Strap yourself into Chrome's Metropolis Messenger Bag and take a ride downtown. With 40 liters of interior space, the Metropolis is Chrome's largest buckle messenger bag and is ready to haul all the gear you need for a day on the town. It swallows 17-inch laptops for breakfast and still has enough room to house a change of clothes, your lunch, books, water bottle, and a few groceries. The super-tough outer fabric will withstand years of beatings and the weatherproof truck-tarp liner with militar
Strengths: Incredibly Comfortable
Great shoulder strap pad
Great buckle set up
Rides high and centered
Very little bobble, even at high RPM's. (I'm talking 120+)
Perfectly sized pockets.
Weaknesses: There's no back padding, stuff has a tendency to poke you in the back if you don't pack carefully
Ventilation is non-existent
Some people might find it pricey, but the way I look at it, I'll have this bag forever, it's incredibly durable, and it'll pay for itself.
I've had this bag for almost 3 months, and before that, I had the Chrome Citizen, which wasn't quite big enough for my needs. The metropolis, well, what a joy it has been. The increased dimensions mean that your load is spread thinner over your back, which means more comfort. Of course, if you want to fit a lot into it (which I do daily) you have to move stuff around, and figure out what works, but I think this is the same for any bag. I use this bag to commute to school every day, 11 miles one way, and carry my laptop, two binders, two textbooks, a reading book, planner, and shoes and extra clothes, along with biking equipment and various things I might have (iPod, calculator, cords) and the lid closes all the way to the bottom and rides beautifully. Contrary to concerns that it ways a lot, and it does, I hardly notice it when riding. It rides up high on your back, so when your riding, there is little pressure on the shoulder strap; most of the weight is centered on your back. Of course, it's not the most comfortable bag just for walking around when you have that much weight in it, but the trade-off has to happen somewhere. Besides, that's not what it was made for.
I mentioned the shoulder strap briefly, it is unbelievably comfortable. Unlike a Timbuk2, which doesn't come standard with a pad, the Chrome comes with a huge, built in pad, which is a joy. Because it is built in it doesn't slide around, a problem I have known with the Timbuk2. I know that some people like the iconic seat belt buckle on the strap, some don't, but despite it's looks, it is incredibly convenient to unbuckle the shoulder strap to take off the bag instead of lifting it over your head. This becomes even more appreciated with heavy loads. And of course, the ability to adjust the strap with one hand on the run is incredibly nice.
I've heard a couple of people complain about the lack of smaller pockets in the Chrome, and while it's true that it's easy for small items to get lost in the cavern of the main compartment, there are, in my opinion, plenty of smaller pockets. There is two large ones at each end of the bag, and in between those, there is a pocket with no zipper of decent size along with a waterproof pocket of decent size with a zipper. There is also small pocket for a wallet and the usual pen holders.
But despite all the strengths, there are a couple of downsides to the Metropolis. There are a couple of bags that have padding on the back to allow for ventilation and prevent pokey things in your back (The Ortlieb messenger backpacks come to mind). The Metropolis is not one of these bags. It is easy for cumbersome loads to be a pain on the back. I've found that if I plan my packing (it's not hard) and put my clothes and flat items in the back, this issue is not a problem. I've also heard of some people putting a foam pad back there and solving the problem.
The ventilation is also a small problem. It's very easy to ride with the Metropolis and get a very sweaty back, even with appropriate biking wear. My outlook is that this is going to happen to a degree with any bag, and I would take extra cloths anyways. You can decide how large a factor this is to you.
Oh yeah, and it's waterproof. I live in Seattle, have ridden in downpours of every degree, and in even the heaviest rain my stuff stays completely dry. And I mean dry, not even damp. This sucker beads the water. Oh yeah.
Strengths: 1) great fit and comfort
3) carries tons of stuff
Weaknesses: none except when carrying boxes, edges tend to dig into your back. This was a problem with the Timbuk2 and probably be a problem with any bag. I guess you just need to either take things out of the boxes or arrange stuff better.
This is one great bag!! I got the Kremlin and found that it was much more comfortable than the Timbuk2 I used to use. Stayed in place and was able to carry much more stuff. I commute to and from work 4 days a work so carry a change of clothes, lunch and other stuff. The only problem I encountered was that if you carried boxes, the edges can get pretty uncomfortable after several miles. The design does not allow rain to get into the main compartment unlike the Timbuk2, kept stuff dry. Just one great bag and will probably last a lifetime.
Easy to adjust
Just the right size
Weaknesses: Somewhat expensive
This bag has been through storms, crashes, and on hundreds of rides and it still looks great! I'm continually astounded by how much I can fit in it and because of it's design, I can carry a lot of weight, while still feeling pretty comfortable.
I've got the Kremlin, this bag rocks!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Big enough to fit a case of beer, and extremely comfortable. I'd tried Timbuk 2's the large version, didn't hold enough, and was uncomfortable. The Chrome rocks, comfy, big enough, and just cool to look at.
Strengths: Plenty of space!
Great styling, solid construction.
Waterproof! Not resistant, PROOF!
Weaknesses: Cost at first, but honestly this bag has lasted some serious abuse and I hope to have it a long time.
After burning through two Timbuk2 bags I found a shop locally that carried Chrome bags. The Timbuk2 bags never stayed in place on my back or felt all that comfortable. After trying it on I was amazed how well it felt straped on.
I carry a pair of shoes, coat, and school books with me usually and it can take some groceries on the way home, this bag is HUGE! When it's empty it folds down nicely and still feels comfortable. The seperately suspended liner ensures it's waterproof abilities. Buckle attracts comments and makes taking the bag off a breeze. Stash pocket is a neat addition.
I recommend anyone who needs a serious commuter bag check this or the smaller Citizen bag out!
I am hoping to start commuting this summer (building the bike right now). I work at a university, so there are showers available, I don't have to carry clothes every day, and I don't have to dress overly nice. However, my life exists on a PowerBook G4 17". I don't have any other gadgets that I'm ... Read More »