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I seek help finding the perfect commuting bag

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I seek help finding the perfect commuting bag

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Old 02-09-19, 04:58 PM
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Teabike
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I seek help finding the perfect commuting bag

Hi!


Half a year ago I got a hold of a second hand Specialized Elite with the intention of commuting 2,3 km daily. For the sake of my back I have not wanted to use a backpack but rather a saddle bag. I ordered a Topeak Backloader 15litres , but I realized it takes only 3kg of weight so I returned it. Since then I have been looking for candidates that fill the criteria:


* easy, quick to attach to bicycle

* rain-proof

* can hold 5-10kg

* as spacious as possible

* can fit a lunchbox in glass, shoes, some clothes, and ideally a tablet.


I have recognized the Carradice SQR-series as the best candidate for this, however due to its 25cm clearance above wheel it leaves me unable to use it, since my height of 175cm seem to be just out of reach. Living in Sweden, this product too is not cheap to order from UK in the case I needed to return it.


So I am trying to turn to the greater wisdom of the bicycle community to seek advice. What kind of bag would you get if you were in my situation?

Last edited by Teabike; 02-09-19 at 05:01 PM.
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Old 02-09-19, 06:12 PM
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fietsbob 
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Need Pannier racks on the bike...

then you can fit waterproof panniers in that

If You had a Brompton ., they got the German Water Proof bag maker to make a special one for them.
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Old 02-09-19, 06:20 PM
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I would get a regular rack that's sturdy enough for the weight, and permanently fix a large trunk bag on it. Everything goes into a nylon bag, inside the trunk.
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Old 02-09-19, 08:21 PM
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Front bags are available in many styles and sizes
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Old 02-11-19, 08:17 AM
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Get a good rear rack and then some Ortlieb Panniers, they make a pannier/backpack conversion kit as well if your interested in that. Brooks also makes good panniers. Make sure you choose waterproof, you wont regret it in the long run, good quality will always be more expensive but its worth it in the long run.
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Old 02-11-19, 09:25 AM
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My solution was a Tubus rack on each bike (Fly Evo on one and Cargo Evo on the other) , and a pair of Ortlieb Bike Shopper panniers. Just about any Ortlieb will be waterproof, spacious, and easy to attach and remove. Their mounting system takes about 5 seconds to attach and less than one to remove.

Plan on $70-$100 for the rack and $100 to $180 for the pannier. You will save that much in gas within a few months so it is worth it.
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Old 02-11-19, 10:25 AM
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Originally Posted by Tonyweiss View Post
Get a good rear rack and then some Ortlieb Panniers
+1. A rear rack gives you the most versatility. You can get regular touring panniers (of various sizes), or a backpack style pannier, or a messenger bag style pannier. Go with one pannier for most days, but have the option for a second one when you have extra cargo.

Most of these bags clip on and off easily.
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Old 02-18-19, 03:03 PM
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Thanks for your replies. I have considered panniers, but the reason I excluded them are due to this video that I saw stating in other words that the energy usage is higher for panniers than of saddle bags. What do you think of it? To me it seem to make more sense to have to use as little energy as possible.
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Old 02-18-19, 03:51 PM
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Originally Posted by Teabike View Post
I have considered panniers, but the reason I excluded them are due to this video that I saw stating in other words that the energy usage is higher for panniers than of saddle bags.
Aerodynamic drag increases with the square of the speed, and at commuting speeds isn't usually a big issue.

I think the summary of that video is that at 40kph the pannier has a 20 watt drag penalty. 40kph isn't a realistic commuting speed - at 20kph the drag penalty would be closer to 5 watts.
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Old 02-18-19, 05:22 PM
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Originally Posted by Teabike View Post
Thanks for your replies. I have considered panniers, but the reason I excluded them are due to this video that I saw stating in other words that the energy usage is higher for panniers than of saddle bags. What do you think of it? To me it seem to make more sense to have to use as little energy as possible.
Do you even lift? Damn kids want it easy these days...
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Old 02-18-19, 07:25 PM
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For such a short commute ( 2,3 ), it does not make sense to worry about efficiency. Panniers are fine, a drybag with bungee cords to a basket is fine... Best of luck and you may have to try out a few setuos before finding what works best in your situation.
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Old 02-18-19, 08:30 PM
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Unless your pannier weighs like 20# you probably will barely notice a difference. And 20# isn’t that noticeable if it is balanced well on the bike.

The most snnoying part about panniers is carrying your bike upstairs. And for really heavy loads balancing your bike with a kickstand.

As for efficiency maybe it takes you a minute longer. Does that matter?
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Old 02-18-19, 08:47 PM
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Here's what I do:
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Old 02-18-19, 08:52 PM
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Last year at the start of commuting season I wanted a new bag to replace my Knog because the attachment was failing. After looking around at all the other bags out there, including Ortleib, I decided the Knog was still the bag I wanted. I scrounged around my parts bin and fixed it all and used it all season again. While the Knog bag has many shortcomings, it was still the best bag for me. The biggest shortcoming now though is they stopped making them. You can still find them on eBay but I'm not sure if the connectors and accessories are still available. And in spite of everybody liking the Ortlieb bags I just didn't. Off the bike they're ugly, I don't like the roll top closure, and I don't need something that is absolutely waterproof. Nothing screams "weird cyclist guy" like an Ortleib bag. My Knog OTOH got appreciative looks from strangers in my office.
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Old 02-18-19, 11:07 PM
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Originally Posted by tyrion View Post
Aerodynamic drag increases with the square of the speed, and at commuting speeds isn't usually a big issue.

I think the summary of that video is that at 40kph the pannier has a 20 watt drag penalty. 40kph isn't a realistic commuting speed - at 20kph the drag penalty would be closer to 5 watts.
Haha okay! Well then panniers might be the way to go.
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Old 02-18-19, 11:09 PM
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Originally Posted by BobbyG View Post
I am really curious how you set that up, I'd love to see some instructions. It looks like your backpack has a special hook for the strap to secure it - what is it?
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Old 02-19-19, 02:49 AM
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Var i Sverige?

Varför inte en ryggsäck? Jag bodde på Medborgarplatsen för 1 år och på Kungsholmen för 3 året. Att ha en ryggsäck var ganska bra för tunnelbanan?
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Old 02-19-19, 05:10 AM
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Originally Posted by Teabike View Post
I am really curious how you set that up, I'd love to see some instructions. It looks like your backpack has a special hook for the strap to secure it - what is it?
It's really nothing special, just a couple of bungee cords that are clipped to the back of the back rack and around the seat post, through the seat rails. As far as the hooks, they're just D-clips. On this particular backpack there are grommets on the side that happen to be at the right height and spacing. On other backpacks there are sometimes straps, loops or even single grommets where a loop could be used to hold a D-clip.

I originally didn't use the D-Clips on my older commuter bike. It's a 26" and the bungees held the backpack higher up. My older backpack had more of a "shoulder". Here's a video of me punching the older bag on the older bike to show how secure it is.

THe original setup was very convenient, since I merely slipped the backpack into place.

On my newer 700c bike (the black one) the cord sit lower on the bag, and the new bag has less of a shoulder and is slightly less secure.

When it rains or snows I simply put a tall kitchen trash bag over my backpack with the opening facing down. (the fenders and rack keep the bottom dry). This covers the D-clips. On the 26" bike this is no problem. On the 700c bike the lick trash bag allowed the bungee cords to slide down the unclipped, "shoulderless" bag and it fell off a couple of times (out of many, but still not good). At first I added a short bungee across the back of the bag, clipped to the two main cords; but that was less convenient than just allowing each d-clip to poke a small hole in the trash bag, which doesn't seem to let the bag get wet, and even so, while not water proof, it is water resistant. And white plastic trash bags are cheap so after a couple-three rain rides I replace the trash bag.

Here is a closer photo of the bungees:

Last edited by BobbyG; 02-19-19 at 05:15 AM.
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