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Thread: Introduction and Question on Bike Trailers vs. Panniers

  1. #1
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    Default Introduction and Question on Bike Trailers vs. Panniers

    I've been lurking on the forum for a couple months now and finally decided to join and start contributing. As my name implies, I ride an e-bike currently but please don't hold it against me! Back when I was younger, I rode a lot commuting for work, to the gym, recreationally, etc. That fell off when I met my now wife and lived further out from the city. Fast forward 10+ years, a couple kids, no exercise, bad eating habits, and I found myself about to tip the scales at 300 lbs. In May, I came across a review of an ebike. I had no idea they existed. So I my opportunity to get back into shape and start biking again and bought one. I didn't get it until the end of June, so I've only been commuting since July really. I live on the Oakton/Vienna border and work in SW DC. When I started, I had to be in the highest level of assistance the whole way (17.5 miles each leg), but as I've lost weight (down to 250 now) and gotten stronger, I've continued to dial back the assistance to get a good workout while maintaining 15-16 mph so I meet child care responsibilities and eventually get back on my old bike. I generally ride 5 days a week including inclement weather (I only skip holidays, staying home with sick kids, etc.). I've also been taking the occasional car day to change out my suits at work and dry clean them but I really hate doing that now, I miss the riding commute.

    Which leads to my question: for those that have panniers like the nash that can hold suits, how many could you reasonably fit in there? If I wanted to use it to bring home 2-3 suits and 4-5 shirts, would it fit? What about the 2 wheel gear pannier? I'm also thinking about just getting a used burley and I figured I could stuff it all in there and haul that in and home every couple weeks, but it seems overkill if I can fit them in a pannier set up like those.

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  3. #2
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    Welcome! I'm really happy to hear that you've been able to integrate biking into your commute and had such fantastic results already

    There's someone on my commute from S. Alexandria to SW DC that rides an ebike and has a small trailer that runs behind him. It looks kinda like this one by burley: https://burley.com/product/travoy/ I like it because it seems like it's NOT overkill for what he's using it for--he appears to use it to hold his briefcase and a clothing bag. I'm guessing he likes it well enough since he's been using it for 2+ years now (based on when I've seen him.) If you end up going the trailer route, it might be worth considering something like this if the only use you'd have for the trailer is commuting.
    Last edited by Emm; 08-31-2017 at 12:49 PM. Reason: spelling...

  4. #3
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    Congrats on the weight loss and also to being able to dial down the pedal assist so quickly. Is getting your dry cleaning done at some place near work an option? That would save you from carrying them at all.

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  6. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Judd View Post
    Congrats on the weight loss and also to being able to dial down the pedal assist so quickly. Is getting your dry cleaning done at some place near work an option? That would save you from carrying them at all.
    Thanks!
    So I've been looking at nearby drycleaners too, but I seem to be in a dead zone and it's a good half mile or more to the closest one, thought about doing a cab/uber but I hate the thought of making it an odyssey to handle drycleaning every couple weeks (and with a LOT higher prices than by my house). So I'm thinking it's not worth the effort for higher prices if I can just squeeze it in a garment bag once a week or or lug a trailer in every 2-3 weeks.

  7. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Emm View Post
    Welcome! I'm really happy to hear that you've been able to integrate biking into your commute and had such fantastic results already

    There's someone on my commute from S. Alexandria to SW DC that rides an ebike and has a small trailer that runs behind him. It looks kinda like this one by burley: https://burley.com/product/travoy/ I like it because it seems like it's NOT overkill for what he's using it for--he appears to use it to hold his briefcase and a clothing bag. I'm guessing he likes it well enough since he's been using it for 2+ years now (based on when I've seen him.) If you end up going the trailer route, it might be worth considering something like this if the only use you'd have for the trailer is commuting.
    That's really interesting, especially since I wouldn't have to fold them over anything at all like the rack with panniers and could use a regular garment bag. It's definitely more $$ than I was thinking/hoping, but that might be an option.

  8. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by NovaEbike View Post
    Thanks!
    So I've been looking at nearby drycleaners too, but I seem to be in a dead zone and it's a good half mile or more to the closest one, thought about doing a cab/uber but I hate the thought of making it an odyssey to handle drycleaning every couple weeks (and with a LOT higher prices than by my house). So I'm thinking it's not worth the effort for higher prices if I can just squeeze it in a garment bag once a week or or lug a trailer in every 2-3 weeks.
    Congrats on the weight loss as well! I had a performance suit bag/panier until it wore out after about 4 years. I found that I could fit about 2/3 suits, 4 shirts, and stuff a lot of ties in it. As you are taking them home and don't care about wrinkles, you can use the exterior pockets and up the number. The only issue I had is that if it is raining hard, the seam will leak a little. But that can fixed with an extra adhesive rubber strip around the exterior zipper and that solved the problem. I use regular panniers now (mix of 1 Ortlieb and 1 Transit) and find that I can generally fit 3 suits and if I stuff, 4 shirts in 1 pannier bag, with nothing else in the bag. Folding/rolling the suits tightly is the key to fitting them.

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  10. #7
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    I keep my suit jackets and shoes, in a closet in my office, and carry a fresh shirt, tie and socks (and lunch) each day in a backpack. I also keep a spare tie and socks in a drawer in my office, given my amazing ability to forget things.

  11. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Left Field View Post
    Congrats on the weight loss as well! I had a performance suit bag/panier until it wore out after about 4 years. I found that I could fit about 2/3 suits, 4 shirts, and stuff a lot of ties in it. As you are taking them home and don't care about wrinkles, you can use the exterior pockets and up the number. The only issue I had is that if it is raining hard, the seam will leak a little. But that can fixed with an extra adhesive rubber strip around the exterior zipper and that solved the problem. I use regular panniers now (mix of 1 Ortlieb and 1 Transit) and find that I can generally fit 3 suits and if I stuff, 4 shirts in 1 pannier bag, with nothing else in the bag. Folding/rolling the suits tightly is the key to fitting them.
    When you say you could fit 2/3 suits and 4 shirts, did that include the jackets? If so, that would probably be perfect since I can rotate through the stock I keep at my office pretty easily.

  12. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by NovaEbike View Post
    When you say you could fit 2/3 suits and 4 shirts, did that include the jackets? If so, that would probably be perfect since I can rotate through the stock I keep at my office pretty easily.
    It does include jackets. But you have really work on getting the folding technique down. I turn the jacket inside out, they lay it out, fold the arms in the middle, fold the jacket lengthwise in half, and then roll it tightly, really tight, otherwise you are only going to fit two suits.

  13. #10
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    I use the 2 wheel gear bag and can stuff quite a bit into it.

    This thread has more information: http://bikearlingtonforum.com/showth...usiness-Attire


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