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Commuting Bicycle commuting is easier than you think, before you know it, you'll be hooked. Learn the tips, hints, equipment, safety requirements for safely riding your bike to work.

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Old 07-12-12, 06:43 AM   #1
aka: Mike J.
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Gone to the dogs (alternative pannier options)

I have an issue with heel strike when I use panniers or saddlebags, to fix it I either have to get a set-way-back rear rack or use a bike with long chainstays, or use a very tapered pannier bag. I've been setting up this Univega Sportour as a commuter bike, but the chainstays are too short and the rack isn't far enough back to use my panniers. I like this rack on this bike so I don't want to swap it out.

Then a couple of days ago I saw a doggie backpack at a local thrift shop for a few dollars, looked at it, decided to pass. Then later I started thinking about it and decided if it was still there yesterday then I'd get the bags, and they were, so I did get them. They measure about 11"-12" long, and each side is about 5" or so tall and 2.5"-3" wide. Not huge, but maybe just enough to throw a shirt or dress pants into for work if I roll them up. I'm thinking I'll re-do the straps somehow to enable the bags to strap to the rack better, currently the straps are set up to go around a dog which is nothing like a rack on a bike.

Also these have a nifty velcro'd tube on top that looks like it will hold a pump very well.

I'll update this as I progress on this project, but I'm in no real hurry. Hopefully they will work, and hopefully I won't have heel strike with them.

Just throwing out a thought to keep your eyes open for alternatives when rigging up a bike for commuting.

Feel free to add your own projects and discoveries to this if you've found a non-cycling product that works for cycling.
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Old 07-12-12, 07:45 AM   #2
Yo Spiff
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Great idea, thanks for the tip!
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Old 07-13-12, 07:29 AM   #3
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Heel strike is a major issue for me too. I think I've learned to pedal more vertically on the upstroke to compensate some. I have repurposed tote bags for panniers and changed strap config. It's not too hard but don't forget to secure the inside of the bag down to the rack so they won't bounce and flap with every bump on the road.
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Old 07-14-12, 04:44 PM   #4
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I like this idea.
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Old 07-14-12, 06:33 PM   #5
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Cool idea! It got me kinda thinking that maybe I could replace a BOB with a couple trained Rottweilers carrying their own backpacks. And a Kryptonite lock would no longer be needed.

Then I remembered the 'no dogs allowed' signs posted in many park areas along the bicycle path here and it kinda burst my little bubble.
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