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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I want to get back into bike commuting. Now that I'm back on a diamond frame bike after a few years on a recumbent, I need a new bag for stuff...my old gear was 'bent specific and was sold off in a fit of idiocy. Anyway, I am considering either a rear rack + panniers, or maybe a transverse saddlebag like a Carradice.

What's a good size range? Just for the commuting gear in casual dress - pair of size 13 shoes, big lunch, jeans, long sleeve shirt & fleece for cool weather, to shorts/short sleeve shirt/sandals in the heat. Front-sized panniers are around 10L each, Ortlieb sells a "commuter pannier" in 18L, and the Carradice-style bags run 9-18L or so. I have a saddlebag for standard bike stuff like tools/tube/wallet, which I'd replace with a small handlebar bag if I were to go the Carradice route. I'm leaning to maybe a Carradice Pendle or Nelson, which saves the weight of a rack when I'm just riding around.

And speaking of which, does anyone make a Carradice competitor using more contemporary fabrics and nylon webbing/buckles?
 

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Burnum Upus Quadricepus
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I use Ortleib fronts.

When I'm subbing at a different branch, I have to take shoes, and it's the shoes that make the most trouble.

At my regular branch, I have a locker and keep shoes there. Then I can carry a whole four-day workweek's stuff in one trip. Clothes in one side, food in the other, and library books (an occupational hazard) split between them.

But add shoes, and it becomes pretty limited. I can carry only one day's stuff with shoes.
 

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Cheese is my copilot
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And speaking of which, does anyone make a Carradice competitor using more contemporary fabrics and nylon webbing/buckles?
Funny you should ask. I just had a whole thread on this. I discovered (and bought) a Large Saddlebag from Dill Pickle Gear, and right about the same time Swift Industries came out with the Zeitgeist. Either is Carridice-like with more modern fabrics. I like my Dill Pickle. Can't speak for the Zeitgeist. I think either will hold your gear, though you might have to use webbing and put a fleece on top of the bag rather than in it.

Large Saddlebag | Dill Pickle Gear

Zeitgeist Touring Saddle Bag from Swift Industries | handmade bicycle panniers and accessories
 

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It's just a simple math problem, isn't it? Pile up your maximum load, compress it as much as you think you'd like to, measure the dimensions of the stack and calculate the volume (a liter is about 61 cubic inches).

And if you possibly can, leave the shoes at work, rather than carry them back and forth every day.
 

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I use ortlieb fronts and with two of them there is quite a bit of room. Shoes though will take a lot of space. If you can leave them at work that is best. A standard size laptop will just fit in a front pannier pack.
 

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I have Carradice Pendle and Barley bags and don't think you could fit all of that gear in either one of them. However, that size of load would easily fit in Ortlieb Classic Roller front bags, which will fit fine on rear rack as well.

My question would be: why carry so much gear? You could easily leave a pair of shoes, slacks, towels and other clothes at the office and lighten your daily load considerably. That is what I do. I use a Carradice Barley for daily commuting and leave shoes and other bulky clothes at the office. In my Barley, I can easily fit a shirt, t-shirt, underwear, lunch, wallet, bike tools and flat repair items, etc. On days that I drive, I bring fresh towels and bulky clothes and take home any dirty laundry. Occasionally I ride my touring bike with the Ortlieb panniers, and I can fit virtually anything I need in them.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
My question would be: why carry so much gear? You could easily leave a pair of shoes, slacks, towels and other clothes at the office and lighten your daily load considerably. That is what I do. I use a Carradice Barley for daily commuting and leave shoes and other bulky clothes at the office. In my Barley, I can easily fit a shirt, t-shirt, underwear, lunch, wallet, bike tools and flat repair items, etc. On days that I drive, I bring fresh towels and bulky clothes and take home any dirty laundry. Occasionally I ride my touring bike with the Ortlieb panniers, and I can fit virtually anything I need in them.
Hauling everything for a day, everyday, works for me since anything more than that strains my organizational abilities to the breaking point. Leaving stuff there I would inevitably end up at work after a week or two with nothing but a towel and a dirty left sock aside from my cycling clothes. Alas this is not something that's going to improve so I have to work around it. I've realized in thinking about this and reading suggestions from y'all that the shoe issue might be moot since my recent conversion to Merrill barefoot shoes means they pack up quite small. A 5 or 6L handlebar bag would easily hold lunch along with standard tools/gloves/etc, and would be nice to have for everyday riding.

That Swift bag (11L) looks good, and I was looking at the Carradice SQR Slim (16L) too. A friend loaned me a 10L pannier for a test-packing too, which I'll try out. I've been thinking about migrating my wardrobe away from jeans in any case, maybe this is an opportunity :p
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
I use an Acorn Front Rack bag
does the trick for me
I've decided in the short term to install a Lone Peak H-100 bag, once the black/yellow is in stock at thetouringstore.com That's 10L, if I start out with some half-commutes some days and have clothing stashed at the office for those days I'll be better able to judge how much baggage space I'll need.
 

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Large saddle bags are bulky and some people, depending on the geometry of the bike, will hit the bag with back of their thighs on every stroke.

They make garment panniers, their slim designed, go onto any rear rack, and they keep the clothes nice and neat. Then add a handlebar bag for your lunch, shoes, and other odds and ends. Keep the saddle bag you now have to keep your tools in.

There are lots of good garment bags, some are inexpensive yet still water resistant, see: Nashbar Commuter Garment Pannier - Normal Shipping Ground As does BushWhacker; either of these can be carried in by the handle like a brief case.
 

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Testing? Do you work for the company that makes the bag? Or are you buying it then if you don't like buy another one?

Interesting looking bag but I see no place for a map on top?
The testing is for an upcoming GRAVELBIKE(.com) review.

Correct, no map pocket. The bag in-question (Racktime Qubeit) can be used front or rear, hence the lack of a map pocket.
 

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The testing is for an upcoming GRAVELBIKE(.com) review.

Correct, no map pocket. The bag in-question (Racktime Qubeit) can be used front or rear, hence the lack of a map pocket.
Interesting theory I guess, but I don't see it doing real well on the market. I would think that most people who want handlebar bags would want a bag with a map holder, but that's just me guessing. Maybe you can explain how that bag lacking a map holder, would be any different from other handlebar bags that don't look so bulky on the bars? You are right that the bag does look more in place as a pannier or perhaps a trunk bag.
 

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Interesting theory I guess, but I don't see it doing real well on the market. I would think that most people who want handlebar bags would want a bag with a map holder, but that's just me guessing. Maybe you can explain how that bag lacking a map holder, would be any different from other handlebar bags that don't look so bulky on the bars? You are right that the bag does look more in place as a pannier or perhaps a trunk bag.
It is a trunk bag. It's simply cube-shaped instead of the typical shoe box or loaf-of-bread form factor. I'd wager that 99% of the users would install it on a rear rack. The fact that I happened to install it on a front rack doesn't make it a handlebar bag.
 

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It is a trunk bag. It's simply cube-shaped instead of the typical shoe box or loaf-of-bread form factor. I'd wager that 99% of the users would install it on a rear rack. The fact that I happened to install it on a front rack doesn't make it a handlebar bag.
Ok now that makes sense. In that case I would agree it's nice bag looking trunk bag. As a handlebar bag it just looked very odd.
 
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