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  1. #26
    J3L 2404 gbcb's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tractorlegs View Post
    Hi Sullalto, and welcome to the asylum we call Bikeforums. There's a reason it's a dot net lol -

    1. I have a black Brooks B-17 and wear street clothes on my commutes, and they have not been stained. I also use a pair of white shorts in the summer, no stain there either. Side note: I don't use it any more because it's not comfy for me.

    2. Another option, and I'm not trying to be flippant, is to use your current backpack that you said you already don't like - but instead of putting it on your back, put it in a coke crate. I have an inexpensive generic rack that I got over ten years ago (from Performance - it is their house brand, ran maybe $15.00) and zip-tied a Coke crate to it. It's as convenient as heck and not as complicated as panniers. It also doesn't look as good, I guess , if that's an issue. But it's easy when you go to work, just toss the backpack in the crate. Shopping? It carries 2 or 3 bags of vittles. Walgreens? Convenience store? Makes my bike easier to use in a utilitarian fashion. I'm not disagreeing with the "Pannier People" and not wishing to start a fight, just presenting another option. Picture:

    I really like that setup. The flexibility of being able to just throw any bag on a crate had for some reason never occurred to me... Do you have a mesh to secure loads on bumpy roads? That would be my main concern

  2. #27
    Prefers Cicero cooker's Avatar
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    I commute on Brooks part of the time and Proofhide the saddles top and bottom once or twice a year (one coat on top, two on the bottom). Once the grease has soaked into the top overnight I wipe off the excess with paper towels. I often commute to work in my office pants (Dockers, Haggar, etc) and mostly they are black or dark blue. Occasionally I have ridden home on a wet saddle. I haven't noticed staining. Maybe I would if I wore lighter coloured pants.
    Last edited by cooker; 04-03-14 at 10:12 AM.

  3. #28
    another retro grouch Mr IGH's Avatar
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    Yes, a new leather saddle will stain pants, esp when wet. I put a plastic grocery bag over my Brooks in bad weather.

    I like the Topeak rack that allows panniers and a wire basket on top:
    P1030297.jpg

    For lighter loads I can mount a rack bag:
    P1030291.jpg

    I bought the disc version so it'll work on future bikes.

  4. #29
    coprolite fietsbob's Avatar
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    Do leather saddles stain clothes?

    There is a long tradition of Black shorts used with leather saddles for a reason.

  5. #30
    Captain Big Ring tractorlegs's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gbcb View Post
    I really like that setup. The flexibility of being able to just throw any bag on a crate had for some reason never occurred to me... Do you have a mesh to secure loads on bumpy roads? That would be my main concern
    I use bungee cords. Also, in the picture do you see the little black velcro strip on the right? I actually have 4 or 5 of those on the crate most times, and wrap them around the "handles" on the plastic bags while riding home from a store.
    **************************************************
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  6. #31
    J3L 2404 gbcb's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tractorlegs View Post
    I use bungee cords. Also, in the picture do you see the little black velcro strip on the right? I actually have 4 or 5 of those on the crate most times, and wrap them around the "handles" on the plastic bags while riding home from a store.
    Cool!

  7. #32
    Super Moderator no1mad's Avatar
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    Dang, tractorlegs, I like your set up better than my old one (easily the best solution for me at the time). Something else that caught my eye was your bar ends- they appear to be pointing outward.
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    Ride what and in what manner pleases you. Those that mind don't matter, and those that matter don't mind. srsly.
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  8. #33
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    There are plenty or racks out there that would be fine. Some of it depends on your bike and some on your preference.

    What kind of bike do you have, does it have disk brakes, is the chain-stay long enough that you don't need to worry about heel strike? Some situations may make some racks better for you then others. What is your budget, do you care about materials, etc. Do you want a rack that integrates with a specific set of bags for a quick attatchments, etc?

    I recently got a Tubus rack and am very impressed with quality, carrying capacity, and its weight. Racktime is a good option. Old man Mountain racks get good reviews. Thule has some interesting systems If you don't need to carry as much weight, something from Blackburn, Topeak, Planet bike, etc would probably serve you just fine.

    For waterproof panniers, Ortlieb are great. For commuting you could probably get a pair of front panniers to use on a rear rack. There are plenty of other good options to, depending on desired quality and price target.

  9. #34
    Senior Member mobilemail's Avatar
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    When I got my very first Brooks saddle I made the mistake of treating it liberally with neatsfoot oil (top and bottom) so it would break in quickly. Don't do that! Not only did I significantly shorten the life of the saddle, but it never stopped significantly staining clothes.
    On saddles I owned after that, I started treating the bottom only of a well heated saddle with SnoSeal. This has been successful in a (not too) conditioned saddle with good weather protection and no staining. I should mention that there are a million different ideas on how to prep a saddle for a long life.

  10. #35
    Senior Member Retired2013's Avatar
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    gbcb,
    That's old school! Great job.

  11. #36
    J3L 2404 gbcb's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Retired2013 View Post
    gbcb,
    That's old school! Great job.
    I think you mean tractorlegs I like what I'm running but it's a pretty straightforward rear rack/single pannier setup, neither old- nor new-school!

  12. #37
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    (1) Rack design
    I strongly prefer racks where the brace is extended in the back; many have small triangles to be light and cheap, but most bags will flex and periodically get caught in teh spokes.

    You can use bags with very rigid backing, but these are harder to find than good racks. (Unless you make panniers out of plastic buckets/cat litte containers. I hear they are very waterproof, if not always stylish.

    (2) Saddles
    I found the black Brooks saddes were likely to stain lighter clothing after applying proofide/wax, or when they were wet.
    (a) All the models now seem to be available in honey - lighter colored saddles won't stain your clothes
    (b)If it rains frequently or if you park your bicycle outside, you'll want to protect a leather saddle (plastic bag, saddle cover, etc)

  13. #38
    Senior Member SlimAgainSoon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sullalto View Post
    I also need to decide if I'm going to spring for a dynamo and light system...
    Get the dynamo. You won't regret it.

  14. #39
    rhm
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    multimodal commuter rhm's Avatar
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    Leather won't stain your pants, but there are a lot of things people put on leather, and these will stain. A new Brooks saddle, kept dry, is probably okay; the people at Brooks know how to stain leather. But if it gets wet, or someone has treated it with too much proofide or neatsfoot oil or shoe polish, it will definitely stain. The best way to avoid this is to get a natural colored saddle. Whether that's called "honey" or "brown" is another question; I think what was called "brown" once is called "honey" now, and the ones they call "brown" now are stained to get that color.

    Don't listen too much to those who tell you how to "break in" a saddle. If you ride on it, it will gradually change as it gradually wears out. Ideally the trajectory from a new saddle to a worn out one should take something like 50 years or somewhere above 50,000 miles. Treating it with neatsfoot oil or a lot of proofide (or a hammer, or olive oil, or... well, pretty much too much of anything) will reduce those numbers. The more you treat it, the more you reduce them. I've seen saddles ruined with less than a thousand miles of riding.

    Proofide is good stuff, when used as needed. If used unnecessarily, not so much.

  15. #40
    Captain Big Ring tractorlegs's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by no1mad View Post
    Dang, tractorlegs, I like your set up better than my old one (easily the best solution for me at the time). Something else that caught my eye was your bar ends- they appear to be pointing outward.
    I pointed them out because of the mirror. Note that I have the mirror mounted on the left bar end, and pointing them out makes the view to the rear outstanding.
    **************************************************
    The El Paso Bicyclist/

  16. #41
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    Quote Originally Posted by SlimAgainSoon View Post
    There are a lot of good panniers out there, so you are likely to be happy with whatever you choose.
    I use the Ortlieb panniers, the Backroller Classic.
    Same here. Bought mine in '94 in Germany together with the bike. They are now 20 years old. They are not getting used on a daily basis and I just recently started again to commute by bike. But they are still in great shape.

    Quote Originally Posted by SlimAgainSoon View Post
    I have two leather saddles, both Brooks. One is black, the other brown. I usually ride with dark shorts, but I did have the brown one leave a stain on a light pair of shorts one time (but only once).
    Same here as well. I have a black Brooks on my commuter bike which came with the bike when I bought it 94. I never had any stains. I also have a dark brown Brooks which I bought on of my trips to Germany a few years ago. This one is mounted on my 80s Gazelle bike. Also no problems with stains here.

  17. #42
    Senior Member alan s's Avatar
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    Hope the OP is no longer overwhelmed. Let's recap: 11 different rack recommendations, and Brooks saddles either stain like you went in your pants or they don't. Hmm.

  18. #43
    Prefers Cicero cooker's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by alan s View Post
    Hope the OP is no longer overwhelmed. Let's recap: 11 different rack recommendations, and Brooks saddles either stain like you went in your pants or they don't. Hmm.
    At least with the racks, the take-away message is that there are many 'right' answers, so no need to stress about making the wrong decision.

  19. #44
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    Quote Originally Posted by alan s View Post
    Hope the OP is no longer overwhelmed. Let's recap: 11 different rack recommendations, and Brooks saddles either stain like you went in your pants or they don't. Hmm.
    Lol, when I started reading this thread, I thought "if he thinks this thread is going to give him less choices, he's got something else coming..."...

    The first question I would ask is - does your bike have rack mounts? Second question is - what kind of clothing are you going to be carrying to work?

    If your bike has rack mounts, easiest answer is to just buy a Topeak rack -
    Amazon.com: Topeak Explorer Bike Rack: Sports & Outdoors

    The Topeak rack will carry everything - Topeak quick release bags, non-topeak bags, panniers, etc.


    A Topeak bag is nice, to, you can get a trunk bag that expands into having panniers (MTX TrunkBag DXP) -
    Amazon.com: Topeak MTX Trunk Bag DXP Bicycle Trunk Bag with Rigid Molded Panels: Sports & Outdoors

    Here's the bag not expanded -


    Here's the bag when it is expanded -


    If you're commute biking, you probably also want the rain cover -
    Amazon.com: Topeak MTX Trunk Bag EXP & DXP Bicycle Trunk Bag Rain Cover: Sports & Outdoors



    (Not sure why the amazon listing has a silver one in one pic, and a yellow one in another pic...hrm...)

    xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

    If you prefer to have seperate, larger panniers, topeak also sells a waterproof trunk bag -
    http://www.amazon.com/Topeak-Mtx-Tru...ryBag%2C+Black



    P.S. Some of this depends on how much money you have to spend. That's one very nice option. Another option is to buy cheaper stuff, then to just put a big-ass ziploc bag inside your bike bag and waterproof it that way. :-)

  20. #45
    Senior Member bikemig's Avatar
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    No. 1 on keeping clothes at work. Waterproof bags are good; so are non waterproof bags as long as you use plastic bags for your stuff. Non-waterproof bags are cheaper. For a rack, lots of good choices but I would pay attention to length to avoid heel strike. Keep it simple and have some fun. Personally I keep my clothes at work. I have one bag that attaches to a rack (bags designated as front are good a good choice for commuting since they are not humongous) that I use for repair kit, coffee thermos, lunch, extra clothes, rain kit, etc. Then I use my messenger bag for paperwork which keeps it nice and light.

  21. #46
    Lurking Under a Rock
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    STP usually carries nice rack every once in a while. I got a racktime rack there for like $25.

    Right now, they have this blackburn rack which looks nice for around $20 shipped if you have the latest deal flyer.

    Blackburn TRX-1 Ultimate Touring Rack - Save 50%

  22. #47
    Senior Member Null66's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by PaulRivers View Post
    Lol, when I started reading this thread, I thought "if he thinks this thread is going to give him less choices, he's got something else coming..."...

    The first question I would ask is - does your bike have rack mounts? Second question is - what kind of clothing are you going to be carrying to work?

    If your bike has rack mounts, easiest answer is to just buy a Topeak rack -
    Amazon.com: Topeak Explorer Bike Rack: Sports & Outdoors

    The Topeak rack will carry everything - Topeak quick release bags, non-topeak bags, panniers, etc.


    A Topeak bag is nice, to, you can get a trunk bag that expands into having panniers (MTX TrunkBag DXP) -
    Amazon.com: Topeak MTX Trunk Bag DXP Bicycle Trunk Bag with Rigid Molded Panels: Sports & Outdoors

    Here's the bag not expanded -


    Here's the bag when it is expanded -


    If you're commute biking, you probably also want the rain cover -
    Amazon.com: Topeak MTX Trunk Bag EXP & DXP Bicycle Trunk Bag Rain Cover: Sports & Outdoors
    I have these on my bike. I like them a lot. Convenient, securely mounted, very flexible.

    I've had them in pouring rain. Rain hard enough that the streets were almost up to bottom bracket and flowing at good clip. Nothing got even damp after over an hour in this w/o the rain cover. Everything was sensitive was in ziplocks anyway but they would have been even if I had the rain cover!

    Only downside is that it's fairly heavy.

  23. #48
    another retro grouch Mr IGH's Avatar
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    I like the Topeak racks, I prefer the Super Tourist version with lower pannier attachments that allow the basket to be mounted with panniers, I find that very important:
    41Nmh8cQh5L._SX466_.jpg

    P1030297.jpg
    IGH's, Dyno Hubs, LED lights and old frames

  24. #49
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    Quote Originally Posted by PaulRivers View Post
    Lol, when I started reading this thread, I thought "if he thinks this thread is going to give him less choices, he's got something else coming..."...

    The first question I would ask is - does your bike have rack mounts? Second question is - what kind of clothing are you going to be carrying to work?

    :-)
    Seriously!

    Yes, the bike has rack mounts. I'll be carrying a casual change of clothes(people wear cargo shorts flip flops and t-shirts to work...I dress a bit nicer than that, but don't need a garment bag) plus a couple meals and snacks.

    I liked the topeak attachment system, and the transforming trunk/pannier bag when I looked at them at REI. The medium size expanding trunk bag didn't fit my ipad though. Can't deal with that. I did like the idea though, I might end up with one later.

    I think I'm going to get the topeak super tourist rack that mr. Igh suggested, and use timbuk2 tandem panniers for now. I can easily imagine myself with a basket+shopping panniers later, and like the topeak attachment system. So it'll fulfill my immediate needs and has some room to grow if I end up collecting different bags for different purposes.

    But I can't see myself carrying around the expanding trunk bag every day, for purely shallow fashion reasons. Dedicated panniers could still be a bit of a pain, and i like the separate compartments and reasonable size of he timbuk2 tandem panniers/messenger bags. So they win.

  25. #50
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    Actually I feel better with all the conflicting information. Instead of being nervous about making the right choice, it tells me that it doesn't really matter, and I can probably pull the trigger safely on anything.

    Quote Originally Posted by Mr IGH View Post
    I like the Topeak racks, I prefer the Super Tourist version with lower pannier attachments that allow the basket to be mounted with panniers, I find that very important:
    I like that rack, but everywhere I see online, says that that rack is intended for disk brakes. I have rim brakes, will it still fit?

    My bike is a jamis Hudson sport DLX, if that makes any difference.

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