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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 01-12-05, 10:01 AM   #1
bike42
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Timbuk2 bags for commuting

Does anyone out there use the messenger bag for commuting? How does it work versus a pannier. I would just be carrying a change of clothes and some lunch. I don't like to use a backpack. I commute 40 miles round trip and sometimes I want to use my road bike for which I don't have a rack.

Thanks!
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Old 01-12-05, 10:07 AM   #2
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I use the laptop version with the padded laptop compartment. I find it very fine for a 20mi RT commute. I can't think that double would be a problem. I too put lunch and change of clothes in it and 50% the laptop. It has lots of extra mini compartments and pockets that are great for office needs too.

I choose it over a backpack as I needed something that worked/looked like a briefcase for around the office.

It comes with a waist stabilization strap, but I like the chest stabilization better. I wrote to Timbuk2 and they gladly sent me the strap attachment and an extra strap for chest stabilization. I now use both so the bag stays tight on me for hops, etc. with zero shifting.

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Old 01-12-05, 10:11 AM   #3
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I have the large (23 inch) bag, and it easily accomodates a change of clothes and still has room for plenty more. You can really load them up. Sits on the back pretty good, though I haven't done a 20 mile ride with it on. Works well so far.

If you get one, make sure to get yourself the pad for the strap too.
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Old 01-12-05, 12:04 PM   #4
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If you don't like using a backpack, I'm not sure a messenger bag is a good option. I use one for a 6 mile RT commute, but even on that short ride it's uncomfortable if heavily loaded, and sweaty in hot weather. I use it 'cause it's more convenient than panniers off the bike, but in general I'm in favor of letting my bike carry the load, and not my back.

A cross strap is essential for keeping a messinger bag from shifting while riding. The Timbuk2s and most other brands have this feature.
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Old 01-12-05, 12:32 PM   #5
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I don't use panniers because I use all my bikes for commuting depending on the weather. Only one has a rack and I don't have any panniers. My commute's only 10 mi round trip but I think it's just fine with a shoulder bag.

I can't speak to the Timbuk2 as I have a Bailey Works bag (gotta support us New Englanders dontcha know) but I do know that the straps are one of the most important part of any bag. In that department I'm not really impressed with T2. Sure, they've gotta a padded sleeve on some of their straps, but they don't have the nice split strap system and I like Bailey's padding design better.

Having said that, a change of clothes and lunch ain't much to carry, so it's not really a big deal one way or the other I suppose.

btw, I've taken mine on a 65 mi ride before without any problems.
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Old 01-12-05, 12:39 PM   #6
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From what i hear, the new Timbuk2 bags aren't made nearly as well as they used to be.
Try www.chromebags.com
I love my bright orange/black Citizen.
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Old 01-12-05, 12:46 PM   #7
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A month ago, I rode from Madison WI to Milwaukee (90 mile trip) with a Timbuk2 messenger bag loaded with a change of clothes of other supplies, and I was not uncomfortable at all. For bonus, it was on a hybrid bike with front shocks.
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Old 01-12-05, 12:54 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ch0mb0
I have the large (23 inch) bag, and it easily accomodates a change of clothes and still has room for plenty more. You can really load them up. Sits on the back pretty good, though I haven't done a 20 mile ride with it on. Works well so far.

If you get one, make sure to get yourself the pad for the strap too.
I have a medium and it fits a change of clothes for me. I thought about getting the pad and a holster for my cellphone and mp3 player. Does the pad really help?
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Old 01-12-05, 01:07 PM   #9
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The pad made a significant difference for me.
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Old 01-12-05, 01:25 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bostontrevor
gotta support us New Englanders dontcha know
Or get a Crumpler Bag and support the Aussies. Best source for the price that I've found:

http://www.bagselect.com/search_4.cf...turer=Crumpler

Crumpler's got a really cool web site, too: http://www.crumplerbags.com/home.php
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Old 01-12-05, 01:29 PM   #11
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I'll put my $0.02 in for the RELoad bag. Just got a courier model from them, and I love it. It is comfortable, sits well, fits a bunch. Be sure to get a shoulder strap pad too.

www.reloadbags.com
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Old 01-12-05, 02:59 PM   #12
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I'm partial to panniers. I borrowed a large Timbuk2 laptop bag from a friend yesterday, and I did not have much in it (clothes, pump, wallet, waterbottle) and it was very heavy and cumbersome. I can't imagine it with a laptop, too. I'm 5'6" and 130lbs, so if you're bigger you may not have the same problem. My commute is 12 miles each way (bike 12 miles in am, metro in pm). After about 4 miles, I was uncomfortable.

My winter commuting bike is a folder, and I don't currently have a rack and panniers on it. The rack would have to be a seatpost rack, and the panniers would need to be portable on the Metro--have a shoulder strap or something. I'm in the process of figuring out a workable solution. The Arkel Bug is an option--pannier while on the bike, backpack while on the Metro (bike folded). Not cheap, though. If I wait long enough, it will be light enough in the evenings to ride home. Then the point will be moot--I'll switch back to my Jamis Coda with it's rack and panniers and ride both ways.
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Old 01-12-05, 03:10 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by slvoid
I have a medium and it fits a change of clothes for me. I thought about getting the pad and a holster for my cellphone and mp3 player. Does the pad really help?
I could not imagine using such a bad with no shoulder pad. Mine came with one, but they can be had for $10.
Al
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Old 01-12-05, 03:18 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bike42
Does anyone out there use the messenger bag for commuting? How does it work versus a pannier. I would just be carrying a change of clothes and some lunch. I don't like to use a backpack. I commute 40 miles round trip and sometimes I want to use my road bike for which I don't have a rack.

Thanks!
If you're riding 40 miles round trip I would personally use a rack/panniers. A messenger bag is uncomfortable (IMHO). I personally prefer a backpack, you can get the Deuter pack that has ventilation for your back.

They do make really nice and expensive messenger bags (like Chrome and Bailey, i think) that have buckles to keep the messenger bag from sliding around back and forth, but if you don't like backpacks I doubt if you'll like messenger bags.

Go for a rack, but remember that panniers cost more than a good messenger bag or backpack.
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Old 01-12-05, 03:30 PM   #15
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Use what you like. I personally like to use both panniers and a Chrome bag. I like the way the super padded shoulder strap holds my cell phone and i feel more secure wearing a bag of clothing on my back. Also the seatbelt adjustment on the chrome pulls it nice and tight conforming the bag to the shape of my back, rather than hanging and bouncing around.
I hardly know its there.
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Old 01-12-05, 03:37 PM   #16
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You know it's funny. I feel the same way about my bag. It's like armor or something. Without it I feel much more vulnerable. Before I wore a helmet I used to feel the same about wearing a ball cap. If I went out w/o my trusty Bruins hat my head felt at-risk. (That was actually one of the reasons I decided to wear a helmet. I figured if the psychological protection was really that important to me than I should get on board with some physical protection.)
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Old 01-12-05, 03:52 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bostontrevor
You know it's funny. I feel the same way about my bag. It's like armor or something. Without it I feel much more vulnerable. Before I wore a helmet I used to feel the same about wearing a ball cap. If I went out w/o my trusty Bruins hat my head felt at-risk. (That was actually one of the reasons I decided to wear a helmet. I figured if the psychological protection was really that important to me than I should get on board with some physical protection.)
haha, yup. I know exactly what you mean... that's why i posted this thread not long ago...
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Old 01-12-05, 04:03 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by slvoid
I have a medium and it fits a change of clothes for me. I thought about getting the pad and a holster for my cellphone and mp3 player. Does the pad really help?

yeah, for me it helped. When loaded down, that strap was cuttin right into me neck/shoulder area, so I went to the store and picked one up for 10 bucks.
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Old 01-12-05, 04:10 PM   #19
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[QUOTE=randya]Or get a Crumpler Bag and support the Aussies. Best source for the price that I've found:

http://www.bagselect.com/search_4.cf...turer=Crumpler

]

please NEVER EVER buy from bagselect.com. in fact, don't ever buy anything from ste 100, 2107 forest ave in chico, ca. check out their user ratings, BBB feedback, etc.

i highly recommend the crumpler tho. stabiliser strap included on most models.
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Old 01-12-05, 04:37 PM   #20
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i use the crumpler seedy three last week i put my juicer in and rode 13 miles with it and had no problems i love it heres a link from were i ordered it from the guy who owens this place is super cool


http://www.criticalmasscyclery.com/b...sp?category=19
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Old 01-12-05, 06:18 PM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by randya
Or get a Crumpler Bag and support the Aussies. Best source for the price that I've found:

Support the Aussies? Crumpler hasn't been made down under for awhile now. Unless down under is also Vietnam where they are all made now. It's nice that they're helping to bolster the asian economy by supporting the sweatshops but it aint an aussie thing no more.

Plus they quit using the heavy duty materials whish is even more wrong even if you don't mind the misrepresented aussie product thing. They make they're bags out of a material they proudly label "Chickentex" (no joke) which is polyester based not nylon, much cheaper, not as tough, only water resistant (they took "waterproof" off the label) and why I switched...polyester holds a scent something awful next to nylon and your bag gets sweaty where it's on your back..fail to wash it and one day you'll be riding/walking along...wondering what stinks..and it's you, or rather your bag! Then it's too late, a wash only keeps it back temporary like.
Search the SS/Fixie forum for info on messenger bags, find one of the cool makers.
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Old 01-12-05, 06:22 PM   #22
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Originally Posted by glowingrod
Support the Aussies? Crumpler hasn't been made down under for awhile now. Unless down under is also Vietnam where they are all made now. It's nice that they're helping to bolster the asian economy by supporting the sweatshops but it aint an aussie thing no more.
I think Timbuk2 has also gone the asian manufacturing route these days...
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Old 01-12-05, 08:06 PM   #23
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I prefer a Sling Pack, doesn't seem to shift around as much.

Only problem is space limitation but I can usually get a change of clothes, my lunch and a couple cans of soda in without problems.

In crappier weather I still use my backpack for the additional capacity
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Old 01-13-05, 12:34 PM   #24
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Less aerodynamic drag.
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Old 01-13-05, 12:42 PM   #25
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Less aerodynamic drag.
Hahaha.. good one

For me it's because it's more convenient to get into the bag.
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