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  1. #1
    Junior Member grizzlay's Avatar
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    Bags for Commuting

    What bags do you all suggest for commuting to school. I'm looking for a bag that is reliable but also a reasonable price?

  2. #2
    bill nyecycles the sci guy's Avatar
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    What are you going to be carrying in it? Do you want a backpack or a trunk bag or a pannier? What do you consider a reasonable price?
    Twitter@theSurlyBiker

  3. #3
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    I don't know if this price is what you consider "reasonable" but I have had many years of service out of my Arkel Bug. It stays very securely on my rack, and it converts quickly to a backpack. It has held up to abuse on multiple tours, years of commuting, and just about anything I've thrown at it. They've changed the design a bit, but it is really quite handy. It has thoughtful touches like a place to put your helmet when you're off the bike and a place to put your U-Lock when you're on it. The backpack part works great, nothing digs into your back and it holds a decent load. You can get a rain cover for it, and if you're going to ride in the wet, that's probably a good idea. It folds up into almost nothing and can be stored in the bag.

  4. #4
    Cat 5 field stuffer bbeasley's Avatar
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    If you're not carrying too much stuff, I've found inexpensive back sacks to be the most comfortable on a bike. Prices range from, they give you one when you run a 5K, to ~$16 for a bigger nicer one at Academy Sports. I've tried traditional back packs and a nice messenger bag. I guess it comes down to if you have to carry heavy books or not.

  5. #5
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    I think my Ortlieb panniers cost $140 eight years ago. That's less than $20 per year. Waterproof (as long as you don't ride through a river) and reliable.

  6. #6
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    Depends on a number of factors. If you go with a backpack, note that your position on the bike can significantly affect the comfort level of any given backpack. My current backpack felt great on my old 10 speed, but is pretty dang uncomfortable on my track bike. I could probably switch over to a messenger bag for that bike to get more weight on my upper, instead of lower back. My new bike though will have a rack and I'm making the full switch over to panniers. No more back sweat for me!
    Your brain is you, you should protect it.

  7. #7
    coprolite fietsbob's Avatar
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    Bontrager-Trek, and some other brands, sells a made in China welded seam pannier .

    not as internationally renowned as Ortlieb But Adequate.

  8. #8
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    I have these on my commuter. They work great for me. They're not waterproof, and I would like another pocket / zippered part for keys, phone, and small items......but those are hardly complaints. I love 'em and they were a hair over $50 w/ shipping.

    Amazon.com : Bushwhacker Moab Black - Bicycle Rear / Front Pannier Cycling Rack Pack Bike Bag - w/ Reflective Trim - Sold as Pair : Bike Panniers And Rack Trunks : Sports & Outdoors

  9. #9
    bill nyecycles the sci guy's Avatar
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    I just bought the Seattle Sports Rain Rider a few weeks ago and have commuted with it almost daily for those few weeks. It's been great. Easy to carry, easy to clip on and off, and the lower brace rotates so it fits on different rack struts. It's waterproof, but I haven't ridden in the rain yet so I can't attest to it's effectiveness there.
    Check it out here: Amazon.com : Seattle Sports Rain Rider Pannier Bike Bag : Bike Panniers And Rack Trunks : Sports & Outdoors
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  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by worktheweb View Post
    I don't know if this price is what you consider "reasonable" but I have had many years of service out of my Arkel Bug. It stays very securely on my rack, and it converts quickly to a backpack. It has held up to abuse on multiple tours, years of commuting, and just about anything I've thrown at it. They've changed the design a bit, but it is really quite handy. It has thoughtful touches like a place to put your helmet when you're off the bike and a place to put your U-Lock when you're on it. The backpack part works great, nothing digs into your back and it holds a decent load. You can get a rain cover for it, and if you're going to ride in the wet, that's probably a good idea. It folds up into almost nothing and can be stored in the bag.
    I have been looking for a backpack/pannier combo and this one consistently rose to the top when I researched this type of bag. It seemed pricier than most and wanted to know if the $170 price was for one bag, or two. When you purchased yours, did it come with one or two bags?

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by gskbrew View Post
    I have been looking for a backpack/pannier combo and this one consistently rose to the top when I researched this type of bag. It seemed pricier than most and wanted to know if the $170 price was for one bag, or two. When you purchased yours, did it come with one or two bags?
    It is one bag, or at least it was when I picked it up years ago. It definitely isn't cheap, but for me, it has been worth it. I use it every day. The newer models are even nicer (the mounting system is more automatic than mine). I had tried some cheaper bags before getting the Bug (and subsequently many other Arkel bags) and they always had a tendency to jostle around, or in the case of one bag, fall off and into my spokes. Never had that happen with the Arkels -- once I even flipped the bike to test it and they stayed on. They're high quality, but that does come at a price.

  12. #12
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    Thanks for information. This helps.

  13. #13
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    I have this bag. Plenty of pockets, easy to clip on. Looks good on and off the bike. But I've only had it a few weeks, no rain yet.

    The cops are very clever and secure also, no spring, it is solid metal so it should last forever! The the clips also has a Velcro wrap around too.

    Grupo Bicla | Products - Yak model bag

  14. #14
    Senior Member Ziemas's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gskbrew View Post
    I have been looking for a backpack/pannier combo and this one consistently rose to the top when I researched this type of bag. It seemed pricier than most and wanted to know if the $170 price was for one bag, or two. When you purchased yours, did it come with one or two bags?
    It' a fantastic bag and well worth the price if you are going to use it frequently. Also, it should last a very. very, long time. I'm thrilled with mine.

  15. #15
    Senior Member irwin7638's Avatar
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    Messenger bags work well for a lot of students. Chrome and Timbuk2 are both reliable brands people swear by.

    Marc
    Read Simply Cycle

    "I can still do everything I used to, but now I'm mature enough to take a nap without being told." - Me

    "You don't deteriorate from age,you age from deterioration" --Joe Weider

  16. #16
    Senior Member FenderTL5's Avatar
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    I've been looking for something similar to this:
    banjo-brothers-barrel-bag-01068c-stock.jpg

    i want it to be big enough to hold my rain jacket, tire levelers, patch kit and CO2 cartridge/nozzle, and multi-tool.
    I'm not sure but the sizing on this one seems just a smidgen too small to hold the jacket without being stuffed tight.
    Nashville, like L.A. without a tan.

  17. #17
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    I commute 6 miles each way through some hilly stuff, on all days. I'm not a "fair weather" commuter, I don't melt. Therefore, waterproof/resistant is absolutely necessary if you're the same (as I carry around my laptop). Therefore, I went with a chrome roll top. A little north of $100, but I found out a long time ago, backpacks are not something you cheap out on. "School" you mentioned and I'm sure you're not just going for a year or two... maybe 4-5? IDK what situation you are in, but I love having a lifetime warranty...

  18. #18
    Senior Member scoatw's Avatar
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    I use the Axiom LaSalle pannier. good mounting system to any rack. includes a rain cover, that works adequately in a downpour. and features an ingenious locking mechanism to the rack. a little pricey. I've had mine for six years now and expect to get many more years out of them.

  19. #19
    Senior Member TransitBiker's Avatar
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    Trek interchange bags are pretty good, most of them have reflective stuff sewn in all over too.

    - Andy
    I can't wait for the next pint of good chocolate milk after a long ride.

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