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I commute to work by bicycle and had a recent incident that involved Supermanning over the bonnet of a car and landing on the tarmac. I'm a software developer and carry a high-end laptop with me which was damaged in the fall. A motorcyclist friend recommended the Ogio Mach 5 which is designed for motorcycle riders and has a hard shell. I'm thinking of using this for cycling.

Has anyone here had experience of this bag? Do you think it would suit cycling? Otherwise, any other hardshell bags out there that would carry a 17.3 inch laptop and suitable for cycling?

My thinking is that MTB riding position is similar to some motorbikers so it could work well.

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    I vote to close this as primarily opinion based. If the bag works for you, use it. It is just a backpack after all, and there is nothing motorcycle/bicycle specific to it. We do not give product recommendation here as well because they are opinionated, market and fashion specific. – Grigory Rechistov Sep 21 '18 at 10:06
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    @Neville Opinions don't really fly on this site: we're looking for objectively answerable questions, because the opinion-based ones tend to degenerate into discussions and arguments. There's more information about how the site works in our tour and help centre. – David Richerby Sep 21 '18 at 11:32
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    @Neville I understand your disappointment, I've been in the same situation before. Do not take it too close though — the intention is not to offend anyone, but to adhere to the site's rules. Yes, some other topics here about product recommendations do get answered, not deleted. It is always subjective. – Grigory Rechistov Sep 21 '18 at 16:23
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    Besides, often reformulating the question, in this case, e.g. into "what ergonomics should one desire from a bicycle backpack?", helps with bringing the discussion into the desired lane. – Grigory Rechistov Sep 21 '18 at 16:25
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Trying to stick to objective points. When choosing a backpack for cycling you need to consider a couple of things beyond normal backpack considerations.

  • Fit - can the straps keep it stable as you pedal or will it flap around
  • Weight - does it add too much?
  • Back ventilation - will you back get too sweaty
  • Aerodynamics can also be a consideration - shape, flappy straps etc.

Fit and aerodynamics are probably fine as this is meant for motorcycle use. You'll definitely want to check the weight. Back ventilation could be a problem as it obviously is meant to be worn over a heavy motorcycle jacket.

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    Some valuable points to consider. This is all I was asking from fellow cyclists, thanks! – Neville Sep 21 '18 at 13:43
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    Glad to help. I think sometimes we are too quick to vote a question off topic when a change of wording would fix it. In this case 'what are the considerations for ...' rather than 'what do you think of ...'. I recommend you update your question so you don't attract more close votes. – Argenti Apparatus Sep 21 '18 at 13:52
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I've had a fall where I had a cable lock in my middle back pocket, and it really hurt. Falling on a hard backpack could be somewhat bad for your spine. There are people who won't even carry a minipump in their pockets.

If you have to lug this laptop around, look at some way to get it off your body.

  • Carrier rack
  • Pannier
  • Front bar bag
  • Frame bag - all padded, waterproof, and securely fastened down.

Another option, don't carry the laptop. Instead, leave it at work and use VPN technologies to remote access the device. OpenVPN is free, and once the secure link is established then RDP and VNC are valid solutions over that secure private network. Don't NAT the connection from the internet to your PC. Do check your plans with work's computer people before getting stuck in. Anyway that's a question for another SE stack.

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  • A laptop is mobile by definition and I am issued one so that I have with me at all times.I VPN to various other machines etc from the laptop and the first have to VPN to the laptop would just slow things down. Thanks for the thoughts though. Re. your fall, the idea of a hardshell backpack is exactly that, to protect you and the contents you are carrying. From what I understand if you had fallen with the cable lock inside a hardshell backpack, you would not have been jabbed by it as the shell covers your whole back. – Neville Sep 24 '18 at 16:38

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