Advice on commuting bag

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Re: Advice on commuting bag

Postby Yonas » Thu Jan 03, 2013 2:39 am

Yeah,spoke with a colleague and he also suggested me getting the Topeak bag and to make sure i get the rack with the clip. Since I dont bring laptop,the weight issue should be less. Now im looking for places in WA to have a look
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by BNA » Fri Jan 04, 2013 9:06 pm

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Re: Advice on commuting bag

Postby clackers » Fri Jan 04, 2013 9:06 pm

panurge wrote:
Another vote for the Topeak MTX bag from me


And me, if it's not raining. I use it on my commuter's rear rack and even occasionally with the Topeak product attaching to my roadie's carbon-faced seatpost.
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Re: Advice on commuting bag

Postby Yonas » Sat Jan 05, 2013 5:17 am

If I get the Topeak MTX Trunkbag DXP, which rack should I get for clipping in the bag and pannier?
Also my bike is small size, it's a Giant OCR, size is 50, will the DXP be too big for the bike?
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Re: Advice on commuting bag

Postby clackers » Sat Jan 05, 2013 6:05 am

Yonas wrote:If I get the Topeak MTX Trunkbag DXP, which rack should I get for clipping in the bag and pannier?


You need to get a Topeak one, since the bags are designed to slide in and lock on them.
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Re: Advice on commuting bag

Postby Yonas » Sat Jan 05, 2013 1:54 pm

Will this one http://www.cyclelink.com.au/prod4518.htm fit well? I'm going to get the medium size with pannier attachment too
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Re: Advice on commuting bag

Postby panurge » Sat Jan 05, 2013 9:07 pm

Yonas wrote:Will this one http://www.cyclelink.com.au/prod4518.htm fit well? I'm going to get the medium size with pannier attachment too



Yeah, I've got the QR Beam Rack and the MTX bag works fine with it. Don't put it on a CF seat post...
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Re: Advice on commuting bag

Postby fatdudeonabike » Thu Jan 10, 2013 11:54 am

Mulger bill wrote:I carry a laptop on occasion, does it bounce or swing around much in the side bag? While it's a company issue, I had to work hard to get something decent after using a clunky second hand Dell with 15minute battery endurance (still company issue) for years. Will it attach comfortably to any rack or must I use the Topeak approved unit?

Thanks
Shaun


OK... I'm going to answer some questions, then I'm going to hijack this thread :P

First thing to note: They come in models DX and DXP, as well as EX and EXP - where 'P' is for panniers. (there's also an RX).

Unfortunately, if you go to Wiggle, they don't have the biggest bags - though Chain Reaction do. If you're buying a rack and bag, like with most things, it's much, much cheaper to buy from o/s.

For me personally, I've been looking at Topeak bags exclusively because I want their quick release clamp rack. I don't want a rack ruining my street cred on weekends :P

These are widely available.

For smaller commutes or for carbon racks - go to Wiggle, but beware. The reviews are littered with comments about these bags being much smaller than the picture indicates.

Rack -http://www.wiggle.co.uk/topeak-qr-beam-rack-rx-carbon/ - this is the only carbon specific rack I've seen.
http://www.evanscycles.com/products/topeak/rx-quick-release-beam-rack-ec005992

Bag - http://www.wiggle.co.uk/topeak-rx-trunk-bag-ex-without-panniers/


For 'medium' commuting - ie, maybe a change of clothes:

Rack - http://www.amazon.com/Topeak-BeamRack-Bicycle-Rack-Type/dp/B000FICAKU/ref=sr_1_23?s=sporting-goods&ie=UTF8&qid=1357779770&sr=1-23&keywords=topeak+mtx+trunk+bag (these come in different types depending on the size of your ride)

Bag - http://www.amazon.com/Topeak-Trunk-Bicycle-Molded-Panels/dp/B000ZKATYW/ref=sr_1_4?s=sporting-goods&ie=UTF8&qid=1357779770&sr=1-4&keywords=topeak+mtx+trunk+bag


Or if you want to carry a bit more

Rack - http://www.amazon.com/Topeak-TOPEAK-RX-Beam-Rack/dp/B000BR0UI4/ref=sr_1_13?s=sporting-goods&ie=UTF8&qid=1357780007&sr=1-13&keywords=topeak+beam+rack (note the side panels, which allow for the DXP or EXP topeak bags - the 'P' on the end stands for 'Pannier)

Bag - http://www.bicyclestore.com.au/topeak-mtx-trunkbag-dxp-tt9635b.html (a whopping 22 litres capacity)

Although don't go making any orders based on what I've said - I've only spoken to Wiggle about this, and given they don't carry the biggest models, they weren't able to give me much help. If you're going to order any of these combos, I'd find a place that's happy to help out and let you know whether your bag and rack fit together.

Now, in researching this, I found something that I wasn't looking for, and I was wondering if anyone had seen them in the bike shop to be able to comment on size.

It's certainly a cheaper alternative. It doesnt look quite as simple as the previous examples in terms of taking it on and off, but it definitely has advantages.
It's kind of a case that connects straight to your seatpost, so you dont even need to worry about the rack.

http://www.amazon.com/Topeak-DynaPack-B ... B000ZKCL3O

I hope this helps people - I also hope it results in someone commenting on the direct fitting one.
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Re: Advice on commuting bag

Postby MattyK » Fri Jan 11, 2013 9:57 am

Interesting looking at your links, last time I checked Topeak were region protective and you couldn't order off international sites...

One more thing to point out - you are showing RX beam racks and MTX bags - these won't work together, you need an MTX rack to suit the MTX bags.

Anyway, never seen the Dynapack but it looks neat
http://www.topeak.com/products/Bags/Dyn ... _raincover

Pics show it fits a helmet (but nothing bigger). Weight capacity is also limited (4.5kg). So it would probably fit lunch and a change of clothes, but no shoes or laptop.

You need to permanently mount a small bracket on your seat post.
http://www.topeak.com/products/Bags/fixer_7

A downside I can see: it would block a seatpost mounted rear light. You can clip a light on the back of the bag, but without a rigid bracket mount you can't aim it accurately, which is important if you have one of the typical focussed-beam blinkies. You won't have a rack to mount a rack-mount light on either.

For carrying more, and wanting a removable rack, I'd say get the MTX DXP bag and a beam rack and the the optional side frames

this give you 22 litres and 9kg capacity
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Re: Advice on commuting bag

Postby JBark » Fri Jan 11, 2013 12:32 pm

MattyK wrote:Interesting looking at your links, last time I checked Topeak were region protective and you couldn't order off international sites...


Yeah, I ordered all my Topeak stuff from Amazon just fine last year, way cheaper than anywhere else I could find online. Explorer Disc rack and the MTX DX bag, couldn't be happier. Fits everything I need without even having to expand the top. Clothes, breakfast, lunch, wallet, keys, phone in the main compartment, windbreaker in one side compartment and beanie, gloves, bag rain cover in the other compartment.

Kicking myself for not switching to the MTX setup sooner, so much more comfortable than a backpack, and I even had a pretty decent backpack with airflow pads and a slim profile.
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Re: Advice on commuting bag

Postby gavinr » Tue Jan 15, 2013 12:52 pm

panurge wrote:
MattyK wrote:Unhooks from the rack very easily, would recommend

Another vote for the Topeak MTX bag from me, I've been commuting with one for 18 months and it's great. Mine has gone slightly purple as a result of sun bleaching but other than that it's like new.

+1 from me too. I use mine every day, plenty of storage for keys/lunch/wallet etc in the main section and the panniers are great for those days when you need to carry a bit extra. Like all Topeak gear, it's built to a pretty high standard and lasts well. I've been using mine daily for about two years now, hardly shows a mark on it.

The bag comes with a clip-on shoulder strap too, handy if you're locking the bike up and you want to take the bag with you.
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Re: Advice on commuting bag

Postby BrownBike » Fri Jan 25, 2013 6:33 pm

Hey thought I'd jump in

Just starting commuting, not a long ride but I'm suffering from back-sweat! Need a pannier bag. Something that will at least take an ipad, a few A4 documents, maybe a lunch...

There just doesn't seem to be anything small-ish on the market, although I have found something called a Racktime SideOne in this catalogue:
http://www.ortlieb.com/racktime/Racktime_Katalog2013_DmP_klein.pdf

Although it doesn't seem to be on the market yet. Anyone know of anything similar? Just after a slimline pannier bag, ideally that you can quick-release and take straight into the office, without it being a suitcase!
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Re: Advice on commuting bag

Postby clackers » Fri Jan 25, 2013 9:25 pm

BrownBike, a front pannier (put on the back rack) might suit you for that purpose. Ortlieb make those too, if you really want waterproof (I'm thinking of your iPad, etc here).

You take it off simply by pulling upward on the clips cable. You also have the option of attaching its strap.
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Re: Advice on commuting bag

Postby BrownBike » Sat Jan 26, 2013 2:03 am

Thanks clackers, good idea.
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Re: Advice on commuting bag

Postby BrownBike » Sat Jan 26, 2013 10:58 pm

Oooh found this http://www.axiomgear.com/products/gear/bags/journey-series/rackbook-pro/ Looks like ti might fit the bill.
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Re: Advice on commuting bag

Postby kunalraiker » Sun Jan 27, 2013 8:29 am

BrownBike wrote:Hey thought I'd jump in

Just starting commuting, not a long ride but I'm suffering from back-sweat! Need a pannier bag. Something that will at least take an ipad, a few A4 documents, maybe a lunch...

There just doesn't seem to be anything small-ish on the market, although I have found something called a Racktime SideOne in this catalogue:
http://www.ortlieb.com/racktime/Racktime_Katalog2013_DmP_klein.pdf

Although it doesn't seem to be on the market yet. Anyone know of anything similar? Just after a slimline pannier bag, ideally that you can quick-release and take straight into the office, without it being a suitcase!



You need a Deuter backpack for your needs, http://ukmambo.blogspot.com.au/2011/07/ ... p-air.html
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Re: Advice on commuting bag

Postby clackers » Sun Jan 27, 2013 4:50 pm

kunalraiker wrote:

You need a Deuter backpack for your needs, http://ukmambo.blogspot.com.au/2011/07/ ... p-air.html


I own one and find the airflow over the back is still restricted enough to be too uncomfortable on a warm day. But lots of people do use them, and it's no biggie in the winter, obviously.
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Re: Advice on commuting bag

Postby kunalraiker » Sun Jan 27, 2013 11:05 pm

clackers wrote:
kunalraiker wrote:

You need a Deuter backpack for your needs, http://ukmambo.blogspot.com.au/2011/07/ ... p-air.html


I own one and find the airflow over the back is still restricted enough to be too uncomfortable on a warm day. But lots of people do use them, and it's no biggie in the winter, obviously.

Its as good as a backpack gets, unless one wants to look like a postman from India :)
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Re: Advice on commuting bag

Postby Yonas » Tue Jan 29, 2013 12:15 am

panurge wrote:
Yonas wrote:Will this one http://www.cyclelink.com.au/prod4518.htm fit well? I'm going to get the medium size with pannier attachment too



Yeah, I've got the QR Beam Rack and the MTX bag works fine with it. Don't put it on a CF seat post...


My seat post is carbon, the bike frame is carbon too. In that case where should I attach the rack?
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Re: Advice on commuting bag

Postby clackers » Tue Jan 29, 2013 9:03 pm

Yonas wrote:
panurge wrote:
Yonas wrote:Will this one http://www.cyclelink.com.au/prod4518.htm fit well? I'm going to get the medium size with pannier attachment too



Yeah, I've got the QR Beam Rack and the MTX bag works fine with it. Don't put it on a CF seat post...


My seat post is carbon, the bike frame is carbon too. In that case where should I attach the rack?


For that product, it has to be the seat post, Yonas.

Mine's alloy with carbon facing. You may have to rethink your plan.
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Re: Advice on commuting bag

Postby Yonas » Thu Jan 31, 2013 12:57 am

How about if i purchase new non-carbon seatpost? Not sure which material though, suggestion?
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Re: Advice on commuting bag

Postby kom123 » Thu Jan 31, 2013 8:09 pm

I'm another fan of the Topeak Bag with the drop panniers that Matty and some of the others use. In the top section I usually store the toiletries and towel, phone, keys. I use the divider to section off part where I keep tube, Co2, multitool and bike lock. In one pannier I keep my work stuff, folders, notepads etc. On the other side I take my clothes. Rear bike light clipped on the back. Love the ease at which I can take the lot off when I get to work and carry upstairs. You can fit heaps if you pack carefully between the two sides and the top. I also have the raincover specifically made for this bag but haven't had to use it yet so not sure how waterproof it really is.

Oh lastly, forgot to mention on hot days how much I enjoy not having to carry anything on my back :)
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Re: Advice on commuting bag

Postby gavinr » Fri Feb 01, 2013 7:08 am

kom123 wrote: I also have the raincover specifically made for this bag but haven't had to use it yet so not sure how waterproof it really is.

I don't have the raincover, but I have used the bag many times in torrential rain with no real problems. The main section has never let water in; the pannier bags did once when I left the two zips at the top which left a gap for the rain to get in :-( Since that incident I've always packed water sensitive itmes in plastic bags if it's raining, as a precaution, but it's not been an issue again.
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Re: Advice on commuting bag

Postby fatdudeonabike » Fri Feb 08, 2013 12:06 pm

I'm gunna just hijack this thread a bit...

My aim all along with getting my bike was to be able to beat the traffic and ride to work. As of this week, I can comfortably do the ride to work (the ride home is a lot tougher, but thats ok). But I was only able to do it by driving some days and leaving clothes and my laptop at work.

I had been planning on a Topeak set up to be able to ride every day - I was looking at the DX Bag (without panniers) and the QR beam rack. But with a rain cover, that set up is every bit of $250 at my LBS. I can get it for about $180 online, and while I've checked out the size of the bag at the LBS, I'm still not 100% confident in the size and don't really want to mess around with having to return it if it isn't big enough. And there's a couple of other reasons that I've gone off the Topeak set up a bit:

- I've had to start taking my laptop to work (although this is hopefully only a short term thing.)
- One of my mates is looking for a pannier rack that he'll give me if he can find it.
- I had wanted the QR rack so I could take it off on weekend rides, but the bags that go on the QR rack won't fit a laptop - and I started to care a lot less about having to leave a pannier rack on the bike for weekend rides. (If I get a Topeak bag with ability to hold panniers, I cant use the quick release one anyway)

I'm not ruling out the Topeak set up, especially if work gets their act together in the next week so I can stop taking my laptop.

But what I'm really asking is, if my friend can find the pannier rack to give me, what's a good, cheap bag to get? All I'll be carrying is a pair of pants, boxer shorts, shirt, swimming cap and goggles, and swimming shorts - and maybe my laptop some days.

I prefer the trunk bag, but I suspect I'm going to be much better off with panniers given the occasional need to carry a laptop.
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Re: Advice on commuting bag

Postby simonn » Fri Feb 08, 2013 12:27 pm

To throw a spanner and see where it lands...

My commute is 48km round trip which I have been doing most days (> 200 days a year) for ~4.5 years.

I used to commute on a Giant OCR2 (which could take a standard rack - ali frame) with a rack and pannier(s) (normally just one). Downsides were:

- a lot of weight mostly on the rear wheel which may have been the cause for an unusual amount of broken spokes (which stopped when I stopped using the rack/panniers - road wheels + panniers would anecdotally seem not to be an optimum combination)
- Panniers are also a bit of a pain if you do a quick shop on the way home as you have to carry them along with a shopping basket, sure you can have a shoulder strap, but they are not comfortable, you have to carry the strap somewhere and it is generally more hassle.
- Every bike in your fleet that you ride to work on needs a rack, and if you do you want a rack on a bike you use for road riding, MTBing etc...?

Anyway, I swapped to a messenger bag because a knog waterproof one was only $40 delivered from wiggle which was the cheapest waterproof bag full stop. I liked the messenger bag so much that when it started tearing and I gave up trying to repair it, I bought a more expensive Chrome messenger bag - note that you can claim this on your tax return as a briefcase if you use it to take stuff to and from your place of work (according to my accountant anyway - be responsible seek your own advice). Probably can do this with a pannier too.

The advantage to this is that I have multiple bikes which are all used for various reasons and I do not want a rack on all of them. So, if for whatever reason I need to ride one of my roadies to work instead of my usual CX it makes no difference whatsoever and I do not need a rack on either of my roadies, I just put on the bag and go.

Even if we go shopping and I ride the ute (a ladies specialized expedition with front child seat and rear basket), I'll still take the messenger bag because I can carry more stuff that way - even if it just a basket filling big box of weetbix or something.

Sweaty back...? Meh. Harden up princess. Real men are meant to sweat :). My shoulders hurt... sigh :).

EDIT: Oh, and for parents with babies and/or toddlers the Chrome Citizen 26L is the perfect size for the Aldi nappies (~50 pack or whatever) which has proven very handy at times :).
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Re: Advice on commuting bag

Postby Sydguy » Fri Feb 08, 2013 2:19 pm

I am stumped when passing riders on my work commute who seems to have many kgs hanging off their back or in panniers. Crazy stuff.

Sweating away up any slight incline - people life is short please ride fast.

Once a week sock/underwear run with musette, and once or twice a week loaf of bread still warm frombakery enroute.

Otherwise you are mising out on doing extra kms, group rides and the like on the way in to work!

Keep work stuff at work, if you must work from home, which you should not ever do - then remote in using home computer.

JM
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