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Backpack -> Pannier -> Trunk bag?

Old 04-28-19, 12:59 PM
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veloiste
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Backpack -> Pannier -> Trunk bag?

I've been commuting with a backpack for over a year, but I just recently installed a rack and bought some Ortleib Back Roller classics. Holy crap! What a difference! My back is no longer sweaty and it's so nice being able to move easier without something on your back. I honestly can't believe I didn't make this change sooner.

The only other change I'm considering making is buying a trunk bag for things like drinks and my soup cup. I find it hard to keep these things upright in a pannier. Alternatively, I could get a small basket to mount on the front and use small bungee cords to tie down everything.

Do any of you transport drinks or food? How do you do it?
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Old 04-28-19, 05:04 PM
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When I commute to work I don't take enough food and drinks to require a pannier, I just use a handlebar bag, when I get to work I disconnect the bag and take in like a small suitcase. I save my panniers for when I tour.
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Old 04-28-19, 06:13 PM
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I use one pannier. Clothes I need, any food, wallet etc all goes in there. Two bottle cages, one for water bottle and one for coffee thermos. Plenty of sealed containers available to haul food/drinks without spilling.
Office has a fridge/freezer and I'm on the road a lot at work, so stops to the grocery store happen then to keep that "stocked", but mostly I just drink water.
Spring & fall you need extra riding clothes or less clothes when the temps might swing from 30F - 70F over the day, so it fits the extras too. Some days it's almost empty. some days it's packed full.

The rack also lets me use a smallish trunk bag for non commute rides when I want to bring stuff. It's also handy for those roadside shopping unexpected finds. I've been known to strap cast iron grates for my grill, a roll of landscape fabric, scrap steel stock, whatever I might find that fits. Then I don't have to go back with the car. You'd be surprised some of the things I find in the road that will come home with me.
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Old 04-28-19, 07:27 PM
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I run a rear facing camera as well as tail lights, so I am unable to use a trunk bag, unfortunately. But the few times that I did use one I enjoyed the feeling of being unencumbered.
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Old 04-28-19, 07:54 PM
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Originally Posted by mcours2006 View Post
I run a rear facing camera as well as tail lights, so I am unable to use a trunk bag, unfortunately. But the few times that I did use one I enjoyed the feeling of being unencumbered.
Many racks have a bracket to which lights and other accessories may be fastened.
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Old 04-28-19, 10:34 PM
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Get a Thermos for the soup.
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Old 04-29-19, 12:04 AM
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Originally Posted by veloiste View Post
I've been commuting with a backpack for over a year, but I just recently installed a rack and bought some Ortleib Back Roller classics. Holy crap! What a difference! My back is no longer sweaty and it's so nice being able to move easier without something on your back. I honestly can't believe I didn't make this change sooner.

The only other change I'm considering making is buying a trunk bag for things like drinks and my soup cup. I find it hard to keep these things upright in a pannier. Alternatively, I could get a small basket to mount on the front and use small bungee cords to tie down everything.

Do any of you transport drinks or food? How do you do it?
I use a backpack and see no reason to change as panniers aren't really mutlimodal in my opinion.

I always freeze soup for transport and leave it in my office window (summer) / on the heater (winter) and when it's thawed, it's ready to eat If I must, I will reheat it in a microwave.
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Old 04-29-19, 07:59 AM
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I have many different panniers, most ortlieb. Great for touring, grocery shopping, hauling lots of stuff. Very well designed and last a long time.

That being said, we also have 4 Vaude Silk Road trunk bags in our family fleet. I use the medium on the front rack of my off roadish commuter, '92 Bridgestone MB3. We have one large Silk Road that has an insulated bottle holder, no fold out panniers. We have two Silk Road Plus trunk bags that have small, sturdy fold out panniers. Perfect for a tablet or small laptop or the unexpected stop at the grocery store.

The trunk bags get used around town daily. Panniers when needed.

https://www.vaude.com/en-GB/Products...mber=127040100

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Old 04-29-19, 08:04 AM
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Panniers are the only way to fly for me. The first year I commuted I used a backpack and hated that sweaty back feeling. Plus it just feels restrictive.

Panniers make it simple. A full change of clothes fits in 1 bag. I have a 2nd if I need to bring a lunch or something on any given day. And I usually keep it on the bike empty in case I need to bring something home from work.

A trunk bag won't fit a full change of clothes for me. My work shoes fill the whole bag. But they have their place too and I keep meaning to get one for when I need one....but thus far I've managed without a trunk bag at all.
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Old 04-29-19, 08:05 AM
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Originally Posted by veloiste View Post
I've been commuting with a backpack for over a year, but I just recently installed a rack and bought some Ortleib Back Roller classics. Holy crap! What a difference! My back is no longer sweaty and it's so nice being able to move easier without something on your back. I honestly can't believe I didn't make this change sooner.

The only other change I'm considering making is buying a trunk bag for things like drinks and my soup cup. I find it hard to keep these things upright in a pannier. Alternatively, I could get a small basket to mount on the front and use small bungee cords to tie down everything.

Do any of you transport drinks or food? How do you do it?
Frankly, if you are carrying enough stuff to fill panniers...assuming you are using both...you are carrying too much stuff! For the past 37 years of commuting, all I've needed was a trunk bag like this one

DSCN0387 by Stuart Black, on Flickr

It carries a lunch (usually some leftover in a flat plastic box), two apples, pants, socks, underwear and a shirt. If it warms up enough, the sides fold down to carry extra bicycle clothes on the way home. On Saturdays, I add a lock (without any problem) because I have to park outside of my bicycle co-op but it fits in without issues
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Old 04-29-19, 08:13 AM
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Originally Posted by cyccommute View Post
Frankly, if you are carrying enough stuff to fill panniers...assuming you are using both...you are carrying too much stuff! For the past 37 years of commuting, all I've needed was a trunk bag like this one
Well that depends greatly on what you do.

Is your change of clothes jeans and a t shirt? or khakis and a button down?

Khakis and a button down down look nicer for me if they are folded like they would be in a drawer in a pannier rather than rolled like needed in a trunk bag. If you need a change of shoes then the trunk bag gets filled with the size 12's alone with barely any room for anything else.

And do you ever need to stop at the store on the way home? Having a 2nd pannier to put a gallon of milk in is really handy.

I also often use the post office in my office building to send stuff I sell on eBay. Can't put those boxes in a trunk bag with a change of clothes. That's where the 2nd pannier shines as well.

It's all about what's right for you, not what's right period. Needing more than a trunk bag does not mean someone is hauling too much stuff. It just means you need less than they do.

Also...that's an awesome photo of the bike with the train going by. Sometimes I get stuck behind out light rail commuter train...it's not nearly as cool as a full freight train.
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Old 04-29-19, 08:33 AM
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Originally Posted by Skipjacks View Post

Is your change of clothes jeans and a t shirt? or khakis and a button down?
Yes. It can be either. They are only going to be in the bag for about an hour and so it won't really matter.

Originally Posted by Skipjacks View Post
Khakis and a button down down look nicer for me if they are folded like they would be in a drawer in a pannier rather than rolled like needed in a trunk bag. If you need a change of shoes then the trunk bag gets filled with the size 12's alone with barely any room for anything else.
In my experience, anything "folded" in a pannier...especially an undivided pannier like the Ortliebs...is going to end up rolled in the bottom anyway. Might as well start with it rolled to begin with. Of course, you could fold the shirt in the trunk bag as well.

As for shoes, I leave those at work, along with towel, soap, shampoo, razor, etc. There is no need to huck that stuff back and forth every day.

Originally Posted by Skipjacks View Post
And do you ever need to stop at the store on the way home? Having a 2nd pannier to put a gallon of milk in is really handy.
Nope. There aren't any grocery stores along the way and I don't carry a lock except on Saturdays. On the other hand, you have to have one pannier that is almost empty to carry a gallon of milk. I'm not in the habit of carrying around an empty bag just in case I need to drop by the grocery store. Most people that I see carrying two panniers on a bike have them stuffed so full that they couldn't put a postage stamp in them, much less a gallon of milk.

Originally Posted by Skipjacks View Post
I also often use the post office in my office building to send stuff I sell on eBay. Can't put those boxes in a trunk bag with a change of clothes. That's where the 2nd pannier shines as well.

It's all about what's right for you, not what's right period. Needing more than a trunk bag does not mean someone is hauling too much stuff. It just means you need less than they do.
You are correct about it being "what's right for you" but most people don't think of what they really need to carry. I see the same people riding to and from work on a daily basis carrying almost as much stuff than I would carry on a weeks long tour. That says to me that they really haven't thought through what they really need to carry day in and day out.

Originally Posted by Skipjacks View Post
Also...that's an awesome photo of the bike with the train going by. Sometimes I get stuck behind out light rail commuter train...it's not nearly as cool as a full freight train.
Thank you. I try not to be around when that train comes through, however. It's a two mile coal train going right through the heart of Denver (that means it is is sloooow) and I can spend a lot of time waiting for it. It gives you lots of time to set up the shot, however. Those are the pusher engines and it took 10 to 15 minutes of waiting for them to come by.
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Old 04-29-19, 08:47 AM
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I use a Topeak trunk bag with drop down panniers. Great for those days when the ride to work is chilly and the ride home is warm. Plenty of spare capacity.
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Old 04-29-19, 08:49 AM
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Originally Posted by cyccommute View Post


In my experience, anything "folded" in a pannier...especially an undivided pannier like the Ortliebs...is going to end up rolled in the bottom anyway. Might as well start with it rolled to begin with. Of course, you could fold the shirt in the trunk bag as well.
'Denver' is a key element in your commute. It's bone dry. Clothes don't wrinkle as fast. In the Mid Atlantic you get a 90% humidity day and wrinkles set in quick.

As for shoes and stuff, that's just not an option to leave them at work for me. One, sometimes I'll want them to go out to other places in. Two, I don't trust the cleaning crew here. Things are known to disappear.

Also if you get the right pannier (18 liter for me) the full set of clothes and shoes folded as a group packs just tight enough to keep them from shaking to the bottom of the bag but not so tight that they introduce creases on the fold lines. Works perfect.

Nope. There aren't any grocery stores along the way and I don't carry a lock except on Saturdays. On the other hand, you have to have one pannier that is almost empty to carry a gallon of milk. I'm not in the habit of carrying around an empty bag just in case I need to drop by the grocery store. Most people that I see carrying two panniers on a bike have them stuffed so full that they couldn't put a postage stamp in them, much less a gallon of milk.
This happens to me all the time. I can't count the number of times I've stopped at the Home Depot to pick something up on the way home. (Oddly...a gallon of milk has happened exactly once, so that's an odd example I gave. But the size was relevant) Plus the eBay packages. That 2nd bag comes in SUPER handy.

You are correct about it being "what's right for you" but most people don't think of what they really need to carry. I see the same people riding to and from work on a daily basis carrying almost as much stuff than I would carry on a weeks long tour. That says to me that they really haven't thought through what they really need to carry day in and day out.
I'll give you that. I see people show up to work with a super full backpack and a roller case on a handle and I'm like "YOU DROVE HERE!? Your car has a trunk to fit all that stuff if it's for later. What could you possible need to fill two bags with for a day in a office building?" I mean i'ts none of my business so I never ask...but I have wondered. And I see it EVERY SINGLE DAY.

For the bike though I don't put anything on it that I don't need that day. I just can't do that in a trunk bag.



Thank you. I try not to be around when that train comes through, however. It's a two mile coal train going right through the heart of Denver (that means it is is sloooow) and I can spend a lot of time waiting for it. It gives you lots of time to set up the shot, however. Those are the pusher engines and it took 10 to 15 minutes of waiting for them to come by.
I love trains. But getting stuck behind one that size on a regular basis would probably get old pretty quick.
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Old 04-29-19, 08:57 AM
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Originally Posted by alan s View Post
I use a Topeak trunk bag with drop down panniers. Great for those days when the ride to work is chilly and the ride home is warm. Plenty of spare capacity.
That's another place where my 2nd empty pannier comes in handy.

Today it was 40 on the ride in. I wore a long sleeve shirt and a face mask. It'll be 70 on the ride home. The cold weather gear is riding home in the 2nd pannier.

(Oddly, when its' 40 in February I'm in shorts and a t shirt screaming with excitement about how hot it is. In April 40 feels like the next Ice Age)
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Old 04-29-19, 09:09 AM
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A friend of mine has the Axiom Seymour OceanWeave (possibly/marketed as made from recycled fishing nets/ocean debris). Really cool because it doubles as an insulated cooler for lunch or beverages !
Axiom makes models w/ and w/o fold out panniers.

https://www.axiomgear.com/products/b...eave-trunk-p9/


https://www.axiomgear.com/products/b...e-trunk-exp15/
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Old 04-29-19, 09:13 AM
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I can put a lunch packed into the 4x6" or 5x7" ziplock boxes (or similar) in my pannier along with clothes. Clothes get rolled up (and loaded in a plastic slightly-larger-than-grocery bag) on one end of the pannier, lunch goes in the bottom on the other end, pocket contents in a quart bag, belt, and cell phone go on top of lunch and stabilize the clothes.

If I'm not hauling in fruit for snacks, a Kleen Kanteen of coffee stand upright in the other pannier beside my shoes. Hasn't leaked yet.

Panniers are Ortlieb Sports Packers, FWIW.
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Old 04-29-19, 09:24 AM
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I use a combination of an Inertia Designs Business Pannier Business Pannier ? Inertia Designs
and an Inertia Designs Super Metro Pannier https://www.inertiadesigns.com/pannie...-metro-pannier
And just a water bottle.
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Old 04-29-19, 09:41 AM
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Originally Posted by Skipjacks View Post
Well that depends greatly on what you do.
Yep.

I get to (have to) work from home as well as at work. This means, at minimum, a laptop and some files, as well as a charger for 8+ hour days. Earlier in my career, I frequently transported a number of books, though at this point I've mostly obtained duplicates or electronic copies of almost everything. Books still happen sometimes and they are not small. I don't even eat lunch, but if I did like normal people, that would be extra.

Add in gear for possible weather shifts to rain/snow and that stop for a gallon of milk (or more frequently, some vegetables and toilet paper), and the enormous waterproof messenger bag is looking pretty good!
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Old 04-29-19, 11:04 AM
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This really depends on what you need to take with you and your route. I prefer a backpack and can bring lunch and work clothes in one of the several backpacks I own leaving room for extra ridding clothes as needed. I use a pannier for hotter days to avoid the heat from a backpack.

The beginning and ends of my old commute involved wheeling my bike in/out of a building and a stair step. The extra width of the pannier complicated this, whereas the backpack didn't.

My trunk stays on either way, and my phone, keys and bike stuff was in there.
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Old 04-29-19, 11:08 AM
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I like trunks. But for me on two different classic steel road bikes they've caused head shake... both downhill with hands off so easily saved by putting hands back on, but still. Be aware.
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Old 04-29-19, 11:41 AM
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A lunch box and (temporary) bottle go into a cheap, mini-backpack. Then I drop it in my pannier. Vertically or horizontally, doesn’t matter.
I came to discover this system has quite a few advantages.

Simply find something that works for you.
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Old 04-29-19, 11:47 AM
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Vaude Trunk Bag on front and one ortlieb rear

Edited to add : I have the medium Vaude Silk Road, usually on the front rack of this bike.
This bike can carry up to 4 panniers and 2 trunk bags, or more likely, front trunk, panniers, and tent, sleeping mat & bag, etc. on the top of rear rack. Panniers hang outside and below all on separate rail. Useful for bike camping and unpaved/gravel road trips. Can haul a lot of groceries, too. Either way, bike tools stay in saddle bag and my personal effects go in the trunk bag up front for easy access.




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Old 04-29-19, 11:55 AM
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Originally Posted by AusTexMurf View Post
A friend of mine has the Axiom Seymour OceanWeave (possibly/marketed as made from recycled fishing nets/ocean debris). Really cool because it doubles as an insulated cooler for lunch or beverages !
Axiom makes models w/ and w/o fold out panniers.

https://www.axiomgear.com/products/b...eave-trunk-p9/

https://www.axiomgear.com/products/b...e-trunk-exp15/
Very similar to the Topeak bag mentioned by @alan s above. The Topeaks have D-rings for a shoulder strap that those Axioms appear to lack. I used a Topeak with fold-outs for a while, because I'm required to carry a computer (laptop or tablet) back and forth. The shoulder strap makes it somewhat multi-modal (AM-bus + PM-bike or vice-versa). But you NEED a rack with tubes/rods that extend rearward, rather than your typical inverted triangle shape, to avoid the side load swinging into the spokes.

Last edited by madpogue; 04-29-19 at 01:03 PM.
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Old 04-29-19, 11:58 AM
  #25  
ironnerd
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Since I cannot wear bike clothes at work, I use a panier for my change of clothes and my lunch. On Mondays when I resupply my oatmeal, granola, and tea, I use both paniers.

Better than sweatback...
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