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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 03-05-11, 09:29 PM   #1
AlmostGreenGuy
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Warm Weather Pack

A question for experienced long mileage commuters. You've got a 15 mile commute home ahead of you. It's summer time, 90 degrees, blazing sun, and humid as heck. Which of these two packs is the least evil on your back?



Chrome Mini-Metro - http://www.chromebagsstore.com/bags/...all.html?c=121



Osprey Momentum 26 - http://www.ospreypacks.com/detail.ph...2&tab=features
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Old 03-05-11, 10:30 PM   #2
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To be honest? Neither are a wise choice for the conditions you describe. If a rack trunk, pannier(s), or a Carradice won't work for you (for whatever reason), there are better choices in the backpack department.

I might have missed it, but that Osprey doesn't appear to have any kind of suspension to it. And that Cordura outer/truck tarp inner of the Chrome will ensure your cargo stays dry, but you'll be soaked...
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Old 03-05-11, 10:39 PM   #3
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If you're going with a backpack, get one that has ventilation channels.
Once you start sweating, you can really feel the air moving in there.
But this will depend on your lean angle, I commute on a roadbike.
I tried a FUL backpack can't remember the model:

http://shop.ful.com/productdisplay.c...e=backpack&nt=

There are other brands that have the notches on the padding
that rests on your back.
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Old 03-05-11, 11:36 PM   #4
n8ked_rider
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Camelback HAWG NV hands down the best cycling backpack I've ever worn. Ask the mountain bike forum their opinion on the HAWG NV. You'll get some good feedback. The airflow channels/frame keep your back extremely well ventilated.

Good luck.
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Old 03-05-11, 11:51 PM   #5
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I was looking pretty hard at the Osprey momentum for myself, but then I suddenly realized the back was just a molded hunk of something with no ventilation. They make awesome backpacks (I currently have two of their packs), and I'm really confused as to why they decided to make a backpack specifically for bicycle commuting that had no ventilation.

Anyhow, I ended up buying the Osprey Talon 22. It's geared towards mountain bike "bikepacking", but has been great for commuter use. But I recommend going to a local REI to see one in person. Depending on how much you carry, it might be a tight fit. For instance, I have a 13.3 inch laptop and I don't see it being able to handle much bigger than that.

No comparable input on the other bag, but I thought I'd weigh in on the Osprey.

EDIT: Felt I should add, the warmest weather I've seen with this pack is probably maybe 80, so I can't honestly vouch for something like 90 degree humid weather. I do get a sweaty back, but my back got sweaty without it as well, so I can't say it's any different. I plan on doing a "long term" report at the end of the semester.

Last edited by WalksOn2Wheels; 03-05-11 at 11:57 PM.
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Old 03-05-11, 11:56 PM   #6
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Check out Detours packs. They're made for cycling and have ventilation.

http://www.detours.us/
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Old 03-06-11, 12:44 PM   #7
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Thanks for the advice guys, especially WalksOn2Wheels.

GP - Sorry. Detours doesn't make anything that would fit me. I carry a laptop. The Detours cycling packs have no provision for laptops. Even with a separate laptop sleeve, it doesn't look like my laptop would fit either of their packs.

n8ked_rider - Camelbak makes nothing cycling specific that is large enough for my needs, and/or has a laptop sleeve.

1nterceptor - I was unable to find any ventilated commuter packs from Ful.

no1mad - I tried a rack and panniers last year with my Sirrus Sport, but they didn't work out very well with that bike.


So here's the full story. I tried my 30 mile round trip commute last year on my Sirrus Sport. The rack and panniers just weren't a very good mix. The bike didn't handle well with the load in the back. Then I switched to an old steel Diamondback mountain bike. The rack and panniers were a good fit with the Diamondback, but there were other issues. The commute is very hilly, and the heavy lumbering Diamondback killed me on all of the hills, Also, the extra weight got to be a bit much when it got sunny, hot and humid. The trip seemed endless. The Diamondback also needs a lot of work to get back in shape for the long rides, and I'd prefer not to dump a lot of money into it.

So I'm back to looking at the Sirrus for commuting. It's fast and light and nimble, and a lot of fun to ride. I just need to find a rackless solution for my gear. I carry a laptop every day, so I need a laptop provision, and I need the solution to be very waterproof. I currently store all of my gear in a 1550 cubic inch pack during the winter months, and carry it a mile to the bus stop. The same sized pack should be about right for the summer also. I'll probably bike commute every other day, so the new pack will be on my back, walking to the bus on the off days.

My ride home in New York's Hudson Valley is wicked in the dead of summer. Very sunny. Very hot (as high as 96 last summer), very humid. Lots of hills and bucking a headwind. I'm going to sweat like a pig no matter what. The ride home will probably take about 1 1/2 hours on average.
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Old 03-06-11, 01:54 PM   #8
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Trunk bag / pannier. I have tried rucksacks that claim to have "great airflow" etc. but they all make your back sweat. I have since been converted to a trunk bag and haven't looked back.
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Old 03-06-11, 03:22 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AlmostGreenGuy View Post
............

1nterceptor - I was unable to find any ventilated commuter packs from Ful.........
Sorry for the link before, here's a better one:
http://www.luggage.com/asp/show_deta...=SS277653&df=1

Price $35

Features:
  • Constructed of 1680 Denier
  • Elastic "Shock Suspension" shoulder straps
  • Dual front compartment storability
  • Fully padded laptop sleeve (supports 15.4")
  • EVA foam padding
  • Multi functional side and front external pockets
  • Front and side accessory storage and chord management compartments
  • Large internal organizer
  • Full support back panel with airflow channel
  • Contoured shoulder straps with cell phone / MP3 pouch
  • Side access audio pocket with ear bud exit seal
  • Molded grab handle
  • Also available in Black, Hot Pink and Light Blue
  • Weight: 4 lbs
  • Dimensions: 18.75" H x 13" W x 6.5" D
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Old 03-06-11, 04:48 PM   #10
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Some questions to the OP:

-What size is your laptop?
-What else do you need to carry?
-Are you making side stops, or strictly home to work and back?
-How much are you willing to invest?
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Old 03-06-11, 05:24 PM   #11
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If panniers weren't an option, between those two I would pick the chrome. I'm partial to messenger bags, but more importantly even though your back is going to be sweaty you can count on the messenger bag to keep the sweat from leaking into the bag and getting its contents damp.
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Old 03-07-11, 08:49 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AlmostGreenGuy View Post
A question for experienced long mileage commuters. You've got a 15 mile commute home ahead of you. It's summer time, 90 degrees, blazing sun, and humid as heck. Which of these two packs is the least evil on your back?
Done exactly that with some ROXY backpack misappropriated from my oldest. In Fla. Is it doable - yes. Will you enjoy it - no. (No, I am not talking being caught wearing Roxy backpack in public). Therefore said backpack has migrated to the rear rack strapped with bungee net. Try that.

SF
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Old 03-07-11, 09:08 PM   #13
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there is nothing bad about back carry in hot weather unless you want to avoid sweaty back at destination.
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Old 03-07-11, 09:10 PM   #14
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I wear a Marmot AirFlow pack. pretty cool on the back.

Not waterproof, but that could probably be fixed with a can of ScotchGuard. Seems at least some of them come with a rain fly, which might help, mine didn't have one.

Pocket for hydration bladder on at least some models.

Super comfortable for me, nice adjustable sternum strap. I can't use the waist strap while cycling because of my short torso. Taller folks might be able to use it, however.
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Old 03-08-11, 10:17 AM   #15
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I use an Osprey Stratos 40 and can't recommend it enough. I have had it for at least 1.5 years and I use it for everything from travel, hiking, and my 3 - 4 days a week bike commute. The pack has a light internal frame and suspension that makes the usable space kind of weird, but I think you could probably get a laptop (in a separate sleeve), clothes, and lunch into it. The pack itself is not 'waterproof', but you can buy a separate rain cover that works fairly well. I live in TX and ride in 100+F temps in the summer. Yes, my back gets sweaty, but I don't think anything short of strapping an AC on your back will solve that once you get to 100F. The Talon is very good too. It's just a smaller (half the capacity) of what I have.

I just remembered one thing ... If you go with a backpack I recommend you fill it full and try it with your helmet. My gf has a short neck and some of the outdoorsy packs (Osprey) extend above her shoulders and prevent her from fully raising her head (helmet comes in contact with pack) while she's riding.

Last edited by csquire; 03-08-11 at 10:21 AM.
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