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  1. #1
    Senior Member Seattle Forrest's Avatar
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    How do you carry your stuff...?

    There's a thread in the commuting forum called "How do you carry a pizza?" I'm a little less ambitious ... but I'm asking in this forum, because chances are most people in here have a similar bike to mine ( drop handle bars, skinny tires, etc ), and do the same kinds of riding I do ( 90 % on pavement, with love for a good dirt trail and/or stairs now and then ), so it seems like I'll get better answers here.

    I don't like riding with a backpack. It prevents me from managing my body temperature; I wind up sweating more, feeling hot and clammy, etc. I prefer hiking without a pack, too... Anyway, I've never used panniers, but have a bit of nervousness about them. I've got a small bag attached to the bottom of my seat, and keep some tire levers, a multi-tool, dental floss, etc, down there. When I hit a bump in the road, the thing knocks the saddle, and I always wonder for a split second if something has come loose. It seems like panniers would be more of the same, but also ( more importantly ) change the way the bike rides. And I really like the way it handles now.

    So, a bike is one of the most fun things I've discovered in life, but it's also transportation. Sometimes I just want to go to the park ( which might be a mile away, or ten ) and enjoy some time outdoors with a good book. Ideally I'd also like to be able to carry a meal, and a jacket. Same goes for visiting friends across town ... it's pretty often I'll want to bring a book in at least one direction.

    What do you do to move your stuff around? How does it work for you, and would you recommend it?

  2. #2
    Grillparzer Grillparzer's Avatar
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    Two panniers and a book bag I bungee to the rack carries my stuff for commuting. I haven't noticed any appreciable difference between being loaded and riding unloaded.
    People are broad-minded. They'll accept the fact that a person can be an alcoholic, a dope fiend, a wife beater and even a newspaperman, but if a man doesn't drive, there's something wrong with him.

  3. #3
    Senior Member rumrunn6's Avatar
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    rear rack, and since last year I've been using a cycling specific rack trunk, but really once you've got the rack you can bungee anything to it
    cycling is like baseball ~ it doesn't take much to make it interesting

  4. #4
    FNG Jabba Degrassi's Avatar
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    If you're willing to re-consider a backpack (and spend a bit of $$$), the Deuter Race Exp Air Daypack is a very smart back pack. It has a mesh backing which effectively separates your back from the bag and allows a bit of airflow. I generally prefer to load it up with my hydration pack against the back of bag as well, the cold water tends to cool the air in the general area of my back (maybe it's just placebo?).

    It's not very big, but it's a very smart design. As long as you don't have a TON of stuff to carry around, I think it's worthwhile (apparently this year's model is a bit more roomy than mine though).
    velospace: Angus | Exile | Jake The Snake

  5. #5
    Senior Member mijome07's Avatar
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    I used to do it like this:



    And like this:


  6. #6
    Senior Member Loose Chain's Avatar
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    I love my new Cross Check 54cm. I plan to install a rack and fenders. Yeah, 90% pavement except I live down a dirt rode, the paved rodes are rough and the occasional need to take a shoulder. The CC excells!

  7. #7
    Senior Member Seattle Forrest's Avatar
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    So people who use fenders and such ... does this change the way the bike handles? I realize that if you use a backpack, the weight is on the wheels anyway, and it's already toward the rear of the bike. But, it just intuitively seems like this is going to make it feel funny. Am I off base?

    And mijome07 - that second picture is great! I've been wanting to attach another water bottle to mine, and it never occurred to me that a bike can hold one where your third is. I'm going to give that a try. Thanks!!

  8. #8
    Team Water Andy_K's Avatar
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    I've got a ridiculous assortment of bags that I use in different conditions.

    I have a really small seat bag that holds a tube, patch and tire levers. It straps to the seat tightly enough not to move. If that's all I bring I have a mini-pump hooked to the wattle bottle bolts.

    I have this frame bag which I use if I have just a few more things I want to take (cell phone, energy bar, wallet, etc.).

    For commuting I usually use this pannier and a rack. It definitely changes the way the bike handles, but it hold a ton of stuff (secure and dry) so the convenience factor is a big plus.

    When the weather is nice, I use a messenger bag to avoid the down-graded bike feel. I find that my back sweats slightly less with a messenger bag than with a backpack.

    For a compromise, I sometimes use this rack trunk. It doesn't change the feel of the bike nearly as much as the pannier, but it also doesn't hold big objects. It does have side pockets that I can unzip and use for extra storage, but the rain cover doesn't cover those. Often I'll use a pocket to carry my lunch to work and then zip it up for the ride home.

    I don't think the rack and pannier change the handling of the bike much. They add a small bit of weight, but not much.

  9. #9
    Life is good RonH's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Seattle Forrest View Post
    I've never used panniers, but have a bit of nervousness about them. I've got a small bag attached to the bottom of my seat, and keep some tire levers, a multi-tool, dental floss, etc, down there. When I hit a bump in the road, the thing knocks the saddle, and I always wonder for a split second if something has come loose. It seems like panniers would be more of the same, but also ( more importantly ) change the way the bike rides.
    Most panniers have a bungee type cord or a similar security device that's part of the bag that holds it securely to the rack. The pannier shouldn't come loose unless you ride off a cliff.
    They can be attached to the rack in a few seconds and can be removed to take with you just a quickly.

    Here's how I carried my stuff when I was commuting on my Raleigh road bike.



    Here's how I carried my stuff on my Jamis Nova.
    My bikes: 2001 Litespeed Tuscany---2015 Cannondale Supersix EVO carbon

    I thought of that while riding my bicycle -- Albert Einstein

  10. #10
    Senior Member mijome07's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Seattle Forrest View Post
    And mijome07 - that second picture is great! I've been wanting to attach another water bottle to mine, and it never occurred to me that a bike can hold one where your third is. I'm going to give that a try. Thanks!!
    I had the bike setup for a 50 mile ride to the beach. I used the rubber tabs and zip ties that came with a Topeak frame pump to mount the cage. Worked well.

  11. #11
    Devil's Advocate
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    My favorite thing is a backpack made by Banjo Brothers. It is made to sit low so as not to get in the way of your sight, it has a reflective stripe down the back, a pack on the side to store a U lock, and is completely water proof. It closes with a strap, which makes it perfect for putting big things into it. If you anticipate getting on and off the bike quickly, I think the backpack is the way to go. There is no perfect system, pluses and minuses with everything, the backpack is the most convenient for carrying things if you can deal with the back sweat.

    Fenders don't do anything to a bikes handling unless your worried about speed in a race. Panniers however will affect the way the bike rides a little bit, they set the balance off a bit but they can handle a lot of weight without putting any weight on the rider.

    I would highly recommend looking at the Banjo Brothers backpack because it is the only backpack I know of designed for cycling commuting, but if you are really not into getting another backpack I would go for panniers.

  12. #12
    Packfodding 3 caloso's Avatar
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    I really like that Banjo Bros. pack.
    Cyclists of the world, unite! You have nothing to lube but your chains!

  13. #13
    Senior Member
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    You could always try the traditional British style (transverse) saddlebag:


  14. #14
    Justin scattered73's Avatar
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    I do both, I prefer the pannier method and have some cheap nashbar daytrekkers always on my daily rider and they are very handy. If I have to make several stops and have items that could be stolen I bring the messenger bag. Both types change the feel of the bike in different ways.
    Do what makes you happy.

  15. #15
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    Camelbak backpack with all my junk. I know most people hate riding in backpacks but I don't really mind and I can drink easier than getting the water bottle from the bottle cage.

  16. #16
    Senior Member Seattle Forrest's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Captain Jake View Post
    My favorite thing is a backpack made by Banjo Brothers. It is made to sit low so as not to get in the way of your sight
    FYI - I just bought an Arc'teryx Miura 30 backpack, which I'm in love with. It feels like somebody took an impression of the shape of my back, and then added some plush gel padding to the inside. Carries heavy ( 40+ lbs ) loads with comfort, and has lots of innovative ways to get at your stuff. But it's not fit for cycling, for exactly the reason you suggested ... the corners come up just a bit too much, and block a bit of vision when you need to look backward. The Banjo Brothers bag is pretty cool to have thought of that ... just looked it over, and it seems to be a great cyclist bag.

    I think I might give the transverse saddle bag a try, though. All I really want is to be able to carry a book that's slightly too big for my pocket, ride to the park, and enjoy myself.

  17. #17
    Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by Seattle Forrest View Post

    I think I might give the transverse saddle bag a try, though. All I really want is to be able to carry a book that's slightly too big for my pocket, ride to the park, and enjoy myself.
    Just FYI, for this type of saddlebag, you either need a saddle with loops built in (like a Brooks) or some kind of adapter to mount the bag to a regular saddle, like VO sells here:

    http://www.velo-orange.com/vivabagloops.html

  18. #18
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    I normally use a rear rack with trunk bag held in place by its velcro straps. The bag stays in place and doesnt affect handling unless I put a lot of weight in it (like several extra water bottles). The rack is also capable of using with panniers for big loads, but I hardly ever use them. For day rides I have a bento box at the front of the frame for snacking and the camera. I clip route sheets to the STI cables with clothes pegs.

  19. #19
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    I'm getting into road cycling with the intent to do day-long club rides where I will need to carry jackets, etc. I have a rack that mounts to the seat post that I can attach a trunk or a trunk with panniers, but that seems to defeat the purpose of the sleekness and speed of a road bike. I use the rack on my mtn bike.

    So I am thinking about a backpack for the road bike: I am looking at this one: http://www.ospreypacks.com/Packs/RaptorSeries
    I have an Osprey pack for skiing, and it is great. They have a great rep generally. Does anyone know about the Osprey Raptor packs? The maker says it is for mtn biking and trail running, but I don't see why you could not use it for road biking. Has a hydration bladder, which should be easier than reaching for the bottles.

    Thoughts, recommendations, anyone?

  20. #20
    Senior Member
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    I ride with a MEC (Mountain Equipment Co-op for the non-Canadians) hydration pack. I hate riding with a backpack too, but this one is small enough that it doesn't feel like I'm wearing a sack....but large enough to hold my essentials - tool kit, spare tubes, small lunch, wallet, cellphone etc... plus a 1.5L hydrastorm bladder.

    http://www.mec.ca/Products/product_d...=1271546805909

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