bag into a garbage bag. i havn't tried painners yet.
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Old 01-01-10, 01:59 PM   #6
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I like the idea of the seatpost rack.
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Old 01-01-10, 02:11 PM   #7
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I prefer messenger bag myself. Backpacks ride to high and feel more constrictive. Been using a Chrome Metro the last two years and really like it.

http://www.chromebagsstore.com/bags/messenger-bags.html
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Old 01-01-10, 02:12 PM   #8
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messenger back has more style
seatpost racks swing
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Old 01-01-10, 02:15 PM   #9
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Seagull black bag is the best value for the best bag. Backpacks are too small, and put all of the weight on your shoulders, messenger bags put it on your back if they are made properly.

-Colin
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Old 01-01-10, 04:40 PM   #10
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messenger back has more style
seatpost racks swing
LOL at everyone jumping on the "wanna be" messenger bandwagon. Chop your handlebars down while your at it.
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Old 01-01-10, 04:48 PM   #11
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I like backpacks because they feel more comfortable to me. Perhaps if I had tried a higher end messenger bag I would have a different opinion. Also to the OP there are multiple ways to attach a rear rack to a bike. Their are certain rear racks that attach to the seatstays and seatpost.
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Old 01-01-10, 05:10 PM   #12
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actually I prefer a rear rack trunk. where there's a will, there's a way to mount it
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Old 01-01-10, 06:09 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by surgtech1956 View Post
What is the best bag for commuting, backpack or messenger? I wish I could put a rack on my road bike, but theres no where to attach it to the frame. I don't really need to carry much. I change into scrubs at work, I have a locker so I can store a few things. But would be bringing my lunch, lock, etc...
So you have a road bike and need to carry your commuting kit... you need another bike, of course! ...You need a Surly LHT
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Old 01-01-10, 07:06 PM   #14
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I rode with a backpack for the first time a couple of weeks ago--- never again.
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Old 01-01-10, 07:21 PM   #15
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*cough*

-Messenger bags that swing around are not true mess bags. They are shoulder bags that lack the stability strap.
-Seat post rack will not support too much weight.
-"Backpacks sit up too high/too small" have never (probably) seen a Banjo Brothers Backpack. They have some looong straps compared to other packs that I have owned over the years.

@OP- depending on your budget, you might want to check out Carradice saddlebags that attach to your saddle. Also, if you aren't too leary of buying from e-tailers, look into what the Europeans have to offer. Germany's Rixen and Kaul has some nifty products.
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Old 01-01-10, 07:40 PM   #16
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P-clips. About $2.00 at Home Depot, plus a few bolts.
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Old 01-01-10, 08:51 PM   #17
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Used to be backpack, but the sweat on my back and my hair getting smash and caught up in my backpack forced me to tried a messenger bag. Shoulder bag is OK if it is not too heavy. The bag used to keep swinging around from my side. I solved that by wearing the strap around my neck and attaching a bungee cord from the attachment ring where the strap attach to the bag. Then I wrap the loose end of the bungee cord around my back and then I hook the cord to a belt loop on my jean pant. When I am riding, the bag is not exactly on my back nor on my side, but rather in between out of the way and a sweat free back. During weekend ride, it is no bag whatsoever.

The messger bag for me is nore stylish as I can still use it as a large purse. There is more style for my choossing which is important in my POV. The only problem I really had from it was from transporting a Laptop. I solved that when I replaced that with a 2.5 lb netbook.
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Old 01-01-10, 09:16 PM   #18
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Shoulder bag is OK if it is not too heavy. The bag used to keep swinging around from my side. I solved that by wearing the strap around my neck and attaching a bungee cord from the attachment ring where the strap attach to the bag. Then I wrap the loose end of the bungee cord around my back and then I hook the cord to a belt loop on my jean pant. When I am riding, the bag is not exactly on my back nor on my side, but rather in between out of the way and a sweat free back. .
Sounds like a lot to go through... are we talking a "real" messenger bag here, or something styled like one?

I used to use a backpack all the time, but have had issues with one shoulder, and got a Chrome bag (Citizen) that goes across the other shoulder. Between the way it fits, and the stabilizer strap it goes nowhere.. without all the bungee stuff.
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Old 01-01-10, 09:37 PM   #19
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Sounds like a lot to go through... are we talking a "real" messenger bag here, or something styled like one?

I used to use a backpack all the time, but have had issues with one shoulder, and got a Chrome bag (Citizen) that goes across the other shoulder. Between the way it fits, and the stabilizer strap it goes nowhere.. without all the bungee stuff.
Had one of these: http://www.rei.com/product/765611

It was supposed to be a laptop messenger bag, didn't like it, got rid of it without ever trying it and got regular one of these: http://www.keenfootwear.com/product/...0golden%20glow

like the second bag more, hence reason for make shift cord
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Old 01-02-10, 01:16 AM   #20
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A messenger bag is easily adjustable for load, one strap and a big buckle.
Easier to load as it is wider, easier to find stuff in and will crush you lunch less, Thermos will fit crossways. Mess bag is stylish on the job site and around town. You will look and feel like a bicyclist, not a hiker. I am using a Timbuk2 bag.
It's really nice.

http://www.timbuk2.com/tb2/products/messenger/

Here's a medium for $54
Made in America

http://www.rei.com/product/782784

Lots of options here

http://www.amazon.com/Timbuk2-Classi...2416377&sr=1-2

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Old 01-02-10, 10:26 AM   #21
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Really depends on what I need to carry, what it weighs and what I ride. No one size fits all.

Most of my bikes have racks and by far I like the Panniers or trunk bag best. The weight is low. No sweat issue on the back. No shoulder and neck issues from the straps. Because it is not on you. The trunk bag in particular keeps my lunch from getting smashed. All my panniers and trunk bag (Topeak MTX) have at least a strap handle to carry them with when I go in somewhere.
On the occasions I ride one of my bikes without a rack I like a TRUE messenger bag with a waist strap if it is only a couple pounds I am carrying. From there it is back pack with waist strap to distribute the load more evenly.
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Old 01-02-10, 11:32 AM   #22
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I had a handlebar bag but it threw off the front balance of my bike; I have a carbon road bike so I can't/won't put a rack on the back. I tried a backpack but I just didn't like the feel at all; I now have a Bailey Works messenger bag which I love. I also like being able to swing the bag in front when I want to get something out; I love photography so I carry my camera in my messenger bag and can get to it easiy. My Medium Bailey Works bag is very comfortable and I can pack just about everything I need in it.
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Old 01-02-10, 12:04 PM   #23
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Your LBS can give you little loops that attach to your seat stays for mounting your rack at three points. I personally use rack for road bike (alum frame) and backpack for mtb. Just stylistic differences really. A road bike with rack and rack trunk is a pretty hard combination to beat for commuting imho. The very best combo I found though was leaving a duffle bag full of clothes at the office, and carrying nothing but water and tools on the bike.
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Old 01-02-10, 12:12 PM   #24
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like the second bag more, hence reason for make shift cord
Yeah, nice bags both of them. No stabilizer strap would be my only issue. Hard to find a bag you really like though, and once you do I can understand making it work. I was using a laptop backpack for the longest time, got so ratty everyone I knew was making fun of it... but it was comfortable as ca be!
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Old 01-02-10, 01:12 PM   #25
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Yeah, nice bags both of them. No stabilizer strap would be my only issue. Hard to find a bag you really like though, and once you do I can understand making it work. I was using a laptop backpack for the longest time, got so ratty everyone I knew was making fun of it... but it was comfortable as ca be!
Hard to part with something that works. Sort of like wearing an old comfy pair of shoes we fallen in love with It's a shame though for the price they charge for cycling backpack and bag are so high and yet they sometime lacks the option of adding or improving accessories. It is nice if those $$$ pack have option such as add on stability straps, different selection of shoulder straps and even different mounting point for things like rear blinkie for those who have to attach their lights to their bags. Just makes it haarder for us to find bag we like, heck some bag I liked did not have enough width to fit a regular size Morph Road pump. I guess it comes down to whatever works for the individual needs.
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