Road Bike, Cycling Forums banner
1 - 20 of 25 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
212 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Howdy crew

With gas prices, I'm going to try commuting to work. The obvious question is how waht to use to carry stuff. I'd need to pack a dress shirt and pants, and maybe loafers. Also a small lunch.

I've seen those types of racks that extend over the rear tire, sorta like the dorky old bikes, but have also read where alot of people use back packs. I'd think those could be brutal on a 90 degree humid day on the ride home.

Any suggestions or recommendations?

thanks again!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
606 Posts
For short distances, I suppose that a pack would be tolerable, but it really killed my back. My commute last semester was 6+ miles 1-way, and I am now looking for a rack & panniers (the 'racks that extend over the rear tire').
 

·
Big is relative
Joined
·
11,901 Posts
Rack and panniers are the way to go. Backpacks get hot even if they are designed for some airflow between you and the pack. You could use a backpack for "packmule" days to carry large amounts of stuff such as underwear, socks, etc and only use a rack and bag for the remainder of the days.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
381 Posts
I use both, but have to say I like the rack and panniers better. I just feel more comfortable riding without something on my back.

I have the rack on my commuter bike (an old Specialized Hardrock MTB converted to a commuter) but no rack on my new road bike (an '06 Trek 2100). Thus the need for both a pannier and a backpack.

Later,

Jay B.
 

·
Knives, Guns, and Booze
Joined
·
2,942 Posts
I just stuff all my non-sweaty items into plastic grocery bags (double-bagged for extra protection) and stuff that into my backpack, along with shoes, lunch, and other miscellaneous crap.

Edit: I ought to mention my commute varies between 17 and 19 miles each direction (depending on which specific route I take). A shower awaits at either destination (work or home) so I guess I don’t worry about sweating and such.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
456 Posts
I'm commuting through the Houston heat and humidity. I'll tell you what, the rack and panniers are a far more elegant way to travel. Granted, I'm still a sweaty mess when I get home, but I'm less of a sweaty mess than I was when I used a backpack.
 

·
aka Zoo
Joined
·
763 Posts
I used a backpack when I was commuting to my last job, 20miles each way, my back hurt at first but after a week or two it was fine, I thought about the panniers but I didn't always stick to one bike. Unfortunately now I'm at a shitty 3rd shift job so I no longer commute :(
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
339 Posts
I commute 18 miles each way here in New England and use a back pack. I have never been bothered by the weight issue and didn't like the hassle factor associated with taking paniers on and off the bike at the beginning and end of each ride. I too have a shower and a place to stash clothes in my office so that makes things less complicated. The messenger bag never worked for me, but others swear by them so check them all out.
 

·
Jerkhard Sirdribbledick
Joined
·
27,062 Posts
I MUCH prefer to keep the weight on the bike, not on me. Get a Tubus rack and find the pannier that suits your needs. Carradice is my favorite, but Ortlieb and Arkel also make great stuff.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
372 Posts
I use a rack and (Ortlieb) panniers for my 50 miles commute (RT). I find it convenient to carry my clothes, shoes, 2 tubes, 1 mini pump, tools, and laptop. If you don't have a lot to carry, then use a messenger bag.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
44 Posts
I have used it all in the last 25 years of commuting. My opinions as of today.

Rack and panniers - Are good for heavy loads and mostly straight rides. Affects the bikes handling. Only an issue on very curvy roads and single track. A little bit of a processes to remove and install if your bike cannot stay by your side. Big bag + lots of stuff = heavy and slow. Your back will not get extra sweaty.

Backpacks - I do not like the two shoulder straps pulling on my arms when I lean forward. I find them uncomfortable. They are convenient. I have not tried the cycling specific packs. On upright mountain bikes, packs are somewhat better. The big camelbacks are OK. Really sweaty to pretty darn sweaty depending on design.

Giant wedge style seatbags - Bike handles better than a pannier. Can only fit a lunch, light shirt and thin pants, nothing else. Swings a bit when climbing out of the saddle which is a bit annoying. No sweaty back.

Trunk style bag off of seatpost - Just the right size. Convenient if it slides off and has a shoulder strap. Weight is high and effects bike handling. No sweat.

Messenger Bags - Best bike handling of the bunch. This is my current favorite, as I occasionally ride single track on the way home and always have steep curvy roads to ride. Really convenient. Just the right size for a day at work. They do not pull down on both shoulders in the same way a pack does, so I find them more comfortable. The Chrome bag sits on my back very nicely and does not move around when I ride, but it is not as easy to get stuff out of as a Timbuktu style. They are sweaty.


Hope this helps. Just one shmucks opinion.
 

·
Failboat Captian
Joined
·
6,559 Posts
+another for the dorky rack. I went uber-dork and mounted a Rubbermaid/Tupperware bin on mine, so that I can just toss a gym bag in it, and not have to strap, or otherwise secure the bag. I HATE having anything on my back. But if I have to, I have a computer backpack, so I can haul the computer and still take my regular stuff.

As far as being a dork, I embrace my dorkiness. Although my SS with bullhorns and front fender has a lot more class than an old flatbar MTB with a 3x8 drive train, suspension fork and a rider with a backpack.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
309 Posts
I'm a Rack Man, all the way. My first commute, 8 years ago, I tried a backpack one time. I thought I was going to die. My back was sore for about a week. I left the backpack, and some of my stuff at work. My commute then was 32 miles a day. Now it's 31 miles. I use 3 bags. Small handlebar bag. Large frame bag. Large rack trunk. The 3 bags give me enough room to carry everything I need. As far as looks goes, who cares, I'm commuting.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,253 Posts
Rack and panniers on the commuter. Messenger bag when I'm riding the nice bike to work. I find backpacks uncomfortable.

Leave as much stuff as possible at the office....shoes, toiletries, etc. Why carry more than you need?
 
1 - 20 of 25 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.
Top