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  1. #1
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    Commuter gear - bag + pants.

    I'm looking to upgrade some of my stuff to be a bit better at resiting the weather. I'm already equipped with most things that I need to keep me dry in the snow/rain, but I'm mostly looking to upgrade my backpack.

    I'm currently using my old bag that I've had since 2005, but it's really falling apart and is FAR FAR farrrr from being weather-resistant. I'm sick of putting my work clothes in a tied up grocery bag within this crummy bag, to keep my stuff dry for work.

    So more specifically of what I'm looking for:
    --Messenger bag (dividers/extra pockets are things that are of low priority -- unless theres a fancy area for tools)
    --200$ or less (unless it is really worth it... my bad from 2005 was $30, so it had better last...)
    --As large as humanly possible
    --waterproof
    --All black
    --would HIGHLY prefer something with with yellow trim/accents <- this is the main thing i'm looking for (stupid, i know... but hey its what I want)
    --since its a messenger bag, I am looking for something similar to what the chrome/timbuk2/etc bags have -> the "Cross-chest load stabilizer" so that you have another strap that straps... to the major cross strap. (basically so when i'm out of saddle the bag dosn't fall to my handlebars causing me to endo)

    I'm a LARGE fan of the chrome bags, but they don't have anything that meet my all black/yellow criteria, otherwise I'd be all over em.

    I understand colour may not be a big deal, but its something that I'm going to have for a long time, might as well invest in it the way that I want it.

    ===

    also maybe some recommendations on pants, I don't suspect there is anything that could resist water for 9 miles and not have to change for work? If there is let me know. (black only)

    cheers,
    kyle
    Last edited by kyleshay; 09-30-10 at 10:36 PM.

  2. #2
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    The baileyworks bags are all black and have yellow inside.

    Or you can just get a pac designs bag. A little more expensive for the ultimates, but she also has the street scenes and pro lites. Hint - check ebay, she sells them NEW for about 2/3 of normal cost to start. Or pay full price and get it custom to exactly what colors and design you want.

    Those are the 2 best messenger bags that exist to be honest.

    I have a pac ultimate with xstrap and love it. Has everything.

    Forget timbuk2. Chromes are very comfortable, but there are better.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by diff View Post

    Forget timbuk2. Chromes are very comfortable, but there are better.
    Why forget Timbuk2? I have been looking at these and have only heard good things. Of course, this was from non-riders. I have yet to ride with one fully loaded, so any insight is helpful!

    I have been avoiding Chrome because of the image it seems to have.

  4. #4
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    The strap has NO padding. You have the option to buy some garbage pad for $10. Some of them come with the pad, but that makes no difference. Not comfortable at all. Its actually more comfortable without the pad.

    The strapping system sucks. Pain to get tight. Also the way the bag is cut and how it wears is not comfortable.

    Closing the bag leaves 2 exposed openings for water to get in. To get a "waterproof" timbuk2 you need to get their maverick bags.

    Just overall they are terrible bags. Not real bags for biking. They are made for mainstream to hang off the edge of your shoulder and walk around with.

    You don't have to get chrome. Pac designs, bailyworks, reload, seagull, and chicago wig. Check out the chicago wig people's bag. $150.

  5. #5
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    I just got a Chuva Messenger Bag from bonktown for $35. Waterproof, black, reflective accents. Not super big, though.

  6. #6
    Senior Member Cornflakes's Avatar
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    Banjo Brothers. Great bang for the buck. http://www.banjobrothers.com/product...messenger-bag/

  7. #7
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    have a look at the Super Ego from Tom Bihn. it's a huge messenger bag (i have its little brother, the ego, and i love it!).

  8. #8
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    There are a lot of messenger bag companies out there. For ex http://www.seagullbags.com/ has their black bags.

  9. #9
    Born Again Pagan irclean's Avatar
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    Well, I might as well be the first... have you considered getting the bag off of your back and attaching it to a rack? Assuming this is even possible on your bike there are some great panniers available that would protect your gear from the elements while keeping your back cooler by riding on the rack. I have an Arkel pannier and I can't say enough good things about their products. Their Urban series also includes a messenger bag: http://www.arkel-od.com/us/all-categ...briefcase.html. It's laptop compatible, comes in black, has 1100 cubic inches of volume, and there is an optional bright yellow rain cover available. The bag is about $140 USD and the rain cover is another $20. I have their "Commuter" bag with rain cover; I've had it for about 3 years and it has seen many commuting miles through all kinds of weather (including winter) and it still looks and works like new.

    As for pants I use some cheap PVC rain pants that I got from an outdoors store. They are great for shorter commutes. For long rides I would opt for something more cycling-specific.
    Last edited by irclean; 10-02-10 at 01:18 AM.
    Gettin' my Fred on.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by St. Urho View Post
    I just got a Chuva Messenger Bag from bonktown for $35. Waterproof, black, reflective accents. Not super big, though.
    I saw those, do they have the "Cross-chest load stabilizer"? how much do you recon you could fit into those? does it feel like its going to last?

    irclean - I've got a rack on my old steel road frame (and I do love it), but the bike I'm using for commuting doesn't have any mounts for a rack, and I don't like the idea of having a rack mount onto my seatpost, plus I like to bring my bag into work and not have to worry about detaching stuff from my bike (which I guess I have to do regardless so it doesn't get stolen).

    (work doesn't let me bring my bike inside because it will make the floor dirty).

    I'll have a look through the rest of the links everyone has posted and hopefully find something to get.

    Thanks !

  11. #11
    Commuter velosprinter's Avatar
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    I have done the pannier setup and it is nice. Mine had a strap that pretty much turned them into a messenger bag. That was back when I had books to carry but for the last two years it has just been cloths so I use an Osprey Talon 11. Great bag! this one has over 15K miles on it and still works like new. I should water proof it but were I live it does not rain much.

    Commuting 30 miles a day I would say backpack over currier bag any day. Seriously that thing swinging around like that, I tried a few and they always rubbed my shoulder. If you need to carry more than just light stuff go for a pannier setup.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by kyleshay View Post
    I saw those, do they have the "Cross-chest load stabilizer"? how much do you recon you could fit into those? does it feel like its going to last?
    It does have a chest strap. I carry a few books, a Nalgene bottle, a stethoscope and some other random medical stuff, a hat, and gloves and there's a lot of room left over. It seems pretty well made- nice stitching and the fabric feels solid.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by velosprinter View Post
    backpack over currier bag any day. Seriously that thing swinging around like that, I tried a few and they always rubbed my shoulder.
    I like the messenger bags for daily riding, so the bag I get will not only be used for commuting, but also for swinging around to pull out beers and the like.



    The thing I circled in red the stabilizer I was talking about. prevents the swinging around. And the chuva bags have that?

    If so I'll be buying a chuva bag ! can't go wrong for that price.

    Thanks.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by dan32888 View Post
    Why forget Timbuk2? I have been looking at these and have only heard good things. Of course, this was from non-riders. I have yet to ride with one fully loaded, so any insight is helpful!

    I have been avoiding Chrome because of the image it seems to have.
    Gotta chime in here -- I have two Timbuk2 bags, a large and a small. I love them both. I use the large when I am riding one of my rackless bikes and need to do a grocery run. Used it last night and bought heavy stuff like milk. I don't use the strap pad that came with it. Not garbage at all.

    That said, I bought them both at a very reduced price on Amazon. If I had paid full price, I probably would have leaned toward Chrome.

  15. #15
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    Check out Blicks bags www.blicksbags.com. She posts here on the ssfg forum and makes some pretty sweet stuff. I bet she'll make you a bag in the color scheme you want, at a fair price (for a hand made, made in America bag)

  16. #16
    Senior Member rumrunn6's Avatar
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    I would stockpile food and clothing at work. can you skip biking on rainy days? if not the right gear is worth the money. I like rear rack trunk bags. I use fenders. I find it helpful to still protect the bottom of the rack trunk with a sheet of cardboard covered in duct tape. I got a trunk that came with a rain cover. I used a cheap hotem style shower cap over the helmet. for pants I used good quality loose fitting (not baggy) rain pants for hiking that my dad had given me but they make some nice biking pants.

    I always changed at work and never worked in biking clothes
    cycling is like baseball ~ it doesn't take much to make it interesting

  17. #17
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    For a bag, there are plenty of good choices listed above for custom, hand-made in the USA options. A lot of these companies (Seagull, R.E.Load, Blick's, Blaq Design, Bailey Works, a million more) make essentially the same bags (big, waterproof, durable) for about the same money ($150-250 for a really big size), so pick one with the buckling system/strap/other crap that you want. Most of them do hand-made custom orders, too, so just email or call and go with who you like. I have a bag from Blaq Designs that looks positively ridiculous, as it's almost completely covered in reflective tape, but that's what I asked for and they did it. I like to use it in the winter for a few reasons: more bike maneuverability with the weight strapped to my back, to keep some more heat in, and because I like having a square yard of reflective tape on my back when it's icy and snowy and dark outside.

    For weather-resistant pants you can wear to work, if you want to drop seriously stupid money, both Outlier and Swrve (and I'm sure some other boutique outfits) make pants that would probably fit the bill. $100-200 is a lot to spend on pants though. I do have a pair of Swrve softshells and Outliers (yes, I'm willing to spend stupid money on possibly pointless things) - the Swrve softshells I wore almost every single day last winter, commuting 5-10 miles each way, the Outlier 4 Seasons I've managed to wear for weeks on end as well, in the spring and fall, and at this point both still look pretty brand new. They shed dirt, water, snow, salt, and road grit, and I can go straight from riding into a meeting at work. Some will mock (and rightfully so), but these stupid expensive pants do the trick for me.

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