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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi there. So I just put a rack on my new Soma Smoothie specifically to make the task of toting my laptop to work a bit easier. I hate lugging this thing around in my messenger bag...add clothes, shoes and some paper work and it gets friggin heavy, not to mention sweaty as all get out (+ no showers at work!) and I got a 20 mile ride into work.

SO...question is, what's the best way to attached the laptop to my new rack? I'm guessing a "trunk" style bag is going to be too small to fit a laptop, right? But, if I use a traditional pannier with the laptop just on one side, isn't it going to make riding strange with the weight all on that side? Just curious how others are doing this...thanks!
 

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Hermia commutes
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I ride with a single pannier on my right. It's often pretty loaded down, and I have no problems. In fact, I have problems if I have to have 2 panniers now. I feel all out of whack with weight on both sides of the bike. (No problems when I go down to no panniers, though.)

But I don't put my laptop in the pannier b/c the roads are so bumpy around here I'm afraid for its safety. When I have to carry the laptop I suck it up and use a backpack.
 

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I don't commute with a laptop...so I can't help you there.

I do use a single heavily loaded pannier and I don't notice it unless I get more than about 25lbs in it. I will second putting it on the right too. That way if you need to lay the bike down the pannier is on the drive side and you're not laying the bike on the pannier...since you shouldn't be laying your bike on the drive side :)

I do agree that a pannier is probably not the best place for your laptop though. Your body is a good natural shock absorber...your bike is not. Maybe put everything else in the pannier and keep your laptop in your messenger on backpack?

Leave as much at work as you can. Leave a pair of shoes and get another lock and leave it locked to the rack. That will drop about 10 pounds off your back or bike. If I need to run errands after work I just take my "work lock" with me and use that...then take it back up to work the next morning and leave it after work. Locks are heavy...I don't like carrying one!

Smoothie is a great bike! I have a Smoothie ES and a SOMA Double Cross that are my commuters...love my steel!

Jared
 

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I put my laptop in a Crumpler bag, that I use when I walk around with my laptop on. When I'm on my bike, I put the whole crumpler bag into my panniers (on the left side, they told me at the LBS that I should put the panniers on the opposite of the drive side if I only have one). This works pretty well and I can't really feel the laptop there while I'm riding. Also, due to the laptop being in the Crumpler bag, it's pretty well protected.

Edit: whoops fixed
 

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Sticky Valentine
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Panniers, dude. Panniers :)

And here's my SS Smoothie, con panniers.


joe
 

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Failboat Captian
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I go dual-mode when I have to carry my laptop. I carry all my normal stuff on my rack, and the laptop in a lappy backpack. It sucks, but it's better than driving.
 

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I ride with one pannier and it's fine. I do not notice any balance issues. When I carried 15 pounds of kitty litter home, I did notice THAT, but it was still very rideable, just heavy.

However, apparently I'm donig it wrong! I have this bad clip out habit... I clip out with the right foot (drive side). So to facilitate me not falling over at stop lights, I have the pannier also on the right side so that the bike will naturally lean toward my clipped out foot.

I really need to break my bad clipout habits...
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
BigDaddy said:
Here's my rig. I used bungee cords to place a milk crate on top of the rack. Looks ghetto, but hey, it works. I've been able to place my igloo lunch box and my little toshiba laptop in the crate.

View attachment 140382
glad you posted that...i was thinking about doing the exact same thing...no straps or zippers or clips--just throw the laptop and gear in then go. i like it.

still playing with this BTW...thanks for all the replies. Yesterday I just lashed (with bungies) the laptop in it's proper laptop case to the top of my rack and went on my way. Took a while to figure out how to bungie it w/o worrying about it falling off. Worked fine...just took a while to bungie right. Every second in the morning counts, you know :)

If i can scrape up the cash i'll get some panniers...but i know i have a milk crate in my garage. ghetto-sheek :)
 

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Rack with it's own suspension?

I went through all the posts I could find with "laptop" in the title, and could not find something I assumed would be on the market: A suspended rack. Does anyone know of such a thing? I lost my hardrive a few months ago, I don't think the shock from transporting it helped. I have tried to convince IT to get me a solid state drive, but no luck so far.
 

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I don't know how big your laptop is, but those Pelican cases are really tough and since they're lined with heavy foam, great shock absorption, as well. You could just strap that onto your rack and even if you crash, the laptop should relatively be safe.

 

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Those Axiom bags are very nice. I have two Monsoon size bags on the rear rack. Yours look like larger Typhoons, yes? They are well made and waterproof. I know for certain as I've test them several times in absolute downpours. Mine are the black and gray versions.

brewster
 
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