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Road Cycling “It is by riding a bicycle that you learn the contours of a country best, since you have to sweat up the hills and coast down them. Thus you remember them as they actually are, while in a motor car only a high hill impresses you, and you have no such accurate remembrance of country you have driven through as you gain by riding a bicycle.” -- Ernest Hemingway

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Old 09-12-05, 05:44 PM   #1
gixser11
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Anyone use a backpack???

I am thinking of buying the M.U.L.E. camelback and wondering if anyone has feedback on it or something similiar. Looked at it today and it is relatively small but at the same time has some decent storage room. I would just like to have somewhere to stash some flipflops and maybe have room if I decide to stop by the store on my longer rides. I am not really concerned about the water storage as my 2 water bottles are enough and there are usually places to refill, but the camelback seems to have still have the best design for biking compared to regular backpacks.
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Old 09-12-05, 06:06 PM   #2
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I love my M.U.L.E. That said, I use a different backpack for commuting (I don't need the 100oz. of liquid storage; I need more cu.in. of volume storage).

It's a High Sierra brand "Balzak" pack I purchased from ebags.com. It is designed for a basketball player, but it works especially well for a bike rider. The mesh ball pouch is perfect for a bike helmet and the shoe pockets are perfect for... shoes(!), even my size 50 Sidi Megas fit in nicely.
http://www.ebags.com/high_sierra/bal...?modelid=20009 I've been using one every day since June and I'm very pleased with it. It has a lot of thoughtful convenience features I didn't expect to find on a bag with such a low price. If something happened to mine, I'd order a replacement immediately.



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Old 09-12-05, 06:18 PM   #3
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how much are those biking messanger bags that are so popular?
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Old 09-12-05, 07:57 PM   #4
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I used to use a backpack, but my back gets all sweaty, so I gave up and bought a carrier, now I just need some panniers. . .
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Old 09-12-05, 08:00 PM   #5
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Silly rabbit, panniers are for kids. I prefer the backpack, gives more flexibility for using it on and off the bike.
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Old 09-12-05, 08:22 PM   #6
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imho, a messenger bag is most convenient for getting to stuff withouthaving to take off the bag - those chrome bags look especially neat with the seat belt thingy, tho I've never owned one. You can also wear 'em slung low to keep from getting a very sweaty back.

having said that, I have switched to a backpack on non-riding days and find it;s better ergonomically - distributing weight symmetrically and whatnot. My chiropractor agreed with the soundness of this move. If you don't think you'd be getting very sweaty, or needing to access stuff very often mid ride, I'd say go back pack. just my 2 cents
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Old 09-12-05, 08:25 PM   #7
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www.timbuk2.com
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Old 09-12-05, 09:14 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AtlAllez
how much are those biking messanger bags that are so popular?
they range in price from $70 (Timbuk 2) all the way to $300+ (Pac Designs). you really get what you pay for in this category.
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Old 09-12-05, 09:22 PM   #9
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I've had a MULE for 6 years. Its been with me through Texas, Korea, California and now Maryland. Granted I didnt always ride a lot but its been very handy (used to keep wine and mixed drinks in it when I actually drank).

Anyways, these days I appreciate it for what it was meant for. I'm looking for a second one for my girlfriend and am considering either the MULE or a Lobo for her. It seems to keep water colder longer than my polar bottle for some reason. I just throw a block of ice in it and it stays cold for a few hours. The space is good but not excessive so you wont be tempted to carry a crazy amount of junk in it. Enough compartments to keep things separate so your sharp keys dont puncture your spare tubes. Lots easier to drink out of than reaching down for a bottle.

I've got a few polar bottles and only use them for things that would stain my camelbak like gatorade. I definately recommend the camelbak. Oh, I dont find heat or weight to be an issue... the ice keeps my back cool and I dont really feel the weight.
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Old 09-12-05, 09:33 PM   #10
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Been using a Camelbak Cloudwalker [model] for over a year now, logged over 1000km's with it and love it to death. But now that i am commuting more, i need something with a little more width, not actual size. As i am carrying a notebook computer and a lot of documents with it.

All that said, the HAwg series from camelbak is pretty enticing but the price is not. I am still weighing my options right now.
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Old 09-12-05, 10:34 PM   #11
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I use an EMS Short Circuit backpack cuz I need to carry a laptop. Has shoulder and waist straps. The laptop zips into it's own compartment in the back (the padded part against your back) which is handy at airports. If I know I'm running errands and collecting lots of junk after work, I use my messenger bag (Manhattan Portage) and toss my laptop in it. And if I'm just riding long distances and need a hydration pack, I use a Camelbak Blowfish. The Blowfish also comes in handy skiing, snowboarding, sightseeing, hiking, etc. The messenger bag just holds lots of stuff and I can use it as a weekend bag.
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Old 09-13-05, 06:04 AM   #12
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do trek or cannondale, et al still make bike-specific back packs? This was hot in the mid 90s if i recall correctly - they had little doo-dads to keep the pack up off your back so air could pass through, plus a waist strap, etc.

I had meant to try one but got a Timbuk mssngr instead and that was that till my back started giving me grief a few years ago. btw, I am sure there are nicer pricier mssngr bags today but the timbuk has held up very very well, and works nicely imo - I did need to order new clips once, as the old ones cracked. Plus I see on their website you can't order the heavy duty bottom anymore; I love mine. My old backpacks (I used to use the old olive drab or black cotton canvas Army surplus models) always exploded at the bottom first.....the extra thick cordura/kevlar is a big improvement.
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Old 09-13-05, 06:39 AM   #13
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I use a backpack every day for commuting. There are designs which allow some airflow over the back - essentially there is a net that rests on the back of the wearer, with the luggage carrying part of the bag suspended away from the net. I find this works pretty well. I ride a road bike and wear shorts + bike jersey for the commute. The back pack allows me to carry work clothes for the week, lunch and bike sundries etc. Generally the ride (each way) is about 10 miles, though I like to extend this if possible. The backpack is fine when one becomes accustomed to it and avoids the issue of fitting extra hardware (racks etc.) to the bike. This means that any of my three bikes can be used for commuting.

The only issue is to find a pack that will fit properly when riding. I recently returned a new pack that seemed fine in the shop, but its fit, high on the back, combined with the forward leaning ride posture of a road bike meant that it ran into the back of my head when loaded. Straps that secure the pack around the waist are also very useful in keeping the bag steady.

Good luck & happy riding,

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Old 09-13-05, 06:49 AM   #14
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You'll either love em or hate em. I personally love em. I used a camelback for several years, and it's great. I use it on centuries and double centuries. Can't imagine doing a long distance ride without it. The drawback is it is a pain when refilling at the rest stops, compared to the other riders who are just filling up their water bottle. And the other drawback is cleaning ... have to make sure you are religious about cleaning with special brushes designed for cleaning camelbacks, or mules, or whatever bladder system you use.

I also use it a lot when doing normal non-cycling related vacations. Touring around Spain in the middle of summer ... temps getting into the 100s ... or in metric, in the 40s ... it was a godsend!!!! Plus, if you do cycling tours, it's great for a full day of activity.
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Old 09-13-05, 07:17 AM   #15
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I have a PEARL IZUMI VelociPak Bike Bag that I got from ColoradoCyclist. It is just the right size for commuting and even better for trail rides with my 6 year-old. It is very adjustable and gives a great fit. It is very stable even during aggressive riding. It has come venting built into the back padding, so it really doesn't really generate much in the way of a hot spot. It has plenty of storage options, inside and out, including a padded notebook sleeve in a separate waterproof compartment. The top-most outside compartment, just above the Pearl izumi logo, holds a hi-vis yellow rain cover that you can deploy and cover the entire pack.

I hang a blinker taillight from top carry strap, and smaller reflector blinkers from the shoe/bottle holder webbing on each side. I velcroed a reflective safety triangle under the yellow shock cord. I have had cagers at intersections tell me that I am so bright that they could see me from blocks away.

Your results may vary, but it works really well for me. Hope this helps.
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Old 09-13-05, 07:55 AM   #16
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Wingnut Gear Adventure pack

/thread

Seriously, best freaking pack I've ever had. Totally waterproof and the patent-pending "wing pockets" are awesome. I've used for a commuting and as of this weekend, a century as well.
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Old 09-13-05, 08:46 AM   #17
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Deuter bag. It has a mesh suspension system that allow air circulation so you sweat less. Comes in two sizes (22l and 28l, I think) and is camel back compatible and has two external pockets for water bottles. Also has a cover (that fold inside nicely) when it rains.

Available from Mountain Equip Coop at www.mec.ca
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Old 09-13-05, 09:00 AM   #18
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I've been using a Camelbak blowfish for rides around the city (never more than ~50 miles roundtrip), and I love it. It has decent storage capacity (could pack a pump, small toolkit, a layer and some snackies) and then unzips to expand. The back padding is designed to encourage airflow.
I was also going to mention the Deuter (though I have never used one), as I've heard good things about them and their suspension system seems clever. (Although I've heard from some that when combined with the hydration system, and when the reservoir is full, the pack bulges out a bit and keeps the suspension system from working as well. Still...
I might discourage the messenger bag. As someone above mentioned, they're as much about gaining ready access to the contents as they are about carrying the goods. If you don't need that quick (and repetitive) access, a traditional backpack distributes weight better and stays put. (I'm sure some will disagree, but I found messenger bags had a tendency to shift and that it required the occassional repositioning push with the elbow)
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Old 09-13-05, 10:34 AM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fredf
Deuter bag. It has a mesh suspension system that allow air circulation so you sweat less. Comes in two sizes (22l and 28l, I think) and is camel back compatible and has two external pockets for water bottles. Also has a cover (that fold inside nicely) when it rains.

Available from Mountain Equip Coop at www.mec.ca

Second that!

Great design concept. Works really well.

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Old 09-13-05, 10:37 AM   #20
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for uber cool, I use the Axio Swift:



It even comes in carbon fiber. WWW.axio-usa.com

Very well made, not cheap like most hard shell backpacks. Has cell phone pockets, waist strap, tons of internal pockets. Intended for motorcycle riders.
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Old 09-13-05, 11:18 AM   #21
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Ogio makes a Flight Vest which is kind of a neat setup.

http://ogio.com/products/display05.c...513101&color=1
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Old 09-13-05, 11:27 AM   #22
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I use a backpack for commuting and when I'm typically touring around town on my MTB. Not so much on my Road Bike.

I use MTB shoes and SPD's on my Roadie and MTB's, so I don't have to worry about flip flops for walking around.
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Old 09-13-05, 01:34 PM   #23
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I used to use a back pack and I just hated that everything sat down in the bottom of the bag. I imagine there are more high tech ones but I def prefer my messenger bag. i got mine from reloadbags.com. The bag is amazing and each is custom made. Check them out I found this the most convient bag ever I carry a lunch, change of clothes and extra shoes and all my bike stuff with room to spare.
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Old 09-13-05, 01:45 PM   #24
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I'm a big camelback fan myself, currently using a HAWG, very comfy and holds plenty of stuff. For commuting ot work, I use a Lowe Alpine Klettersak, not sure if you can still buy them, but very good, simple pack. For those interested in the HAWG, i have seen it on sale in Campmore and Sierra Trading Post catalogues for 50-60 bucks, they have restyled it for this year, so good deals on last years models.
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Old 09-13-05, 01:55 PM   #25
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I use a MULE for MTB and a Rogue on the road. My wife has a small one that sits down on your lower back for long walks.

The new ones are east to clean. You can get your whole hand inside. A brush for the tube is nice to have though.
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