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Commuter Bag Solutions

Old 10-21-13, 09:52 AM
  #1  
opie
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Commuter Bag Solutions

ok. I love to commute but I HATE the bag on my back (sweat). Solution is a rack obviously. Problem is I don't like any of the bags that attach to the rack. I've tried a few the latest being the Arkel Bug, can't stand the thing. What I want to do is use my backback or messenger bag. Is my only solution Wald Baskets? I tried the topeak basket on top of a topeak rack, didn't like that very much either.

What else is out there for me to use my bags and attach or stow them on the rack?
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Old 10-21-13, 10:31 AM
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Bontrager makes a basket with a quick connect to the top of their rear rack. You could easily snap that on and dump your regular bag into it for a quick solution. Or save some green and use a plastic milk crate on the back of your rack.

https://bontrager.com/model/08310
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Old 10-21-13, 10:39 AM
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klickFix has some really, really nice products that will hold backpacks and bags that "klick" off and can be carried away. they're super popular in the EU but don't have a lot of brand presence in the US yet, even though they are available.

https://www.klickfix.com/index.php?lang=en

their pet baskets alone are bad ass for a quick run through the city to the water with the dog
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Old 10-21-13, 11:29 AM
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Depending on model, a backpack or messenger bag might not fit in an actual milk crate. I saw, locally, a bike with an oven rack fastened to a regular rear rack, making a platform onto which he could strap things. By "oven rack" I mean that movable shelf from inside an oven. I don't remember how he fastened it. It might have been welded, but I suspect zip ties would work or that one could find something workable at the hardware store.
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Old 10-21-13, 12:45 PM
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When I'm moving between classes, I sling over my shoulder an Absolute Shoulder Strap connected to the 2 metal loops of a Carradice Pendle saddlebag. When I'm biking, I latch the saddlebag to a Bagman2 Quick Release Sport Rack and tuck the shoulder strap into the main compartment of the saddlebag. So basically when I'm on campus I have a shoulder bag that hangs behind me and when I'm biking around town or commuting I have a setup that looks like the image below. My only complaint is that I probably could have gone with the bigger Nelson Longflap saddlebag, but I make do just fine with the Nelson.



I really enjoy this setup. It has made commuting, running errands, and light touring much more enjoyable, but my poor backpack is lonely now.

Last edited by treal512; 10-21-13 at 03:57 PM.
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Old 10-24-13, 08:58 AM
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Forgot to mention. I am a little vain when it comes to this stuff so there will be no oven racks mounted or welded etc. Just not my thing. I've only got to carry clothes, shoes, lunch and a small electroncs case (think shaving) and sometimes a 13" laptop but not often. It all fits nicely in my 5.11 tactical backpack (Rush 12).

I have a topeak rack, I might see if I can fashion my own platform and strap a bag I want to it
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Old 10-24-13, 11:51 AM
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I use a messenger bag for my 6 mile commute when I need it, but don't like to carry it daily, so I use it only to ferry multiple days of changes as needed. I also made up a very small bag I can carry the same way, but that rolls up small enough to fit into a pocket. This is my handy shopping bag allowing me to do some errands on the way home, without having to deadhead an empty bag in the AM.

However, I've recently discovered the joys of letting someone else ferry my stuff from home to work. That's the USPS, which has a good sized regional rate box they'll deliver overnight from home to work (or back) for $6.16. The boxes themselves are free delivered to the door, and the labels made with clip and ship. Obviously $6.16 is too much for a daily habit, but it's worth it for the convenience of sending multiple changes of clothes back and forth as needed.
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Old 10-24-13, 04:58 PM
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Here's what I do on my commuter. A couple of bungie cords around the top of the seat post and anchored at the back of the rack. I sit my backpack on the rack, pull the cords around it like suspenders and DONE! It doesn't look sturdy, but it is. I can punch the backpack and it won't fall off. The bike has fallen and it won't fall off. BTW, I have Wald folding baskets for grocery runs and I can open and fill 'em with the back-pack in place.16 years, the backpack has never fallen off. It occurs to me now that the seat may help stabilize the bag, and the side pockets help too.
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Old 10-24-13, 05:04 PM
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Front bag on it's rack on my Brompton is good, I have an old messenger bag fitted onto it, now,
QR Pops off, I use the shoulder strap, then..
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Old 10-24-13, 05:20 PM
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I'm not sure if you're married to the idea of using your backpack, but if not, you might want to check out the $25 rack trunk that Schwinn offers at Walmart and other department stores. It's large enough for the items you described and it's got two side flaps that pop out when you want to add the convenience of panniers. I went through lots of different, very expensive carrying solutions before I settled on this. Saved me hundreds of dollars and works great.
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Old 10-24-13, 06:43 PM
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Originally Posted by opie View Post
ok. I love to commute but I HATE the bag on my back (sweat). Solution is a rack obviously. Problem is I don't like any of the bags that attach to the rack. I've tried a few the latest being the Arkel Bug, can't stand the thing. What I want to do is use my backback or messenger bag. Is my only solution Wald Baskets? I tried the topeak basket on top of a topeak rack, didn't like that very much either.

What else is out there for me to use my bags and attach or stow them on the rack?

There's another way: large saddlebag (Carradice or Zimbale) + quick release saddlebag support. Easy on, easy off (two quick clicks).

I use a Zimbale 18L bag and the Carradice "Bagman Quick Release Support - Sport (Original)"

I was skeptical about this as a solution until I got a bike that didn't have the usual upper eyelets for mounting a rear rack. The bag is pretty cavernous, and the support makes it not only super quick to take on and off, but makes it easy to access the contents of it. Despite having learned of other solutions for mounting a rear rack, this is still my chosen method of carrying the bulk of my daily gear around, and I really can't imagine going back to anything else.

EDIT: I see this is partially covered in post #5 above.

Last edited by Medic Zero; 10-24-13 at 06:59 PM.
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Old 10-24-13, 07:26 PM
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Originally Posted by treal512 View Post
When I'm moving between classes, I sling over my shoulder an Absolute Shoulder Strap connected to the 2 metal loops of a Carradice Pendle saddlebag. When I'm biking, I latch the saddlebag to a Bagman2 Quick Release Sport Rack and tuck the shoulder strap into the main compartment of the saddlebag. So basically when I'm on campus I have a shoulder bag that hangs behind me and when I'm biking around town or commuting I have a setup that looks like the image below. My only complaint is that I probably could have gone with the bigger Nelson Longflap saddlebag, but I make do just fine with the Nelson.

I really enjoy this setup. It has made commuting, running errands, and light touring much more enjoyable, but my poor backpack is lonely now.
Ok. that carradice bag, will it hold some work clothes, a pair of shoes and a lunch? Just trying to get an idea of size
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Old 10-24-13, 10:23 PM
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Originally Posted by opie View Post
Ok. that carradice bag, will it hold some work clothes, a pair of shoes and a lunch? Just trying to get an idea of size
Hopefully this helps for universal size comparisons:


1 pair of size 11.5 (US Men) Mizuno Wave Creation II shoes. If you don't know these shoes (link), they're big running shoes for comfort.


They're about 5" deep into the saddlebag.


1 pair of size 11 (US Men) Brooks Pure Grit shoes stacked on top of the Mizunos. These shoes (link) are much lighter, more minimal and fit on top easily.
Both shoes combined reach 8.5" deep into the saddlebag.


Straps are buckled at the second hole, so there's still a little more room, but not much. LxW is roughly 13x7".
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Old 10-25-13, 07:07 AM
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Much thanks. I ordered the Nelson Long Flap to have a little more space and a rack. We'll see how it works when it gets here
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Old 10-25-13, 07:17 AM
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Man, that Carridice bag is spiffy.

I use a Roswheel trunk bag usually, but I've just gone down the beverage crate route today, so it might be getting a retirement or augment soon.

M.
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Old 10-25-13, 08:15 AM
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Originally Posted by opie View Post
Much thanks. I ordered the Nelson Long Flap to have a little more space and a rack. We'll see how it works when it gets here
Good call on the Nelson Longflap. I'd go with the same bag knowing what I know now. Btw, do you have seat stay braze-ons? You will definitely need a point on the bike to use the support struts, whether that be from braze-ons, a seatpost clamp (link), or the route I went, which is the Tubus Stay Mounting Clamps (link). Also, you did order the Bagman2 Expedition rack, right? The Bagman2 Sport rack is too small for the Nelson. Just making sure!

Originally Posted by MEversbergII View Post
Man, that Carridice bag is spiffy.

I use a Roswheel trunk bag usually, but I've just gone down the beverage crate route today, so it might be getting a retirement or augment soon.

M.
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Old 10-25-13, 08:22 AM
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Originally Posted by treal512 View Post
Good call on the Nelson Longflap. I'd go with the same bag knowing what I know now. Btw, do you have seat stay braze-ons? You will definitely need a point on the bike to use the support struts, whether that be from braze-ons, a seatpost clamp (link), or the route I went, which is the Tubus Stay Mounting Clamps (link). Also, you did order the Bagman2 Expedition rack, right? The Bagman2 Sport rack is too small for the Nelson. Just making sure!
I've got the mounting points on the bike, not a problem there. And of course I ordered the wrong rack, I wasn't paying attention and it was late and I had bourbon. We'll see if I can get that cancelled before they ship it
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Old 10-25-13, 08:32 AM
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Originally Posted by opie View Post
I've got the mounting points on the bike, not a problem there. And of course I ordered the wrong rack, I wasn't paying attention and it was late and I had bourbon. We'll see if I can get that cancelled before they ship it
I'm sure they'll fix it for you. Their customer service is excellent. I'll be looking forward to seeing your setup.
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Old 10-25-13, 11:07 AM
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.

If you want to increase capacity with that set-up, consider a cape roll from Carradice as well. It lashes on top of a large saddlebag. I don't need mine too often with the Zimbale's 18 liter capacity (which IIRC is comparable to a Nelson), but it's nice to have when I need it. It's a great way to carry a coat or sweater or something like that, saving the internal space of the bag for other things.
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Old 10-25-13, 11:14 AM
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I've got two things that make my life very simple on the bikes I don't have tricked out to be commuters, one is this https://www.topeak.com/products/racks/mtxbeamracke-type a quick release rack, only rated to 20lbs but that's fine for my commutes, and something like this (mines a trek one and very different but can't find any links) https://www.amazon.com/Ibera-Bicycle-.../dp/B002T7PSPE
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