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Utility Cycling Want to haul groceries, beer, maybe even your kids? You don't have to live car free to put your bike to use as a workhorse. Here's the place to share and learn about the bicycle as a utility vehicle.

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Old 05-26-07, 11:19 PM   #1
brett jerk
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talk to me about grocery shopping

whats an effective way to carry all that potential weight 5-10 miles? backpacks put me incredibly off balance if I fill them up too much and I already have back problems. What do I do, get a rear saddle and some bags? any help would be great.
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Old 05-26-07, 11:36 PM   #2
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paniers
trailer
baskets
or stop and get groceries several times a week!

I'm lucky in that my commute takes me by the grocer every day, so I stop in frequently and pick a few things up here and there.
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Old 05-27-07, 12:05 AM   #3
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http://www.bikesatwork.com/bike-trailers/

Absolutely brilliant!
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Old 05-27-07, 04:39 AM   #4
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You didn't say how many people/pets you buy for, so you're going to get all sorts of suggestions, many of which won't make sense for your situation. It also depends on what type of stuff you buy. Frozen dinners or canned goods load differently than fresh meats and produce.

I'm single and don't have any pets either. I usually cook things with actual ingredients, rather than heat-and-eat. I use Nashbar's grocery panniers, which hang on a rear rack. So that I don't buy more than I can load on the bike, I shop using the store's handbasket instead of a cart. The handbasket plus an handful (jug of milk, couple of loaves of bread) fills them perfectly.

It seems to work out that I alternate one trip one week, two trips the next. I occasionally supplement this with a backpack, but not often.

Hope this helps!
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Old 05-27-07, 04:46 AM   #5
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I use a set of grocery bag panniers they work well for just the two of us for a weeks worth. We also don't buy a lot of sodas, bottled water and the like. I also use a cloth bag that sits in the pannier with a drawstring top. When my kids were still at home I made 2-3 trips a week to the grocery store but it was less than a mile away. I did use a trailer then for hauling the dog food home. We try to buy the least packaged food possible to minimize trash, it also minimizes the amount of extra stuff you have to haul.

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Old 05-27-07, 06:00 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pj7
paniers
trailer
baskets
or stop and get groceries several times a week!

I'm lucky in that my commute takes me by the grocer every day, so I stop in frequently and pick a few things up here and there.

I'll do you one better, I am fortunate...well I wouldn't go that far I guess, to work at a grocery store.

I go to school and as a part time job I work at a grocery store. I use baskets, but I think panniers would be better if you can afford it. Since my baskets are open on the top I usually have to cover them with plastic bags in bad weather.
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Old 05-27-07, 07:20 AM   #7
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I have a bike bag that opens up into a pannier and also use a messenger bag. They hold pretty well a bag of groceries. Of course my trip to the store is less than 4 miles each way so it doens't give me any problem. You can check this one out from REI:

http://www.rei.com/product/733820

this is the one I have right now;

http://www.rei.com/product/710473
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Old 05-27-07, 08:01 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by brett jerk
whats an effective way to carry all that potential weight 5-10 miles? backpacks put me incredibly off balance if I fill them up too much and I already have back problems. What do I do, get a rear saddle and some bags? any help would be great.
To avoid any weight considerations a bike trailer is the only reasonable answer unless
you are using an "xtracycle".
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Originally Posted by krazygluon
Steel: nearly a thousand years of metallurgical development
Aluminum: barely a hundred, which one would you rather have under your butt at 30mph?
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Old 05-27-07, 09:38 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by brett jerk
whats an effective way to carry all that potential weight 5-10 miles? backpacks put me incredibly off balance if I fill them up too much and I already have back problems. What do I do, get a rear saddle and some bags? any help would be great.

Xtracycle. You can carry your groceries and your significant other




or whatever..



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Old 05-27-07, 09:39 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wrafl
...

this is the one I have right now;

http://www.rei.com/product/710473
How does this go on the bike? I wish they'd show photos of the things in use, always...I cannot tell where they'd go, sometimes!

Just curious...I just got the Novarra ones you'd also posted. The grocery store is less than a mile away and I do seem to run down there an awful lot!
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Old 05-27-07, 12:04 PM   #11
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Honestly, I order all my big/heavy stuff from PeaPod once a month or once every other month. Their prices are very competitive to my local grocery store and the delivery charge is pretty reasonable if you only make large orders.

I get all my fresh stuff and smaller stuff from the local grocery store. It's no big deal to carry that stuff home.
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Old 05-27-07, 12:17 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wrafl
I have a bike bag that opens up into a pannier and also use a messenger bag. They hold pretty well a bag of groceries. Of course my trip to the store is less than 4 miles each way so it doens't give me any problem. You can check this one out from REI:

http://www.rei.com/product/733820

this is the one I have right now;

http://www.rei.com/product/710473
I've had these REI grocery getters for years. They work well for me. I use Ortleib panniers for
foul weather or touring or getting more stuff but these REI panniers are good for quick grocery
runs. They're so old I don't worry about leaving them on the bike when I go in shopping. Lately
since three or four grocery stores are along my route home I just pop in and put stuff in the
messenger bag, if I overshop I tie some of the plastic bags to the cargo rack to lighten the
messenger bag load. If I really overshop I loop bags on the handlebars too. There are many
easy options for grocery shopping by bike it isn't really a problem.
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Old 05-27-07, 01:14 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mirage1
How does this go on the bike? I wish they'd show photos of the things in use, always...I cannot tell where they'd go, sometimes!

Just curious...I just got the Novarra ones you'd also posted. The grocery store is less than a mile away and I do seem to run down there an awful lot!
The front of the bag clips on the front end of the rack and the rest are held by velcro belts that are all around the corners of the bag. I usually store my water bottle, OnGuard U and cable lock combination, house keys, my ID, some cash, cell phone and lights. The sides break open into panniers for additional storage such as when I run to the grocery. It can hold maybe 2/3 the contents of a paper bag and the rest, I put them on a messenger bag. So really I carry 2 bags, the bike bag and the messenger bag.
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Old 05-27-07, 01:21 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gwd
I've had these REI grocery getters for years. They work well for me. I use Ortleib panniers for
foul weather or touring or getting more stuff but these REI panniers are good for quick grocery
runs. They're so old I don't worry about leaving them on the bike when I go in shopping. Lately
since three or four grocery stores are along my route home I just pop in and put stuff in the
messenger bag, if I overshop I tie some of the plastic bags to the cargo rack to lighten the
messenger bag load. If I really overshop I loop bags on the handlebars too. There are many
easy options for grocery shopping by bike it isn't really a problem.
They are sure handy when you need them. I was going to get the grocery panniers but I saw the bag that I have now and decided to go with it instead since it's expandable. Real neat, it can carry a lot of little stuff with you. It also converts into a shoulder bag.
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Old 05-27-07, 01:35 PM   #15
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if your shopping for yourself get grocery bags (rei, nasbar, performance, jandd)

extracycle would be overkill just for groceries.
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Old 05-27-07, 06:00 PM   #16
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I've used the Traileron successfully at times. I never really filled up a whole shopping carriage since it's just me but I can see it working with a fairly full load. The problem with a shopping carriage are the wheels. I wish they would make one uses 16' inch Brompton wheels instead of the hard plastic ones.

http://www.traileron.com/
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Old 06-06-07, 11:18 PM   #17
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I use rear mount Wald baskets. No problems with weight yet.




Click to enlarge.
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Old 06-06-07, 11:50 PM   #18
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Trailer, panniers, or both, depending on the size of your refrigerator.

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Old 06-07-07, 10:25 AM   #19
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Bike trailer, definitely. I can park very close to the doors of the market. I take my Rubbermaid bin into the market (thus not having to use the store's grocery bags), so that the load is already" in place", so to speak, before I even leave the store. There's no time spent distributing the load between panniers. Carrying kitty litter and/or a case of wine is no problem. For big trips, I have folding baskets on my bike that can carry the overflow items. I tend to use these baskets for larger/lighter things like boxes of crackers, etc. I have ordered my mid size Bikes-At-Work trailer, and I am looking forward to being able to carry my digital piano to gigs! Our little one-car garage may get a wee bit snug...
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