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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 07-22-10, 12:40 PM   #1
adlai
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Messenger bags are terrible!

I picked one up recently to try it out. Terrible! Even compared to riding with my backpack on the messenger bag was worse. The weight distribution is lopsided, and yes, on a bike I still feel it, and even more so walking around. The waist strap doesn't prevent the thing from sliding around my shoulder, requiring me to constantly push it back. The bulk of it grinds against my lower back.

Would not recommend one, not at all.
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Old 07-22-10, 12:45 PM   #2
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Whom are you trying to convince? There are many messenger bag designs, some are better than others, and I'm not even sure you were doing it right. Some are left-handed, some are right-handed, and so on. I've been using messenger bags for several years now, and found them to be the best solution to my particular needs.
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Old 07-22-10, 12:46 PM   #3
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You're 100% wrong.

disclaimer: IMO
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Old 07-22-10, 12:53 PM   #4
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Lando's right, you're 100% wrong.
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Old 07-22-10, 12:55 PM   #5
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LOL

I do okay with the 2 bags that I have (only 1 at a time though).

From your post, it seems like you have the strap WAY too long. To get it to stay put on your back while using that extra "stabilizing" strap, the shoulder strap has to be pretty short so that the bag will rest in your BACK and not down by your hips. If you do this (set the bag higher up on your back), it will stay there while you ride.

I have found that there is no way for me to make a messenger bag fit both on and off the bike. What I mean is that for riding, I need the strap to be really short so it stays on my back. But for just walking around, you need the strap a whole lot longer or else it looks like you're carrying a purse.

Anyway, I think your problems are 2 things:
1. You need to shorten the strap to get the back WAY higher on your back than you currently have it. This will solve basically every problem you stated in your post.

2. You are going to have to adjust the strap again if you want to walk around with the thing on. I don't, but I don't have far to walk and I just end up carrying it by the handle.

I prefer the messenger bag to a backpack by far.
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Old 07-22-10, 01:00 PM   #6
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You know, I rode a bike once. It was really, really heavy and absurdly hard to pedal. It wasn't comfortable either. The seat was too far forward, and the handlebars were too wide. Bikes suck.
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Old 07-22-10, 01:14 PM   #7
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Old 07-22-10, 01:44 PM   #8
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Even when I worked as a courier I didn't use a cross-body bag. Backpack and a front rack were my favourites. I never felt "right" trying to balance a huge box crammed in a messenger bag on top of my back; but strapping it to a low-riding front rack made things simple to handle and not much slower to deal with.
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Old 07-22-10, 01:52 PM   #9
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While I use my pannier daily because of cloth wrinkling issues (Nashbar garment bag, ftw) I do love my messenger bag and think you must be doing it wrong.
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Old 07-22-10, 02:19 PM   #10
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I kinda like the way a messenger bag feels (when it's set up right), it's almost like getting a hug from a lifeless piece of Cordura.
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Old 07-22-10, 02:55 PM   #11
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Would not recommend one, not at all.
Might have been an ID 10 T error too.
I love my Chrome bag.
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Old 07-22-10, 03:44 PM   #12
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I shortened it so it sits right on the small of my back.
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Old 07-22-10, 03:53 PM   #13
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I don't know, I'm with adlai. I've never found them to be as comfortable as a backpack. I might not have come out as strongly against them but I agree with the sentiment. Also, I"m pretty sure I had it set up correctly, so no idiot error here. I guess that's why they sell both messenger bags & backapcks, something for everyone.
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Old 07-22-10, 04:22 PM   #14
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Might have been an ID 10 T error too.
What is an ID 10 T error? Jeez, I feel like an idiot asking this
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Old 07-22-10, 04:37 PM   #15
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Oh this is going to be a good thread.

I'll get the popcorn. . .
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Old 07-22-10, 04:49 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by adlai View Post
I picked one up recently to try it out. Terrible! Even compared to riding with my backpack on the messenger bag was worse. The weight distribution is lopsided, and yes, on a bike I still feel it, and even more so walking around. The waist strap doesn't prevent the thing from sliding around my shoulder, requiring me to constantly push it back. The bulk of it grinds against my lower back.

Would not recommend one, not at all.
Would you mind telling us which brand of a messenger bag you used that was so terrible ?
There are many different brands out there ,some are better then others. Personally I love my messenger bag, it's very comfortable if packed properly
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Old 07-22-10, 04:51 PM   #17
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I shortened it so it sits right on the small of my back.
It's usually worn on the upper back.. and if it's sliding around, you don't have it tight enough... but hey, if they don't work for you, wear a backpack or something, it's all good.. but just don't go saying how terrible they are just because YOU don't like them.

Personally, I think backpacks are terrible. I don't like wearing them. The double straps make my armpits sweat, but I don't think they're terrible for other people, just for me.
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Old 07-22-10, 05:03 PM   #18
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What is an ID 10 T error? Jeez, I feel like an idiot asking this
best. reply. ever.

also, bad messenger bags leave the person who tried them with a horrible impression of messenger bags.
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Old 07-22-10, 05:22 PM   #19
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I wouldn't use one, but that is all my son uses, and he is car free (of course he used to be a messenger). Personal preference I guess - I don't like anything on back except monkeys.

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Old 07-22-10, 05:50 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by adlai View Post
I picked one up recently to try it out. Terrible! Even compared to riding with my backpack on the messenger bag was worse. The weight distribution is lopsided, and yes, on a bike I still feel it, and even more so walking around. The waist strap doesn't prevent the thing from sliding around my shoulder, requiring me to constantly push it back. The bulk of it grinds against my lower back.

Would not recommend one, not at all.
You might be using it wrong. What works for me is to make the shoulder strap really long so the bag sits behind my lower back at hip level. Then I cinch the waist strap tightly around hip bones (not around the soft part of your middle). This keeps weight supported by hips and not shoulders. And it doesn't move around.

Many people say to wear it high -- I don't like it like that.
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Old 07-22-10, 07:03 PM   #21
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All bags are stupid. Get with the program.
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Old 07-22-10, 08:49 PM   #22
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I love my Tom Bihn Super Ego messenger bag. It is true that I have to change the strap length when I'm getting off the bike, but that takes 2 seconds.

The anti-shift strap works well.

For longer rides, a rack bag is hands-down preferred. Cooler and a lower CoG.

Sounds like you got a cheapy or are using it wrong.

That said, I guess they're not for everyone.
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Old 07-22-10, 09:40 PM   #23
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Just admit that it's a style choice.
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Old 07-22-10, 10:43 PM   #24
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Just admit that it's a style choice.
Just admit you don't know how to use a messenger bag.
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Old 07-22-10, 10:43 PM   #25
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Just admit it's a style choice for you.
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