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Commuting/Panniers/Trunk Bag

Old 09-12-10, 03:58 PM
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rhondakap
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Commuting/Panniers/Trunk Bag

I bought a Downtube a few years ago and have never been satisfied with my arrangements to carry my stuff. I'd like to get as much as possible off of my back, except for my laptop. First, I bought a Downtube trunk bag to fit on the rack. The bag has small panniers built in. Where do I attach the bungee cords that are part of the panniers? Second, are there any more "traditional" panniers that will fit on to the rack of a bike with 20 inch wheels? Third, has anyone attached a crate to the top of the rack? That seems like a great option for my work bag--just put it in the crate instead of unpacking some stuff to go in panniers. Thanks for your help.
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Old 09-12-10, 04:07 PM
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wahoonc
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Depending on the brand of trunk bag, there may have been a set of small hooks to put on the bike to hook the elastic too, or perhaps they were supposed to hook around the axle nuts? I run a Banjo Brothers bag on my Raleigh Twenty and have been happy with it. It has the drop down panniers and comes with little stainless steel hooks to mount on the bike.

If you use a milk crate or box are you still going to be able to fold, or is that not important. I like some of the handlebar luggage that Brompton sells, puts the stuff up front where you can keep and eye on it. FWIW a back pack is my last and final option...I can't stand to use one for cycling.

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Old 09-12-10, 04:16 PM
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I find it useful personally to put all the extra weight on the front of the bike. With small wheels it prevents wheelies in low gear and means you can keep an eye on things in crowded areas. I found a great little front rack on Ebay which attaches to the brake mounts on the front forks (search for mini pannier rack) it cost about 12 and allows me to have front panniers or secure stuff with bungee cords. because its shorter than standard racks you just position the panniers a bit off center so that the forks prevent interferrence with the wheel. A bar bag or basket is another good option.
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Old 09-12-10, 04:31 PM
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Thanks, Aaron. My bag didn't come with hooks--but it looks like it should. I'll figure out how to attach hooks. Your bag looks nice and roomy. Mine is not big enough for a notebook, so it's hard to pack my stuff in there.
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Old 09-12-10, 05:27 PM
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I use rear panniers and a trunk bag. I do not use a backpack as I feel it harmful to the body - especially the back. My Dahon uses a generic rear rack that lifts it high enough to use ordinary panniers. You will still need to size the panniers to your bike to avoid heel strike.




Some very nice but expensive panniers are also specially fitted to carry laptops and allow you to angle the bag away from the ankle for better clearance. Most of the time when I am riding, I don't even know the panniers and trunk bag are there. By shifting the load of a backpack off your body to the bike, you will have a better ride and enjoy it even more.

You can also secure a milk crate to the back of your bike and it works very well and is cost-effective to boot. There is nothing wrong with doing that. Using an MC means you can keep using the bag you are familiar with and there is nothing new to buy except maybe for the mounting hardware. Panniers tend to cost upwards of $65 and can be as high as $200 for a pair. My panniers come with shoulder straps so it converts to a day bag for day trip touring if necessary.

Once can also DIY a front rack or buy a front rack and strap your bag there.
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Old 09-12-10, 07:59 PM
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Milk crate with bungee cords.

Best solution and the cheapest price. Why consider anything else?

Panniers, trunk bags, etc are for bikes with wheels too big to accommodate a milk crate. Using them with 20" wheels is a solution in search of a problem.

Last edited by chucky; 09-12-10 at 08:02 PM.
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Old 09-12-10, 09:25 PM
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I have been using ortlieb officebag. Plenty of space and clears my heel by adjusting even with Dahon's arclite rack which none of panniers seem to clear my heel really...
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