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Thread: Seeking Recommendations: Rear Rack + Shoulder Bag

  1. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dirt View Post
    ...

    As for packs... now that my shoulders are both relatively functional, I like using a backpack over messenger bag. If I'm dancing with commuter buses, I like a little extra security of having two shoulder straps. Inexpensive packs work. Getting a really good one will make it last longer and help with waterproofing. Ortlieb, Osprey and Thule make my favorites. I have a few of each that I use for different purposes at different times. Lots depends on what you want to carry.

    Keep visibility in mind. If the pack you choose isn't reflective, get some stickers, tape and/or flashy light to make it much easier to be seen. I've also used a reflective vest over the pack to be visible.
    I'm lucky because I generally don't have to transport my work clothes nor do I have a laptop, but I've been using a Camelbak similar to the 2012 Alpine Explorer. It should be big enough for a normal laptop (though I would put the laptop in a sleeve for added protection), it is waterproof, and I like that it makes it easier for me to grab a drink plus it has an easy to reach compartment for my phone. (I don't listen to music, but I do use MapMyRide and I like being able to turn it on and drop it in.

    I second the recommendation for added visibility. The pak has slots to slide on a rear blinker and I've used zip ties to add on a reflective red Ampelmann for visibility and flair...
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ampelm%C3%A4nnchen

    I didn't like the waist straps on the pak, so I cut them off. Also, I the bag is big enough for me to carry food (breakfast and lunch), skivvies, etc in the AM and it holds all the cold weather gear I don't need in the afternoon.

    If you don't like weight on your back - the pannier is the way to go.

  2. #32
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    I gave the sling bag and backpack a try. It didnt work for me at all. I started having serious back pain after just a couple of days. Panniers were the only option for me, and they've worked great.

  3. #33
    TwoWheelsDC's Avatar
    TwoWheelsDC is offline I really need to log off the internet and go for a ride.
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    Quote Originally Posted by ShawnoftheDread View Post
    How are you calculating the 9/10 of a cent it takes you to ride?
    The number is derived from a complex set of equations known as the "Lon Anderson Principle." Q=s/(g*m)*(w*b/700c) where:

    s = smugness level
    g= price of gas
    m = molecular weight of chromoly steel
    w = number of wheels
    b = miles of bike lane
    Q = WAR ON CARS

  4. #34
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    Mine are pan - ears. They hear everything.

  5. #35
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    dasgeh is offline Queen of Family Biking & All Things Kidical
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    Really? I've always said "pan-ee-ays", though my husband suggests "panny-er" as in "more pantied"
    Last edited by dasgeh; 11-28-2012 at 02:29 PM. Reason: Maternity leave is fun

  6. #36
    mstone is offline I really need to log off the internet and go for a ride.
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    As a motorist, I suggest putting the light on the bike and using a long strip of wide-angle reflective fabric/tape on the bag. A lot of the cyclists I see while driving have bag blinkers pointed at sky or ground, and aren't really visible from a car. That's hard to check on the bike, also.

  7. #37
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    Quote Originally Posted by mstone View Post
    As a motorist, I suggest putting the light on the bike and using a long strip of wide-angle reflective fabric/tape on the bag. A lot of the cyclists I see while driving have bag blinkers pointed at sky or ground, and aren't really visible from a car. That's hard to check on the bike, also.
    Agree - I have a rear light on my seatpost, but after reading the post on improving your visibility - I festooned my bike/helmet/bag with reflectors, reflective tape, and I like adding the extra light. With the cold weather gear, I'm close to looking like Chevy Chase and Dan Aykroyd when they dressed us as the "aliens" at the end of "Spies Like Us"...

  8. #38
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    Quote Originally Posted by mstone View Post
    As a motorist, I suggest putting the light on the bike and using a long strip of wide-angle reflective fabric/tape on the bag. A lot of the cyclists I see while driving have bag blinkers pointed at sky or ground, and aren't really visible from a car. That's hard to check on the bike, also.
    I do this with my backpack. I like having this setup because then I don't need to wear super reflective yellow clothes all the time. I also have one of those little red blinkies on the back of my helmet (again - always there, and no need to own several/transfer them unlike bike mounted/seatpost lights).

    One thing I also like is having reflective material on your gloves or forearms (my arm warmers have a reflective logo). Helps for signalling (...I imagine).

  9. #39
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    Okay, I have worked myself into a circle.
    * I liked mstone's comments about breathability.
    * I read this excellent piece comparing the Arkel, the Ortlieb, and the Vaude - this was actually a review of touring bags - the conclusion for touring is that the author likes the Arkel, but uses the Ortlieb for daily commute.
    * Then there is this excellent blog post on the Mid Atlantic Bike Commuting blog which is very favorable of the Arkel Metropolitan.
    * I also notice that the Ortlieb is the brand that REI is featuring (I tend to like the REI stuff)
    * I like pockets; the Arkel has pockets.

    BUT! Looking at the specs, the Arkel has a capacity of 1400 cu in. My old Performance Transit EPIC DX had double that! The Ortlieb has a capacity of 2,441 cubic inches.

    Oye. I fill my Transit EPIC bags all the time - well I run with just one bag - but its full. I wince at cutting the capacity so dramatically. So, thinking I was going for the Arkel, I am now veering back to the Ortlieb.... although I really would like it to breath. Shucks, maybe I will go back to the Transit EPIC back. Its not as good as the others - and it wore out - but it has capacity, it breaths, and it has pockets.

    Hum. Hum. Shopping is hard! Bicycling is easy.

  10. #40
    mstone is offline I really need to log off the internet and go for a ride.
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    Quote Originally Posted by rcannon100 View Post
    BUT! Looking at the specs, the Arkel has a capacity of 1400 cu in. My old Performance Transit EPIC DX had double that! The Ortlieb has a capacity of 2,441 cubic inches.

    Oye. I fill my Transit EPIC bags all the time - well I run with just one bag - but its full. I wince at cutting the capacity so dramatically. So, thinking I was going for the Arkel, I am now veering back to the Ortlieb.... although I really would like it to breath. Shucks, maybe I will go back to the Transit EPIC back. Its not as good as the others - and it wore out - but it has capacity, it breaths, and it has pockets.
    Make sure you're not comparing single pannier capacity to pair capacity. (The arkel is sold as an individual, the ortlieb as a pair.) A single pannier with 2400 cu inch capacity would be unusually huge.

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