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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 06-09-14, 10:59 PM   #1
jade408
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Finally got all my bike accessories! What are your raves?

When I got my bike in November, I had a long list of stuff I needed to "successfully" use my bike around town. I will fully admit, that style was equally as important as function for me...so I was picky.

On my list:
Front and rear lights
Cute helmet
Bell
Basket
Laptop-suitable bag
Reflective vest

The list sounds pretty easy, but it ended up taking forever. I made a few "mistakes." I saw a few kickstarters and they ended up taking way longer than expected. Lights have been way harder, and I am still looking for the perfect ones. I am suffering with the one I have for now.

I heard about Nutcase, and they have so many fun helmets, so I decided to spend a little extra for one of those. It is a little hot in the sun, but looks cute in the gold sparkle pattern I got.

Mistake: sparse lights. They looked great, but they weren't compatible with my front rack, and that company has terribly customer service once you buy. They ignore you if you want to return.

I ordered a bell from Spurcycle. They ended up being about 4 months behind, but the bell was worth the wait. It had great sound, and isn't huge like most other bells. It is also not too cutesy. Works in a classic bike, and a modern bike too.

I got a vest from Vespertine. Looks cool and not too safety vest, but I haven't felt it has been necessary for my riding thus far. My ride home in my typical 3 mile radius is pretty well lit, and has lots of cyclists. I haven't biked from work yet in the dark, which is a different story.

The basket has been a bit if a whirlwind, but I have a pannier like basket from basil, and a linus one mounts in the front on my rack. The baskets hold my purse, but I was worried about th laptop part.

And today the piece de resistance finally arrived: the laptop pannier. I wanted a bag that was laptop friendly that didn't look too bike-y. I didn't like the uber sporty ones. I didn't like the paisley ones aimed at women. Basically all the ones online and in stores I saw were either too boring or too not me. I ended up finding one on kickstarter as well. And of course the ended up being a couple months behind too. But it was worth the wait. They really got the details right, although I wish it was a little bigger. It is not big enough for a grocery run and the laptop. But would fit a few extras and my laptop. The best part is that it looks like a messenger bag. And the rack hardware is totally unobtrusive. It is really small and subtle. There is an open pocket for the shoulder strap to hid when not in use. The top rolls or folds over. There is a side zipper somyoundont need to unroll to access the main compartment. I am totally impressed.

I might get another single pannier that is waterproof, if I can find one that is my style.

Makes its debut tomorrow!

How did you kit up your bike? What are your faves so far?
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Old 06-09-14, 11:20 PM   #2
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Favourite bit of kit has to be my Carradice bag, Wright's leather saddle, IGH, generator lights, and the bike they are attached to.



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Old 06-10-14, 02:15 AM   #3
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Carradice bags
Brooks saddles
Bento bags
Schmidt dynohubs
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Old 06-10-14, 06:53 PM   #4
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Favourite bit of kit has to be my Carradice bag, Wright's leather saddle, IGH, generator lights, and the bike they are attached to.
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Carradice bags
So how do these bags not flop around in the wind or riding over rough terrain? I'd like to get some kind of a bag for my bikes that don't have racks, but the best I've come up with so far is a variation of this uber-light/compact REI daypack.


(FWIW, I still have to thank Machka for recommending Axiom LaSalle panniers for my rack bikes... that was 6/7 years ago and I'm now looking to buy another pair.. as the zippers have finally packed it in from my daily commute...)
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Old 06-10-14, 07:07 PM   #5
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So how do these bags not flop around in the wind or riding over rough terrain? I'd like to get some kind of a bag for my bikes that don't have racks, but the best I've come up with so far is a variation of this uber-light/compact REI daypack.
They are attached by two straps that go through the loops in the back of a Brooks saddle, and by one strap that goes around the seatpost. Once attached like that, there's nowhere for them to flop. The Carradice bags come with three leather straps for that purpose, but I have changed the seatpost one to a velcro strap that is a bit longer ... just works better for me.

Oh, and on most of my bicycles I have a rear rack so the Carradice rests on the rear rack, but on my titanium I have a seatpost attachment that Carradice makes for the Carradice bags, so my Carradice bags rest on that. I forget what it is called.



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(FWIW, I still have to thank Machka for recommending Axiom LaSalle panniers for my rack bikes... that was 6/7 years ago and I'm now looking to buy another pair.. as the zippers have finally packed it in from my daily commute...)


My Axiom LaSalles are still going, although I haven't used them much in the last couple years. I have been quite pleasantly surprised how durable yet relatively inexpensive they are.
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Old 06-10-14, 07:38 PM   #6
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Oh, and on most of my bicycles I have a rear rack so the Carradice rests on the rear rack, but on my titanium I have a seatpost attachment that Carradice makes for the Carradice bags, so my Carradice bags rest on that. I forget what it is called.
Ok... so if you don't want a rack on your bike, you really need a the extra device to stablize the bag. That sounds reasonable. I was looking at a friend's Jandd Mountain bag III this weekend. It's a big bag that uses bungees that hook into the eyelets on the rear drops. Rather ungainly looking, but apparently very effective in stablizing the bag w/o a support.

Just wondering what the Carridice bag and the support would weigh... roughly (gee... I'm slipping into 'weight weenie'-ism, aren't I?)
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Old 06-10-14, 07:40 PM   #7
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My Axiom LaSalles are still going, although I haven't used them much in the last couple years. I have been quite pleasantly surprised how durable yet relatively inexpensive they are.
The Axioms Lasalle panniers I am replacing have made somewhere over 800-1,000 commuting trips in their lifetime. For $50 each (I use just one on my commute.), it's a steal. Very nice.
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Old 06-10-14, 08:07 PM   #8
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Another fan of Carradice bags here. I've had the Nelson Longflap saddlebag for about 10 years, which is now attached to the seat post of my Swift folding bike with the Carradice SQR system. I can fit in my computer, clothes, lunch, tools, etc, for commuting. I have outfitted it with a shoulder strap, and use it as a bag for grocery shopping. I wish it had some internal pockets, but otherwise it's pretty perfect.
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Old 06-10-14, 10:04 PM   #9
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The Carradice can be fitted with an extra bag support, this works for larger bags that carry more weight.

For the others, the seat post strap is sufficient to keep it from moving around and the bag itself is quite stiff as it has a wooden dowel inside it.
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Old 06-10-14, 10:42 PM   #10
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That is a lovely looking bicycle and bag...
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Old 06-11-14, 03:36 AM   #11
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Quote:
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Ok... so if you don't want a rack on your bike, you really need a the extra device to stablize the bag. That sounds reasonable. I was looking at a friend's Jandd Mountain bag III this weekend. It's a big bag that uses bungees that hook into the eyelets on the rear drops. Rather ungainly looking, but apparently very effective in stablizing the bag w/o a support.

Just wondering what the Carridice bag and the support would weigh... roughly (gee... I'm slipping into 'weight weenie'-ism, aren't I?)

I have the Nelson Longflap and Pendle. For some reason the Carradice site doesn't seem to be listing the weight for the Nelson Longflap at the moment, but it's 610 grams for the Pendle.

https://carradice.co.uk/index.php?pa...&product_id=41


And Rowan and I have this support ... 328 grams.

Bagman Sport Support (original)
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Old 06-11-14, 07:24 AM   #12
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#1 on my list is a 11" Mac Book Air. Small and light, just a bit bigger than an iPad, it fits in an inexpensive back sack. I'm a software developer, so ease of carrying my company with me was key to my being able to commute which led to not driving. I tried a messenger bag and a traditional back pack but both slowed me down and felt odd in the drops. For me it's a back sack, I actually feel odd on a bike without it on my back.

I've got a rear blinkie and a LuminTrail - 1000 headlight, fenders are on order. And of course my trusty Wabi FG/SS.



I like taking bike in rain pictures, makes me feel so empowered.
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Old 06-11-14, 08:22 AM   #13
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Just upgraded my commuter with the supernova light set and am very happy with that. So for me it has become the perfect around town bike.
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Old 06-11-14, 08:26 AM   #14
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#1 on my list is a 11" Mac Book Air. Small and light, just a bit bigger than an iPad, it fits in an inexpensive back sack. I'm a software developer, so ease of carrying my company with me was key to my being able to commute which led to not driving. I tried a messenger bag and a traditional back pack but both slowed me down and felt odd in the drops. For me it's a back sack, I actually feel odd on a bike without it on my back.

I've got a rear blinkie and a LuminTrail - 1000 headlight, fenders are on order. And of course my trusty Wabi FG/SS.



I like taking bike in rain pictures, makes me feel so empowered.
What is that gorgeous looking bike? Frame/build?
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Old 06-11-14, 09:06 AM   #15
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One more comment on the Carradice Nelson Longflap. For years before I got the SQR system for my current bike, I had the bag attached fixed to the seat loops and the seatpost of a Triumph 3 speed. The bag was useful, durable (my bike lived on the front porch in NJ), and lovely. The magic happens and the rating becomes a rave, however, when you can take the bag on and off the bike. Carradice has the SQR and another QR device. You could also do a DIY system such as described at Mid-Life Cycling:: Easy-On, Easy-Off Carradice Bag. It's also from "Mid-Life Cycling" that I stole the idea (you will see it on the linked page) of attaching the key rings on the leather tabs of the upper back/side of the bag to attach a shoulder strap. Now, if I have my lunch, laptop, clothes, I take the whole bag off and carry it into the office. If it's a nice day and I've cycled to work in business casual, I take my laptop out of the bag and leave the bag on the bike (in the secure garage at the office). For biking daytrips in NYC or on a grocery run, when I lock up my bike, I take the bag with me.
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Old 06-11-14, 09:13 AM   #16
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What is that gorgeous looking bike? Frame/build?
I was going to ask the same thing.
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Old 06-11-14, 09:17 AM   #17
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I was going to ask the same thing.
:/ We're going to have to settle for "Wabi" for now.
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Old 06-11-14, 10:51 AM   #18
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What is that gorgeous looking bike? Frame/build?
Thanks! It's a Wabi Classic . I got it about a year ago, liked it so much I also got their RE frame set for building a geared bike. I stripped the components off of my Trek and have been loving it.
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Old 06-15-14, 10:32 AM   #19
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The bike accessory that I rave about the most is my Dargelos Lightning Vest: DARGELOS ? Lightning Vest

I take it to all of my bike month q & a sessions. I like it so much, I even wrote a fan letter to the woman who makes them.

My other favorite is my front skull light, purple, of course:
Skully + S-L324
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Old 06-15-14, 01:57 PM   #20
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How did you kit up your bike? What are your faves so far?
I have a lot of stuff with my bike, too, but my favorites are:

1. Ortlieb waterproof panniers. Best purchase I have ever made. They are expensive, but worth it.

2. Speedplay Drillium pedals. They're platform pedals, but with little metal studs on them so that foot retention is very good. I like them better than clip-in pedals for riding in city traffic in the rain.

3. Fenders. Some people don't like them, but unless you live in the desert, I think they're essential.


I have an Urban 550 USB-charged bike light, but I'm not crazy about it. It's certainly bright enough for urban riding, and charges fairly quickly, but it doesn't hold its charge as long as advertised, and the strap keeps breaking.
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Old 06-24-14, 05:36 AM   #21
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Depends on the bike, but for basics:

Fenders, racks, dyno hub, hub brakes, lights, bell and a leather saddle.

Some of my bikes came with fenders, some didn't. Only two came with dyno hubs the rest I have converted. For bells I prefer the Incredibell Duet, lights are usually B&M from Germany.

I like Carradice and similar bags for many of my bikes. My main hauling panniers are Basil canvas.

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Old 07-03-14, 05:18 AM   #22
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Carradice bags
Brooks saddles
Bento bags
Schmidt dynohubs

Machak, my Marinoni Ciclo ... complete with Carradice bag, Brooks saddle, Bento bag, and Schmidt dynohub ...




Kahcam, my Hasa Titanium ... complete with Carradice bag, Brooks saddle, and Schmidt dynohub ...




A close-up in B&W of the Carradice support ...

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Old 07-03-14, 05:32 AM   #23
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Reflective vest
I use a hi-vis yellow vest ...

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