Backpack/Pannier/Saddlebag?

Justinjd79
Posts: 20
Joined: Mon Mar 09, 2015 6:27 pm

Backpack/Pannier/Saddlebag?

Postby Justinjd79 » Sun Nov 13, 2016 4:38 pm

Hi all,

Just after some advice on new gear.

I commute from about 10km each way into Sydney CBD from the north side, through Cammeray, North Sydney, bridge etc.

Right now I have a Deuter Cross Bike 18 backpack which isn't quite cutting it.

I need something with a bit more space to fit folded shirt, pants, work shoes, toiletries, wallet/keys, spare tyre/multi tool, and occasionally a small amount of shopping.

I still want to feel light and quick on the bike, especially up the b*stard Miller St, but I know there is going to be a trade off somewhere.

What does everyone use? And any suggestions?

Thanks,

jdh500
Posts: 54
Joined: Thu Mar 19, 2015 9:19 pm

Re: Backpack/Pannier/Saddlebag?

Postby jdh500 » Sun Nov 13, 2016 6:12 pm

I use a super slim backpack that holds the essentials such as wallet, phone, keys, compact umbrella, work ultrabook PC, combination bike tool etc and use a combination of two size panniers ie. 2x 16lt or 2x 28lt or combination depending on my day , most days its the slim backpack plus 1 x 18lt pannier bag on somedays I bring in food for most of the week, clothing, extra work stuff etc wet weather gear when I think it will rain etc.

Best thing I did was buy a topeak pannier rack and load it up as needed between nothing to a 2 x 26lt waterproof pannier bags plus slim backpack. Best to try and keep most of the load off your back. My commute is between 6km to 9km each way on pretty much flat cycle path most of the way between West Ryde to Nth Strathfield in metro Sydney.

If needed I can look up the specific make xnd models. I use a flat bar road bike.

JDH

User avatar
Thoglette
Posts: 3147
Joined: Thu Feb 19, 2009 1:01 pm

Re: Backpack/Pannier/Saddlebag?

Postby Thoglette » Sun Nov 13, 2016 8:29 pm

Justinjd79 wrote: Deuter Cross Bike 18 backpack which isn't quite cutting it.
I need something with a bit more space.

My favourite backpack is the Deuter Futura 28 (c.2005). It can fit a laptop/A4 folder + folded shirt at a pinch; has ventilation between back & load; rain cover and multiple compartments. It's what I use to commute on my bikes without racks. Fine for 11km, sucks for 34km each way.

Justinjd79 wrote:I still want to feel light and quick on the bike, especially up the b*stard Miller St

jdh500 wrote:Best to try and keep most of the load off your back

Racks and panniers win hands down for keeping the weight off your shoulders. Aerodynamically they are not the best and you really want two so you can keep the load balanced. Which is fine as long as you can accept the aero penalty. (I don't ride fast but it;s windy hereabouts)

Justinjd79 wrote:What does everyone use? And any suggestions?

A few points.

The larger bidon "toolcans" are big enough for a small pump, multitool and tube. There's no point getting your mucky bike stuff mixed up with your clean workclothes - or left at home with yesterday's clothes,

I've bastardised one of my old laptopbags into a facsimile of the Topeak MTX Office Laptop Bag. While you're sans laptop these sort of bags make keeping the clothes neatly folded easier than back packs. Much more aero than panniers and the weight is central. I like the Dueter and Topeak "trunk bags" but none of them can fit a laptop, so they're no use to me. YMMV.

Occasional shopping might best be dealt with by a rolled up ultralightweight backpack or musette-like bag (stuffed somewhere on the bike) which you can sling over your shoulder (or can hang from the handlebars) when you've bought more than will fit elsewhere.

I've not seen a "roll up" pannier (ideally able to be stuffed in a spare bidon holder) except as an integral part of the Topeak DXP trunk bags. Anyone know of one?

Lastly, in the popular-but-I've-not-tried-it-yet category are handle bar bags. I suspect that one (holding rain coat, phone, knicknacks, roll up backpack, lunch, eggs/milk etc) coupled with the laptop bag at the back might be the go for me.

Oh, there's a thread here from 2009 which might be worth a read.
Stop handing them the stick! - Dave Moulton
"People are worthy of respect, ideas are not." Peter Ellerton, UQ

User avatar
DavidS
Posts: 2275
Joined: Wed Sep 22, 2010 11:24 pm
Location: Melbourne

Re: Backpack/Pannier/Saddlebag?

Postby DavidS » Sun Nov 13, 2016 11:14 pm

I ride 20KMs each way every day. I used to have a basket on the back and just chuck a bag in there. Not for those who want to look like a serious rider but it worked for me. Those rear baskets are just over 12" long too, so if I bought some records they fit perfectly :)

Now I have a pannier. I don't find it an issue to only have one pannier, the weight difference doesn't worry me at all. I also have a small compartment which attaches to the back of the pannier where I put the phone and my reading glasses. I want nothing on my back so I have a medium size saddle bag with a spare tube, tyre levers etc. I keep my pump in the pannier as the pump is slightly larger, it is a portable floor pump (Lezyne, and brilliant, I do have an attachment on the frame too but only use that when not commuting). This carries my clothes for the day, rain jacket if needed, some work stuff if I'm shifting workplaces, lunch, a book, a towel on wet days and occasionally a bound thesis. Ortleib panniers are brilliant and worth the extra money.

I have always disliked backpacks on a bike so I avoid these like the plague. I had a handlebar bag many years ago but it never stayed level, hopefully they have improved but I found that no matter how tight you attached them to the handlebars they would drop down and I found this too irritating.

Each to their own but panniers are the best solution I have found. I can't think of anything worse than a backpack on a bike. When I occasionally do a long ride for recreation I swap out the saddle bag with a Carradice Zipped Roll which carries quite a lot (not cheap but great quality, and you need a saddle with attachments for a bag, like a Brooks).

DS
Image

Cannondale Quick Speed 2, Allegro T1

User avatar
Thoglette
Posts: 3147
Joined: Thu Feb 19, 2009 1:01 pm

Re: Backpack/Pannier/Saddlebag?

Postby Thoglette » Mon Nov 14, 2016 9:58 am

DavidS wrote:... and you need a saddle with attachments for a bag, like a Brooks).


Or some VO saddle loops
Stop handing them the stick! - Dave Moulton
"People are worthy of respect, ideas are not." Peter Ellerton, UQ

User avatar
Howzat
Posts: 726
Joined: Wed Aug 15, 2012 7:08 pm

Re: Backpack/Pannier/Saddlebag?

Postby Howzat » Mon Nov 14, 2016 10:39 am

You can also try to reduce what you carry. Leave work shoes at work, for example. If you have a locker or wardrobe and a dry cleaner nearby, you never need transport suits, shirts, trousers etc.- just keep a minimal set at work instead. Obviously this depends a lot on your work and facilities provided or at your disposal.

User avatar
baabaa
Posts: 671
Joined: Sun Apr 19, 2009 8:47 am

Re: Backpack/Pannier/Saddlebag?

Postby baabaa » Mon Nov 14, 2016 10:40 am

Nothing will make Miller Street better and expect it to get worse once the real Sydney summer humidity clicks in.
But, I would go a cheapish rear rack with set of nothing fancy, ebay type front panniers (these are normally much lighter in weight than the real touring type pannier bags). The smaller volume should work for most of the work kit you need and you may find that two bags on each side is better to ride with than one large, on one side. Also, this set up gives you the option to push up the SHB stairs or toss your bike on the shoulder.
Use a few zip ties to secure them to the rack and being cheap they shouldn't get nicked if you lock up your bike outside. A garbage bag liner will/ should keep your stuff dry on wet and rainy rides.

brumby33
Posts: 394
Joined: Fri Sep 27, 2013 10:52 pm
Location: Beverly Hills NSW...Yeehaaaaa!!

Re: Backpack/Pannier/Saddlebag?

Postby brumby33 » Mon Nov 14, 2016 11:53 am

I've always gone with the idea of buying the best one can afford....so if you were driving or catching public tpt to work, how much would it cost you over a year?
I'm thinking maybe well over a grand maybe two.....so i reckon a decent Tioga rear rack & a pair of Ortlieb panniers to fit them. Probably max cost of $260 for the lot.
Best part is that the panniers are 100% waterproof and large enough to do some basic shopping on way home or if you wish to do some touring later...you've got some gear.
My rear Ortliebs are on my bike permanently...sometimes it may feel like overkill but often i'm glad i have them.

Cheers

Brumby33
"ya gotta hold ya mouth right"

VWR -2013

User avatar
rangersac
Posts: 1384
Joined: Thu May 24, 2012 11:01 am
Location: Snug, Tasmania

Re: Backpack/Pannier/Saddlebag?

Postby rangersac » Mon Nov 14, 2016 12:07 pm

DavidS wrote:I ride 20KMs each way every day. I used to have a basket on the back and just chuck a bag in there. Not for those who want to look like a serious rider but it worked for me. Those rear baskets are just over 12" long too, so if I bought some records they fit perfectly :)

Now I have a pannier. I don't find it an issue to only have one pannier, the weight difference doesn't worry me at all. I also have a small compartment which attaches to the back of the pannier where I put the phone and my reading glasses. I want nothing on my back so I have a medium size saddle bag with a spare tube, tyre levers etc. I keep my pump in the pannier as the pump is slightly larger, it is a portable floor pump (Lezyne, and brilliant, I do have an attachment on the frame too but only use that when not commuting). This carries my clothes for the day, rain jacket if needed, some work stuff if I'm shifting workplaces, lunch, a book, a towel on wet days and occasionally a bound thesis. Ortleib panniers are brilliant and worth the extra money.

I have always disliked backpacks on a bike so I avoid these like the plague. I had a handlebar bag many years ago but it never stayed level, hopefully they have improved but I found that no matter how tight you attached them to the handlebars they would drop down and I found this too irritating.

Each to their own but panniers are the best solution I have found. I can't think of anything worse than a backpack on a bike. When I occasionally do a long ride for recreation I swap out the saddle bag with a Carradice Zipped Roll which carries quite a lot (not cheap but great quality, and you need a saddle with attachments for a bag, like a Brooks).

DS


+1. My commute is a 56km round trip with 700m of climbing and one pannier works for me. I reckon it also has the added bonus of keep the cars that little bit wider if you mount it on the drive side.
De Rosa Macro | Intense Primer | Claud Butler Sovereign | Titus Motolite

Justinjd79
Posts: 20
Joined: Mon Mar 09, 2015 6:27 pm

Re: Backpack/Pannier/Saddlebag?

Postby Justinjd79 » Mon Nov 14, 2016 6:49 pm

Hi everyone,

Thanks so much for all the great information, I really appreciate it.

I'm thinking of a Topeka MTX DXP + a Topeak Beam Rack.

Anyone had any experience?

Cheers,

jdh500
Posts: 54
Joined: Thu Mar 19, 2015 9:19 pm

Re: Backpack/Pannier/Saddlebag?

Postby jdh500 » Mon Nov 14, 2016 7:03 pm

I've used a Topeak DXP bag but with a topeak pannier rack. Only issue I found with the DXP is that it is not waterproof, leaves the weight high on the bike rather than lower with a pannier bag. The DXP zippers on the pull out Pannier bags are pretty poor quality and one broke after about 6 months of occasional use.

The beam over a rack would be simmilar but if you need to install the pannier side adaptors you may as well go with a full rack, as it will be lighter and stronger than the beam and give you more flexability.

JDH

User avatar
DavidS
Posts: 2275
Joined: Wed Sep 22, 2010 11:24 pm
Location: Melbourne

Re: Backpack/Pannier/Saddlebag?

Postby DavidS » Tue Nov 15, 2016 12:16 am

Howzat is right about shoes, I used to take them in, now I have a pair at each workplace (I work at 2 campuses of a university). Much easier not carrying shoes.

DS
Image

Cannondale Quick Speed 2, Allegro T1

User avatar
Thoglette
Posts: 3147
Joined: Thu Feb 19, 2009 1:01 pm

Meanwhile, back in the real world

Postby Thoglette » Tue Nov 15, 2016 1:14 pm

Meanwhile, back in the real world, I was following a bloke this morning who had a small gym bag bungee'd to his $10 kmart rack. It worked.

They did look like the Tubus/Racktime Rack Straps - could have been a $1 ebay knock-off of course :-)
Stop handing them the stick! - Dave Moulton
"People are worthy of respect, ideas are not." Peter Ellerton, UQ

Mububban
Posts: 942
Joined: Wed Feb 20, 2008 12:19 pm

Re: Backpack/Pannier/Saddlebag?

Postby Mububban » Tue Nov 15, 2016 5:36 pm

Can you store some stuff at your destination, or do you need to lug all of it each way every day?

I'm lucky enough to have a small locker so I store work pants, shirts, shoes, undies, socks, toiletries and towels at my workplace. I also have another pair of work pants, shoes and the other half of my work shirts at home.

I only ride with my breakdown kit on me, but then I am forced to drive some days of the week so on those days I take in my week's worth of shirts, undies and frozen lunches etc.
When you are driving your car, you are not stuck IN traffic - you ARE the traffic!!!

jdh500
Posts: 54
Joined: Thu Mar 19, 2015 9:19 pm

Re: Backpack/Pannier/Saddlebag?

Postby jdh500 » Tue Nov 15, 2016 6:38 pm

I have a full size locker, showers and bike storage within about 10m of where I work :)

JDH

Justinjd79
Posts: 20
Joined: Mon Mar 09, 2015 6:27 pm

Re: Backpack/Pannier/Saddlebag?

Postby Justinjd79 » Tue Nov 15, 2016 7:05 pm

I can leave my shoes at work which is fine, but daily I have a shirt, pants (all folded flat), wallet/keys, Small towel (tea towel size, thongs, bike tools/tube, couple toiletries... unfortunately I can't really leave the clothes at work because out lovely building management likes to throw everyones personals out at the end of each day, so you gotta haul it. Would all that fit in the Topeak MTX?

User avatar
Thoglette
Posts: 3147
Joined: Thu Feb 19, 2009 1:01 pm

Re: Backpack/Pannier/Saddlebag?

Postby Thoglette » Wed Nov 16, 2016 12:21 pm

Justinjd79 wrote: Would all that fit in the Topeak MTX?

I have the DX and it would fit into that, noting that you'd need an extra fold (compared to normal) to fit your clothes in it as it's narrower inside than a laptop bag (e.g. narrower than A4 )

p.s. get the rain cover.
Last edited by Thoglette on Wed Nov 16, 2016 6:33 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Stop handing them the stick! - Dave Moulton
"People are worthy of respect, ideas are not." Peter Ellerton, UQ

johnfordau
Posts: 54
Joined: Sat Nov 14, 2015 10:22 pm

Re: Backpack/Pannier/Saddlebag?

Postby johnfordau » Wed Nov 16, 2016 1:33 pm

Why put weight on your shoulders which will effect your steering and balance .. by wearing a backpack you raise the centre of gravity .. this lead to instability .. it is hard enough hitting the ground with your own weight without the additional junk on your back .. what is wrong with panniers ..

User avatar
CXCommuter
Posts: 1853
Joined: Thu Feb 14, 2013 12:18 pm
Location: Lane Cove NSW

Re: Backpack/Pannier/Saddlebag?

Postby CXCommuter » Tue Nov 22, 2016 6:59 pm

johnfordau wrote:Why put weight on your shoulders which will effect your steering and balance .. by wearing a backpack you raise the centre of gravity .. this lead to instability .. it is hard enough hitting the ground with your own weight without the additional junk on your back .. what is wrong with panniers ..

Funny my experience is the opposite used both... much prefer a backpack currently using an Evoc 22l job. Enough room to get a weeks worth of clothes to/from work plus the inevitable stuff for work. My preference and i found panniers seriously screwed up bike handling whereas a backpack is no issue for me
Image

tez001
Posts: 744
Joined: Mon Nov 11, 2013 11:05 pm
Location: Sydney

Re: Backpack/Pannier/Saddlebag?

Postby tez001 » Sun Nov 27, 2016 7:25 pm

I use one Deuter uni pannier (bought as a pair) for my commute and domt have any issues with it, even if loaded. Or I am just used to it.

Most of the time it's fairly empty, only carrying some lunch, a shirt and pants.

I have carried shoes, towel, shirts, pants etc in the search ne pannier before, however I normally stagger bringing things in, and my work shows stay at work.

On occasion I'll use a backpack to take my laptop home but I prefer not to, and it only happens once in a blue moon.

User avatar
Mugglechops
Posts: 2893
Joined: Mon Jan 10, 2011 6:51 pm
Location: Shoalhaven

Re: Backpack/Pannier/Saddlebag?

Postby Mugglechops » Fri Feb 17, 2017 9:44 pm

Last few months I have been running a front rack.

I can carry all types of stuff

Image
Image

User avatar
Bendo
Posts: 67
Joined: Fri Apr 22, 2011 11:13 am

Re: Backpack/Pannier/Saddlebag?

Postby Bendo » Mon Feb 20, 2017 8:34 am

@Mugglechops, I'm seeing a lot of those porteur racks around the streets of Melbourne right now. They make a lot of sense. So versatile in terms of size and shape of load.

Personally I find backpacks a pain. For the last 4-5 years I've carried everything on the bike. Partly because you notice the load less, but also because the sweaty patch under the backpack was ruining all my tops: sweat + time hanging in work bathroom = unremovable smell.

Yesterday I rejigged my commuter to rear racks after having used handlebar bag and front low-riders for the last 12 months. I use old-school Ostrich panniers which work really well and are half the weight of Ortliebs. However the leather straps would stretch and break over time. So I worked out a nifty hack: cheap, mini carabiners. They don't stretch and they're faster to put on and take off.

Image

Image

User avatar
boyracer
Posts: 739
Joined: Wed Sep 10, 2008 9:29 pm

Re: Backpack/Pannier/Saddlebag?

Postby boyracer » Mon Feb 20, 2017 3:05 pm

60k commute with ~800 m elevation. i ride with a single pannier on outside of bike ( to road) using a Freeride rack system as my bike not designed for racks/panniers. 10 points for versatility. i can take the rack off in under 5 minutes if needed.
Image

g-boaf
Posts: 8605
Joined: Mon Sep 26, 2011 6:11 pm

Re: Backpack/Pannier/Saddlebag?

Postby g-boaf » Thu Feb 23, 2017 12:41 pm

I like this backpack:

https://www.specialized.com/us/en/backpack/104846

It is what I have and has been excellent. I usually take my work clothes, a change of cycling kit for the afternoon commute, headphones (bose ones) deodorant. I don't bother with taking work shoes, I have a pair of them locked away at work and leave them there.
johnfordau wrote:Why put weight on your shoulders which will effect your steering and balance .. by wearing a backpack you raise the centre of gravity .. this lead to instability ..


You get used to riding with a backpack very quickly and then it becomes no real issue. It's probably good training. :)

jdh500
Posts: 54
Joined: Thu Mar 19, 2015 9:19 pm

Re: Backpack/Pannier/Saddlebag?

Postby jdh500 » Thu Mar 16, 2017 11:12 am

For me a combination of a light backpack for the essential stuff in combination with a single rainproof pannier bag for the heavy/bulky stuff is a wining combination.

JDH

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users