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Old 08-13-17, 10:41 AM   #1
lwpowers
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Pannier or backpack for commuting with 17 " laptop

Hi it is VERY difficult to find a backpack or pannier to fit a 17" laptop
any suggestions?
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Old 08-13-17, 10:46 AM   #2
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There are a number of panniers that can fit it vertically. Trying to carry it horizontally is likely to create heel clearance problems, so even if you found panniers 17" wide, they'd likely have a cutaway heel clearance, so you'd have to fill the bottom so the computer sat above the cut.
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Old 08-13-17, 11:44 AM   #3
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Alternative, that, In a back pack you have arms and legs as suspension, to absorb big shocks to your laptop..

but with micro SD cards and multi gigabyte thumb drives cant you leave the company lap top there?



...
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Old 08-13-17, 12:04 PM   #4
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Do you have the actual laptop dimensions? Are you carrying the case, or just the laptop?

Heel Strike may depend on the rack positioning & chainstay length.

I found a pannier set similar to this one (unfortunately I can't find brand markings on mine).

ROSWHEEL Bicycle Waterproof Travel Pannier Rear Seat Detachable Trunk Bag | eBay



Mine was able to fit a pizza box in the top(trunk) bag. If you got the bag above, you could customize it with some padding (if it didn't fit your laptop case). It looks like the top detaches and makes a nice shoulder strap bag.

You may also just take your laptop to a bicycle or sporting goods store and try it out.

In the past, I've carried a laptop in its bag slung over my shoulder/back, and it worked reasonably well.
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Old 08-13-17, 12:30 PM   #5
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What I want for that, a laptop case that IS the pannier, or replaces one. Perhaps hooks onto the rack and/or seat stay and chain stay, disconnects easily and, with a handle, is a case you can carry to meetings and looks professional. Anyone know of something like that?
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Old 08-13-17, 12:46 PM   #6
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What I want for that, a laptop case that IS the pannier, or replaces one. Perhaps hooks onto the rack and/or seat stay and chain stay, disconnects easily and, with a handle, is a case you can carry to meetings and looks professional. Anyone know of something like that?
No, but it wouldn't be hard to make with a bit of standard hardware. You'll need a long stiff flat bar of some kind to take the hooks and spread the load. Then assemble it with the brace inside and hooks outside and bolted through. When hanging it on the bike, use a bungee or strap to hold it down so it can't bump upward and disengage.

The beauty of the DIY approach is that you can orient the computer to ensure good heel clearance. The natural give of the carrying case would take up most of the harder jolts.
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Old 08-13-17, 04:28 PM   #7
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I hate to say it but the easiest way to carry a 17" laptop on a bike is to trade it for a 15" laptop.
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Old 08-13-17, 04:34 PM   #8
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I hate to say it but the easiest way to carry a 17" laptop on a bike is to trade it for a 15" laptop.
Depending on the programs and specific application the separate number keypad can be very important for some users. That bit of added utility is usually what separate wider keyboards from their narrower counterparts.

In any case, I can't see the logic of replacing the computer over this. Of course, if/when the time comes to replace it, then keyboard width would be one of the factors to consider, along with weight and of course functional capabilities.
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Old 08-13-17, 07:40 PM   #9
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No, but it wouldn't be hard to make with a bit of standard hardware. You'll need a long stiff flat bar of some kind to take the hooks and spread the load. Then assemble it with the brace inside and hooks outside and bolted through. When hanging it on the bike, use a bungee or strap to hold it down so it can't bump upward and disengage.

The beauty of the DIY approach is that you can orient the computer to ensure good heel clearance. The natural give of the carrying case would take up most of the harder jolts.
I've considered DIY but I'd use a rigid back with the hooks and fasteners because I don't think the fabric will hold up to that for long. And some other design factors, it's back burner.
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Old 08-13-17, 07:47 PM   #10
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I hate to say it but the easiest way to carry a 17" laptop on a bike is to trade it for a 15" laptop.
+1

Or even a 13" laptop.

Why do you need such a big laptop in the first place? I had one and when it crapped out, I got a 13 and never looked back. It's lighter and easier to carry in multiple bags. Hell, it even fits in my Chroma Kadet.
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Old 08-13-17, 08:09 PM   #11
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You could probably bungee, or use cam straps to tie the factory case to the top of the rack. With a little practice, it would attach and remove pretty quickly.

I ride with a backpack quite a bit, and I'm sure you could find one that would fit. Some have a special computer pocket, although I'm not sure the size.

The old 17"+ computers were behemoths, but I would assume new ones are getting lighter. Things like a CD/DVD drive would be nice, but really I don't use it that frequently (other than when I was doing IT support).
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Old 08-13-17, 08:11 PM   #12
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Another option is to get a USB drive, or even a micro SD card, and just transfer your data from one location to another, and leave the computers at home and work.

Some software companies used to license software to be used on office + home computers.
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Old 08-13-17, 08:48 PM   #13
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Just did a Google search for 17" Laptop Backpacks, and found a bunch of articles.

I would go backpack.
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Old 08-13-17, 09:44 PM   #14
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I don't carry a laptop often, but a few years ago I carried 2 laptopsand my usual commuting back pack on my bike using Wald Folding baskets. They're light and flexible enough to soak up moderade bumps. I just used a lightweight bungee to keep the cases in the baskets.
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Old 08-14-17, 04:04 AM   #15
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I didn't realise to people still used 17" laptops.

If you have to carry a machine at all, rather than using a cloud ... I'd look at a 9"-11" machine with a dedicated station (keyboard / mouse / screen) at every destination, e.g. home and office.
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Old 08-14-17, 07:33 AM   #16
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Just get a smaller laptop, or use the cloud or portable media, is all off-target in my opinion. It may be feasible for some uses, but sometimes it does need to be 17", plus as much processing power as you can get, and access outside of the firewall including a USB is forbidden. It's not always an option, so secure, convenient transportation is a pretty good question.

As it is, I either slip mine into a regular padded backpack or strap the laptop case onto my rack, which aren't very happy solutions. I simply don't do it very often. With some nice solid solution that I could clip on or off in seconds, and not worry about during the commute it would be a different story.
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Old 08-30-17, 09:05 AM   #17
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No, but it wouldn't be hard to make with a bit of standard hardware.
I actually did try that this morning and it works out pretty well. Rather than spending any time on design I just bent a steel rod for hooks at the top corners and looped a strap around it.

This is 15" rather than 17" and fit perfectly in an old school zipper binder. It really is that simple for a workable solution.
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Old 08-30-17, 09:13 AM   #18
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While I'm not big on backpacks when riding at all, for a 17" laptop I'd go with a backpack. That's just because of the shock absorption on a backpack. It'll be a gentler ride up there.

I have a 13 inch laptop and I don't mind it in my pannier because it isn't a snug fit in there. I can keep it in a neoprene sleeve that adds some padding and it has a little room to wobble inside the bag so it I hit a bounce hard it was wiggle room in the pannier and has the neoprene sleeve to cushion it. If I crammed a 17 inch laptop in there it would be a super tight fit and it would be super rigid with no give so every little bump would get transferred to the laptop.
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Old 08-30-17, 09:46 AM   #19
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I actually did try that this morning and it works out pretty well. Rather than spending any time on design I just bent a steel rod for hooks at the top corners and looped a strap around it.

....
Looks good, sometimes all we need is a nudge in the right direction.
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Old 08-30-17, 09:57 AM   #20
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Looks good, sometimes all we need is a nudge in the right direction.
For a zero-cost instant solution, I'll take it
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Old 08-31-17, 06:11 AM   #21
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Hi it is VERY difficult to find a backpack or pannier to fit a 17" laptop
any suggestions?
I use a messenger bag. Holds all my stuff.
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Old 08-31-17, 10:44 AM   #22
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I use a messenger bag. Holds all my stuff.
This, my large Timbuk2 is 20" wide..
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Old 08-31-17, 11:23 AM   #23
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Timbuk2 - me too. does not have the wind drag (or dead weight) of panniers, and doesn't get me as sweaty as a backpack (which sits too high on my back anyway)
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Old 08-31-17, 11:25 AM   #24
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While I'm not big on backpacks when riding at all, for a 17" laptop I'd go with a backpack. That's just because of the shock absorption on a backpack. It'll be a gentler ride up there.
Maybe - I had my laptop hit the ground hard a couple of times - once because of a poorly mounted pannier, once because of a crash. Never caused a problem. Some bumping around wouldn't bother me too much, but yeah a messenger bag would be easier on the computer than a pannier.
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Old 08-31-17, 11:28 AM   #25
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Originally Posted by wphamilton View Post
What I want for that, a laptop case that IS the pannier, or replaces one. Perhaps hooks onto the rack and/or seat stay and chain stay, disconnects easily and, with a handle, is a case you can carry to meetings and looks professional. Anyone know of something like that?
I used to have a timbuk2 messenger bag that doubled as a pannier. The problem is that it has to be a small bag because if you mount the laptop horizontally, you are going to risk heal strike with a setup like this.
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