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  1. #1
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    Designing a new product for commuters

    Hello folks im trying to find a problem area with commuting by bicycle. Any info would help me greatly. This information will be used in my Senior Thesis.



    Interview Questions
    1. Do you own a Traditional Briefcase? If yes, do you carry it when you commute to work?
    2. What means of document transportation do you use? Binders, Folders, digital, etc?
    3. Is there any faults you find with today’s methods of bringing items from home to work?
    4. When commuting do you carry items on your person, Items in backpack, messenger bag, pockets?
    5. Does your job offer a locker or changing area?
    6. How do you feel after riding your bicycle to work/home morning/afternoon?
    7. What would improve with your current methods of carrying gear pro’s and con’s?
    8. What is the atmosphere inside the workplace/boardroom?
    9. Do you bring your (backpack, panniers, suitcase) into the or workplace?
    10. What is the preferred means of carrying documents/work into the boardroom where you work?
    11. What are business people wearing to work when they commute?
    12. Do you notice any new trends with cycling commuters?

    So driver awareness is a problem for most of us!
    Any other problems were missing here?

    Thanks so much
    Tony Cobb
    Last edited by 3CDesign; 03-09-12 at 08:18 PM.

  2. #2
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    Can you do something about motorists?

    What's a document, is that like an ipad?

  3. #3
    Senior Member WonderMonkey's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 3CDesign View Post
    Hello folks im trying to find a problem area with commuting by bicycle. Any info would help me greatly. This information will be used in my Senior Thesis.
    Interview Questions
    1. Do you own a Traditional Briefcase? If yes, do you carry it when you commute to work?
    - No. I have used a nice back pack to hold my laptop, files, etc. I use it mostly for airports but also when commuting if I need to.

    2. What means of document transportation do you use?
    - My backpack if physical, else a thumb drive.

    3. Are there any faults with today’s methods of bringing items from home to work?
    - I rarely do it as I have access to my work files from my home. Only when I have a physical document is it an issue and I use that backpack. Sometimes an overkill but it works.

    4. When commuting by bicycle do you carry items on your person?
    - Cell phone, mp3 player for when I am away from humans.

    5. Does your job offer a locker or changing area?
    - No locker. I have to use a local rec center to shower, etc. I have an office so I can change when I get there from the rec center.

    6. How do you feel after riding your bicycle to work/home morning/afternoon?
    - Once I'm in shape I really enjoy it.

    7. What do you think would improve with your current methods of carrying gear pro’s and con’s?
    - If I found a good handlebar mounted way to carry my phone and mp3 player. I'm sure those exist though I have not looked for one. I've been meanind to do that.

    8. What is the atmosphere inside the boardroom?
    - Friendly and business like. I am on our leadership team so it usually goes how I want it to go.

    9. Do you bring your current means of document transportation into the boardroom?
    - No. I usually project documents against a screen and only rarely use physical documents.

    10. What is the preferred means of carrying documents/work into the boardroom where you work?
    - Either a stack all by themself if they are going to hand them out of put them in a folder to contain until they are needed.

    11. What are business people wearing to work when they commute?
    - I don't know of more around me but I wear whatever is needed for the ride. I then shower and when I get to work I wear my normal business clothing.

    12. How these methods affect commuting by bicycle?
    - I have to prepare ahead to ensure I have clothing at work. If I don't I would either skip that day's ride or fold it all up and put it in my work backpack.

    13. Do you notice any trends within the cycling commuters?
    - I'm the only one around here (my work) so I don't interact with others except on this forum.

  4. #4
    Senior Member Seattle Forrest's Avatar
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    You know what would be a really nifty product someone should design for bike commuters? A speedometer with access to your corporate email account, so you can catch up on your way in to work.
    Don't believe everything you think.

  5. #5
    Sprinter linus's Avatar
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    1. No. I only carry my Commuter Messenger Bag.
    2. Wut?
    3. Nope. My bag carries my 13in. laptop well.
    4. Oh......yes?
    5. Nope.
    6. Good.
    7. Maybe a rear rack but not necessary.
    8. We have meeting rooms. Quiet?
    9. Nope. We use cloud storage and we rarely use paper.
    10. Like I said, we dont use paper.
    11. Standard suits. On Fridays, biz casual.
    12. Monday I bring everything from suits and ties that will last for a week and bring home the last week's laundry by using public transportation. And I wear casual to work every other days.
    13. A lot of hipsters!!!!

  6. #6
    Senior Member locolobo13's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Seattle Forrest View Post
    You know what would be a really nifty product someone should design for bike commuters? A speedometer with access to your corporate email account, so you can catch up on your way in to work.
    I guess you could use a smart phone for that. LOL. I've actually seen a couple of bikers texting while riding down the sidewalk.

  7. #7
    I love custom cruisers whitefiretiger's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by locolobo13 View Post
    I guess you could use a smart phone for that. LOL. I've actually seen a couple of bikers texting while riding down the sidewalk.
    if theres nobody around ill take calls while riding (hands free) but texting seems like a good way to get hurt.

  8. #8
    Senior Member Seattle Forrest's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by locolobo13 View Post
    I guess you could use a smart phone for that. LOL. I've actually seen a couple of bikers texting while riding down the sidewalk.
    But can I reboot my company's web server and run database change scripts with it?

    Don't believe everything you think.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Seattle Forrest View Post
    But can I reboot my company's web server and run database change scripts with it?

    Plenty of RDP apps that lets you do that on phones... (yes, I've done it few times -_-; in middle of commuting).

  10. #10
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    Thanks for the input folks. All useful feedback.
    What if any changes/improvement would you make with your (carrying) equipment if you could?
    Thanks again
    Tony Cobb

  11. #11
    I love custom cruisers whitefiretiger's Avatar
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    The best thing I can think to improve it would be a way to eliminate stupid people in cars ... But that's not going to happen.

    But to be more serious I'd like to find a rear rack setup that looks good on the back of a bike and is easy to remove and can look professional when taken to work or elsewhere. It's a bit embarrassing showing up to court in a suit holding an ugly back pack or the like.

  12. #12
    Senior Member Seattle Forrest's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 3CDesign View Post
    What if any changes/improvement would you make with your (carrying) equipment if you could?
    I'd like to have a robot that carries my things for me, so I wouldn't have to deal with a cell phone, wallet, and keys in my pockets while I ride my bike.
    Don't believe everything you think.

  13. #13
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    Interview Questions
    1. Do you own a Traditional Briefcase? If yes, do you carry it when you commute to work?
    No, and no.
    2. What means of document transportation do you use?
    laptop - we work on the cloud. When I do need to carry papers (rarely) I fold them and put them in my backpack
    3. Are there any faults with today’s methods of bringing items from home to work?
    Wouldn't say so - panniers are really un-aero, so I use a backpack
    4. When commuting by bicycle do you carry items on your person?
    Yes - backpack. I carry my lunch, 1.5 liters of water in a bladder, change of clothes, wallet, cell phone, rain gear (if needed), lights, and alan wrench(s). I used to carry laptop, but now I leave it at work. I don't carry a spare tire or emergency kit - those are for suckers =P
    5. Does your job offer a locker or changing area?
    No - don't know what I'll do in the summer since there's no shower -_-
    6. How do you feel after riding your bicycle to work/home morning/afternoon?
    f'ing amazing...but really hungry. Sometimes I get home and go for a run afterwards =D. In the morning - it gives me energy for the rest of the day
    7. What do you think would improve with your current methods of carrying gear pro’s and con’s?
    I want aero storage for a change of clothes that fits on my road/racing bike.
    8. What is the atmosphere inside the boardroom?
    Laid back - casual, it's a tech company. One time I was late and I sat in on the weekly status meeting in spandex...they were cool with it
    9. Do you bring your current means of document transportation into the boardroom?
    my laptop? yeah.
    10. What is the preferred means of carrying documents/work into the boardroom where you work?
    in our hands with no folder or anything - just some loose papers (usually handouts)
    11. What are business people wearing to work when they commute?
    depends on length. I wear spandex because I go 17 miles. If I was going less than 10 and the weather was not hot, I'd wear work clothes.
    12. How these methods affect commuting by bicycle?
    They don't really
    13. Do you notice any trends within the cycling commuters?
    Lot more women - no complaints there

  14. #14
    Senior Member Vlaam4ever's Avatar
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    I'd like a product like chamios butter that does not mess up my suit pants.

  15. #15
    Senior Member ijsbrand's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 3CDesign View Post
    What if any changes/improvement would you make with your (carrying) equipment if you could?
    There are not enough really basic luggage carriers on the market, like the one the Santos Trekking Lite has. Which don't weigh anything when not in use, don't alter the looks of the bike too much, and when they are used carry stuff in a way that lowers the whole center of gravity of the bicycle.

  16. #16
    Senior Member WonderMonkey's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by whitefiretiger View Post
    The best thing I can think to improve it would be a way to eliminate stupid people in cars ... But that's not going to happen.
    Don't forget to eliminate stupid people on bikes. Plenty out there riding where they shouldn't, giving other riders a bad name, thinking the own the road instead of co-existing, etc.

  17. #17
    I love custom cruisers whitefiretiger's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by WonderMonkey View Post
    Don't forget to eliminate stupid people on bikes. Plenty out there riding where they shouldn't, giving other riders a bad name, thinking the own the road instead of co-existing, etc.
    Good point but they are easier to take care of. Just carry a bag full of sticks and if they do something stupid shove one threw there wheel. Oh that's a good idea and a bag full of hammers to throw at the stupid drivers lol. Just having an evil day. Bad ride last night stupid drunks trying to run people over.

  18. #18
    Senior Member Seattle Forrest's Avatar
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    ^ There you go. Your product for commuters is an ergonomic hammer bag.
    Don't believe everything you think.

  19. #19
    I love custom cruisers whitefiretiger's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Seattle Forrest View Post
    ^ There you go. Your product for commuters is an ergonomic hammer bag.
    I agree and sell hammers in bulk. $1 hammers are great but cheaper would be better
    There's just something to be said for a cruiser that can play like a mountain bike or run with the pack of ss/fg road bikes or be a good commuter or be a utility bike and pull a trailer or just cruise around like theres no care but the joy of a leisure ride.

  20. #20
    ride for a change modernjess's Avatar
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    All due respect, but your list of questions has wide a range of answers and solutions already. All of which have and are being discussed ad infinitum in this forum. Commuters are smart they figure this stuff out and they share info. but...

    If your goal is "to find a problem area with commuting by bicycle" IMHO the biggest problem and the hardest one to find solutions for is: How do we make it acceptable and expected for all vehicles to share the road safely. This is about education of all users of the road and the push to build the right infrastructure to back it up.

    Oh wait... you are talking about the United States right? Aw forget it...

  21. #21
    Senior Member nkfrench's Avatar
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    Interview Questions
    1. Do you own a Traditional Briefcase? If yes, do you carry it when you commute to work? -- Don't have a traditional briefcase
    2. What means of document transportation do you use? -- Rarely carry documents. I carry a USB portable harddrive or email myself anything that's not sensitive content.
    3. Are there any faults with today’s methods of bringing items from home to work? -- My rack carrying capacity is 15#. That's not enough for a laptop, clothes, toiletries, lunch. Fortunately little reason to carry the laptop now. Temperature difference between morning and evening commutes results in a lot of excess clothing to carry home, too warm to wear it (insulated jacket, warm gloves, tights, heavy socks, base layers, heavy cap). Prefer commuting on a light road bike and don't want to give up performance to carry more cargo.
    4. When commuting by bicycle do you carry items on your person? -- I wear a cycling jersey with pockets for security badges, phone, helmet light battery, sports gel, safety glasses (change between sunglasses+clear lens during ride). Other items go into saddlebag or pannier.
    5. Does your job offer a locker or changing area? -- Yes, but it is 1/2 mile walk from my desk and no permission for storing items in the lockerroom during the day or overnight.
    6. How do you feel after riding your bicycle to work/home morning/afternoon? -- Fatigued, grimy, thirsty, and generally happy.
    7. What do you think would improve with your current methods of carrying gear pro’s and con’s? -- Employer-provided floor pump at bike rack, ability to store stuff overnight and during the day in lockerrooms. Towel service.
    8. What is the atmosphere inside the boardroom? -- Never seen it, Fortune 500 employer. My workarea is office casual / blue jeans OK.
    9. Do you bring your current means of document transportation into the boardroom? -- N/A
    10. What is the preferred means of carrying documents/work into the boardroom where you work? -- N/A
    11. What are business people wearing to work when they commute? -- Full-on cycling-specific attire for most.
    12. How these methods affect commuting by bicycle? -- Need to carry clothing, bike shoes a problem for some.
    13. Do you notice any trends within the cycling commuters? -- No

    Thanks so much
    Tony Cobb
    Last edited by nkfrench; 03-09-12 at 08:05 PM.

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by whitefiretiger View Post
    The best thing I can think to improve it would be a way to eliminate stupid people in cars ... But that's not going to happen.

    But to be more serious I'd like to find a rear rack setup that looks good on the back of a bike and is easy to remove and can look professional when taken to work or elsewhere. It's a bit embarrassing showing up to court in a suit holding an ugly back pack or the like.
    I like this answer. I'm trying to create a product that performs well while commuting and will still look good inside work next to a briefcase.. if anyone still uses those? Would if have to be a rear rack? Why not the front?

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by modernjess View Post
    All due respect, but your list of questions has wide a range of answers and solutions already. All of which have and are being discussed ad infinitum in this forum. Commuters are smart they figure this stuff out and they share info. but...

    If your goal is "to find a problem area with commuting by bicycle" IMHO the biggest problem and the hardest one to find solutions for is: How do we make it acceptable and expected for all vehicles to share the road safely. This is about education of all users of the road and the push to build the right infrastructure to back it up.

    Oh wait... you are talking about the United States right? Aw forget it...
    Hmmm. I dont think we will ever have a system were cars will share the road safely with bicycles. So your right it comes down the education of drivers. I took a driving test here in Portland Or a few years ago, there was more questions about driving near Horses than there was about driving with bicyclists!

  24. #24
    I love custom cruisers whitefiretiger's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 3CDesign View Post
    I like this answer. I'm trying to create a product that performs well while commuting and will still look good inside work next to a briefcase.. if anyone still uses those? Would if have to be a rear rack? Why not the front?
    I don't use a real briefcase but a laptop bag that looks quite a bit like one.
    The reason I say rear is I don't like clutter on the front of my bike and don't like having to rearrange cables to accommodate baskets or the like especially if its going to be attached and remove multiple times a day.

    Maybe something like panniers that attach to a rear rack that are sporty yet professional looking that can lock and lock to the rack but can easily be removed to take to work. Maybe look briefcase like and one for laptop and documents and the other for clothing and lunch. And if they could also attach to eachothet so it could be carried by hand as if it was one piece.

    Ok I'm done with my crazy idea for now.

  25. #25
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    Regarding the laptop, if ever I needed to bring it home from work or from home to work I use my back-pack. I feel the laptop at my back is subjected to less vibrations than the laptop on the pannier.

    That being said, I very rarely need to bring the laptop home mainly because I could remote (remote desktop via VPN) to it from my home computer if I need to work from home. This also means I don't need to bring any documents with me as I could just easily access them anywhere. If I needed to access data or do presentations on my computer from the boardroom, I just "remote" to it from another computer already in the boardroom. No need to bring it with me... all I usually carry with me (everywhere) is my smartphone.

    If I need to backup a huge file (such as a copy of a Virtual Machine), I have a 16 GB USB stick for that.

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