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Singlespeed & Fixed Gear "I still feel that variable gears are only for people over forty-five. Isn't it better to triumph by the strength of your muscles than by the artifice of a derailer? We are getting soft...As for me, give me a fixed gear!"-- Henri Desgrange (31 January 1865 - 16 August 1940)

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Old 11-06-07, 09:34 PM   #1
dijos
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we haven't had a backpack thread in a while

for those of you that ride with messenger packs, what do you like? do you prefer tall and skinny, or shorter and wider? do you ride with it low, or high? sternum or waist strap or both? straight shoulder straps or curved?
I had sort of given up on finding the right one, and then I saw the Timbuk2 pro, and it seems to have the features I want, but then, it's missing some, too. And, for that price, I would seriously begin looking at custom. Man, when will Seagull come out with a new backpack?
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Old 11-06-07, 09:48 PM   #2
jodypolk
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i rock the timbuk2 pro (i think? the one that sits at an angle), usually only when carrying my computer. i liked it a lot more before i switched from a 15" to a 17" laptop -- it fits, but it kinda stretched the back part out into a permanent rectangle that restricts the view over my left shoulder. either way, pretty indestructible, and it holds a ton of stuff. if you have to lug a laptop around, it's the way to go: doesn't shift and the padding seems sufficient -- (luckily) haven't 'tested' it though.

worth noting: i have broad shoulders and it seems to sit much lower on smaller dude's backs.
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Old 11-06-07, 09:51 PM   #3
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ok, i lied... i have the "OUTTAWHACK DAY PACK".
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Old 11-06-07, 10:03 PM   #4
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the first bag i had was the large timbuk2 messenger, pretty bad; the rigid strap would always dig into my collar bone, even with the pad on.

later i got the chrome backbone, awesome backpack, although pricey; at 2400 cubic inches, it's big enough to get the job done, but i was assed out on a lot of jobs where "tall and skinny" made it hard to organize the placement of different packages and i would always end up wasting tons of space with awkwardly shaped stuff. i also got really tired of having to take the bag off and put it on the floor everytime i had to glance at my manifest or something. it was also annoying having to adjust the length of the straps for when the bag would fill up because there are 2 straps and the clamp isn't very good, i don't know how to explain it otherwise.

now i've graduated to the chrome kremlin, the best bag i could have hoped for. 3000 cubic inches, i have yet to get in a situation where a truck run wouldn't fit into the dumpster of a bag and the strap is very well padded/designed. i use the doomsday button all the time when i have heavy stuff i don't want to lift over my head and the strap adjuster is great. i always use the underarm strap, because it's the only way to really keep the bag wrapped snug around your torso.

i say go for wide over tall (ultimately an over the shoulder bag > backpack, if you're considering both). my company is notorious for giving bikers ridiculous jobs (size wise) so i'm always in a situation where i need all the space i can get; might not be an issue for you. but, at the end of the day, it's always easier to arrange multiple things in a wide bag, opposed to a tall one that will collapse on itself while you're struggling to wedge something into it.

Last edited by NewYorkMantle; 11-06-07 at 10:17 PM.
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Old 11-06-07, 10:07 PM   #5
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i think you should try the chrome's ranchero (l) or backbone (xl), depending on what you're looking to haul. squid's new company cyclehawk is using chrome backbones exclusively.


Last edited by NewYorkMantle; 11-06-07 at 10:18 PM.
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Old 11-06-07, 10:17 PM   #6
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I use a Manhattan portage backpack. It's not made for messengering but its huge, bomb proof, has an awesome (red) lining and has all the right compartments. For some reason they only carry a smaller "school" backpack on their website though.
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Old 11-06-07, 11:01 PM   #7
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Banjo Brothers has some really well designed bags.
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Old 11-06-07, 11:03 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by NewYorkMantle View Post
i think you should try the chrome's ranchero (l) or backbone (xl), depending on what you're looking to haul. squid's new company cyclehawk is using chrome backbones exclusively.

Woh... if only I could justify it
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Old 11-06-07, 11:04 PM   #9
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make your own
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Old 11-06-07, 11:06 PM   #10
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I have the chrome back pack. I forget which size, but its the largest. I wish I went the size smaller, not because of inside size, but mostly for where it lays on my back. Its a decent backpack otherwise. Check out the Freight Baggage backpacks.
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Old 11-06-07, 11:17 PM   #11
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Currently I'm using a Camelbak Mayhem:



To be replaced in 2008 with a Dakine Nomad:



Why? The Dakine is slightly larger and has way better organization potential. I'm not diggin' the Camelbak "two and a half pockets, just dump it all in" approach. I really like using an xc hydration pack for daily use (this fall it's been holding rain gear, shoes, food, etc. during the week, trail supplies and/or race gear on the weekends). I've surprised myself quite a few times now with what I can get home using the bag's full capacity and then getting creative w/ the compression straps.

Edit: No, I don't leave the bladder in during the week, though having vodka sevens constantly at the ready intrigues me ...
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Old 11-06-07, 11:42 PM   #12
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I am curious as to what people think about the Chrome Ivan for messenger work. I have only ever used a Kremlin, but I want to get into backpacks... I am not really loyal to Chrome, but I would love a sweet backpack!
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Old 11-07-07, 12:20 AM   #13
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Check out the Ultimate backpack.
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Old 11-07-07, 05:43 AM   #14
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My Chrome backbone has been great and truly versatile *but*--when fully loaded or worn high--tends to block my view as i glance over my shoulder while riding. otherwise? awesome pack with great capacity and genuine weatherproofness.
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Old 11-07-07, 05:48 AM   #15
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Black Diamond Hollowpoint---I like the old version here more than the new one that is top-loading.

Nice narrow pack, good straps, sternum and waist. It holds a good deal of stuff including my powerbook (12"--not sure if it would fit the MacBooks), a couple books, hat, long sleeve shirt, then in the outer pocket tools and iPod and lots of other assorted junk. This is my favorite bag on days when I don't need the big mess bag.
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Old 11-07-07, 06:21 AM   #16
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i had a chrome backbone, and didn't like it that much. it was too big for what i need, and too "envelope" shaped instead of "box" shaped. it was definitely well constructed though, and i could see how other people like it. also, as someone said before, it can block your over-the-should vision, but there are ways around this, like looking under your arm instead of over your shoulder.
i hear that ortelib makes good backpacks, but i've never tried one.
i'm also waiting for seagull to come out with their backpack version of the black bag...
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Old 11-07-07, 08:19 AM   #17
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^^ yeah, ortliebs are pretty solid. everyone i know who uses one swears by it for simplicity and water tightness. the other nice thing is that there really isn't anything there to absorb sweat, so it'll never get smelly. - i like having a more complex bag with pockets and little comfort features though.
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Old 11-07-07, 08:31 AM   #18
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1)i switched to a dana design day pack after i broke my collar bone..looking to hook up with a ranchero or something along those lines thats more watertight..2)i also had trouble breathing with my messenger bag when i had heavier load of crap..which i never had a problem with a more traditional backpack style
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Old 11-07-07, 08:54 AM   #19
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I went the "gotta be patient" route and ordered a bagabu from hungary. I've been very pleased with it so far. Had it since July. It was pricey and took 6 weeks to get to me bu it's entirely worth it.

I've never used a PAC designs bag (which is similar to the bagabu) but if it compared favorably I think I'd still go with the bagabu.
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Old 11-07-07, 09:05 AM   #20
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http://www.senatebrand.com/SENATEBRA...bags/bags.html

I would recommend senate bags. I have been using the inline skate bag for years without zipper failure. Mine even came insultated for keeping beer cold. The nice thing about the skate bag is that the straps intended to be used for holding skates can secure a good amount of objects. I see that they have also capitlized on the fixie trend with a messenger bag. I have no experience with the messenger bags.

I have had my Senate Skate backpack for over three years rain and shine. If I put it in the washer it might look like new.
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Old 11-07-07, 09:10 AM   #21
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anyone use chrome's roll top bags? how do they compare to the ortlieb bag?
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Old 11-07-07, 09:23 AM   #22
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I find the chromes to be too big for me, though I think they are made more with men in mind.
I have a reload pack and I love it
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Old 11-07-07, 10:00 AM   #23
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Here's my backpack. As soon as I get an embroidery attatchment the flap will have a sweet Duck Hunt piece on it.





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Old 11-07-07, 11:22 AM   #24
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anyone use chrome's roll top bags? how do they compare to the ortlieb bag?
i have chrome's biggest rolltop, i think it's the Ivan, and also have the medium ortlieb rolltop. they're both really good bags. the chrome is huge and heavy and can block your over the shoulder line of sight- i tuck the corners of mine to lessen this. overall, the backpack is really too big for everyday non messenger use, but it's great for groceries and hauling bigger items. it's also good for traveling. the two outside pockets are very deep and useful. even if i try to wear it high up, it's so long that it pretty much goes down to my butt (i'm 5'11").

the medium ortlieb is close to the perfect size- not too big and not too small. there's no built in pockets, which is a minus, but i have the removable pouch which incorporates a zippered pocket and three small open pockets, one of which i can fit a krypto mini evo. it's a little tall and skinny, but nearly the perfect size for me. maybe comparable to a medium messenger bag.

there's a lot of people with the freight backpacks in this town, and they seem nice in that they're kinda short and wide, and sit higher up on the back- or at least thats how folks wear them.
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Old 11-07-07, 11:31 AM   #25
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when i looked at them the chrome rolltop had a significantly better suspension system than the backbone

maybe things have changed


Last edited by doofo; 11-07-07 at 05:51 PM.
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