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Commuting - Bags and Such

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Commuting - Bags and Such

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Old 07-26-08, 03:45 PM
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Stpizzay
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Commuting - Bags and Such

I'm going to begin commuting to school here in a few weeks, and ill be doing it on my 'Cross bike, its a Redline Conquest, and unfortunately it doesn't have the rear mounts for a rack or pannier. I'm looking for a good bag to wear, previously I've just used a backpack but it just isn't comfortable when riding the 10 miles to my school. I generally have quite a few books/binders that are necessary, and my bags tend to get overstuffed. I had the opportunity to try on one of the chrome messenger bags, and i found it really comfortable and was surprised at how well it stayed centered on my back, although i am unsure of what will happen when i load one of these messenger bags down with a decent load of papers and books, will it stay centered on my back? Or will it slip down to my side and make riding awkward? I am usually required to bring 3 to 4 one inch binders, as well as 2 good sized books for my A.P. Lit class, are these bags comfortable loaded down?
I am looking at this one
http://www.chromebags.com/products/bags/show/13/
i don't know of too many company's that make good messenger bags, i got to meet the guys from chrome and try on their bags at the Downieville classic a few weeks ago, other than that i don't know of any so if you folks have any other companies that you would recommend that would be great.
Thanks for the help!
-ES
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Old 07-26-08, 03:53 PM
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well...if you get the chrome i would get the largest one. There's always room for options for "smart packing" then. If you get an intermediate sized one, you may run out of room. The problem with books is that they are very dense. Weight is harder to handle than size with messenger bags. i'd rather have mine stuffed to the brim with stuff than have just 1 book or laptop in it. Maybe try some bike specific backpacks first? this would bear the weight better imo.
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Old 07-26-08, 04:09 PM
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Well, from what I gather, a messenger bag is good on the bike, but not so good off of the bike.

If you don't have the eyelets for a rear rack, you could use p-clamps. Also, you could get a seat post rack (just watch the weight limit).

EDIT: You might take a look at the Banjo Brothers Commuter Backpack. Comes in two sizes (1500 and 2000 cubic inches), waterproof, and both are cheaper (price point wise) than anything from Chrome.

Last edited by no1mad; 07-26-08 at 04:49 PM.
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Old 07-26-08, 04:40 PM
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Messenger's are good if you need to remove things from your bag constantly, like a messenger. They aren't meant to carry heavy things like books for long periods of time. I wouldn't get one basically, they can very easily screw up your shoulder.
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Old 07-26-08, 10:07 PM
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On second though perhaps a backpack would be more suited for what I'll be using it for, i was just impressed with the chrome messenger bag when i tried it. Anywho, are there any more makers of quality backpacks that you folks would recommend?
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Old 07-28-08, 12:41 AM
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A few months ago I bought a Crumpler "Mahoubar" backpack-style bag to replace a Chrome messenger, and it is one of the best bike-related purchases that I have made in a while.



Messenger bags are just not ideal to carry big loads because of the uneven weight distribution. Plus the buckle on the Chrome often dug into my chest, and was really uncomfortable when carrying big loads.

I would definitely recommend a backpack-style bag. You may not look like Kevin Bacon in Quicksilver, but you will also be more comfortable, be able to control your bike better, and be much less likely to screw up your back. There are many good ones out there, but the Crumpler is an awesome bag.
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Old 07-28-08, 08:32 AM
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I would recommend it. I have a citizen and absolutely love it!
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Old 07-28-08, 09:20 AM
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I too had to find something to use on my bike to commute a while back and settled on a Medium Tiimbuk2 Classic messenger bag and LOVE it. I didn't want a backpack on my back making me top heavy and my back sweaty and, even though I could put racks and all that on my Marin Novato, I don't like the look of them.

The Timbuk2 is made of very VERY tough, thick ballistic nylon and has a water proof inner liner so you don't have to worry about durability or your stuff getting wet and, even the medium one I have (they go up to x-large, I think) holds a TON of stuff. I went to the store the other day and got 2 boxes of cereal, 2 1-liter bottles of Aquafina, a small bag of cheetos, 2 cans of soup and a few other little odds and ends...and this is the MEDIUM bag! Even with all this, it stayed where I wanted it just fine...just sinch down the adjustable and removable stabilizer strap to your liking and you're good to go. I am sure you could fit those few books and binders in the medium one with no problem at all. I highly recommend it!

http://www.rei.com/search?cat=450012...rand%2CTimbuk2

^ Where I bought mine.

http://www.timbuk2.com/

^ Their homepage...you can design your own custom bag (which ROCKS!) and get some more detailed info on demensions and whatnot there.
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Old 07-28-08, 09:28 AM
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Dunnos if anyone mentioned it but you don't necessarily need braze-ons to put a rack on your bike.

I put a Blackburn Expedition rack on my MTB...the rack came with these little rubber coated sheet metal loops that you put around the seat and chain stays and allow you to mount the rack with no mount points needed on the bike.

Works just fine, and I slapped a Delta Trunk bag w/ fold down panniers on last week and I am LOVING not wearing anything on my back after commuting since April with a messenger bag or a backpack.
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Old 07-28-08, 01:29 PM
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I would not use a messenger bag. It sounds like you have a lot of weight in the bag. 10 miles would get uncomfortable fast. Anything over 20 lbs for me is too heavy for anything consistent.

I would get a seatpost rack and supplement with a backpack or messenger bag.

OR

You can get this, http://www.oldmanmountain.com/Pages/...RearRacks.html
It isn't cheap but the sky is the limit for weight and size.
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Old 07-28-08, 03:01 PM
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I just bought a medium size Bailey Works super pro this weekend, which is around the same size as the Chrome Citizen. I used it to get some groceries yesterday and used it to commute to work today. That's not too much use yet, but I haven't had any problems with weight distribution, once it's on your back and adjusted properly everything seems to sit 'right'.

The main reason I prefer the messenger bag to my backpack is that there aren't straps tugging at my armpits. It's more comfy while riding I think... My back gets sweaty with either.

Also, while walking around the store with the bag on, it was perfectly comfortable. I've seen stories about how messenger bags aren't really comfortable for walking around in.. dunno.. maybe it's the brand?
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Old 07-28-08, 03:40 PM
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My conquest has disc brakes and a rack.

http://www.bikeforums.net/showthread...&highlight=#17
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Old 07-28-08, 11:00 PM
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Originally Posted by bhop View Post
I just bought a medium size Bailey Works super pro this weekend, which is around the same size as the Chrome Citizen. I used it to get some groceries yesterday and used it to commute to work today. That's not too much use yet, but I haven't had any problems with weight distribution, once it's on your back and adjusted properly everything seems to sit 'right'.

The main reason I prefer the messenger bag to my backpack is that there aren't straps tugging at my armpits. It's more comfy while riding I think... My back gets sweaty with either.

Also, while walking around the store with the bag on, it was perfectly comfortable. I've seen stories about how messenger bags aren't really comfortable for walking around in.. dunno.. maybe it's the brand?
I too prefer the messenger bag over a backpack (my bag doesn't sit on my back so it doesn't get all sweaty though...?) mostly because, even though I can, I don't want to put racks and stuff on my bike. I could...I have all the mounts and all that...I just don't like the look of it and, for me, my bag is perfect. It's not too big but still fits all I need to carry. If I couldn't comfortably use my messenger bag due to load requirements or something, I would get racks and all but I don't carry much so I like my bag. I think something like this varies for each person though. Try a few things and see what works.
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Old 07-29-08, 07:03 AM
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I would highly recommend the Axiom Monsoon bags. I just got these ordered from my LBS. I carry my laptop in one and clothes in the other and still have more room. Their Pannier bags are truely waterproof and well constructed. Look thru their inventory and see what you like.

Here's a link if you are interested: http://www.axiomgear.com/product/bag...uct.php?id=410
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Old 08-03-08, 04:00 PM
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Well, since we get around 11 to 16 inches of rain a year where i live in california, I'm not too concerned about having waterproof bags. But thanks.

Last edited by Stpizzay; 08-03-08 at 04:00 PM. Reason: spelling error
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