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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 07-18-14, 11:46 PM   #26
Leukybear
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A boreas bolinas:



Lightweight and compact to carry my essentials.
Also has an aluminum frame which can be tensioned to allow airflow to your back.
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Old 07-19-14, 04:29 AM   #27
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Use an osprey talon 33 which I've used for walks and treks for a long time, it's good, but I do get a sweaty back on the return leg (mostly up hill).
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Old 07-19-14, 05:45 AM   #28
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I remember the days when I rode with a backpack. Ugggh. Summers in Atlanta make that feel just awful. If I really HAD to ride without racks and panniers then I'm sure I would. But I don't so I won't.
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Old 07-20-14, 03:00 PM   #29
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I use a Seattle Sports Aquaknot backpack. Room for my company laptop, lunch, and a full set of office clothes, waterproof, comfortable year-round.

When my commute was less urban, I preferred panniers, put the weight on the bike instead of my back, but the backpack offers better stability and control on rough roads, going over curbs, etc. Plus I don't have to take the bag off the bike when racking it up on a bus or train.

Rainy Day Conspicuity - Rear by joshua_putnam, on Flickr

Reflective Flap on Backpack by joshua_putnam, on Flickr
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Old 07-20-14, 03:46 PM   #30
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I use Seal Line roll top backpack or a messenger bag for my daily commuting and shopping. They are 100% waterproof, very durable and roomy...I also use Camelback HAWG for recreational rides and other rides where I don't need to carry a lot of stuff.
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Old 07-20-14, 05:08 PM   #31
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I did rack and pannier commuting for years. I thought I'd hate riding in the hot summer months with a backpack.
After removing the rack and panniers from my bike, I realized how heavy they were and how much they negatively affected the ride quality.
I'm now using a High Sierra Quickshot 70 and I hope to never have to reinstall my rack and panniers again.
I'm commuting with a backpack in this hot Texas summer, and I'm okay with it. Go figure.
The Quickshot is an okay pack, but I wish I would have gotten something a little bigger, so I can pack more stuff some days.
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Old 07-21-14, 06:10 AM   #32
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I just bought this bag. Bontrager: Messenger (Model #09666). It has plenty a room, is waterproof, and looks really good. Also it goes across your shoulders and has a tie around your waist to keep it steady.
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Old 07-21-14, 08:12 AM   #33
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I have a previous year's version of this: Novara Gotham Backpack - Free Shipping at REI.com

Lists at $100 but I paid half of that on clearance, getting the previous year's model.

There are times I wish it was JUST a little bit bigger, but overall, it works great. Integrated rain cover for days I get caught in the rain too. A very handy pack.
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Old 07-21-14, 02:09 PM   #34
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I'd suggest not wearing a backpack, and getting a pannier instead.
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Old 07-21-14, 02:18 PM   #35
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I use a Chrome Ivan for my weekday work commutes/grocery runs. When I ride for fun on the weekends I usually put all my gear (tubes, pump, tools, shoes) in a regular vans backpack. Looking to get one of these in the near future. Road Runner Bags
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Old 07-21-14, 11:31 PM   #36
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I have a MEC rock climbing bag which has a pocket for a 1 litre hydration pack and it has enough room to carry my daily essentials like my rain gear / jacket, tools, lock, and pump.
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Old 07-22-14, 12:26 AM   #37
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I bough a 2 year subscription to the German "Tour" Magazine and got a Vaude Gravit 15+3 for free. Great commuting backpack with room enough for some light shopping on the way home.
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Old 07-22-14, 09:49 AM   #38
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My take on this debate is that a heavy bike doesn't ride much worse when you add a rack and luggage to it, but a light bike does. Suddenly, I understand why bike messengers carry their loads on their bodies.
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Old 07-22-14, 05:51 PM   #39
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I wear a Timbuk2 Especial Tres backpack. It is waterproof (WATERPROOF), has reflective bits built in, is big enough for what I want and is quite comfortable.

i actually prefer a messenger bag (Mission Workshop Shed) but the amount of stuff I have been carrying lately was causing me back problems with the M-bag.
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Old 07-23-14, 10:09 AM   #40
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ill.clyde View Post
I have a previous year's version of this: Novara Gotham Backpack - Free Shipping at REI.com

Lists at $100 but I paid half of that on clearance, getting the previous year's model.

There are times I wish it was JUST a little bit bigger, but overall, it works great. Integrated rain cover for days I get caught in the rain too. A very handy pack.
I have a previous year version of this too (or maybe 2 years old) that I got on clearance - they had all the "chili pepper red" colored Navarro bags on a great sale. Its a good bag, fairly comfortable, etc, but its NOT my daily commuter bag right now (though I may give it another shot). My wife and I still both frequently use it for recreational cycling.

I have a Chrome Yalta Night: Yalta Night Rolltop Backpack | Yalta Night Bag | Chrome Industries and I added a Chrome smartphone pouch in front, which was VERY handy. Its generally a great bag, Waterproof, good size, comfortable, reflective section really works. I also love the side pocket, as its a great place to stash a vest or arm warmers for quick access. My only complains are: 1) it could sit a bit lower to avoid the roll top sometimes getting in vision when looking back; 2) Not much ventilation on the back for hot days; 3) not much for organizing small items, just the small front pocket. I should mention that I think a 15" laptop would be a real squeeze. I carry a 13" MBP in a Thule sleeve to protect it, and it fits fine but is a tiny bit tight getting in and out.

I have to admit I am a gear junkee, and still in search of the "perfect" bag. but for now I am pretty happy with the Chrome one.
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Old 07-23-14, 10:13 AM   #41
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Mine's' the chilli pepper red color too
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Old 07-29-14, 01:10 PM   #42
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ill.clyde View Post
I have a previous year's version of this: Novara Gotham Backpack - Free Shipping at REI.com

Lists at $100 but I paid half of that on clearance, getting the previous year's model.

There are times I wish it was JUST a little bit bigger, but overall, it works great. Integrated rain cover for days I get caught in the rain too. A very handy pack.
ACK!

Got to work this morning, was down in the locker room, reached down to pick up my pack by the handle and this happened.



I literally ordered this, one year and 10 days ago. I haven't had to do a return/exchange at REI since before they tweaked their returns policy, which now says "one year" from purchase date. I'm hoping they'll cut a member some slack and work with me here. I'd really love an exact replacement, but the current model's colors are bright blue, or grey with bright green (hi vis almost).

And honestly, I probably wouldn't attempt to return it, but I noticed the shoulder strap on the same side is starting to fray a little and I really don't want that to break.
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Old 07-29-14, 01:53 PM   #43
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ACK!

Got to work this morning, was down in the locker room, reached down to pick up my pack by the handle and this happened.



I literally ordered this, one year and 10 days ago. I haven't had to do a return/exchange at REI since before they tweaked their returns policy, which now says "one year" from purchase date. I'm hoping they'll cut a member some slack and work with me here. I'd really love an exact replacement, but the current model's colors are bright blue, or grey with bright green (hi vis almost).

And honestly, I probably wouldn't attempt to return it, but I noticed the shoulder strap on the same side is starting to fray a little and I really don't want that to break.
Bummer.

I would take it to REI. The new policy was to stop some habitual abusers. This is a REI branded product, if it failed on you like this there is a very good chance they will stand by it and either replace it or give you credit towards the new model. I have seen them bend the policies before, just ask to speak to the manager.

If you do upgrade to the new model, I am curious to see how they have improved it (if at all).
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Old 07-29-14, 02:09 PM   #44
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Bummer.

I would take it to REI. The new policy was to stop some habitual abusers. This is a REI branded product, if it failed on you like this there is a very good chance they will stand by it and either replace it or give you credit towards the new model. I have seen them bend the policies before, just ask to speak to the manager.

If you do upgrade to the new model, I am curious to see how they have improved it (if at all).
Yeah ... and I don't believe I've ever returned anything to REI before. Hope that works in my favor too.
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Old 07-29-14, 02:48 PM   #45
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My take on this debate is that a heavy bike doesn't ride much worse when you add a rack and luggage to it, but a light bike does. Suddenly, I understand why bike messengers carry their loads on their bodies.
I can totally vouch for this. I carry all kinds of things all over, and the trade off is no backpack: cooler for your back, no panniers: more response from weight shifts & steering inputs. Even taking the empty & rather light pannier off makes a noticeable difference.

Need to shop around for a new backpack, or more likely 2 new, one double & one single strap as i have now, just less worn out than the ones i have now. This thread has given me some pretty good ideas of what features are a "must have". Exterior water bottle nets, waterproof, and of course durable and well built.

- Andy
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Old 07-29-14, 04:00 PM   #46
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On the other hand, I drove about 30 pounds of tools and supplies on my 40-pound bike yesterday, from lower Manhattan to Bushwick Brooklyn and back. I used panniers. No regrets. The bike drove like a truck, which is fine, because it has the gears to do so. If I could have made the transmission and diesel sound effects while shifting and accelerating, it would have made the experience complete.
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Old 07-29-14, 04:29 PM   #47
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ARC'TERYX Spear 20

reviewed here:

the journeyman traveller: Arc'teryx Spear 20

Review: Arc?teryx Spear 20 Daypack | Get Out and Travel

Honestly, I beat the crap out of everything I own and get the most out of it.

I've cycled and traveled with it for 3 years now and there are no discernible signs of wear ... after about 500 rides and numerous flights (50) / bus (hundreds) / subway (hundreds) trips.

It is slightly dirty but I just checked it over and can even find a frayed edge.



I bought it for €90 here:

https://www.globetrotter.de/rucksaec...5D=Arc%27teryx

while I'm on topic this is by far the best "backpack/rucksack" I've ever owned:


a little pricey though, but will last a lifetime:

Fjällräven KAJKA 65
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Old 07-29-14, 04:53 PM   #48
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Platypus Origin 32. I commute daily so I need a bag that can carry everything I'll need for the day, and this one is plenty big enough for that. It also has compression straps to eliminate having a big bulky pack when you're carrying very little. I've had this pack for about 2 years now and it's still in great shape too.

When I want a small pack I go with my REI Stoke 9. Owned it for quite a while now too, and it's holding up great.

Both models are a year or two old now and can be picked up on the cheap.
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Old 07-29-14, 05:53 PM   #49
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I avoid carrying much weight on my body if I can help it. Jersey pockets work for my badge, cellphone, keys, etc. I like to bring several changes of clothes to or from work at a time, so that I don't have to load up a pannier or backpack on the other days.
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Old 07-29-14, 06:35 PM   #50
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On some days when I'm carrying more I will use a Brompton O Bag clipped to the front carrier block... Holding a change of office clothes, extra idevice charger, iPad, helmet light, water bottle

If I'm only carrying my scrubs which are relatively light, aux battery charger, and iPad then I use my Brooks Barbican messenger bag which feels weightless when using the waist strap and makes transitions from folding bike to train very quick.
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