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  1. #1
    Senior Member WickedOne513's Avatar
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    College student... panniers or messenger bag

    Ok, so I have a 16-17 mile or 32-34 mile rt commute to class and work. I work on campus, I have with me an iPad and keyboard that I carry everyday, along with bike tools like inflator, charge cable for lights and ipad, extra tube, tire levers multi tool the normal gear.

    Things I want need out of the item:
    - water/weather proof
    - can be worn on the back to a building for class
    - quick on and off if a pannier as having to take into class and reattach after class
    - ability to store a light jacket or my shower pass rain jacket in the summer

    I currently have a mission workshop vandel. It's a nice back pack but not a real good way to carry my ulock. What input do you have on other options or if there is a better fit out there. Thanks
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  2. #2
    Senior Member whitenhiemer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by WickedOne513 View Post
    Ok, so I have a 16-17 mile or 32-34 mile rt commute to class and work. I work on campus, I have with me an iPad and keyboard that I carry everyday, along with bike tools like inflator, charge cable for lights and ipad, extra tube, tire levers multi tool the normal gear.

    Things I want need out of the item:
    - water/weather proof
    - can be worn on the back to a building for class
    - quick on and off if a pannier as having to take into class and reattach after class
    - ability to store a light jacket or my shower pass rain jacket in the summer
    I'm thinking about getting this for myself. Personally, I think that if you are going to be biking that far you are going to want the weight off your back. I would go with panniers.

    http://www.amazon.com/Timbuk2-Shift-...imbuk2+pannier

  3. #3
    Super Moderator no1mad's Avatar
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    Figure out a way for the bike to carry the u-lock will be the cheapest route to explore, plus would lighten your load on the back considerably.

  4. #4
    Senior Member WickedOne513's Avatar
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    I have been thinking about panniers and if I was just riding to work and then getting off my bike for work that's what I would use the issue being I have a bunch of tiny little rides from one class to the next most under a mile. The need to be able to attach quickly and then throw on my back to carry into class. I was looking at things like the switch back made by arkel(I think) but not waterproof and can't hold the other gear.
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  5. #5
    Mmm hm! agent pombero's Avatar
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    Messenger bags suck. They're not comfortable for heavy loads or extensive riding IMO.

    The best messenger bag is Ortlieb (backpack), which I own and use <10 miles no problems. The Ortlieb messenger bag isn't comfortable after 20 miles for me, depending on the weight in the bag.

    I also own two different TimBuk2s which are not comfortable at all because of the one strap design on one shoulder (terrible for your body too). For me these bags are nearly worthless and I'll probably dump them on CL.

    I also own a Seal Line Urban Backpack which isn't as nice as the Ortlieb because the waist strap is thin and cuts into the flesh more.

    I recommend Ortlieb panniers: far, far better for any long commute with heavy loads. You can store the ulock on the rack w/ the panniers. Your neck, shoulders, and back will thank you significantly.
    Last edited by agent pombero; 12-23-12 at 03:56 PM.

  6. #6
    Senior Member WickedOne513's Avatar
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    I have used a citizen messenger by chrome and a custom made by blicks, the problem I have as a student is it seems like the load I have to carry changes often. I am also one that believes to carry stuff in case like my rain jacket.. I carry one 24/7, and extras. That is why I went to the vandel bag because its expandable, just seeing what other people have had success using, I have no experience with panniers, but I can't leave on my bike and need to be able to throw over my shoulder and easily carry it.
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  7. #7
    Mmm hm! agent pombero's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by WickedOne513 View Post
    I have no experience with panniers, but I can't leave on my bike and need to be able to throw over my shoulder and easily carry it.
    And it isn't recommended to leave panniers on your bike when its locked up. Some f*** will steal them. Ortlieb panniers have shoulder straps which work ok. They're not as comfortable as a backpack though but for <10 minute walks it is easy enough, and worth it compared to traditional messenger bags.

  8. #8
    Super Moderator no1mad's Avatar
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    Another low cost option would be to put your current backpack into a Wald folding basket. Note that your Vandal is a bit wider than the basket, but if you're not stuffing your bag and the sides can compress a little, then it should fit.

  9. #9
    12mph+ commuter
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    Go for the panniers. How much walking do you have to do? Certainly less than a 30+ mile commute. I have cheapo nashbar panniers for my bike, and a waterproof case for my laptop for insurance.

  10. #10
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    The answer is Xootr Crossrack and Crossrack Bag!



    Why? Well lemme tell ya...

    it's a single, portable (via included shoulder strap), waterproof bag that quickly attaches to, and detaches from, the rack which positions the bag out of the way, aerodynamically, behind the rider for very efficient cruising. If the Crossrack Bag is way bigger than you want, then the rack will accept the pannier of your choice. The CB does cinch up pretty nicely though, with the mid-waist horizontal compression belt. It's very fairly priced, too, at under $90 for the complete system, delivered.

    You'll wanna take some fit measurements before jumping in, to ensure you'll have enough space between seat and wheel for it. You can check the Xootr site for more on that, or search here on the forums; since picking a set up a few months ago, I've been evangelizing for the product, and have gotten into some of the specifics concerning fitting the system in at least a couple recent threads.
    Chaad--'95 DeKerf Team SL, '02 Lemond Buenos Aires, '05 Novara Buzz, '73 Schwinn Collegiate, '06 Mountain Cycle Rumble, '09 Dahon Mariner D7, '12 Mercier Nano, '12 Breezer Venturi

  11. #11
    or tarckeemoon, depending marqueemoon's Avatar
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    If you don't have a mini u lock I suggest you get one. It might make the backpack thing a little easier to do. For a really short ride you can fit a mini u lock in your back pocket so you don't have to fish around for it in a bag constantly. It's also lighter and that will be nice whatever bag solution you choose.

    16-17 miles twice a day with a backpack loaded down with books could be a drag, but if the load is light I'd stick with a backpack. Neither of the bikes in your signature are really optimal for running panniers, and seatpost racks for panniers suck.

    I'm curious about that Xootr rack. Seems like it provides a lot of the advantages of a Carradice-type saddlebag setup with the option to run any ol' pannier (an Ortleib front would probably carry my typical minimal commuting stuff). Can't say I'm a fan of the look though.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by marqueemoon View Post
    If you don't have a mini u lock I suggest you get one. It might make the backpack thing a little easier to do. For a really short ride you can fit a mini u lock in your back pocket so you don't have to fish around for it in a bag constantly. It's also lighter and that will be nice whatever bag solution you choose.
    If you go back and look carefully at the pic of the Xootr I posted upthread, you'll notice I have a TiGr lock strapped to the top tube, which is the ultimate commuter security solution, IMO.

    it weighs half of what a mini-u like the Krypto Mini5 weighs (or 1/4 the weight of the NY Forgetaboutit) yet can do a full lock with the wheels in place and stows easily and rattle-free right on the bike in a variety of ways.

    I used to do the u lock thing, but the TiGr is so much sweeter.
    Chaad--'95 DeKerf Team SL, '02 Lemond Buenos Aires, '05 Novara Buzz, '73 Schwinn Collegiate, '06 Mountain Cycle Rumble, '09 Dahon Mariner D7, '12 Mercier Nano, '12 Breezer Venturi

  13. #13
    coprolite fietsbob's Avatar
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    Go to the same bike rack, daily? lock your U lock(s), + a security Chain * to the rack.

    then you dont have to haul it back & forth...

    bring something lighter, as a lock, with you for quick shopping stops, on the way home..

    * bike theft is a campus and college town condition, to be expected.
    Last edited by fietsbob; 12-24-12 at 11:19 AM.

  14. #14
    Senior Member bhchdh's Avatar
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    Arkel Bug, neither the best panier or best back pack, but a reasonable compromise.
    http://www.arkel-od.com/us/all-categ...ing-bag-1.html
    Last edited by bhchdh; 12-24-12 at 03:52 PM.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by bhchdh View Post
    Arkel Bug, neither the best panier or best back pack, but a reasonable comprimise.
    http://www.arkel-od.com/us/all-categ...ing-bag-1.html
    ^^ this.

    J.

  16. #16
    johnliu@earthlink.net jyl's Avatar
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    Over an hour of riding or over 15 lbs, I'd want the load off my body and in panniers. The Arkel pannier-backpack looks great, if you can afford it.
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  17. #17
    Mmm hm! agent pombero's Avatar
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    North St. Bags has a similar design, pannier/backpack combo. Nice looking bags but never used one.

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