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Looking for tips for transporting laptop

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Looking for tips for transporting laptop

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Old 09-14-18, 01:30 PM
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enargins
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Looking for tips for transporting laptop

I am looking to transport my laptop on my bike to ride to Starbucks or wherever and work. I'm concerned about the effects bumps in the ride might have on the laptop. The laptop will be in a laptop backpack with padding on the back, and I was planning on strapping it to my rear rack. I was considering that perhaps I should put some sort of foam padding between the rack and the backpack. Or maybe something else would be better.

Anyway, I'm looking for any ideas people might have about the best way to transport the laptop without damaging it. (I'd prefer not to wear the backpack.)

Thanks!
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Old 09-14-18, 01:51 PM
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Originally Posted by enargins View Post
I am looking to transport my laptop on my bike to ride to Starbucks or wherever and work. I'm concerned about the effects bumps in the ride might have on the laptop. The laptop will be in a laptop backpack with padding on the back, and I was planning on strapping it to my rear rack. I was considering that perhaps I should put some sort of foam padding between the rack and the backpack. Or maybe something else would be better.

Anyway, I'm looking for any ideas people might have about the best way to transport the laptop without damaging it. (I'd prefer not to wear the backpack.)

Thanks!
That mean you're being counterproductive from the start, since a backpack is the most secure way to carry your laptop.. On the other hand there are some pretty large pannier available, but I've never used one. Still, there is one other alternative -- a messenger. Although not as well balanced as a backpack, it should be just as secure. If you want/need extra padding, just use a sleeve (but be sure you have the extra space).
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Old 09-14-18, 01:52 PM
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Your idea of strapping the backpack to the rear rack has a flaw. If you hit something hard, the laptop bounces up then back down into the hard metal rear rack. It'll PROBABLY be okay in a padded case, but 'PROBABLY' eventually bites you.

Get a rear rack and a pannier bag similar to this. (Just make sure the pannier fits the laptop)

It's a great option because the weight of the laptop is on the soft canvas material of the bottom of the bag. So if you hit something and the laptop bounces inside the bag, it comes down on the flexible canvas of the bottom of the bag, not onto a hard part of the bike frame. You want a pannier that holds firm to the rack too, not one that's going to bounce outward. It needs to hold the lower rack bar tightly (most do, only really cheap ones don't) And it doesn't hur to put the laptop in a neoprene sleeve so if it doesn't boucne left-right (rather than up-down) into the side of the metal rack it's got some cushion. If that happens though it won't be a hard impact unless other things have gone wrong.



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Old 09-14-18, 01:59 PM
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I don't care for backpacks either. Most of them are oversized, bulky and uncomfortable.
I did find this low-profile backpack:
https://www.betabrand.com/mens/more/...-backpack-gray
They used to have a version called "Flashback" and it is made of reflective material. That's the one I got, last year (knowing that once it warmed up, I was not going to want this thing on my back).
So, I went to Ortlieb's website, navigated to the "Replacement Parts" page and ordered a full Ortlieb mounting system for my backpack. I pull the straps around to the back and secure them together with a small strap, hang the bag on my rack and it is not going anywhere.


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Old 09-14-18, 02:00 PM
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Putting it vertically is a good idea. I actually have a set of bags that I bought for going to the grocery store. Or I could buy something like in the picture. The laptop backpack I have actually has a pocket for the laptop, so it never actually touches the bottom of the bag. Would be good to be able to use that, if there were a way to strap it to my rack vertically.
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Old 09-14-18, 02:03 PM
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Originally Posted by MMACH 5 View Post
I don't care for backpacks either. Most of them are oversized, bulky and uncomfortable.
I did find this low-profile backpack:
https://www.betabrand.com/mens/more/...-backpack-gray
They used to have a version called "Flashback" and it is made of reflective material. That's the one I got, last year (knowing that once it warmed up, I was not going to want this thing on my back).
So, I went to Ortlieb's website, navigated to the "Replacement Parts" page and ordered a full Ortlieb mounting system for my backpack. I pull the straps around to the back and secure them together with a small strap, hang the bag on my rack and it is not going anywhere.


Could you give more information on how you got the backpack to secure to your rack? I'm not following. If you have a link, that would be great! I think that's the way to go -- either get a backpack that can hook vertically to the side of my rack, or adapt my current backpack to do so (if possible). Or use panniers, as the other poster recommended.

Thanks!
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Old 09-14-18, 02:06 PM
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Absolutely. I'll get some better photos tonight and post a better explanation of the conversion.
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Old 09-14-18, 03:46 PM
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Originally Posted by MMACH 5 View Post
Absolutely. I'll get some better photos tonight and post a better explanation of the conversion.
Thanks!
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Old 09-14-18, 04:21 PM
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My MTB-based commuter has Wald folding Baskets. I have carried laptops in padded bags in the baskets with no problems. The wire mesh gives a little, and you can put more padding in the basket bottom if you want. Thin, light bungee over the top.
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Old 09-14-18, 04:34 PM
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Originally Posted by BobbyG View Post
my MTB-based commuter has Wald folding Baskets. I have carried laptops in padded bags in the baskets with no problems. The wire mesh gives a little, and you can put more padding in the basket bottom if you want. Thin, light bungee over the top.
The folding basket sounds like a great idea! My laptop backpack has a thick bottom, and the laptop itself is suspended in a special compartment, so it never actually touches the bottom. Main thing is to keep it vertical, which it looks like those baskets can do!

Questions:

1) Can you just do one basket, or do you need to do both?

2) Can the basket be easily added to/removed from the rack?

Thanks!
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Old 09-14-18, 04:48 PM
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Originally Posted by enargins View Post
The folding basket sounds like a great idea! My laptop backpack has a thick bottom, and the laptop itself is suspended in a special compartment, so it never actually touches the bottom. Main thing is to keep it vertical, which it looks like those baskets can do!

Questions:

1) Can you just do one basket, or do you need to do both?

2) Can the basket be easily added to/removed from the rack?

Thanks!
1) You can do just one basket.
2) No, the basket clamps onto the rear rack with a two small metal straps...but it folds up when not in use. (The transverse metal bar in the photonot part of the basket mount hardware. It's to keep the fender from rising between the rungs of my old rack, which is not as nice, light or practical as the new rack on my new bike, but has sentimental value to me.)

I've seen a Bell or Schwinn Brand at Wal-Mart, but I couldn't attest to their build quality. I've had the Wald baskets for over ten years and they don't rattle when folded, although the small bungee I use helps cushion the panels, and I've had to "adjust" the metal clip on one of them to keep the basket folded snug. The mounting bands have remained firm and secure, even after transporting two 25-lb bags of rock salt. Also, I carry two reusable canvas totes in a pouch between the baskets, above the rear fender to carry loose items that would fall through the mesh, when no other bags are present.




Last edited by BobbyG; 09-14-18 at 04:53 PM.
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Old 09-14-18, 05:31 PM
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Thanks for the info! That's helpful.
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Old 09-14-18, 11:32 PM
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There are panniers and pannier/backpacks with laptop/tablet compartments. YEARS ago, before such existed, I bought a generic Targus over-the-shoulder laptop bag at the thrift store. I also had an old '80s CyclePro pannier with totally shot nylon, but perfectly good hardware, including a stiff steel plate. So I incorporated that hardware into the Targus bag. If it's just a laptop I'm carrying, it still works great. Basically a cheapskate version of what @MMACH 5 did.

My commute almost always also includes a bottle of drinking water and a lunch. And most recently, I've been issued a tablet for telecommuting. My most recent kit is a Topeak beam rack with the bolt-on vertical sides, and Topeak rack-top bag with the side compartments that open downward and sit against the vertical sides of the rack. Then I got a cheapo Amazon tablet sleeve as an "insert". Tablet goes into the sleeve in the side compartment, Lunch and water go in the rack-top compartment.

Duhh, pic!

A small laptop should fit such; a big 15-incher, not so much.
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Old 09-14-18, 11:42 PM
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Yeah, I've got a bit 15-incher. Thanks anyway!
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Old 09-15-18, 11:02 AM
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Originally Posted by enargins View Post
Could you give more information on how you got the backpack to secure to your rack? I'm not following. If you have a link, that would be great! I think that's the way to go -- either get a backpack that can hook vertically to the side of my rack, or adapt my current backpack to do so (if possible). Or use panniers, as the other poster recommended.

Thanks!
+1.

Right now i'm just using bungee cords for my backpack but it is a bit loose and if I hit too many bumps the bag falls off to side. It'd be great to have some sort of hook like panniers.
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Old 09-15-18, 03:41 PM
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Originally Posted by chicag_o View Post
Right now i'm just using bungee cords for my backpack but it is a bit loose and if I hit too many bumps the bag falls off to side. It'd be great to have some sort of hook like panniers.
Here's what I do (notice the D-Clips):
and on the green bike
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Old 09-15-18, 07:02 PM
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My spouse was starting to get some minor back pain, cause unknown, but I suggested that she should stop carrying her computer backpack on her back when riding to work. I attached a large Wald non-folding basket to her rear rack using stainless hose clamps. I believe it's a Wald 585. I've had an identical basket on my commuting bike for almost 20 years and it's still in great shape. Putting some innertube rubber between the rack and basket helps keep the whole thing from rattling.

She just drops her backpack into the basket and puts a bungee over it.

What I did was I got a tiny laptop. At home, it's plugged into a full sized display, keyboard, and mouse. When I want to take it somewhere, I just throw it in a regular student backpack and off I go.
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Old 09-15-18, 07:38 PM
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Originally Posted by chicag_o View Post
+1.

Right now i'm just using bungee cords for my backpack but it is a bit loose and if I hit too many bumps the bag falls off to side. It'd be great to have some sort of hook like panniers.
Why don't you just get bigger or small bungie cords, so it's tight, or else wrap the bungie cords around a second time? You can put the bungies on an angle and hook them to one of the horizontal bars instead of the side bars.
WalMart has great quality bungie cords -- 4 in a bag for $5! And they come in different sizes. You can also get a bag that has a variety of different sized bungies cords.
There's absolutely NO reason why your backpack should be loose on your rack with bungie cords!!
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Old 09-15-18, 07:41 PM
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Originally Posted by BobbyG View Post
Here's what I do (notice the D-Clips):
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SbRgLq2F3PA
and on the green bike
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gDJycK4tykA
That's a neat idea!! That way the backpack stays vertical. Cool!
the problem I'd have with that is that I have a hard time getting my leg over the seat as it is. With the backpack like that, I wouldn't be able to get on my bike.
When I was younger, I could hop on my bike and throw my leg way up into the air after I was already on the pedals. Not anymore! LOL Anything above seat level and my bike becomes unridable.
Thanks for the cool thought, though!
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Old 09-15-18, 07:47 PM
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Originally Posted by Gresp15C View Post
My spouse was starting to get some minor back pain, cause unknown, but I suggested that she should stop carrying her computer backpack on her back when riding to work. I attached a large Wald non-folding basket to her rear rack using stainless hose clamps. I believe it's a Wald 585. I've had an identical basket on my commuting bike for almost 20 years and it's still in great shape. Putting some innertube rubber between the rack and basket helps keep the whole thing from rattling.

She just drops her backpack into the basket and puts a bungee over it.

What I did was I got a tiny laptop. At home, it's plugged into a full sized display, keyboard, and mouse. When I want to take it somewhere, I just throw it in a regular student backpack and off I go.
That's a great idea. I'm adverse, though, to having a side basket. I think I'd rather use panniers, which I can remove when not in use. Thanks for the idea, though!
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Old 09-15-18, 07:57 PM
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Originally Posted by enargins View Post
That's a great idea. I'm adverse, though, to having a side basket. I think I'd rather use panniers, which I can remove when not in use. Thanks for the idea, though!
That's cool. Basket versus panniers is a matter of personal preference, and most people I know prefer panniers. I'm the freak.
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Old 09-15-18, 08:14 PM
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Originally Posted by Gresp15C View Post
I'm the freak.
You're a total basket case!! ;-)
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Old 09-15-18, 10:56 PM
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This, one of my experiments that actually works. Two steel hooks added to the top corners, to hook into the rack and the belt to hold it solid against the stays. It's just a zip-up 3-ring binder from Walmart or somewhere like that, where I ripped the binder out. The 15" laptop fits perfectly.

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Old 09-15-18, 11:53 PM
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Interesting!
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Old 09-16-18, 01:30 PM
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Laptops in current production have SSD storage rather than hard disks that spin. SSD are not vulnerable to shock as hard disks are. The most delicate part of a laptop is the screen.
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