Every day I commute on my cannonade caad9 and carry a crumpler bag with my 15" MacBook pro, some work documents and often a change of clothes if it's a hot or rainy day.

After years of doing this I'm thinking it's time I started thinking about my back and am considering panniers for the commute. Yes a caad9 is a road bike and not so much a commuter, I also do road riding and prefer using the 1 bike for everything.

Ideally it would be a pannier that could be very easily removed and be able to sustain the weight and clearance.

Does anyone have suggestions on good kit to get for this?


  • The chainstays on that bike look to be fairly short. Are panniers even an option? Would you get heelstrike when pedaling? Dec 11, 2011 at 16:00
  • Heelstrike shouldn't be a problem with small panniers, mounted as far aft as possible. You wouldn't want full-sized panniers, though. Another option is a front rack (with designed-for-front panniers). Almost easier to mount that a rear one, though maybe not advised on a carbon fork. Dec 11, 2011 at 19:57
  • There are racks that put all the weight on the wheel, and little of it on the fork. Not sure if even those can be used on carbon, though. Dec 12, 2011 at 1:23
  • 1
    Are you really dead set against having another bike? A commuter with an internal hub and some good racks would save you so much time and money on maintenance. Plus it'd keep your Cannondale nice and shiny for the weekend rides.
    – Mac
    Dec 12, 2011 at 2:45
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    I am putting this in the comments because it doesn't answer the question asked but it's an alternative course of action (short of getting another bike). Try a different bag. I guarantee you that a proper messenger bag will blow away any Crumpler. Get a bag with a secondary shoulder strap that you can use to stabilize heavy loads. Also check out the Ortleib backpack, it has foam pads on the back that maintain air channels. I have tried panniers and I always go back to bags. I like my stuff on me not hanging off my bike. On the other hand, panniers are popular for a reason.
    – jqning
    Aug 10, 2015 at 0:21

2 Answers 2


Heelstrike, which Neil Fein mentioned in a comment, would be my chief concern. You'd need a rack that moves the panniers aft. Axiom makes just such a rack that is designed for bikes without rack-mounting eyelets—instead it mounts to your quick-release skewer (which could make changing flats a PITA). I have seen people touring on road bikes with these, so it can be done. It would also be possible with some racks to mount the rack to P-clamps at the bottom. They also make this clamp-on seatpost rack that supposedly has a 15-kg capacity. Should be more than enough.

You might also consider a large seatbag. This one might be too small and is spendy, but it seems like it's in the right direction (and if you haven't explored Rivendell's website, do so—neat stuff).

  • That Rivendell one specifically shows some kind of MacBook in the bag. Although it could be a MacBook Air. However judging from the measurements shown, it looks large enought for a 15" laptop (it appears to be about 15" front to back).
    – Kibbee
    Dec 17, 2011 at 1:02

Well, first you'd have to install (relatively permanently (*)) some sort of rack, and that bike doesn't have any fender or rack eyelets. So you need either a clamp-on rack or one of the mini-racks that attach to the seatpost.

If you get a decent quality clamp-on rack and get it securely mounted then you should be able to use any standard (three-point mount) pannier. With the mini-racks you're a bit limited in terms of weight and size (and disadvantaged in terms of stability), but they still take standard panniers, to my knowledge.

(But keep in mind that a few panniers have a proprietary mounting system and will work only with their brand of rack.)

(*) "Relatively permanently" means that the rack could be removed in 10-15 minutes if you wanted to use the bike in a road race or some such, but it's not something you'd want to do regularly. Though the mini-racks that clamp to the seatpost go on/off much more rapidly.

  • 1
    I'd be very iffy about putting a laptop on a seatpost rack. Dec 11, 2011 at 15:59
  • Like I said, weight capacity and stability are limited with those. Dec 12, 2011 at 12:33

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