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67

I spent the last two years as a backcountry ranger, in Northern California. There, I wore a backpack almost every day. Now I am a bicycle commuter in Sacramento and I choose panniers first, a messenger bag second, and the backpack a distant third. There are three reasons why the backpack is my last choice in this list. Any bag I carry ends up being ...


32

The primary reason why bike messengers use messenger bags is that you don't have to take them off to load or unload them. If you're continually picking things up and dropping things off all day, you don't want to be faffing about taking a backpack on and off all the time. A secondary reason is that the flat rectangular shape of a messenger bag is more ...


13

I just used a 5mm bolt with locking nut, and a ~15mm wide washer on the inside when this happened to my Ortleib. If you use stainless steel bolt, nut and washers it won't rust and the pressure against the pannier materials stops it leaking. I'd use the biggest washer you can find on the inside, but the biggest I could find was only 15mm. If you look at the ...


11

I do the supermarket run every week by bicycle - have done for about 7 years Family of four so I more or less fill a full size shopping trolley every time. This is made possible by a Christiana Trailer which is pretty much equivalent in load capacity to a shopping trolley: I have a bike that is now dedicated to the role of towing this beastie (for the ...


11

I have carried a laptop on my commute bike for closing in on 15 years now. Mainly in panniers (saddle bags). For a little while in a courier bag when when I was young and dumb. For what it is worth (aka the dangers of anecdotal evidence) I didn't have any laptop failures directly related to a bike trip. I even toured with a 17inch laptop across 800 km of ...


8

There are a few reasons I prefer a messenger bag or backpack over panniers. A bag on your back is easy to carry around off your bike. If you're using a bike as your primary mode of transportation and making multiple stops, it can be inconvenient to secure your panniers without detaching them and carrying them. I can get off my bike and go to a concert or ...


8

Yes. I own a north st bags convertible pannier and think it works great. It hangs a bit low, so don't try and use it on low rider racks. http://northstbags.com/products/woodward Also see Richard Jones Convertible Backpack http://www.convertiblebackpacks.us/ Also try WOHO bags "NINJA NINJA" convertible backpack: ...


7

It sounds like you need something like a handlebar bag or a rack trunk like these: rack trunk handlebar bag The rack trunk would require adding either a seatpost mounted rack or a full rear rack. Either one would allow you to move to panniers in the future if you needed to carry more goods like a laptop or a change of clothes, but a full rack would be ...


7

I've got a Cambelbak MULE which has about 11l of pack capacity. I found that this is quite enough for day-long rides, far from any roads. I packed: tools spare tube patch kit pump a spare tyre sometimes some food (energy bars and similar low-volume-high-yield food) small first aid kit rain jacket a warm undershirt if necessary My fullface helmet could be ...


6

The reflective brand name tab on the rear of that seat bag is a light holder. You will most likely need to remove the light from the seat post. Hopefully it has a clip styled mount, otherwise you can get a light that has a clip mount.


5

I'm a member of Warm Showers, and regularly host cross-country bike tourists and get to check out their gear. Except for the occasional monk with orange robes and a small backpack, what bike tourists choose has been surprisingly uniform. It's usefully Ortlieb panniers on front and rear racks, and sometimes a handlebar bag. The details and presence of the ...


5

Do you mean something like this from PacSafe it's got a secure steel mesh inside: I remember using one of their bigger backpack bags when travelling to New Zealand a few years ago, and the only complaints I had were from the TSA when we went through the US. Alternatively if you have a rack on the back, then it may be possible to attach a lockable box to ...


5

Unfortunately, you're probably not going to find a backpack that converts to a pannier in that price range. And most of them kind of suck for all day use anyway, even the high end ones. You can feel the hooks digging into your back so it's not comfortable for much more than carrying it from the bike rack to the office. Your best option is probably to use a ...


5

Alternative suggestion - don't take a pack. They make your back hot and sweaty and raise your center of mass. Instead I carry two water bottles, so 1.5 L of liquid, enough for ~3 hours of normal weather. My toolbag and one tube is velcro strapped to the frame along with the frame pump. I wear a generic road top with three pockets in the lower back. ...


5

If you want to carry a full-sized hiking backpack, your best option might be securing it into a BOB-type trailer. A big backpack would be hard to mount to one side of a bicycling without doing terrible things to weight distribution. I have a 25L Timbuk2 Especial Viaje backpack/pannier for commuting, and it works well for that but is already pretty heavy on ...


4

For a trip that you describe, I would actually recommend using both a rear rack system and a front rack system. I have not used a front rack system, but I understand that it changes the handling of the bike. Having basically four panniers, two on front and two on back, will allow you to distribute the weight around so that you are left/right balanced and ...


4

Looking through the Challenge Bikes product guide, it looks like the Seiran SL is not intended to be able to have any kind of rack on it. Maybe you should talk to the dealer you bought the bike from. It looks to me like replacing the lightweight carbon seat with the aluminum seat option might make it possible to mount the Day Rack or Voyager Rack... Would ...


4

I don't want any extra junk burdening me during the 99% of rides that aren't grocery runs. I use a Bontrager pannier (or two) like this one: http://bontrager.com/model/08102 The rack on my bike is permanent, but you can clip the bag onto onto the rack, or detach it again, in a second or two: so put it on the bike only when you're going to the store. I ...


4

There are many available. Here is one example: http://www.ebikestop.com/axiom_cascade_frame_pack_black-BG6638.php Attaches to the seat tube and the top tube, providing a triangular storage space. This one also is padded to aid with portaging (if you have a big enough triangle). I know some people who tour with home-made frame bags that take up the ...


4

Short answer based on the little information given I'd guess two larger panniers would be enough, especially if the tent and sleeping mat is strapped on top. Watch out for the heel clearance, especially with the largest ones. Long answer and rambling: The length of the trip doesn't matter as much as you'd might think. It really depends on how much you'll ...


4

I found a picture of how I did this! You can see the firmer, black foam with foil that I used on the outside, and the bits of softer foam that I used to pack everything in. The flap poking up covers the top when the pannier is closed. This photo is from when I was putting it together, so the contents is not well arranged. I make a simple frame so I could ...


4

Topeak has a laptop bag called an MTX Office Bag that attaches to the MTX racks and lays flat. It is said to accept a 17" laptop so yours should fit in great and given how thin they are, you should have room for a change of clothes. You might be able to use a padded sleeve. I tried to put my older 15.6" Dell 131L in my Topeak DXP pannier and it fit, but ...


4

Another option is to modify a rack so you can attach a backpack to it. I've seen this done, but unfortunately we didn't have a common language to discuss how well it worked. This guy had built the whole rack himself so it included a stand as well as the pack. This is how I would approach your problem, simply because panniers are all smaller than even a ...


4

Nothing works as well as panniers for keeping your back dry, that said, Deuter backpacks have an "AirMesh" that places a mesh wire (laminated) against your back with space between the backpack itself and your back for improved air circulation. It works reasonably well as I used this with a laptop for a few years until I smartened up and went with panniers. ...


4

I have seen similar setups for MTB touring that use a large seatpack, a frame pack and a handlebar pack to get enough capacity. This setup also allows a better weight balance. Bikepacking.net is a good site for getting ideas for different setups. This site might also give you some ideas as well. I know we aren't supposed to recommend gear, but I've been ...


4

Saddle bags of different sizes used to be common for road bike touring in Europe. One popular brand was Carradice of Nelson. These days most people on similar trips seem to prefer small backpacks. I personally used one for a supported trip through Switzerland. The bag was roughly the same size as yours, and it definitely interfered with bike handling. The ...


4

I'd go with a couple of bungee cords, maybe the adjustable-length ones. That's probably going to be more versatile and adaptable than something more specialized. There are some flat adjustable bungees, like these: http://www.amazon.com/ROK-Straps-Adjustable-Loop-Thru-BLACK/dp/B008ETMV8I That particular type is attached on either side such that you can ...


3

I have a fairly hefty notebook and a smaller netbook that I carry with me by bike. For short journeys I prefer the rucksack as I can then nip in and out of shops easily. I carry the netbook in one of those neoprene cases and the notebook in a scruffy jiffy bag. Both have survived quite well like this. For longer journeys (25 mile per day of riding with ...



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