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Convenient commuting luggage

Old 12-15-14, 05:01 PM
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ze_zaskar
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Convenient commuting luggage

Hello,

So I have a new job which has nice showers and that is some comfortable 10 miles away from home, mostly through a tarmac B road.
This means I'll be once again commuting by bike.

The thing is, the showers are quite away from where I'll be leaving the bike, so I need to carry the office clothes/shoes from the bike to the showers with me.

Can someone suggest a bag system that is easily detached from the bike while still resisting some rough cobblestone sections?
It's not that much cargo, only a shirt, jeans, shoes, a towel and sometimes a sweater.

I tend to dislike backpacks.

The bike is a Surly LHT with a Tubus Cargo rack and possibly a Brooks B17 saddle (this means saddle loops can be available).

Thanks in advance for any help
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Old 12-15-14, 05:20 PM
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tarmac = UK english
B road = UK english

Ortlieb is the best

Personally, I do what you do and find a backpack much easier for a multimodal.

Some days, I cycle into work and catch the train to airport and fly to the continent. Much easier with a backpack than a pannier.

But, by jove, carry on as you were before my interlude!

FYI: I use this and it shows no appreciable wear after 500 days commuting, 100 train trips and probably 100 flights (or 3 years of daily usage).

the journeyman traveller: Arc'teryx Spear 20
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Old 12-15-14, 05:34 PM
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Can you leave some of the clothes at work? That will make things easier. In any case, any waterproof pannier can do the trick and ortlieb is a pretty standard answer.

Cheapest solution would be a small duffel bag that you strap on to the rack (which you already own). I'm indifferent to whether a bag is waterproof or not since I put my clothes in plastic bags before putting them in a pannier.

Jandd makes a very good duffel rack pack that I have used a lot for the purposes you describe. It is easy on and off the bike; it is very stable and, like all Jandd products, very nicely made. With a shoulder strap, it is pretty easy to walk around with the bag and it doesn't have any hooks to dig into you:

Duffel Rack Pack
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Old 12-15-14, 07:12 PM
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Originally Posted by acidfast7 View Post
Ortlieb is the best
^^^ This. ^^^

Look at their stuff here: ORTLIEB - Produkte / Products /Produits

The bags are tough, durable, and completely waterproof. They're designed to mount on the bike quickly, easily, and securely. And you can take them off just as quickly. They're pricey, but you certainly do get what you pay for with them. I expect mine will make it through to my retirement in 12 years.

I prefer the older QL2 mounting system to the QL3. Near as I can tell, part of the QL3 system mounts to the bike. I need the flexibility of using other bags, and switching my bags from bike to bike., so it's QL2 for me.

Last edited by tsl; 12-16-14 at 10:54 AM.
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Old 12-16-14, 07:39 AM
  #5  
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I like the idea of a trunk bag. But I usually stop at a McD or other place for coffee on the way to work. Come back out and I can see someone's been messing with my bike. So I use a backpack.

Can you lock those racks down? If you can how inconvenient are they to lock unlock?
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Old 12-16-14, 08:16 AM
  #6  
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For what it's worth, when I first began commuting I used a duffel bag, bungied to my back rack. But I now use a backpack bungied to the back rack (and worn on my back on my more recent road bike). The reason I went to a backpack on the back rack was the walk to and from the bike at home and at the office. The backpack freed my hands to deal with keys, doors, keypads, etc. When I added a roadbike to my mix, I found it worked, too, although at almost 53, I am considering a rack for that too. At the office I am able to leave shoes, sweaters, a light jacket and a winter coat, toiletries, plus spare socks and undies. I run four bungies from the top of the seatpost to the rear of the rack (two on each side) and just spread them and slip the back pack in. WIth my new backpack purchase, I was able to add a d-clip to each side for extra security although, I have never had a back pack fall. YMMV.
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Old 12-16-14, 08:35 AM
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I run rear folding baskets (don't know if Wald baskets are available in the UK), with a bungee cargo net over the top strapping down whatever bag I feel like taking that day. Usually a backpack of some sort. When I get to my destination, I unstrap the net, throw the backpack over my shoulder, grab the lock from the bottom of the basket, lock the bike, and I'm gone in a minute or two. If I feel like it (I never do unless the bike rack is super crowded), I can fold in my baskets to make things slimmer. It's probably the heaviest commuter setup I've tried, but I've found it to be the best of both worlds. Almost as fast as just wearing a backpack, and as comfortable when walking off the bike, without the sweaty back. All pannier systems I've tried are a bit less convenient off the bike and take a bit longer. Oh and it's super durable. Heavy though.
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Old 12-16-14, 10:08 AM
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Many bags have an option to add a shoulder strap. or as suggested a fixed basket on the bike, and a backpack/messenger bag .


Carradice bag + a stuff sack inside , you pull out when you park your bike.

personally ? the Ortlieb Office bag with a shoulder strap? (brompton's O bag in volume, minus the back pockets?)

Carradice has canvas bags that will work.. similarly.. They Buy Klick-Fix hardware, another locking hook set.

Last edited by fietsbob; 12-16-14 at 10:17 AM.
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Old 12-16-14, 11:09 AM
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You could use a Burley Travoy--if you want to spend the $$$. That way you can wheel your luggage into your workspace.
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Old 12-16-14, 12:27 PM
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If you're worried about creases, I use the Two Wheel Gear bike suit bag. It's a suiter bag that drapes over your rack, and attaches securely. When you take it off, there's a shoulder strap for carrying, and also additional pockets for carrying shoes, towels, shampoo, etc. I love it on my 10 mile commute.
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Old 12-16-14, 12:58 PM
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Thanks for all the help!

I don't want to leave any clothing at work.

I have no doubts about the Ortlieb panniers quality, specially the Back Roller Classic. But how easy/fast is it to remove and mount on the rack?

Maybe the easiest solution is indeed a backpack strapped to the rack, maybe with a bungee net
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Old 12-16-14, 01:38 PM
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I've tried all sorts of options for carrying commuting gear. Personally, I don't what to carry any more gear than I have to, so I leave heavy and bulky items in my office (eg, shoes, pants, towel, shampoo, etc.). What has worked best for me depends on the bike. For bikes with rear racks, there are many racktop bags that are easy to mount, remove and carry. I recently bought a Louis Garneau R-16 bag, and it is just the right size for my needs and only cost $35. It easily attaches with Velcro straps, and has a removable shoulder strap for carrying if you need it. I like this bag so much, I added a rear rack to another bike so I've got two bikes that I can use it with.

On my other bikes without rear racks, I use a Carradice Barley or Pendle seatbag. Those bikes actually have small "Bagman" racks that attach to the saddles and help stabilize the bag. The Bagman racks also have quick releases that make it very simple to attach and remove the bags.

BTW, if you have a Tubus Cargo rack, then Orlieb panniers are extremely easy to mount and remove. Tubus and Ortlieb are owned by the same parent company, and they have designed the racks and panniers to be compatible. However, I have found panniers to be overkill for commuting 99% of the time. Why lug around panniers when you really only need to carry enough items to get you through a workday?
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Old 12-16-14, 01:54 PM
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But how easy/fast is it to remove and mount on the rack?
lifting the handle connecting the 2 top hooks opens the catch and off they come .

Setting them back on and releasing the handle releases the catch to close . it's that simple.

Just be Mindful as to where the Bottom hook goes, so its inside of the rack.
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Old 12-16-14, 02:46 PM
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Originally Posted by ze_zaskar View Post
Hello,

So I have a new job which has nice showers and that is some comfortable 10 miles away from home, mostly through a tarmac B road.
This means I'll be once again commuting by bike.

The thing is, the showers are quite away from where I'll be leaving the bike, so I need to carry the office clothes/shoes from the bike to the showers with me.

Can someone suggest a bag system that is easily detached from the bike while still resisting some rough cobblestone sections?
It's not that much cargo, only a shirt, jeans, shoes, a towel and sometimes a sweater.

I tend to dislike backpacks.

The bike is a Surly LHT with a Tubus Cargo rack and possibly a Brooks B17 saddle (this means saddle loops can be available).

Thanks in advance for any help
A Zimbale or Carradice bag on a quick release bag support is super convenient for me. I replaced the lower buckle strap with a plastic snap one and now with three quick clicks the bag is off the bike and on my shoulder. When I need to carry more than the 17 liter Zimbale saddlebag holds I add an Ortlieb on my rack, because it's waterproof, clicks right on and off in a second, and has a shoulder strap too.
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Old 12-16-14, 05:26 PM
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Originally Posted by ze_zaskar View Post
I don't want to leave any clothing at work.
If you have a spot for it, leaving clothing at work is really the way to go. I wouldn't want to walk through work in spandex, but I just wear mountain biking shorts and they work great. A pannier adds air resistance - for me at least, the kind I can feel rather than the kind that's theoretically making me slower. It makes the bike handling slightly more annoying because it's heavier and weighted on one side now. I vastly prefer a trunk bag.

If you want a pannier, you can get a pannier/backpack combo like the arkel bug:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zYEmp4toAck

That's a pannier on your bike, and a backpack off of it.

If you want a trunk bag, several different companies make bags and quick release systems. Topeak makes the most commonly found - bag comes off by pushing down on a button and pulling it off the rack. It's very slightly noisy for me though, where the plastic attaching pieces goes through the metal guide. Bontrager (and others) also make more recent versions that attach without the metal guide that I've been thinking of getting myself. Bontrager even makes a rack for them that goes on full carbon bikes without rack mounts.
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Old 12-16-14, 06:04 PM
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Originally Posted by ze_zaskar View Post
I have no doubts about the Ortlieb panniers quality, specially the Back Roller Classic. But how easy/fast is it to remove and mount on the rack?
This video should give you an idea how long they take to mount/dismount.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4Z1-kBkUfps
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Old 12-16-14, 06:50 PM
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I have had this Jandd Commuter Pannier since the early 90's and have not found anything I like better for commuting.
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Old 12-16-14, 06:55 PM
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Originally Posted by kingston View Post
I have had this Jandd Commuter Pannier since the early 90's and have not found anything I like better for commuting.
I'm a fan of Jandd products. They are well made and reasonably priced. They hold up really well over time.
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Old 12-16-14, 07:14 PM
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This may sound strange but for me there's an emotional component to leaving stuff in the office that has to do with feeling secure in my career and my employment. I think I'll still have a job next week or next year so I can bring in shoes, backup prescriptions, stuff to display, and not worry about it all evaporating. I just figured out it would be a good idea to leave a floor pump at work, because several of us in my branch are commuters.

It also helps that it's locked.
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Old 12-16-14, 07:41 PM
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Originally Posted by ze_zaskar View Post
Thanks for all the help!

I don't want to leave any clothing at work.

I have no doubts about the Ortlieb panniers quality, specially the Back Roller Classic. But how easy/fast is it to remove and mount on the rack?

Maybe the easiest solution is indeed a backpack strapped to the rack, maybe with a bungee net
To remove, you grab the handle and lift. That's all there is to it.

Mounting it, line up the lower finger with the rack leg, lift the handle, drop it on the rack, and release the handle. Takes longer to explain than it does to accomplish.

Ortlieb (and several others) make convertible backpack panniers. They're designed from the get-go to keep all the straps out of the spokes, and to keep them clean and dry.
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Old 12-16-14, 08:28 PM
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I'm going to repeat what others have said: Orlieb. I use the front roller classics on my back rack. In addition to being incredibly rugged and very easy to put on and take off, they are totally waterproof. I have ridden through torrential downpours with expensive electronics in them and never had so much as a drop of water get through. The front rollers hold a surprising amount of stuff. I usually just take one with my clothes, lunch, and iPad in it. If I need to bring the laptop, extra books or papers, or whatever, then I'll use both.
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Old 12-17-14, 10:57 AM
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Originally Posted by tsl View Post
^^^ This. ^^^

Look at their stuff here: ORTLIEB - Produkte / Products /Produits

The bags are tough, durable, and completely waterproof. They're designed to mount on the bike quickly, easily, and securely. And you can take them off just as quickly. They're pricey, but you certainly do get what you pay for with them. I expect mine will make it through to my retirement in 12 years.

I prefer the older QL2 mounting system to the QL3. Near as I can tell, part of the QL3 system mounts to the bike. I need the flexibility of using other bags, and switching my bags from bike to bike., so it's QL2 for me.
The answer is: use a Kitter!

Look at their stuff here: Bike Buckets: an inexpensive pannier system you can make

The kittiers are tough, durable, and completely waterproof. They're designed to mount on the bike quickly, easily, and securely. And you can take them off just as quickly. They're almost free, so you certainly do get way more than what you pay for with them. I expect mine will make it through to my retirement in 20 years.

Here's some pics of mine, one on the bike, and one in the dark showing the super-reflective accents I have added to assist drivers who don't know where they should be driving.

Attachment 385187
Attachment 379728
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Old 12-17-14, 06:31 PM
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Ok, I'll go with the Ortlieb Roller Classics.

Now to decide which size, Front or Back...
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Old 12-23-14, 12:13 AM
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For what it's worth, I use a north st woodward convertible backpack/pannier, with ortlieb mount mod, best of both worlds.
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Old 12-23-14, 09:22 AM
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I've got front and rear Ortlieb Classic Rollers. The fronts will fit fine on a rear rack and are more than large enough for commuting. The rears are overkill unless you also plan to use them four touring. Do search on line when purchasing. Not hard to find Ortliebs on sale, usually in a selection of colors.
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