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  1. #1
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    Help! I need a good cycling backpack so I can ride to work.

    I recently got a job that's located 13 miles away from me one way. It's a good route, country roads with little traffic except for one small stretch. And it's really easy to mix and match routes to get in more mileage on the way home. But before I can ride there, I have to get a good backpack. One really important thing though: I DO NOT NEED A HYDRATION SYSTEM. I really prefer water bottles. If they're only made as hydration systems I guess I'll have no choice, but I'd really like to stay away from it.

    Ideally, it needs to be small-- all I have to transport with it is khaki shorts, a polo shirt, socks, underwear, a belt, and maybe size 10 sneakers. I can just leave the shoes and belt at work. Maybe I'll have to carry some paperwork here and there, but I'm good at keeping things unwrinkled.

    Does such a thing exist, or has the market moved towards the clunky bookbags with hydration systems? Would I be better off with a messenger bag? I'm not sure how you hold onto those things, do they go across your back? Unfortunately I haven't been seeing many options at performancebike.com or anywhere else so I'm open to suggestions even if they don't meet what I'd prefer-- I'd rather be able to ride to work with a big bag than not at all.

    Thanks! I really hope I can get some help on this.

  2. #2
    Senior Member demoncyclist's Avatar
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    Option 1- Drive 1 day per week and stash enough clothes there so that you can ride unencumbered.

    Option 2- a QR seatpost mount rack with a trunk on it.

    Option 3- a good messenger bag. Timbuk2, Chrome, Courierware, etc. You wear them across one shoulder and pull the bag around so it is on your back. The grippy cordura fabric will generally stay where you put it, and some have a second strap that goes around your waist to keep everything in place.
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  3. #3
    Retired Member ultra-g's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by djgustashaw
    I recently got a job that's located 13 miles away from me one way. It's a good route, country roads with little traffic except for one small stretch. And it's really easy to mix and match routes to get in more mileage on the way home. But before I can ride there, I have to get a good backpack. One really important thing though: I DO NOT NEED A HYDRATION SYSTEM. I really prefer water bottles. If they're only made as hydration systems I guess I'll have no choice, but I'd really like to stay away from it.

    Thanks! I really hope I can get some help on this.
    Don't try the hydration pack, I did that and you can't fit squat inside those things, just the filled up water bladder.

    I got the perfect backpack for my cycling at EDDIE BAUER, I actually got it for the gym, before I got my bikes, but it works perfectly for cycling... it was $20 (on sale for last x-mas) but unfortunately I don't know if they still carry it. Anyway you should check the Eddie Bauer site, or go to an Eddie Bauer.

    My backpack has an insulated sleeve for a 32oz. water bottle, a sleeve in the main compartment for a hydration pack bladder (and a hole for the straw), a big sized main compartment that fits my gym shoes and a change of clothes, a little pocket inside the main compartment for a CD player; I also keep my zefal frame pump and sometimes carry my 10lbs Kryptonite chain/lock in there.

    The outer pocket has little sleeves that I fit my cell phone and Leatherman, and also lots of room where I put my bike tool, tire levers, 2 extra tubes, patchkit and keys.

    Anyway, it's a great backpack.
    I Changed My User Name!

  4. #4
    Senior Member Dchiefransom's Avatar
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    Check around at the bicycle shops. Mine backpack is an older one from Trek. It has to crossedmetal "stays" that hold the pack off my back, with a webbing between me and the stays that gives me air circulation. I have switched to a rear rack with a trunk bag from Performance. I want nothing insulating me on hot days. Thirteen miles shouldn't be too bad with a backpack.

  5. #5
    Zippy Engineer Waldo's Avatar
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    ^
    The model described here has been replaced by a different design using foam pads as a means of getting the pack off your back and channeling air. I've got the Fisher Off the Back Pack and find it quite nice. I had a chrome messenger bag which worked well for a 7 mile commute but wasn't cutting it for my 16 miler. The Fisher pack is great, has tons of room and a seperate section for the water bladder, along with a rain cover.

  6. #6
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    I like the messenger bag much better than the backpack. A backpack sets high on your back and interfers when you want to look back for traffic, of course this is with drop bars, it may not be as bad with flat bars. As to info on messengers bags, I would ask on the fixed gear forum.
    Ride to eat, eat to ride

  7. #7
    nutbag
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    Quote Originally Posted by p38karl
    I like the messenger bag much better than the backpack. A backpack sets high on your back and interfers when you want to look back for traffic, of course this is with drop bars, it may not be as bad with flat bars. As to info on messengers bags, I would ask on the fixed gear forum.
    I actually extended the straps so, if my bag is heavy, I can have most of the weight almost right down on the top of my bum. I find this more comfortable than having the weight in the middle of my back.

    Another good tip is to get a bag with the extra straps that go across your chest. A while ago I injured some nerves under my arms because the straps were pushing too hard

  8. #8
    DEADBEEF khuon's Avatar
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    I really like my Tom Binh backpack. Tom Binh makes other types of bags too. Their bags are of high quality and a tad pricey but well worth it.

    http://www.tombinh.com/
    1999 K2 OzM 2001 Aegis Aro Svelte OCP Club Member
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  9. #9
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    The best backpack that I have ever come across is one that I got for free test riding a buell motorcycle. The size is perfect. It has the single strap across the back. Itís so comfortable you donít know itís there but it is very secure. And goes on and off very easily.

  10. #10
    Portland, OR, USA pdxtex's Avatar
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    you might try looking at deuter brand backpacks as well...they make an entire line of cycling specific backpacs that are plenty big to hold the amount of stuff you described and they also have internal frames and this cool mesh backpanel that lies against your back...its keep your back nice and cool and most of them come with a built in rainfly!!! very cool...i got a deuter pack for about 60 bucks and its been the most versatile piece of cycling equipment ive ever purchased...no joke...check them out...vaude also makes really nice packs as well....

  11. #11
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    Backpacks are OK for shorter rides, but for 13 miles, seriously consider a bike-monted solution for your lugagge, esp during a Georgia summer. The Carradice SQR is one of the best systems.

  12. #12
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    I just got a Timbuk2 messenger bag - I love it. Roomy but not bulky, stays put, and does not get in the way.

  13. #13
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    [QUOTE]I just got a Timbuk2 messenger bag - I love it. Roomy but not bulky, stays put, and does not get in the way. That is the bag that I have. I haven't used it in the rain yet so don't how waterproof it is. I guess I could take a shower with it, but don't if I love it that much.
    Ride to eat, eat to ride

  14. #14
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    [QUOTE]I just got a Timbuk2 messenger bag - I love it. Roomy but not bulky, stays put, and does not get in the way. That is the bag that I have. I haven't used it in the rain yet so don't how waterproof it is. I guess I could take a shower with it, but don't if I love it that much.
    Ride to eat, eat to ride

  15. #15
    Sweetened with Splenda
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    I second the vote for Deuter - I have their "superbike" model, which I found a great (no longer available) deal on... It goes for $100 locally, and now that I've used it a while, I'm beginning to think it'd be worth that!

    -chris

  16. #16
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    Sorry for the slow response back to my own thread! The day after I posted it I had to leave for a week to go to national VICA competition with my school. Anyway, I looked more into the messenger bags and I decided to get a Timbuk2 messenger bag from performance. I like the chest straps, hopefully this keeps it from being as bouncy as a bookbag would be. If I'm not happy with it I'll send it back-- thanks for all your recommendations!

    PS: has anyone else had problems with performancebike's web site? I ordered my bag a week ago today and they haven't sent me a confirmation e-mail or charged my card. I've used them before and I'm used to not getting an e-mail, but it seems like they usually charge me after a few days. Hopefully the order went through fine, but the lack of communication bugs me.

  17. #17
    Perineal Pressurized dobber's Avatar
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    http://www.rei.com/online/store/Prod...HP_CYCLING_TOC

    Sounds like you've made a choice and ordered. I've been looking at the REI Single Shoulder bag. I'm using a backpack now (20-34 miles, depending on my route and mood).

  18. #18
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    Actually, I found out why my card wasn't charged, it's because I forgot to click "order" in my rush to get out the door last week . It's still sitting in my shopping cart after I filled in everything EXCEPT clicking the last button. Stupid mistake on my part, but I've ordered from them before and not received emails which is still kinda annoying. I've decided to try my old JanSport bookbag that I just found today before I drop some $60 to $70. Thanks again though! I have a bunch of stuff to check out if I'm not happy with the bookbag.

  19. #19
    Donde estŠ la tortilla? latortilla's Avatar
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    if you're looking for a decent messenger bag, i strongly recommend courierware. service is great, the bags are even better. good, solid material and thoughtful design. the only problem i've had with it is getting used to a bag that i can sling around while still moving (sometimes i don't want to sling it around while moving and yet there it goes), but i think that's a messenger bag thing, rather than a courierware specific thing.

  20. #20
    You need a new bike supcom's Avatar
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    Get a Carradice Saddlebag. From your description, you can use one of the smaller ones. Get an SQR quick release to attach to your seatpost and you're good to go.

  21. #21
    Chairman of the Bored catatonic's Avatar
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    [QUOTE=p38karl]
    I just got a Timbuk2 messenger bag - I love it. Roomy but not bulky, stays put, and does not get in the way. That is the bag that I have. I haven't used it in the rain yet so don't how waterproof it is. I guess I could take a shower with it, but don't if I love it that much.

    I have, the bag is great. Some water does get in from teh edge of teh flap, but only if it's pouring bad enough to make you want to stop anyways. it was so bad my lights were almost useless when that happened.

    I have the large bag, whatever they call it. I got it for free when a dot-com was closing shop...they were jsut ahdning out their branded stuff in the front parking lot to get rid of it all. Actually I wish i got a second one to stich a notebook sleeve into to use as a work bag, so I can keep a play bag around too

  22. #22
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    May be you should try some new Ergon biking packs (see pic below), they are mostly black. but they are some pricely and saled mosty in EU.

    biking packs

  23. #23
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    yea, he probably didnt find anything in the last 5 years...

  24. #24
    Senior Member trigger's Avatar
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    Best backpack for cycling that I have found is the Crumpler Seedy Bar (or its larger cousin the Famous Wine Bar). It holds a reasonable amount (easily what you've listed), has got easy access slash pockets on the front where I keep my repair kit etc, and most importantly, it is designed to sit low enough on the back that it doesn't interfere with shoulder checking! I prefer it to my messenger bag for this reason. Has got nice tabs to keep the adjustable ends of the shoulder straps from flapping around when you ride as well. Less than ideal for walking around with I've found, but GREAT for riding. It seems the shoulder strap system was designed for the position you take on the bike ...

    Only draw backs are price (though the quality is worth it, imho) and that the bag is not water proof - water resistant, yes, but if you had to ride far in a downpour your stuff would get wet.

  25. #25
    Senior Member trigger's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by AngryScientist View Post
    yea, he probably didnt find anything in the last 5 years...
    D'oh!

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