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Cycling Backpacks

Old 03-17-21, 12:55 PM
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Cycling Backpacks

Hey nice to meet you all! What do you all look for in a backpack? My company's making a backpack for cyclists and we'd love some feedback if possible.
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Old 03-17-21, 01:08 PM
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If I were to design a backpack that I'd use on my routes, it'd be a slightly wider, less tall Topeak Trunk Bag that slides onto the rear quick rack yet also has 4 attaching points on the flat side that is facing you back, for adjustable traditional backpack straps.
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Old 03-17-21, 01:15 PM
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Originally Posted by oliviac11 View Post
Hey nice to meet you all! What do you all look for in a backpack? My company's making a backpack for cyclists and we'd love some feedback if possible.
I want it to have rack and fender mounts.
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Old 03-17-21, 01:19 PM
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I've never used one for cycling buy have for hiking.

It should have a place for a bladder to hold water and somehow not sit directly on your back to increase ventilation and reduce a hot sweaty mess.
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Old 03-17-21, 01:19 PM
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Originally Posted by Kapusta View Post
I want it to have rack and fender mounts.
ya know, the fender quick mount idea could be a real hit.
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Old 03-17-21, 01:25 PM
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Originally Posted by oliviac11 View Post
What do you all look for in a backpack? My company's making a backpack for cyclists and we'd love some feedback if possible.
Water resistant.
High contrast colors (hi-vis on black).
Reflective patches on all sides.
Mesh holder(s) on the sides for standard cycling water bottles.
Fuzzy lined pocket(s) for storing riding glasses (lots of backpacks have this for cell phone storage I think).
Three separate zippered compartments, for separating clean, wet, dirty, and electronic things, with more sub-divides in each, for organization.
Comfortable padded shoulder straps.
Latch to secure the shoulder straps together at the nipple line.
Large enough to carry change of clothes, lunch, and shoes for when I get to work.
Horizontal piece of nylon at the very bottom for mounting clip-on tail-light.

If any one of those features were missing, I'd probably not buy it.

And the one thing my current commuting backpack doesn't have, that I really wish it did, was a built in way (hook and loop maybe?) to manage the tightening cords of the shoulder straps, so they don't flop around while riding. Right now I have to wrap them around and just hope they stay.

DM me for my Venmo account # for sending me the consultation fees

It took me years to find one, but here's the one I use that meets all that criteria. Good luck on competing with their high volume pricing though:

Last edited by Riveting; 03-17-21 at 01:34 PM.
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Old 03-17-21, 01:41 PM
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Originally Posted by Kapusta View Post
I want it to have rack and fender mounts.
Like this? I could see a definitely see a backpack pannier being practical:
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Old 03-17-21, 01:46 PM
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Originally Posted by oliviac11 View Post
Hey nice to meet you all! What do you all look for in a backpack? My company's making a backpack for cyclists and we'd love some feedback if possible.
Would these be for wearing while cycling, or as a gear bag during transportation?

For times when I put my bike in my car for rides where I'm driving to the start (after-work rides, most often), I have found that one of my daughter's softball backpacks is excellent for packing the gear I need because of the following features:
- Main compartment has a removable separation panel, dividing it into upper and lower sections. The upper section I use for clothing. The lower section is accessible with its own mesh-panel zippered flap, which makes it great for shoes.
- Exterior pockets (intended for bats) make a great place for water bottles.
- Front smaller pocket for computer, lights, etc.
- Helmet-holder (tucks away in a zippered pocket when not in use)

The one I use is similar to this...

Last edited by Eric F; 03-17-21 at 02:05 PM.
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Old 03-17-21, 01:46 PM
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Originally Posted by Riveting View Post
Like this? I could see a definitely see a backpack pannier being practical:
No. Rack mounts are far mounting a rack

That would be a backpack mount. I don't need a backpack mount on my backpack.
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Old 03-17-21, 01:53 PM
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Sounds good! What kind of cycling do you mainly do on your routes?

Originally Posted by Troul View Post
If I were to design a backpack that I'd use on my routes, it'd be a slightly wider, less tall Topeak Trunk Bag that slides onto the rear quick rack yet also has 4 attaching points on the flat side that is facing you back, for adjustable traditional backpack straps.
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Old 03-17-21, 02:00 PM
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Trash Garbage Barge


I switched from a CHROME Kremlin to a TRASH Garbage Vortex ... the Trash is a very large back pack and is easier for bigger loads ... any back pack design should at least consider how Andy at Trash did the Garbage back packs
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Old 03-17-21, 02:05 PM
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Originally Posted by oliviac11 View Post
Sounds good! What kind of cycling do you mainly do on your routes?
road & hybrid. the racks on each bicycle type are equipped for the same quick rack slides. I'd ride the bicycle to work more if I were able to stow my laptop in the trunk rack bag if it were wider. It's robust enough, just not wide enough.
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Old 03-17-21, 02:09 PM
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For wearing while cycling, but that's awesome that you use your daughter's softball backpack for your gear 😂 Do you ever carry smaller packs while riding?
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Old 03-17-21, 02:13 PM
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Originally Posted by Troul View Post
road & hybrid. the racks on each bicycle type are equipped for the same quick rack slides. I'd ride the bicycle to work more if I were able to stow my laptop in the trunk rack bag if it were wider. It's robust enough, just not wide enough.
My Topeak MTX QuickTrack trunk has two fold down panniers that easily stores my laptop on one side, and a full change of clothes and sneakers in the other. And when not used, the panniers fold and zipper up nicely.

(not my pics)


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Old 03-17-21, 02:23 PM
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Originally Posted by Riveting View Post
My Topeak MTX QuickTrack trunk has two fold down panniers that easily stores my laptop on one side, and a full change of clothes and sneakers in the other. And when not used, the panniers fold and zipper up nicely.

(not my pics)
I've looked into those, but they are not something I'd want to use for every ride. Also, I don't use the multiple mount point racks, only the beam racks. Much easier to detach & stow it separate from the bicycle, that's mounted outside on a vehicle.

I think, if one is designed for a beam rack as described, it'd be the first for supporting those of us with beam racks & open up more traveling opportunities for the weight weenies too.
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Old 03-17-21, 02:28 PM
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Originally Posted by oliviac11 View Post
For wearing while cycling, but that's awesome that you use your daughter's softball backpack for your gear 😂 Do you ever carry smaller packs while riding?
Not any more. Years ago, when I would occasionally commute to work, I carried my change of clothes in a simple hiking backpack. These days, if it doesn't fit in a jersey pocket, it's not coming with me.
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Old 03-17-21, 07:18 PM
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My backpack would be not a backpack and a pannier and made in North America of quality components. Arkel already made it for me and I have had them for years with no issues.

Best feedback don't make junk or copy others.
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Old 03-17-21, 07:19 PM
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Osprey has covered all the bases, IMO- copy them.

I use Talon 22 for utility- mesh back panel is key, but pockets and helmet holder are nice.
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Old 03-17-21, 07:27 PM
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Everything that a Timbuk2 bag has, including a website that allows you to design you own bag and see what it will look like before you purchase it.
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Old 03-17-21, 08:15 PM
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Originally Posted by indyfabz View Post
Everything that a Timbuk2 bag has, including a website that allows you to design you own bag and see what it will look like before you purchase it.
I could not configure something that would trigger an impulse purchase.
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Old 03-17-21, 08:48 PM
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Cycling backpacks are dumb, like, straight-up-BTDT dumb. Maybe a hip pack with shoulder strap(s) for stabilization, weight distribution, and extended load capacity would make sense, but a backpack is a really stupid idea for cycling.
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Old 03-17-21, 09:40 PM
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Originally Posted by chaadster View Post
Cycling backpacks are dumb, like, straight-up-BTDT dumb. Maybe a hip pack with shoulder strap(s) for stabilization, weight distribution, and extended load capacity would make sense, but a backpack is a really stupid idea for cycling.

When I went to the gym (before it folded, taking a year+ of pre-paid membership with it) I brought shoes, towel, jacket, lights, lock, spare tire etc, and sometimes clothes change.

Did not try to get that stuff in a hip pack. 1/2 hr each way.
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Old 03-17-21, 10:12 PM
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Originally Posted by woodcraft View Post
When I went to the gym (before it folded, taking a year+ of pre-paid membership with it) I brought shoes, towel, jacket, lights, lock, spare tire etc, and sometimes clothes change.

Did not try to get that stuff in a hip pack. 1/2 hr each way.
But any ol’ backpack will work for that. When we start talking about a cycling specific backback, when we get to the use scenarios which would distinguish it from any ol’ backpack, it gets real stupid real quick.

There’s simply no good reason to carry weight on a bike high up on the rider’s back. It doesn’t make sense from either performance or ergonomic perspectives. It’s cheap, easy and convenient, but so is any ol’ backpack, and therein lies the problem.

Rucksacks, aka backbacks, existed before the bicycle, yet we came to all sorts of contraptions to carry stuff on the bike, from rear racks, to porteurs to panniers, handlebar bags, seat bags, lumbar packs and messenger bags. All that should tell you something, not the least of which is that the backpack has been found to be wanting.
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Old 03-17-21, 11:21 PM
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Originally Posted by chaadster View Post
But any ol’ backpack will work for that. When we start talking about a cycling specific backback, when we get to the use scenarios which would distinguish it from any ol’ backpack, it gets real stupid real quick.

There’s simply no good reason to carry weight on a bike high up on the rider’s back. It doesn’t make sense from either performance or ergonomic perspectives. It’s cheap, easy and convenient, but so is any ol’ backpack, and therein lies the problem.

Rucksacks, aka backbacks, existed before the bicycle, yet we came to all sorts of contraptions to carry stuff on the bike, from rear racks, to porteurs to panniers, handlebar bags, seat bags, lumbar packs and messenger bags. All that should tell you something, not the least of which is that the backpack has been found to be wanting.

Hmm, come to think of it, I have way more backpacks than bicycles. Am I in the wrong forum?
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Old 03-18-21, 02:45 AM
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Originally Posted by woodcraft View Post
Hmm, come to think of it, I have way more backpacks than bicycles. Am I in the wrong forum?
Haha! Don’t get me wrong: a good backpack, when it’s the right tool for the job, is sweet, so I can totally dig having several. And, I was bring hyperbolic in my disparagement of backpacks; I mean, it’s not like you can’t ride with one.

One problem I used to have with backpacks while cycling was helmet interference. Maybe because my posture on the bike is more leaned forward rather than upright, the backpack would contact the back of my helmet, interfering with movement.

I worked with a clothing designer friend years ago, in the early ‘90s— what up Randall Roy!— prototyping a backpack design for cycling which dropped the storage compartment well below the shoulder straps, for load stability, helmet clearance, and cooling. We didn’t have the technical material expertise to pull it off like it needed to, but the concept was good and he made me a couple of cool bags which I wish I’d held onto.

My favorite on-body bag for cycling is the lumbar bag, specifically the Mountainsmith Tour:


If I really need load support, they have an optional strapette kit which I guess makes the Tour the ultimate cycling backpack:


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