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Backpack for the roadbike. Any recommendations?

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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

Backpack for the roadbike. Any recommendations?

Old 05-06-14, 10:04 AM
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Cookiemonsta
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Backpack for the roadbike. Any recommendations?

Even though a backpack is not something I would use on a normal ride, I have been using a regular backpack on the roadbike sometimes.

-When I visit my parents or siblings on the bike and want to bring a gift (I do not like to go by car if I can take the bike)
-When I do trips to Germany or France (from Holland, you can literally cycle to places like Cologne and Paris. I like to keep it simple, fun and pack light)

Any recommendations for a light/aero backpack? 15 liters is enough, as that is about the max volume I am willing to carry.
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Old 05-06-14, 10:32 AM
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I think any backpack would do, but considering the reasons you explained, I would look into one of the Swiss Gear backpacks. I have found that they are more durable than most others I have used. I have two of them, one I used in the military and now use for hiking and many other things. I also have one for my laptop and other portable devices. They range in size from pretty small (your needs) to very big for camping.
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Old 05-06-14, 10:41 AM
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I just spent 2 days and 257 miles with an Osprey Synchro 15 on my back, and I am very pleased with their products. They use a taut mesh panel to keep the back pack off of your back, and it works well.
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Old 05-06-14, 11:06 AM
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Thanks for the fast responses. I googled the recommendations. The Swiss gear backpacks do seem supersturdy and very decent. But I think they appeal more to people who want something indestructible rather than something light. The Osprey packs are close to what I am looking for. Another one I saw in a shop that had my interest was the Deuter Race EXP Air, which is a lot like the Osprey Synchro (backpack is held off your back with a mesh panel). I did not buy it because I figured I would do some research first before buying the wrong pack, as I am not familiar with the use of backpacks on roadbikes.
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Old 05-06-14, 11:19 AM
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I've tried 3 styles. Messenger bag, traditional school style backpack, and a string backpack. If the string style is big enough it is a great choice. Mine is a cheapie that I got for entering a Triathlon. I carry a bit of clothes, laptop, and lunch in mine. I soon forget it's there and can enjoy my road bike the way it's meant to be ridden. When this one wears out I'm going to try and find one with a bit of a rain flap.

Good luck!
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Old 05-06-14, 11:27 AM
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I like my Thule Enroute Strut backpack. It's light and compact. It seats comfortably and is more aero than average backpack
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Old 05-06-14, 11:34 AM
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When I used to commute I would use an REI Flashpack 30. It's a little larger than what you are looking for but they make smaller versions. They are light, comfortable, low profile and have dual waist & chest compression straps to keep the pack close to your body. This feature is especially useful if you do any out of the saddle climbs or when heading into the wind. REI's home brand are close to the level of quality of Osprey or mountain hardwear but much cheaper cost. The waist strap has pockets for holding a smart phone, keys and maybe some energy. Also, if you purchase a pack with compression straps, you have a dual purpose bike pack and hiking day pack, if you do any hiking.
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Old 05-06-14, 11:53 AM
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The most comfortable pack I've ever had was an Osprey. I hiked across the Cascade Range with one, loaded down with a lot of gear.
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Old 05-06-14, 12:06 PM
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I have an Osprey Momentum. Although that's bigger than you want, it's the most comfortable backpack I've ever used. I would second the recommendations by others to check out an Osprey pack.
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Old 05-06-14, 10:10 PM
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I have a chrome messenger bag which is awesome but needs to be packed well.

Also any of the osprey talon series should work really well. I did a 3 day tour with the talon 33. No complaints. The talon series are extremely light but still have a decent back ventilation system. All the required bells and whistles
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Old 05-07-14, 01:09 AM
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Instead of a backpack maybe a large seat bag. I use my revelate pika for light touring and overnight brevets. Never managed to fill it completely.

https://www.revelatedesigns.com/inde...alog/Seat-Bags

I occasionally carry a small macpac pack too.
AMP 12 Hour | Endurance | Packs | Macpac
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Old 05-07-14, 06:36 AM
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Thanks for all the recommendations. I am googling and looking up every single one.

Originally Posted by znomit View Post
Instead of a backpack maybe a large seat bag. I use my revelate pika for light touring and overnight brevets. Never managed to fill it completely.

https://www.revelatedesigns.com/inde...alog/Seat-Bags

I occasionally carry a small macpac pack too.
AMP 12 Hour | Endurance | Packs | Macpac
I am intrigued. Never seen those on a roadbike, but could make a lot of sense for people like me who use their roadbike to travel. I wonder how it changes the balance of a light roadbike though. I can see myself leaning into a corner and falling flat on my face

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Old 05-07-14, 06:48 PM
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Originally Posted by Cookiemonsta View Post
I am intrigued. Never seen those on a roadbike, but could make a lot of sense for people like me who use their roadbike to travel. I wonder how it changes the balance of a light roadbike though. I can see myself leaning into a corner and falling flat on my face
I've used a few large seatbags (Ortlieb, Carradace, and now usually the Revelate). Because generally you're only carrying a few kilos they don't change the handling much. The main thing is to secure them tightly so they don't swing side to side. The Ortlieb wins here, the Revelate is pretty good and the Carradace is horrible (but you get used to it quite quickly).

Some more ideas here
https://www.bikeforums.net/touring/84...vangelism.html
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Old 05-07-14, 07:10 PM
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my recommendation is don't go there.

get a rack and a trunk bag or pannier. anything but a backpack.
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Old 05-07-14, 11:19 PM
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Originally Posted by Cookiemonsta View Post
Thanks for the fast responses. I googled the recommendations. The Swiss gear backpacks do seem supersturdy and very decent. But I think they appeal more to people who want something indestructible rather than something light. The Osprey packs are close to what I am looking for. Another one I saw in a shop that had my interest was the Deuter Race EXP Air, which is a lot like the Osprey Synchro (backpack is held off your back with a mesh panel). I did not buy it because I figured I would do some research first before buying the wrong pack, as I am not familiar with the use of backpacks on roadbikes.
I have a previous version of the Dueter bag. The back is excellent for keeping your back from getting sweaty, for that it's the best bag I've found.

Unfortunately, I mostly use the bag for hiking. Because on a road bike, it (and many bags, but because of the stiff shell on the bag it's particularly bad), having something on your back while leaned over the handlebars was not very comfortable for me.

So I'm not sure what to recommend - the Dueter bag is much better for not sweating through on your back than any other system, but my older model wasn't very comfortable when bent over the bike with a ride bike.

My dad (I'm 34) uses this rear bag on his road bike (note that it says the mounting hardware is even compatible with carbon seat posts) -
https://www.detours.us/media/catalog/...ke-800x602.jpg

The drawback to those is that if you knock against them they'll rotate around and not be pointing straight back.

The best solution is simply a regular rack on the back of the bike with a trunk bag. That's why every bike store you go to always has them - because they just work. They even have models that fit most road bikes with no rack mounts, like the Bontrager Backpack Lightweight -
Bontrager: BackRack Lightweight (Model #08214)

The bottom attaches at the wheel skewer, the top attaches under the rear brake mount, and it's really lightweight.

I own a high end Specialized full carbon road bike, and I won't buy another bike that won't take a rack in some way. You need to put something in there - food for a long ride, an extra shirt if the temp is going to change on your ride, raincoat, etc - you just put it in the bag and forget about it. It's not making your back sweat, making your back uncomfortable, or rotating around and being annoying.
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Old 05-07-14, 11:22 PM
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P.S. I ran across another amusing solution -


From here -
New Swift Industries ?The Trunk? Saddle Bag | Town & Country Bike Blog

Last edited by PaulRivers; 05-08-14 at 11:36 AM.
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Old 05-07-14, 11:36 PM
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I'm with huey and z. Why hang something on your back when you've got a whole bike frame? If your bike isn't set up for a rack, there are frame bags, saddle bags and handle bar bags which can work. Revelate stuff is highly regarded and Carradice is great on a retro build.
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Old 05-07-14, 11:38 PM
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Originally Posted by PaulRivers View Post
P.S. I ran across another amsuing solution -
[IMG]https://www.bontrager.com/model/08214[/IMG

From here -
New Swift Industries ?The Trunk? Saddle Bag | Town & Country Bike Blog
Basically a Carradice copy.
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Old 05-08-14, 04:41 AM
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Depending on frame shape, the Revelate Tangle frame bag is also a nice option, and is half the price of the Pika, IIRC. You can also get into it while you ride.
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Old 05-08-14, 05:05 AM
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I agree that a rear rack or bag of some sort is probably the better option, but I commute a couple times a week using a Deuter Compact 12 EXP. It's a very well-made and comfortable pack, useful for hiking as well as cycling. That particular model is a little small for you, but I'm sure they have larger options.
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Old 05-08-14, 06:39 AM
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In my experience, the backpack question is hard because backpacks incredibly bother some people, and are uncomfortable immediately, and don't bother other people in the least, even after hours of use.

So if you ask someone who is bothered by packs the question, they can't imagine why you would want one when other choices exist. If you ask someone who isn't bothered by them, they don't comprehend what the fuss is about.

In many cases, a blend of both is a nice solution. This is how I packed the bike for 2-3 days, and still had my Osprey pack. The Tangle frame bag is new, and will be used exclusively (no backpack) for commuting this year.

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Old 05-08-14, 07:23 AM
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Don't know any specific makes but make sure the straps are very wide and soft/padded. I once rode with a back pack for 13 hours and it felt great when I was trying it on but after a few hours it started to cut into my shoulders.

After that ride, I decided to buy one of those topeak click on bags and seat post attached rack. If I have to carry stuff in future, that is how I would do it.
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Old 05-08-14, 08:36 AM
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Similar thread from the Commuting forum

https://www.bikeforums.net/commuting/...commuting.html
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Old 05-08-14, 09:27 AM
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I wear an REI Flash 18 when riding my MTB, here's a link: REI Flash 18 Pack at REI.com. It's the only way for me to carry water on my MTB and whatever else I need. There's plenty of room.

On the road I don't like wearing a pack, it puts extra strain on my shoulders and makes me sweat like a pig. I prefer bike specific bags on the road. My favorite setup is a rear rack and panniers. For a lightweight road bike I'd recommend a Tubus Fly and Ortlieb bags.
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Old 05-08-14, 10:03 PM
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I've been commuting for 6 years using an REI Trail 25. It's holding up well and is pretty comfortable, although my commute is only 5 miles one way.
The current Trail 25 looks like it's been updated from the one I have - whether it's an improvement or not, I don't know.
Before I bought the T25, I looked at the REI blaze yellow commuter specific backpack, but it was way heavy.
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