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Living Car Free Do you live car free or car light? Do you prefer to use alternative transportation (bicycles, walking, other human-powered or public transportation) for everyday activities whenever possible? Discuss your lifestyle here.

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Old 01-06-06, 11:58 AM   #1
gwd
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Messenger Bags??

Several people post here recommending messenger bags for shopping and
carrying things. Some one gave me one as a gift about a year ago and I still don't get it. It seems awkward when loaded, it sways or feels like it brings my center of gravity up too high. My Ortlieb panniers have these shoulder straps for shopping and seem very steady when on the racks. I look at the bike messengers around town and notice several styles for hitching the bags- high 'n tight, low 'n loose, swinging or cinched with the belly strap. There seems to be no one preference among the messengers. Do the messenger bag advocates have any rules of thumb for using them that they'd care to pass on? Now I just use mine when I walk or I amplify the dorkiness of my utility bike by strapping the messenger bag to the rear rack.
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Old 01-06-06, 12:53 PM   #2
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Ya, cinch it tightly and load it properly if you dont want it to move. The stabilizing strap varies from brand to brand, sometimes they work, sometimes not, with the good bags they do. If the stabilizing strap is designed properly it will run across and right underneath your armpit and will pinch the main strap enough to where the bag wont move at all.

What makes messenger bags better than panniers is load carrying ability, they dont get filthy from road grime, and you can get in and out of them quickly. Most decent bags can swallow several panniers easily. Mine holds in excess of 9 2 liter bottles.
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Old 01-06-06, 03:21 PM   #3
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trick for me has always been keeping it on tight. Plus a good bag should have equal weight distribution over your back w/ a large and heavy load.

Advantage, what Pedex said "they hold a lot"
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Old 01-06-06, 06:00 PM   #4
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hey im interested in these messenger bags, what are good brands, would one be useable for uni? I haven't seen one before
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Old 01-06-06, 06:44 PM   #5
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For everyday riding I usually use a medium-sized messenger bag, I find it more comfortable than a backpack. The stabilizer or cross strap is essential to keep it steady. However, for large loads, I'd much rather have the bike support the weight than my body. Therefore, I've got also baskets and panniers to use when I want to stock up at the grocery store, the only groceries I carry in my messenger bag are small or essential items that I might stop for on the way home from work - like a six pack of beer or a bottle of wine.
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Old 01-06-06, 08:35 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mrkott3r
hey im interested in these messenger bags, what are good brands, would one be useable for uni? I haven't seen one before
I use a Chrome messenger bag http://www.chromebags.com/
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Old 01-06-06, 09:05 PM   #7
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Do you get enough ventilation on your back with a messenger bag? Ive found witha a backpack my back gets incredibly sweaty.
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Old 01-06-06, 09:16 PM   #8
cabana 4 life
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hey search the fixed gear and single speed forum. theres a bag thread a day there.
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Old 01-06-06, 09:38 PM   #9
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sorry for the hijack
*runs off to the fixed gear single speed forum*
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Old 01-08-06, 11:17 PM   #10
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I've got a Freight, locally made here in SF (in the lower Haight, I believe).

The benefit of mess bags is that you can also carry much more of a variety of things than with panniers, at least in my experience. This is especially true for delicate items -- if you go shopping for produce and use only panniers, something inevitably has to go into dinner that night, like tomatoes, peaches, etc.
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Old 01-08-06, 11:50 PM   #11
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You can always shell out some hefty $$$ for an Extracycle kit. But a bag or two is way cheaper and easier to install.
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Old 01-09-06, 08:57 AM   #12
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Thanks, for the hints. I never knew what to do with the cinch strap. I think with panniers and
a messenger bag and handlebar bag I can carry a lot. It seems like the messenger bag is cooler
than a backpack in summer. When I walk with it, from the grocery store, the load seems to
shift more than with panniers. With panniers, especially the tallish ortliebs I can stack the delicates
on top but things don't stay put in the messenger bag. Of course, I haven't been using the cinch strap.
The brand is Timbuktu and medium size if that matters.
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Old 01-09-06, 01:57 PM   #13
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I use a timbuk2 messenger bag to go back and forth to work in. I highly recommend it and their stabilizing strap is good.
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Old 01-22-06, 06:39 PM   #14
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Chrome bags are really comfortable, the strap is padded unlike the timbuk2, which adds big time to comfort. timbuk has better immediate storage cubbies and is cheaper. I've probably seen the Freight bags on the streets here in SF but can't recall, must see that website...
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Old 01-22-06, 07:04 PM   #15
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If the strap is bothering you with the timbuk2 bag, you're wearing it wrong.
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Old 01-24-06, 03:42 PM   #16
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I use a Timbuk2 bag also. I have had it for probably 5 or 6 years. It holds practicly anything I want to put in it. I have never had a problem with the bag not riding on my back right, and it has never cut into my shoulder. Although I have had sore muscles from carrying to much weight in it.
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Old 01-25-06, 02:14 PM   #17
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I can fit 2 30 packs of beer in my chrome I'm going to move up to a relode next.
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Old 01-28-06, 11:07 PM   #18
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Try Manhattan Portage. They're the oldest company around and their bags are worthy of savage abuse.
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Old 01-29-06, 10:18 AM   #19
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I just ordered a messenger bag. I ordered a push the envelope bag. They are made in Toronto (where I live). It's a small business run by former couriers. The bags are made to order so I got a forest green one.
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Old 01-29-06, 04:15 PM   #20
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This was my birthday present from my girlfriend this year, it is SWEEEET! She loves me very much chrome should add a flashing red chrome logo where the current logo is
Attached Images
File Type: jpg achroum.jpg (88.5 KB, 97 views)
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Old 06-26-06, 02:17 PM   #21
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OK, for the past few months, off and on, I've been experimenting with the Timbuk2 bag. It is living up to Pedex's description for how it should work. Last weekend I ignored Pedex's tip to wrap liquids in plastic so a re-corked bottle of wine spilled on my clothes. Also I didn't pay attention to which way is up for the bottle when slung on my back. The more important thing is that I used it for errands in Sunday's downpours. The radio weather people bleated about record rainfall. Anyway, the load got wet even though I thought I was sealing it tightly. I think the Ortleib panniers with their rollup seals would have kept everything dry. If the weather people are correct then I won't find a comparable rainstorm anytime soon.
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Old 06-26-06, 04:35 PM   #22
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the waterproofing on timbuks doesnt last long, doesnt last long on ANY of the bags, but the chrome and baileyworks it lasts longer than the others ive tried, about 18months or so for the chrome and baileyworks, maybe 6 months to a year for the timbuks

for just general light usage a timbuk is fine, as a working messenger I wouldnt buy another timbuk, its baileyworks or chrome, anything else is a waste of my time and $$, its bad enough that I can wear out a chrome bag in under 2 years, the things dont come cheap
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Old 06-26-06, 06:04 PM   #23
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Messenger bags

Messenger bags are a current fashion item, I worked as a courier for 2 years and used a messenger bag. It was great for large and small envelopes. But sucks for anything that is bulky or odd shaped. If I carry anything on my bike I use panniers. They are by far the best way to carry most things, next choice would be a regular backpack with some padding on the back.
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Old 06-26-06, 06:27 PM   #24
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Pffft, havent seen any panniers yet that can handle the stuff I haul all the time. Odd shaped or bulky?Please, my bag will swallow 3 of the biggest panniers Ive ever seen and still have room leftover. Ive hauled all kinds of odd and large items. Last week I hauled the 50lb size of copy paper boxes packed with legal files in the bag with the flap closed, that happened 3 times last week. Then theres the blueprints I haul all the time along with stack of depositions from the court reporting agency I have as a client. I haul big stuff that wouldnt even come close to fitting in a pannier, unless they start making 3800 cu inch panniers !! Biggest Ive seen are 2100 cu inches per PAIR........thats freakin tiny. 3 of those will fit in a chrome kremlin with room leftover.

Dunno what kind of service you worked for, but sheesh, sounds like you didnt haul much.
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Old 06-26-06, 06:59 PM   #25
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I use a mix of panniers and my timbuk2 messenger. I can fit just as much in the panniers as I can with my large timbuk2. The key to using the messenger bag is being a little more deliberate when packing it. Think of how everything is going to be resting against your back. Place large, flat objects in the back of the back and more oddly shaped objects near the front. If you place odd shaped objects in the back you are going to have a very uncomfortable ride. Nothing like the corner of a box jabing into your back everytime your weight shifts as you pedal to make you wish you had payed more attention while packing the bag.
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