View Full Version : Bag or Paniers?

Chris Eatough
01-11-2010, 07:30 AM
Hello all.
I was wondering what you prefer for carrying your stuff when riding to work or running errands by bike? I use a backpack now, but have been thinking about adding a rear rack and paniers instead. How do you do it, and why?
Bag? If so, what kind (backpack, messenger bag?)
Rack and paniers?

Joe Chapline
01-11-2010, 09:56 AM
They keep the load off your shoulders and keep you cooler in summer. With a rack-mounted carrier, you do have to make sure your heel won't hit it while pedaling. For work, I use one commuter pannier from Jannd. It looks like a briefcase, more professional than a backpack when I'm going to a meeting. It's got one corner cut out so you won't kick it. Even though I carry a lot of weight in it, having all the weight on one side doesn't cause any problem. I recently bolted a collapsible basket to the other side; it stays on the bike all the time and allows me to stop and pick something up -- groceries or whatever -- without planning ahead and bringing another carrier.

01-27-2010, 05:41 PM
Tibuk2 Messenger Bag - love it!

Mark Blacknell
02-02-2010, 12:38 PM
I like panniers for most loads - books, groceries, etc. But a laptop always ends up on my back. More vibration/shock dampening.

02-23-2010, 11:37 AM
I used panniers when I started commuting, but switched to a messenger bag (chrome metropolis) at about the 1 year mark. I don't have a strong preference either way, but the messenger is much easier to deal with since I have multiple bikes that I switch between at whim, and it makes bike shopping easier since a lot of bikes don't have provisions for racks. I generally prefer the weight be on my body anyway, which is just a personal preference thing.

Recently built a touring bike, so I'll probably switch back to panniers when using it for commuting just to get used to having some weight hung on the bike again.

02-23-2010, 11:57 AM
Used a messenger bag for years. (Timbuk2 is my current one, though I have a Green Guru that I use now and then.) I'm switching back to panniers. I need a more secure way to carry laptops.

08-17-2010, 06:53 AM
This is a pretty old thread, but I want to mention an issue I currently have with my bike. I have an aluminum bike that has a rack that I had installed when I bought the bike several years ago. The rack worked well for years, but now one of two bolts that keep it attached to a single stem of the frame has fallen out and the threads are shot on the stem where that bolt used to be. Right now I have a bolt I have loosely screwed in (with teflon tape around the threads), and after several wraps of a couple of kinds of strong around that part of the stem abnd the tops of both bolts, it seems to be holding alright, but I'm wary of adding the weight (esp. uneven weight) of panniers to it, for fear of further dethreading the hole. I'd like to get back to panniers, and one bike shop (the sales dept. -- which would love to sell a new bike) has told me that the service dept can redrill the hold to fix it, but a person I spoke to in the service dept. (I don't know how experienced he was) seemed a little less certain.

Has anyone else had this issue? I don't want to end up in a situation where the hole in my frame where the rack attaches is both large and dethreaded, and be unable to use my platform at all.

08-17-2010, 07:55 AM
Is this one of the upper holes? the ones below the saddle or are you talking about the rack bosses that are located by the rear axle?

08-17-2010, 08:50 AM
It's one of the upper holes, below the saddle. The ones near the rear axle, which are probably much more critical, seem to be fine.

08-17-2010, 10:21 AM
All is not lost. My guess is that this is a threaded hole that goes into the tube, rather than a tab that sticks out from the frame.

Before drilling the hole bigger, I might try the magic of red loctite. That stuff holds pretty dang well if the screw is able to get any purchase at all. The upper bolts really don't carry much load. They just hold the rack in the correct place.

Eventually if the hole gets completely stripped and is 100% useless, you can get a strap that goes around and essentially adds a tab that you can bolt the upper mount to. They're definitely strong enough for upper mounts.

I hope that helps a little.


Mark Blacknell
08-17-2010, 10:39 AM
Taking advantage of the reopened thread: does anyone have a better recommendation for a collapsible basket than these (http://www.amazon.com/Wald-Folding-Bicycle-Grocery-Baskets/dp/B000BPNK7O)? My Axiom grocery bag (http://www.amazon.com/Axiom-402500-01-Hunter-Grocery-Bag/dp/B000OMQ7VU) has gone into the spokes too many times (under load), but I like the convenience of dropping a grocery bag straight in (cf. the unpack/repack I have to do with my other set of smaller panniers). All suggestions involving kitty litter containers will be politely ignored.

08-17-2010, 01:20 PM
Dang it! I've been preempted. ;)

I use THESE (http://www.ortliebusa.com/CartGenie/prod-35.htm). They're expensive, but DANG are they convenient. I hook them on the side of the grocery cart and just bag stuff directly in them.

Have you thought about making cat food container panniers (http://farm5.static.flickr.com/4070/4699456463_5b7d1b8898_b.jpg)? (You're welcome, Mr. Smarty Pants.) ;)