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Shock Absorption, Rear Rack, and Photo Gear.

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Shock Absorption, Rear Rack, and Photo Gear.

Old 03-06-11, 01:12 PM
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Photocyte
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Shock Absorption, Rear Rack, and Photo Gear.

I took a first test ride today with my 18lb camera bag bungee netted to a rear rack.

The bike is a Felt X:city with no added shock absorption.

Needless to say, the first few bumps over pavement cracks left me wondering what kind of shock my equipment is being dealt and weather it might be above and beyond what's acceptable for it over the long haul.

Anyone have experience with long-term "sensative gear" hauling, positive or negative?

Anything I can do beyond throwing some extra foam around the body and lenses inside the bag?

Am I being too protective?

A lot of questions for my first post, I know, but my goal over the summer is to transition into a totally car-free photographer (it's my only source of income), so I'm looking for guidance and inspiration.

Thanks!
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Old 03-06-11, 01:34 PM
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coldfeet
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Not sure how much the gear can take, if it were me, I'd make a platform to spread the load, and use a couple different layers with differing densities, or get some roomy panniers and "suspend" the bag inside.

Another thing, your bike currently has 700 x 37mm tires yes? Is there enough room to go up a bit? Maybe Marathon Supremes in 40mm? Extra volume will help, as will being very particular with inflation. I would use the 15% sidewall deflection rule to get the best balance between rolling resistance and comfort.
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Old 03-06-11, 02:26 PM
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Allen
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My trade is photography.
I fit an Ortlieb quick release plate to the bottom of an Pelican box for my Hasselblad gear.
For my 35mm (film or digi) I just use my handlebar bag or a camera bag lashed to my rack.
So far I have no issues of cameras being damaged from road vibrations.

If you want to have military spec protection I would recommend a Pelican case or the like. Other than that I would say something soft around your equipment (tee shirt, foam, something) and go for it.
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Old 03-06-11, 03:13 PM
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prathmann
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A handlebar bag produces much less shock and vibration to the contents than a rear rack bag that transmits every bump directly. Using the rear rack I would add a pretty thick piece of foam at the bottom of the bag for cushioning.
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Old 03-08-11, 06:58 PM
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Considered bucket panniers? These would obscure the nature of your cargo, be weather proof, spread your load to both sides of the bike, and have flat bottoms (as many bar bags or panniers don't). Spilling the bike also becomes less of a disaster. Layering foam cutouts in the buckets would keep lenses from clattering against each other.

Then then top of your rack could also be used to lug your tripod. I've seen one-legged segment bike stands that would be a cool way to help turn a bike into a tripod itself :-)
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Old 03-08-11, 07:48 PM
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Photocyte
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If only Pelican made full out hardcase panniers themselves? They'd be bulletproof AND beautiful!

thanks for the advice everyone
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Old 03-18-11, 01:13 PM
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RI_Swamp_Yankee
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In art school, I lashed my Domke camera bag to my rear rack... even with the light padding those things had, my gear held up fine. I also had a Wald courier basket up front, and it definitely seemed more "forgiving" due to the flex of the wire grid, and was more convenient - one bungie cord, at handlebar height, to keep it from jumping out, as oppossed to two bungie cords, one across and one down, both below waist height, for the rack. A kitchen trashbag was all the weatherproofing I needed... the canvas Domke uses actually did a good job of keeping my stuff dry, and the trashbag was more insurance than anything.
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Old 03-19-11, 02:22 AM
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Have travelled extensively with expensive camera gear both by bike and by motorcycle. a saddlebag is the LAST place I`d personally consider putting anything delicate. I`m sure lots of people will disagree with me but IMO even in a Pelican case (and I own 8) the continuous movements caused by road irrigularities isn`t something consumer electronics are designed to handle. Military equipment is and costs 10x as much.

The solution I`m most comfortable with is a camera specific backpack so that your body can absorb most of the movements and vibration. Even on a motorcycle I`d prefer that to a tankbag. If that sounds like paranoia let me point out that it only takes 1.5 hours at normal highway speeds and smooth roads to convert coffee creamers to butter if stored in a tankbag on a motorcycle. Thats the location on a motorcycle that is the most stable. A bicycle doesn`t even have suspension so the situation would just be more extreme.
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Old 03-19-11, 08:35 AM
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On a motorcycle, the vibration comes from the engine and highway-speed suspension chatter. Bumps over curbs and potholes on a bicycle are handled by a padded case just fine. I've never had gear break or go out of alignment because it was on my bike, and I was a car-free commuter when in college. I even schlepped my 4x5 view camera, tripod, meter and lenses all over town for an assignment, and never saw a lick of trouble. (Wald wire panniers out back, Wald courier basket up front. Turned my beach cruiser into a truck.)
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