Backpack or Pannier?

Beating the system - the cycling commuting section

How do you carry your gear?

Backpack
78
55%
Pannier
63
44%
I carry my suitcase in my hand while riding
2
1%
Basket on handlebars
0
No votes
 
Total votes : 143

Backpack or Pannier?

Postby philip » Fri Feb 13, 2009 10:55 am

Just wondering how many people use panniers/backpacks/whatever else to carry their work gear (clothes/lunch/etc).
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by BNA » Fri Feb 13, 2009 11:00 am

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Postby martinjs » Fri Feb 13, 2009 11:00 am

I started with a backpack but found I get to sweaty, I use panniers now but on the really hot days I do carry a hydration pack on my back. :)
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Postby Strawburger » Fri Feb 13, 2009 11:01 am

backpack!

haven't tried panniers but i have the impression they could end up being a lot heavier (once i start packing non-essential extra gear in them!)
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Postby jasimon » Fri Feb 13, 2009 11:07 am

Missing option: office. (I said backpack.)

I leave most of the necessary stuff in my office. Backpack caries shirt, whites, tie, socks. Office holds suit, towel, belt, shoes, underarm.
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Postby colafreak » Fri Feb 13, 2009 11:13 am

backpack!

Got a great backpack from Anaconda, hardly feels like I"m wearing anything at all ... :oops:
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Postby uMP2k » Fri Feb 13, 2009 11:44 am

jasimon wrote:Missing option: office. (I said backpack.)

I leave most of the necessary stuff in my office. Backpack caries shirt, whites, tie, socks. Office holds suit, towel, belt, shoes, underarm.


This is pretty much my approach. I leave a pair of shoes, belt Suit, towel and toiletries at work and only carry my shirt, tie and socks, etc in my bag.

I have used panniers in the past and while they certainly allow your to carry lots of stuff I just found them to "unhandy" on my roadie. The pack I use is a Crumpler courier style bag and while I do certainly get a bit more sweaty than otherwise (it sits pretty snuggly into the back) I still find it pretty comfy even on those lovely hot Perth summer day.

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Postby itsaghostcar » Fri Feb 13, 2009 12:45 pm

Panniers for me - slightly heavier due to the weight of the rack, but gets the stuff off my back which I don't really like. I'm commuting, so I'm not out there to break any speed records, and I look at the extra weight as good training.

I have 2 panniers attached as it gives my bike a wider appearance from behind ... although I only use one to hold stuff and take into the office. The other is left on the bike.
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Postby Ant. » Fri Feb 13, 2009 12:52 pm

Backpack.

Panniers + R3 = :lol:

I've actually yet to try anything other than a backpack. I leave the non-pricey essentials at uni in our faculty common room (such as my lab coat, normal shoes, speedo mini-towel chamois thing, other shower things), and bring a change of clothes, pens, notepad and a stethoscope on the days that demand it, in my bag. Days that require semi formal clothes are the days I drive :(
If only there were foldable wrinkle free shirts/pants... or an iron at uni...
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Postby Earthy Ochre Man » Fri Feb 13, 2009 12:56 pm

I have a rear bag that has drop down saddle bags for when I need them... it works a real treat!
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Postby jasimon » Fri Feb 13, 2009 12:57 pm

Ant. wrote:If only there were foldable wrinkle free shirts/pants... or an iron at uni...

Roll them.
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Postby colafreak » Fri Feb 13, 2009 1:19 pm

Ant. wrote:If only there were foldable wrinkle free shirts/pants... or an iron at uni...


I use a piece of cardboard, fold the arms of the shirt around it, fold up the bottom behind it, etc. Just like on display at the shops. Then I wrap the pants around the shirt, then I slip that into a plastic Myer bag and away I go.

You do get a few crinkles but no more than you'd get in an hour of wearing anyway. It's fine.
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Postby Boognoss » Fri Feb 13, 2009 1:53 pm

Panniers for me 90% of the time. I occasionally ride the racer (no racks or mounts) with a backpack.

The gear I carry is food to stock my snack and lunch pantry and clothes. I have an ironing board and iron in the office for my business shirts and pants (don't need it too much since I'm 95% in the office though).
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Postby Deanj » Fri Feb 13, 2009 2:06 pm

Wouldn't commute again with a backpack unless I had no other choice. Have a dedicated commuter though so no hassles leaving a rack on permanently. When I get around to upgrading it one day, rack mounts will be a must.
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Postby m@ » Fri Feb 13, 2009 3:00 pm

My wife drives at least twice per week, so my shirts etc go in the car. On the bike there's me, tube/patch kit/tools in a saddle bag, drink bottle and mini pump on the frame and wallet/phone in a jersey pocket. Everything else lives at work.

Every commute is a time-trial :twisted:
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Postby wintal » Fri Feb 13, 2009 3:15 pm

I need an option on the poll of "Backpack, but only cos my bike doesn't have rack mounts" :P


Cheers,
Leighton...
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Postby Pax » Fri Feb 13, 2009 8:46 pm

You forgot to mention trailers!

OK to be fair it only happens on rare occasions but if I have to take a lot of weight or bulk (eg a couple of heavy files and the laptop) the Bob comes into use.

99% of the time however I just use a backpack (as small as is comfortably possible, for me that means 20ltr, because it occasionally has to carry the laptop though I try to avoid that).

I leave as much stuff as possible at work (especially shoes).

I've never had problems with crumpled things, hang them close to the shower while showering, they get a bit of steam...put them on, no problem (ironing is overrated, lets be honest once you've worn your clothes for 15 minutes they are hardly freshly pressed any more).

Been using this method for years
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Postby Mulger bill » Fri Feb 13, 2009 11:53 pm

So glad there's no real clothing standard in my trade.

Wets, tucker and a blue polo shirt in the backpack, wear the pants I ride in most times. Hang me riding shirt in the server room, dry in 10 minutes. Safety boots stay in the locker alongside a spare shirt and pants, haven't worn those for ages.

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Postby Matt_Matt » Sat Feb 14, 2009 12:02 am

You haven't worn pants in ages ..... :shock:
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Postby Mulger bill » Sat Feb 14, 2009 12:27 am

Nothing like a breeze around the lads on a sticky day in hell. Gotta keep all the blinds closed :lol:
Cheeky bugger, the spares in me locker. :D

:? Prolly should drag them out for an airing one day...

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Postby Unapomer » Sat Feb 14, 2009 1:26 am

I vote panniers, who knows what you'll find on the side of the road on your commute, with panniers I can carry a lot.
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Postby wombatK » Sat Feb 14, 2009 5:58 am

wintal wrote:I need an option on the poll of "Backpack, but only cos my bike doesn't have rack mounts" :P


Cheers,
Leighton...

Well mine didn't either - but could still work out a way on my 7005 alloy bike (d-clips and an extra link to shift bottom mounting point up and back to give clearance for my big hoofs).

Big disadvantage of backpacks is that the weight raises your center of gravity and makes you less stable compared to riding with no extra weight. Its a bit like making an inverted pendulum. Second disadvantage is that they put this unstable weight on your backbone - resulting in muscular strain or worse on long trips.

Panniers actually lower your center of gravity and improve your stability, and put the strain on the large muscles of your legs not the weaker back muscles. Disadvantages are the cost, extra weight and extra time to load up/unload off your bike. Pros beat the cons by a long shot for me.
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Postby martinjs » Sat Feb 14, 2009 8:27 am

martinjs wrote:I started with a backpack but found I get to sweaty, I use panniers now but on the really hot days I do carry a hydration pack on my back. :)


Technically I use a topbag with zip out panniers, but that wasn't a option in the poll. :D
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Postby munga » Sat Feb 14, 2009 10:40 am

i've been thinking about north rd bars and a front rack lately. anyone use a front rack for their lunchbox or similar?
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Postby il padrone » Sat Feb 14, 2009 1:28 pm

Pax wrote:You forgot to mention trailers!

OK to be fair it only happens on rare occasions but if I have to take a lot of weight or bulk (eg a couple of heavy files and the laptop) the Bob comes into use.

Yikes!! How heavy are your files? I would never condemn my laptop to travel in a trailer :(

Panniers for me. I carry the laptop, files and books, lunch, shoes, jacket for work, and a rain jacket in the panniers. Tools and spare tube are in a seat pack. As for convenience, waterproof Ortliebs are very quick and easy to mount and to remove.

All this stuff could be fitted in a backpack.... one that'd break my back :roll: . Really hate the 'sweaty-back syndrome'. My panniers allow any pickups on the way home and give my bike a wider appearance to drivers that encourages them to overtake further away from me :)
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Postby Aushiker » Sat Feb 14, 2009 2:52 pm

G'day

I voted panniers, but I take a week's worth of clothes into work and leave them there. Only need to do this on the bike every second week as the other week I play Dad and as my son lives near work, I dropped pass in the car.

Helps having my own office I guess.

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