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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 03-05-12, 10:05 PM   #1
Vlaam4ever
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light commuting bag or seat post rack advice needed

I'm considering picking up a Topeak seat rack and bag system. I found these great looking light touring bags, that look rather cool and handy. Not sure how convenient they are for very short commuting needs to work and gym/track.

My intent for the bag is to carry a lunch, pants, shirt, socks, light towel, possibly a sweater and light toiletry kit.. Maybe some minimal tools and tube/pump.

Could anybody comment on pro/cons of the 2 systems? Here are the 3 top options I'm currently considering.

Topeak Bag is $90 rack is $60
Bag: http://www.topeak.com/products/Bags/MTXTrunkBagDX
rack: http://www.topeak.com/products/Racks/MTXBeamRackE-Type

Arkel: rack is $99 bag is 124
http://www.arkel-od.com/us/all-categ...neur-rack.html
http://www.arkel-od.com/us/all-categ...tailrider.html

Revelate Design: $125-130
https://www.revelatedesigns.com/inde...=4&ProductID=7
https://www.revelatedesigns.com/inde...=4&ProductID=1

Thanks for you input!

Last edited by Vlaam4ever; 03-05-12 at 10:19 PM.
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Old 03-05-12, 10:14 PM   #2
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The design of the Topeak rack is hit or miss- some people report it tends to rotate on the seat post, while others have had no issues. The Arkel Tailrider may not hold everything. Your link to the Revelate landed on the Pika, which is priced at $125 USD.

Depending on how much everything you want to carry weighs, this in conjunction with a backpack you probably already have, might be an idea to consider.
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Old 03-06-12, 07:02 AM   #3
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If that's all you want to carry, try a Carradice saddlebag. It'll be lighter, cheaper, and more stable----plus it will outlast YOU.

http://www.wiggle.co.uk/carradice-ca...lap_Saddle_Bag

It works best on a Brooks saddle, which has bag loops. If you're not riding a Brooks, there are add-on bag loops.

http://www.thebikebiz.com/ViVa-Bag-L...-acc-via01.htm
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Old 03-06-12, 07:11 AM   #4
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I tried a seatpost mounted rack and rack-top bag and didn't like the way it made my bike handle. The weight sits really high, so it's hard to swing you leg over the bag and it makes the bike top heavy. Like Schwinnrider recommended, a Carradice bag will hold just as much (or more) gear, cost no more and have little effect on handling. I've used a Carradice Barley (their smallest bag) for commuting the past 5 years and it holds all the gear I need 99% of the time. In contrast to the seatpost rack and bag system, the Carradice has little effect on handling because the weight is lower and more centered. I would recommend the optional Bagman seat-rail rack (or similar options) to support the bag and keep it from swaying and hitting your legs while pedaling. You can buy Carradice bags and racks direct from England with much better selection and prices than US dealers.
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Old 03-06-12, 07:26 AM   #5
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I have a Blackburn seat post rack and Jandd rack pack bag. The bag expands up (not into saddle bags) and I have no complaints about either. The rack is all aluminum and uses two allen head set screws to hold it secure against the seat post with an aluminum shim and rubber sleeve. I got both free from a friend's garage cleanout!
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Old 03-06-12, 07:40 AM   #6
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Those Carradice bags are AWESOME. I've never seen those before. So Freddly!

However, my concern is they are true saddle bags, as in they are attached to the bike with buckels. I would need this for commuting with my work clothes, which I would bring in to the office (17th floor) to change into. During the day the bag would hold my helmet, shoes, and other riding gear.

I could still work, but it would need to be a bag in a bag, with my lunch in an other bag...
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Old 03-06-12, 07:52 AM   #7
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Google Carradice SQR
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Old 03-06-12, 07:58 AM   #8
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Google Carradice SQR
We may have a winner. LINK to SQR
thx

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Old 03-06-12, 08:06 AM   #9
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We may have a winner. LINK to SQR
thx
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Old 03-06-12, 08:19 AM   #10
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I used one for a while with just a little DIY bag mounted to it to hold a few light items. It had the loosen up problem a little but as you can see it puts the top surface too high and has a lot of wasted space below compared to the rack I slammed right down to almost touching the rear tire. For me a basket was the perfect setup I can throw a large cooler in it and my cable lock or fill it with items or attach a couple cases to the outside like a pannier. I can also bungee stuff on top.

This bike is a smaller frame, allowing a longer seat post and making more room for stuff below saddle height. If you have a bike sized larger with less post exposed you might not like the bag sticking up.

My post rack hangs on a nail now in the garage and I get it out when someone needs a rack for a charity ride to hook a duffle bag on with a few things in it.






I have thought about coming up with a quick release for the basket that would be the perfect solution for me to take it off when I just wanted to use the bike for a fun ride. I never have because I’m so used to it on there I no longer notice it.

Last edited by bud16415; 03-06-12 at 08:42 AM.
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Old 03-06-12, 08:24 AM   #11
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Yeah, the beam racks tend to rotate indeed when loaded with some weight. If you can attach a regular Topeak rack, then their rack/trunk bag combo is great: light and well made. But I'd stay away from the seatpost mounted beam racks if you want to carry anything significant.
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Old 03-06-12, 09:06 AM   #12
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The Carradice Bagman racks with the quick-release allow you to easily remove the bag at the end of your ride and reinstall later. They attach to the saddle rails, and the QR portion is where you attach the bag. Carradice bags come in a wide range of sizes. Like I said, even the smallest one (Barley) holds as much gear as a typical racktop bag. The larger ones hold as much as small-medium panniers.
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Old 03-06-12, 09:52 AM   #13
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That system really works.

I have tried all you list, and a couple more.

The Caradice with quick release works best!

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Old 03-06-12, 10:15 AM   #14
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I totally missed the quick release feature of that rack system. Very cool! Carradice has an immpressive product offering. Im supprised they are not better represented in the US.
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Old 03-06-12, 10:20 AM   #15
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I totally missed the quick release feature of that rack system. Very cool! Carradice has an immpressive product offering. Im supprised they are not better represented in the US.
Try http://www.wallbike.com/

Good guys!
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Old 03-06-12, 11:29 AM   #16
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I would highly recommend buying Carradice products direct from England. Selection is much better and prices much lower. Many of the British online stores (eg Wiggle) provide free shipping if your order is over a certain amount (about $80 at Wiggle). You also can buy direct from the Carradice.
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Old 03-06-12, 12:07 PM   #17
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I'm a fan of the Arkel rack with their switchback bag. It converts to a backpack when you get where you're going. Arkel makes some pretty high quality stuff. Their seatpost rack has an extra attachment point so that the rack doesn't rotate around the seatpost.
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Old 03-06-12, 12:10 PM   #18
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I went with the Large Black Seagull messenger bag for my commute and I woudnt change for anything. I can carry clothes, shoes, laptop, tools, lunch, coffee and water bottle in it without it feeling overloaded and I dont have to mess with taking anything on or off the bike when I get to work.
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Old 03-06-12, 12:15 PM   #19
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Old 03-06-12, 12:21 PM   #20
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I used to use a seat post rack....I had to crank that thing on so tight it was a pain to remove it, and it was a quick install one from Trek...

I've upgraded to traditional rack from Topeak and the same family of bag. I think they are awesome and work well for me. Check the zippers on the bags though, the one I have had plastic ends on string to use the zipper. Those plastic pieces came off.
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Old 03-06-12, 12:49 PM   #21
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I use a front rack and a paired together set of panniers, which come right Off..
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Old 03-06-12, 01:15 PM   #22
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Think this one beats just about all on scale of economics And very versatile I might add...
Topeak Dynapack DX. Easy to detach, expands when neeeded, not too heavy, and did I mention cheap? Can get it around $50 shipped from Amazon.

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Old 03-06-12, 01:19 PM   #23
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I've used racks and panniers almost exclusively for the past two years, but I'm switching over (back, actually) to a Carradice traditional saddlebag with a Bagman support. Less weight, less effect on the bike's handling, and I can easily transfer it to one of my other bikes.
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