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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 03-03-12, 01:11 PM   #1
when
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My super commuter - including a 25L lockable pannier for $30 (pic heavy!)

The bike is a Jamis Aurora Elite (BB7 disc brakes!) with SKS fenders, Schwalbe Marathon Winter studded tires and a Snosealed Brooks Flyer saddle. I commute 145 miles a week.



I've found that a great coffeemug that seals 100% reliably and fits nicely into a bike cage is the Bubba Hero. I tried over 5 mugs, some much more expensive, and this one works the best and at $12 it is a steal.

Here's the pannier:



It's an MTM drybox that I got at Amazon for $30. I put some reflective tape on it. Note the impact mark (on the bottom reflective stripe) of the woman that hit me hard enough to bend the frame of my old bike, the box was fine.

Basically, you can rig it with a lock but it doesn't lock the top, to solve that I put a bit of metal to extend into the locking handle so that the top locks as well:



Here's how nicely all my tools fit in the top:



Here's the interior, enough to fit my helmet or clothes/lunch for work. I've used some cable u bolts to fasten it to the rack permanently as the traditional pannier clips don't work and it bounces off:



Here's how I keep my saddle from being stolen, the hardware store made me a 2' cable for $4:



Here's the dashboard. From left to right - Crane Suzu brass bell ($15), Planet bike 1/2W light, Megahorn ($22), and Vectra Wireless computer.



Wellgo Campus SPD/platform pedals with the XL powerstraps so my giant winter boots fit:



Aardvark seatcover works great to protect the saddle, I leave it out in downpours and the saddle stays dry:

Here's my helmet, I've attached a Magicshine 900 and a Blackburn Mars 4.0 with velcro straps.



I particularly like how my Take a Look mirror fits onto the helmet headstrap and secures with a loop of Velcro:



For a reflective vest, I use this one for $8. It zips instead of using Velcro and is a mesh that goes nicely over a jacket or jersey.

I use the M1965 military surplus trigger finger mitts and they work great down under 10F.

Thanks to everyone at BF for all these ideas.

Last edited by when; 03-03-12 at 01:27 PM.
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Old 03-03-12, 01:23 PM   #2
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Fantastic setup! Well thought out to the last detail. Thanks for sharing!
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Old 03-03-12, 05:57 PM   #3
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Great setup and I really like the links to the products. Is that dry box heavy? Just wondering as you have all of your cargo on one side of the bike.
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Old 03-03-12, 06:05 PM   #4
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You've got to post that in the "Rate the Fredliness of My Bike" thread. That box is awesome! The bike is pretty nice too.
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Old 03-03-12, 07:23 PM   #5
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Great setup and I really like the links to the products. Is that dry box heavy? Just wondering as you have all of your cargo on one side of the bike.
The box by itself weighs about a pound and a half. With all the cargo on one side I don't notice it at all really.
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Old 03-03-12, 07:28 PM   #6
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You have put a lot of thought into your commuter setup. I too have thought of many of the same problems regarding cargo and security. I like the box but I have found I don't like mine (Ortlieb Tour Box) being on the side all the time. It catches on things......telephone poles, fire hydrants, fences, and retaining walls. I decided that the lockable box that stays with me most of the time should be on top. I'm still waiting on the Ortlieb adaptor to mount the box but it is lockable just like the box itself is lockable. The Tourbox doesn't have much of a lock but it is lockable. Its like a suitcase lock. It keeps honest people honest. If someone wanted into the aluminium box, they would have to work a bit harder. I'm not sure about those cables for a seat lock answer. They would be cut so easily that I decided against them. I decided to get some security bolts specially designed for the seat and the post. I also have the pitlock system for the front fork, wheels, and brakes. For the handlebars I rigged up something new to keep it clear for my hands and to use interupter hand break lever/levers (I only have one right now and not sure if I want another for the rear). I rigged up some Nitto hadlebar extenders back to back and then used a Stash Bar to mount everything to. You have most of the same stuff except I have move it out of the way a bit. I don't think your rear rack has a lower bar for the side panniers if you use the top so you may have to go with another style if you move your box up top. One thing you have is more room in that box for a helmet. You could always just lock it with the bicycle frame to the rack though. Here are some pictures of my setup that I was refering to so you have some reference.

I just noticed that your rack does have a lower bar so you might be able to put it up top and still use the bottom bar for panniers.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg Bike box 007.jpg (88.6 KB, 61 views)
File Type: jpg bars 003.jpg (93.1 KB, 52 views)
File Type: jpg Bike box 004.jpg (96.1 KB, 53 views)
File Type: jpg 005.jpg (92.7 KB, 42 views)
File Type: jpg 006.jpg (96.8 KB, 50 views)

Last edited by IndianaShawn; 03-03-12 at 07:43 PM. Reason: rack top bar
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Old 03-03-12, 07:50 PM   #7
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I need two of those please. Then I could simply bolt them to the rack instead of having to take the current panniers on/off. That would simplify everything!

Plus a small cable can be ran to keep the rack from being stolen.

You also found the solution to make me feel safe about using my Brooks saddle!
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Old 03-04-12, 08:33 AM   #8
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Do your tool rattle around in the pannier top shelf? That'd drive me crazy. I'd have to put some foam in the lid and line the compartments with something to keep things quiet back there.

But that's an awesome commuter!
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Old 03-04-12, 08:53 AM   #9
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Nice looking ride when.
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Old 03-04-12, 11:38 AM   #10
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Do your tool rattle around in the pannier top shelf? That'd drive me crazy. I'd have to put some foam in the lid and line the compartments with something to keep things quiet back there.

But that's an awesome commuter!
Exactly what I was thinking.
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Old 03-05-12, 08:27 AM   #11
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Ok IndianaShawn...you are going to tease us with pictures of those security bolts and not tell us where to get them ourselves?
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Old 03-05-12, 08:42 AM   #12
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A step up from kitty litter panniers. Function over form for sure! Not for everyone, though.
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Old 03-06-12, 02:04 AM   #13
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Ok IndianaShawn...you are going to tease us with pictures of those security bolts and not tell us where to get them ourselves?


If you want your bolts machined, the machine shop is Peerless Pattern & Machine Co. Inc. Lafayette Indiana 765 447-7719
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Old 03-06-12, 04:37 AM   #14
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great ideas - thanks for sharing!
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Old 03-06-12, 07:02 AM   #15
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That is an impressive setup. I wouldn't want to lug a lot of weight up the hills around here, but everyone's situation is different. Are you saying your plastic box weighs only 1.5 lbs? Many panniers weigh more than that. Does that weight include all of the mounting hardware?

I really like the Jamis touring frames and might have bought one except they only sell complete bikes. I inquired about buying a frame and fork from them a few years ago and that's what they told me.
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