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Singlespeed & Fixed Gear "I still feel that variable gears are only for people over forty-five. Isn't it better to triumph by the strength of your muscles than by the artifice of a derailer? We are getting soft...As for me, give me a fixed gear!"-- Henri Desgrange (31 January 1865 - 16 August 1940)

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Old 06-15-07, 10:14 PM   #1
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Messenger bag tips needed

Back in April, I got a size small Timbuk2 classic messenger bag. It was an impulse buy, and when the buyers remorse set in, I didn't expect to use it for cycling that much. I was wrong.

I've worn it every day on my 28 rt mile commute. I've carried my laptop in it many times with no resulting back pain. This coming from a guy who's been hospitalized for back pain in the past.

But I found the bag a bit small. So I bought a medium Timbuk2 bag (half off at REI). More stuff fits in it, but that makes it heavier.

So I have a few questions.

1. What are the normal limits of weight and distance for messenger bags. Does anyone else really load up their bag and then ride 10-20 miles with it? Is there a trick to carrying a lot of weight in a messenger bag comfortably?

2. Any tips on how to load a messenger bag?

3. What's the best way to position the bag? High on the back, or low? Centered or off to one side or another?

4. My back gets pretty sweaty. Any way around that?
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Old 06-15-07, 10:31 PM   #2
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my advice is if you have a 28 mile commute, a history of back trouble, and a heavy load, you're probably better off keeping everything on a rack/basket. when your commute is finished, put your load into your bag.
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Old 06-16-07, 05:23 AM   #3
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High on your back, strapped close and tight. That's one good thing I learned from jarheads. If Marines know how to do anything, it's how to carry **** on their backs. Pack largest pieces closest to your back.

Do you have a bag with the strap sewn onto the bag, or with the crappy plastic clips on either end? Even the new Timbuk2 bags have decent sewing on them, but the plastic clips are **** and won't last (UV damage, shear strength, etc).
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Old 06-16-07, 07:39 AM   #4
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someone else posted this already, somewhere, but as weight and distance increase, conventional logic is mess bag>backpack>rack/panniers.
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Old 06-16-07, 08:18 AM   #5
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heaviest things must go on the bottom of the bag,avoid a enormous bag because things will move around,things like a laptop i place them as close to my back as possible with the lcd facing back,carrying tha bag as high as possible will avoid hitting rear view mirrors,but that variant depends on your riding position,thats my experience with my Modulab mess bag wich im sure nobody knows outside Chile...
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Old 06-16-07, 10:21 AM   #6
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1. What you can comfortably carry

2. I like heavy stuff on bottom, and soft stuff (clothes, etc.) against my back for some cushion.

3. I like high on the back so the bag doesn't swing around to my front and mess me up

4. No
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