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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, 02:24 AM   #1
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what backpack do you wear when cycling to work?

Hi folks, i'm new to this forum
just curious what backpacks you wear while commuting to work. I used to have the small camel bag but found it too small to fit my note 2, wallet, towels. So I switched to water bottle plus a shark messenger bag

it's compact enough and could fit all my essential items easily. Now I am searching for a messenger bag that could fit a laptop. What do you use? What do you think of my blue shark
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Old 07-18-14, 03:18 AM   #2
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I use the Octane 18x from Camelbak. I've been thinking about getting an Osprey Talon 11 because of a recommendation from a friend that it's pretty light, carries a decent amount, and also the airscape backpanel that felt amazing when I tried it on.
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Old 07-18-14, 05:18 AM   #3
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I use an Incase messenger bag. It's an older model that's made of reflective fabric that someone in an elevator once told me resembles "seatbelt material". It's on the larger side for messenger bags, but I actually use it to carry 24x36" engineering plans rolled up and sticking halfway out with a secondary compartment for my laptops.

I use the smaller bag on the right to carry my bike maintenance and repair tools.
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Old 07-18-14, 06:07 AM   #4
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I have used Timbuck2's medium messenger bag and Chrome's Citizen (medium) messenger bag. Both bags worked well for hauling a few textbooks and or a change of clothes. Currently the chrome bag hauls lunch box, full change of dress clothes, dress shoes and any works papers I may be schlepping home. The only thing I would caution about is that cross strap messenger bags can become uncomfortable when loaded heavy and worn for an extended commute. Nothing will beat a back pack for long hauls, except maybe panniers.

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Old 07-18-14, 07:26 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by willyk57 View Post
most anything will beat a backpack for long hauls, especially panniers.
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Old 07-18-14, 08:12 AM   #6
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I wear a MEC cycling daypack which works well.

I ditched the panniers a few months ago. Got tired of messing with the clips and worrying about catching them on stuff that I ride by.
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Old 07-18-14, 08:26 AM   #7
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Anything from The North Face will LAST and I mean LAST. I have had the same backpack from them for what will be 4 years, and since i am still in school and travel a ton, this thing has seen things from musty work out clothes to 2 textbooks along with a computer pouch that works very well i might add. I currently am using The Hotshot which is about $80 if you look it up on The North Face gives you a lifetime warranty for the material and offer a wide range of styles from computer pack, to 82 oz. Day Pack(which is what i think mine is). The straps have never lost their comfort and the outside is waterproof and it even has an option for a water bladder if you want it. Just my opinion though, look it up for yourself I'm sure if u want quality you will. I could never have been happier with the bag
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Old 07-18-14, 08:26 AM   #8
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I use a small Chrome Industries backpack -- unsure of the model, must have been discontinued because it's not on their website. May have bought it in their SF store on closeout...

Was looking for a smaller one so I wouldn't be tempted to load it down. Had tried messenger bags and they just weren't doing it for me. On other commuters, I've used panniers and front rack with handlebar bag. But my new commute is shorter and involves two bikes so I figured instead of outfitting both with hardware to take panniers or a front bag, I'd just switch to a backpack. Haven't regretted it yet...
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Old 07-18-14, 08:29 AM   #9
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I'm tempted to get an Osprey Radial 34, but it's pricey ~170. It's designed for bike commuting and has a nice mesh on the back that lifts the backpack away from your back.
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Old 07-18-14, 09:20 AM   #10
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I use panniers on my bikes that have a rack, but I wear a backpack when I ride my bikes that don't.

For about 7 years I used a Minnesota Vikings backpack I got at JC Penney for free. It was on clearance for $10 and I had a $10 off coupon. Score!

When that one wore out I picked up a Swiss Gear laptop backpack on another clearance sale off of BuyDig for $22. Not specifically designed for commuting purposes, but I've found the different sections quite handy. My clothes can go in one pocket, my lunch in another and my wallet/phone/etc can go in the third. It works.

When this Swiss Gear wears out I'll probably seek out another clearance deal. I'm not too picky, but I am cheap.
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Old 07-18-14, 09:49 AM   #11
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Osprey Stratos 36. On my regular bike I put it down into the basket, but on some other ones I carry it on my back. Very comfortable even with a heavy load. I used it for overnight hiking as well and it is my regular for air travel - fits well into bins.
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Old 07-18-14, 10:25 AM   #12
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A generic one.
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Old 07-18-14, 11:02 AM   #13
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Osprey Momentum. Couldn't ask for more!
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Old 07-18-14, 11:48 AM   #14
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A small basic one (an older L L Bean Stowaway) or a larger basic one (Kelty Shrike). Both are out of production now, and I've somehow managed to survive without anything fancier.
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Old 07-18-14, 02:22 PM   #15
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[h=2] If I have to, more in winter time, I wear this lumber pack or fanny pack, by mountainsmith or others, roomy and your back won't get as sweaty . 488 cu or 8 Liters capacity, 1lb 5 oz, there have larger sizes too, [/h]
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Old 07-18-14, 03:31 PM   #16
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Ortleib messenger bag. Waterproof, roomy, durable. Added a pouch on the shoulder strap to keep my phone handy.
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Old 07-18-14, 03:52 PM   #17
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Over my years I have come to to conclusion that I don't like to carry weight on my back if I can help it. Some bikes I ride don't have racks so I will. And I will use a camel bak for hydration on long mountain bike rides in remote areas.

So I have every option, 2 backpacks, several messenger bags, and an Arkel commuter pannier. and I've used them all extensively for commuting. BUT, my favorite by far is the Carradice Nelson Longflap saddle bag with a Bagman support rack. It's old school and it's amazing. I've hacked a quick release mounting system on it and a shoulder strap for carrying it off the bike. Holds my clothes, lunch, laptop and extra bits. Great for touring or long gravel rides too. The weight is perfectly distributed and you don't even know it's there.
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Old 07-18-14, 06:51 PM   #18
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Depending upon what I need to carry; either a Duluth pack rucksack or a wooden pack basket. The pack basket is especially nice if I need to pickup some groceries on the way home, it handles bulky items well, plus on a very hot day it breathes pretty well.
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Old 07-18-14, 07:00 PM   #19
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None. I have a Timbuk2 trunk that fits on my rear rack.

Makes riding a bike so much more enjoyable and it's even insulated for when I bring lunch
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Old 07-18-14, 09:08 PM   #20
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I just have a Levi's denim backpack. I didn't buy it for commuting, but it works well and I take it with me everywhere. It has a sleeve in the back (that snugly fits my 13" laptop), another larger compartment, and two smaller compartments (there's a zipper in front covered by front flap I use for fast access to things such as keys or wallet, the other inside for important documents or smaller valuable items. Levi's Luggage Genesis 17 Inches Backpack, Grey/Charcoal, One Size: Clothing

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Old 07-18-14, 09:24 PM   #21
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Osprey Momentum 34. Works well for me and carries a lifetime warranty.
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Old 07-18-14, 09:37 PM   #22
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Most days I use my 70s TWA airline bag. For bigger items I use my Dakine backpack made for carrying skate boards. .
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Old 07-18-14, 10:56 PM   #23
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A Timbuk2 Swig, as seen here (click on the image)

Yes, panniers are probably better, but I'd rather have the weight on me, rather than the bike (for bike control reasons); plus, my commute is short enough that my back does not sweat.
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Last edited by Allen; 07-18-14 at 11:28 PM.
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Old 07-18-14, 11:15 PM   #24
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Panniers - I have only clothes and helmet on me while riding. Back packs get me sweaty, limit motion too much and make it harder to control the bike because they move around a lot more than properly secured panniers.
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Old 07-18-14, 11:23 PM   #25
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Currently this..
Backpacks / The Fitzroy Rucksack || Mission Workshop

Waiting on this...

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