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  1. #1
    Yen
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    Need a new bike pack

    I'm looking for a new pack to use in place of (or in addition to) the itty-bitty little wedge that attaches under the seat that has barely enough room for a tube and tire-changing tools.

    I saw a nice Topeak wedge that expands and has inner pockets with zip closures (handy for hiding $200 and a set of keys in case one forgets to close the zipper ).

    But I also like the style that sits on the front of the top tube on the rider's side of the stem. That would make it easy to reach for the cell phone (in case of night-time flats) or snacks while riding.

    In addition to the essential tools, I'd like to carry a cell phone, snacks to eat on long rides, perhaps a small digital camera on occasion, and leg/arm warmers.

    Does anyone have any recommendations for a nice pack that isn't too big but has enough room to hold additional stuff you might carry on occasion?

    Jen
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  2. #2
    Senior Member Retro Grouch's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Yen View Post
    Does anyone have any recommendations for a nice pack that isn't too big but has enough room to hold additional stuff you might carry on occasion?
    No matter how big the pack you'll always fill it up and wish that it was a little bit bigger. We have a trunk pack on our tandem. It's always full but I never know for sure what-all's in it.

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    Check out the Jandd Frame Pack. http://www.jandd.com/detail.asp?PRODUCT_ID=FFP It hangs under the top tube, behind the head tube and above the down tube. I have a pack similar to this one, and I can get all kinda stuff in it.

  4. #4
    My other car is a bike TruF's Avatar
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    Hi Yen,

    I just ordered the Topeak MTX Trunk Bag from Amazon. You have to buy the rack, too. I wanted something big enough for quick runs to the store (not major shopping). Hasn't arrived, yet, so I can't tell you if I like it or not. Got decent reviews. I tried a handlebar bag, but didn't like it. It was too hard to take off when I needed to. This one slips on and off very easily. Good luck with your search!

  5. #5
    just keep riding BluesDawg's Avatar
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    I like this new Baggins bag at Rivendell. Keven's Bag.

    One of the most useful bags I own is the Baggins Candy Bar Bag which doesn't seem to be available currently, but Frost River has the same bag they call the Sawbill Trail Bar Bag.

    Last edited by BluesDawg; 09-29-07 at 07:48 PM.
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  6. #6
    Senior Member Dchiefransom's Avatar
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    If you are wearing a cycling jersey, I recommend buying a small zipper that fits across a jersey pocket, and have it sewn on. Keep your cell phone on your person. If someone steals your bike, or you are separated from it, you still have your phone.
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  7. #7
    Yen
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    Hey TruF, that's a great bag. We're talking of converting my hybrid to a commuting/errand bike after I get my new bike, and that pack with the rack would be perfect for it.

    BluesDawg, those are beautiful bags. Can you tell me the approximate dimensions of that bag in the photo?

    Dchiefranson: Good point. We don't leave our bikes out of sight because we don't have locks yet, but when we do I'll remove the pack and take it with me. But your suggestion is a good one.
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    Small Member maddmaxx's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TruF View Post
    Hi Yen,

    I just ordered the Topeak MTX Trunk Bag from Amazon. You have to buy the rack, too. I wanted something big enough for quick runs to the store (not major shopping). Hasn't arrived, yet, so I can't tell you if I like it or not. Got decent reviews. I tried a handlebar bag, but didn't like it. It was too hard to take off when I needed to. This one slips on and off very easily. Good luck with your search!
    The topeak bag/rack system is good for touring or vacations. The bag slides on and clips to the rack. The bag comes with a shoulder strap. Want to to into the cafe or store.....unclip bag with one finger.....sling over shoulder (do lock the bike to something with the cable) and walk in. Thus you don't have to leave a lot of loose possessions on the locked down bike for folks to take.

    Unsnap you computer and take that too........

  9. #9
    Senior Member Garfield Cat's Avatar
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    Its going to depend on the bike. If you have a hybrid, then attaching stuff on the bike is ok. If its a road bike, maybe not. But a touring bike, yes.

    I compromised and got a backpack, but not the camelback type. I went for an inexpensive route. In Huntington Beach, there's a store called "Bags USA". All kinds of bags and backpacks. Good value. Not bike specific, so I had to sort thru it and the owner helped me pick out one for biking. Cost was $14.00

    As far as eating while riding, I hardly do that because I feel it really isn't necessary for the type of riding I do. Hydration is different. You need sips often.

  10. #10
    Yen
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    That Topeak bag sounds very handy being that you can quickly remove it and carry it with a strap.

    Garfield: Why would attaching a pack on a road bike not be OK? I'm talking about a seat pack or one that attaches to the front of the bars (like the one in BluesDawg's photo above) or on the top tube, not the type that sits on a rack (at least not until this bike becomes an errand/commuter bike). Regarding eating while riding, since I normally eat 5-6 small meals every day, I get very hungry if we're out riding for 2+ hours and I haven't eaten, especially since we don't go out with a full meal in our stomachs. If I could just reach for a snack without having to twist around to a seat wedge, that would be great.
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  11. #11
    just keep riding BluesDawg's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Yen View Post
    BluesDawg, those are beautiful bags. Can you tell me the approximate dimensions of that bag in the photo?
    I can't get to my Candy Bar Bag to measure it right now, but I estimate it is a tube about 5" in diameter and about 13-14" long. Very handy for keeping snacks, keys, wallet, camera, handkerchief etc. within reach while riding. I have used it on just about every bike I own at one time or another.
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  12. #12
    Yen
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    BluesDawg, thanks so much. It's a great-looking pack and the price isn't too bad considering the materials and the size.
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  13. #13
    Small Member maddmaxx's Avatar
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    The Topeak rack/bag is a little more complicated. you buy the rack and the bag separately. The seatpost rack clamps on to the seatpost and can be used on every type of bike available. (there are road specific versions that are lighter but any will fit any) No braces, eyelets or other stuff needed.

    The bags come in different sizes and can have fold out (unzip and fold out) mini paniers (a small frame must be used to keep them from swinging into the tires) or an unzip and expand upwards top.

    The bags have side pouches for tools, bars etc and the main compartment is large enough for a sixpack.

    Not an everyday bag but good for special occasions. Want it off the bike, quick release lever like a seatpost clamp does that.

    Topeak reps contact me here for my shill reward

  14. #14
    Senior Member donheff's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TruF View Post
    Hi Yen,

    I just ordered the Topeak MTX Trunk Bag from Amazon. You have to buy the rack, too.
    My wife and I have these along with the racks. We like to carry a lot of junk and plan to do some credit card overnights so the capacity is nice.

  15. #15
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    Hi Yen,

    I just ordered the Topeak MTX Trunk Bag from Amazon. You have to buy the rack, too.
    My wife has a Topeak MTX EX Trunk Bag with the expandable panniers. She uses for runs to the store for small stuff, and for credit card overnights. It's a perfect size for a change of cycling clothes, a swim suit, and some going out to eat in public clothes. She also has a small bar bag which always stays on her bike.

    I would not recommend beam racks that attach to the seat post. They have a carrying capacity of only 15 to 20 lbs.

    I suggest a Topeak rack that is supported by braze ons at the chain stays as well as a seat post support ... like this http://www.topeak.com/2007/products/racks/explorer.php

    That rack will hold a set of full sized touring panniers if you ever decide to go that way.

  16. #16
    His Brain is Gone! Tom Bombadil's Avatar
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    I complimented my under seat wedge bag with a cheap handlebar bag from Nashbar. I think it was down to $15 on that sale, with free shipping. Got it just to try it out. I've been very pleasantly surprised by how well it works for me. It holds much more than the wedge bag. I put everything I wanted to take with me in it and haven't filled it up yet.

    It goes on and off, so when I stop in a town I take it with me. And when I switch to my recumbent, I take it off of the Trek's handlebar and attach it to the back of seat of my bent.

    It's $18 now, but with the standard BF coupon, that would drop it to $16. One of the best buys I've made. I know some of the pricier handlebar bags would be even nicer. This wouldn't be big enough to carry large loads, like a change of clothing. But it can carry a cell phone, wallet, spare tube, patch kit, couple of snack bars, keys, mini-tool, a couple of napkins, and still have room to spare.

    http://www.nashbar.com/profile.cfm?c...ndlebar%20Bags
    Last edited by Tom Bombadil; 10-01-07 at 12:11 AM.
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  17. #17
    SSP
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    Quote Originally Posted by Yen View Post
    In addition to the essential tools, I'd like to carry a cell phone, snacks to eat on long rides, perhaps a small digital camera on occasion, and leg/arm warmers.

    Jen
    That's why they put pockets on the back of bike jerseys. All that stuff is pretty easy to store in your jersey pockets.

    Also, FWIW, your bike will look much better without a big Bag o' Junk hanging off the seat.
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  18. #18
    Senior Member ?? Beverly's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Yen View Post
    In addition to the essential tools, I'd like to carry a cell phone, snacks to eat on long rides, perhaps a small digital camera on occasion, and leg/arm warmers.

    Does anyone have any recommendations for a nice pack that isn't too big but has enough room to hold additional stuff you might carry on occasion?

    Jen

    I carry my cell phone, snacks and digital camera in the pockets of my jersey. I've never had a problem losing anything. Arm warmers can also be stored in the jersey pockets or just slip them down around your wrists.

    If you decide on a handlebar bag be sure it doesn't interfere with any of your cables.
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  19. #19
    Senior Member freeranger's Avatar
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    Have you considered a hydration pack, such as Camelbak? I have a large seat bag which has a multi-tool, CO2, patch kit, spare tube, and some other items. But when I find myself needing more storage (if I start out on a cool fall day with a windbreaker which I later don't need), I'll get out my Cambelbak Mule-holds plenty of water, and all the storage you could ever want. Not a bike pack, but a sure solution to how to carry all the goodies with you!

  20. #20
    Time for a change. stapfam's Avatar
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    Been waiting to see how this pans out. I have never had any success with bar mounted bags. They seem to foul the cables or affect the Steering so I have two other choices. A frame bag that goes between the Set tube and top tube- Or a Full pannier rack and a top bag. The frame bag is difficult to find nowadays but pannier bags are usefull- Very handy for shopping or those longer rides where you want to take more than normal. And Top bags come in varying sizes and Prices.
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  21. #21
    I need more cowbell. Digital Gee's Avatar
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    This is an interesting and timely thread for me, because I'm converting my Cypress into a "shopping" bike. I have the rack, now I have to decide on panniers. I'm going to start using it to do grocery shopping. Probably have to make more trips to the store, because I usually bring home 9-10 bags of stuff each time. Oh well, more pedaling, fresher food, more exercise, what's to complain about?
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  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by Digital Gee View Post
    This is an interesting and timely thread for me, because I'm converting my Cypress into a "shopping" bike. I have the rack, now I have to decide on panniers. I'm going to start using it to do grocery shopping. Probably have to make more trips to the store, because I usually bring home 9-10 bags of stuff each time. Oh well, more pedaling, fresher food, more exercise, what's to complain about?
    DG, how about a trailer? Great for cases of Slim Fast or BEER!!!!!

    Yen, I know Fanny Packs are out of style....but I still use mine.
    No need to install or remove from the bike...they just kinda follow
    you around.

  23. #23
    Happy Rider
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    Yen, until I started riding a bent, I made good use of the 3 pockets in the back of my jersey.

    If you really have to have something and you want to have a lot of room and still be light, Moots has about the best system I've seen. I own one and used it a lot on the road bike. I used it on long rides when I needed food and extra clothing. JMHO
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  24. #24
    just keep riding BluesDawg's Avatar
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    Jersey pockets are great and are the way to go when you want minimize the clutter on the bike. But a small handlebar bag is very convenient when you want to carry just a little more and you don't mind not looking quite as sleek. A small, cool looking canvas bag looks better than a big boxy black bag. If it is too big you will carry too much stuff. Nothing works better than a handlebar bag for keeping a camera where it is convenient and easy to grab and use in a hurry.
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  25. #25
    His Brain is Gone! Tom Bombadil's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BluesDawg View Post
    A small, cool looking canvas bag looks better than a big boxy black bag.
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