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I'm going to start commuting on my bike (only 15-20 miles roundtrip) and want to get a nice messenger bag. I've got a backpack, but don't really like it.

I like the Chrome's as opposed to the Timbuk2's, but I'm not sure what size to get. The Citizen looks nice (but doesn't have the cool stash pocket) and might be a tad small, but the Metropolis looks pretty big. I need to carry dress pants and long sleeve shirt, boxers, shoes, socks, and my lunch. I'll also use it occasionally for groceries, etc (without my work stuff in it).

Which one would you recommend? Thanks
 

· Jerkhard Sirdribbledick
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I would definitely get the Metro, given everything you want to throw into the bag. I have a Citizen -- I, too, was afraid the Metro would be too big -- and I've been longing for a bigger bag ever since. Everything you listed will definitely fit in a Citizen, but you won't have room for so much as a pencil after that.

I've actually ordered a new bag, as I don't like certain things about the Chrome:

1) Lack of organization/accessibility. Let's say I've got the bag pretty much filled, including my D70. If I want to stop and take a picture, it's not easy at all to pull the camera out, snap a pic, and put it back in. Depending on how much is in there, and and what all is in there, I pretty much have to repack the bag. Or, like today, was mid-way between Westwood and Hollywood and my I wanted my gloves. I didn't even have time at a red light to fish them out of my bag, because they were just thrown in the main compartment with everything else.

2) Clumsiness when not filled, or filled with oddly shapped things.
 

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size

bag size will (should) depend on your size, too. If you're not a big guy, the Citizen might fit you better. If big, then go Metropolis. If you could mount a Yakima roof rack on your back, go Kremlin.

I'm about 6' 2" and the Metro. fits me fine and hauls all I need it to. It looks too big on my buddy who is shorter, so he just got a Citizen. Perfect.

happy shoppin'

trip221 said:
I'm going to start commuting on my bike (only 15-20 miles roundtrip) and want to get a nice messenger bag. I've got a backpack, but don't really like it.

I like the Chrome's as opposed to the Timbuk2's, but I'm not sure what size to get. The Citizen looks nice (but doesn't have the cool stash pocket) and might be a tad small, but the Metropolis looks pretty big. I need to carry dress pants and long sleeve shirt, boxers, shoes, socks, and my lunch. I'll also use it occasionally for groceries, etc (without my work stuff in it).

Which one would you recommend? Thanks
 

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I have the Citizen and it is a little too small.
If you will be carrying your shoes on your commute it is definately too small. (esp if you have large feet)

If you are just carrying clothes and food it should be fine.

If I were to do it over I would opt for the Metropolis. they look huge on the site but their dimensions are not that much larger.
 

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I am 5'10 and depending on your size these opinions could be off:

Off the bike the Citizen is a much better bag. The smaller size is easier to manage when just walking around.

On the bike I like the Metro better. The wider bag distributes over my back more, which I like.

Also, like others have said, the Metro is much better at hauling a full change of clothes and shoes and lunch and whatever else you want to jam in there. The Citizen will fit everything you need for a day at work, but the bag really bulges and doesn't fit right on my back.

I say get the Metro and be happy.
 

· Downhill Juggernaut
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Ok, these things hold a ton of stuff. I have the metropolis and carry it to work every day. As a matter of fact I was just emptying it out since I worked yesterday. Here are the contents to give you an idea of what these bags are capable of carrying (with some room to spare):

Chrome bag contents:

A flightsuit (which has about the same bulk as two pair of denim jeans and a shirt, and twice as hot- Nomex really doesn't breathe well)
Two under armour shirts and two pair of under armour shorts (yeah I know I'm supposed to wear cotton, but it doesn't breathe nearly as well- and it's hot out there!).
Two pair of socks (yes I like bringing spares to work)
sandals, sunglass case, sunglasses (with separate case not pictured)
15" widescreen laptop, wireless mouse, small orange bag for PC cables
iPod with headphones
Phone, pager, watch/wedding band, various CD's/DVD's, wallet(not pictured), Various ID badges required for work (not pictured), and some loose change and chewing gum in the inner pocket.

Oh, plus I usually carry my lunch in there as well. Both lunch and dinner. Usually one is leftovers and the other is a frozen dinner of some sort. A banana or orange will also find there way in the bag as well if there are any to be had in the house. Handy tip for leftovers by the way... ziplock baggies travel flatter and you don't have to bring them back home. Wife always cringed when I took tupperware, since it only made it back home about 50% of the time.

I generally leave my boots at work, since it would be silly to carry them back and forth with me since I only wear them at work. Plus I'd rather not wear them at home, I step in things at work that I'd rather not track into the house for my 2 year old to walk through barefoot.

YMMV, but these bags hold a bunch of stuff!
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thanks for all the suggestions. I'm not a big guy (5'9) and I may just leave my shoes at work, so I'll probably end up with the Citizen. And I should probably try to find a store that carries them so I can try one on.
 

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Might be a bit off topic, but you do you guys generally prefer messenger bags as opposed to ruck sacks? I've never tried a messenger myself, but the idea of having weight on one shoulder only doesn't appeal to me. Please, enlighten me.
 

· Downhill Juggernaut
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I don't really notice that the weight in on one shoulder when I'm on the bike. It seems to do a better job of keeping the weight on the back itself. Now once I get off the bike, with a full load I can definately feel a difference. If my commute involved long walks as well, I'd probably look into something different. Or carry less stuff.
 

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venntim said:
Might be a bit off topic, but you do you guys generally prefer messenger bags as opposed to ruck sacks? I've never tried a messenger myself, but the idea of having weight on one shoulder only doesn't appeal to me. Please, enlighten me.
I am reasoning this, if you are in more of a roadie position, the messenger bag lies on your back better, consequently the weight is partially distributed on the back and one shoulder. If you ride in a more upright position, the messenger bag/weight will become more noticable (maybe uncomfortable) over longer distances. I went from ruck sack to panniers. I am finding I would like to get a very small messenger bag (with cross strap) for my shades, bus fare, and current read. Oh, maybe a extra layer that I shed or add depending on current weather. Those are my thoughts. I have tried a messenger bag once with about 8 lbs of stuff, no shoulder strap (medium Timbuk2), and a 45 minute one way commute....personally, I found it uncomfortable. Everybody is different.
:)
 

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Thanks for replies! So basically it's just a question of experimenting...

I ride in a pretty low position on my cx, and so far I've been happy with a rucksack. With a messenger bag there's a certain coolness factor, but it seems to be expensive, Earlier I used panniers, but at some stage the rack bolts were loose and ripped the threads off the frame.
 

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trip221 said:
Thanks for all the suggestions. I'm not a big guy (5'9) and I may just leave my shoes at work, so I'll probably end up with the Citizen. And I should probably try to find a store that carries them so I can try one on.
I was about to suggest leaving the shoes at work. Even better: if you dont bike everyday, the day you drive bring 3-4 days of clothes and swap for the dirties. alternatively, if there is a cleaners near your work, just pop out at lunch to drop off/pick up.

The extra clothes do cost $$, tho, depending on your style factor/job.

Personally, having tried a messenger bag I dont like it. I can see it's useful for actual messengers who need frequent access to packages - just swing it around and grab and go.

But for commuters who pack up the stuff at home then unpack it at work - panniers are a no-brainer for me. weight on the bike, not on my back. check out the ortliebs if you have money and live where it rains.

THe big difference is that panniers are dorky and mess. bags are ubercool. messenger bags, while high quality and durable, are very expensive. and did i mention they are accepted by the hipster in-crowd?

but what i really like is organizing myself so i dont have to carry anything! i actually use one of those trunk bags for little things like lunch, etc.
 

· Downhill Juggernaut
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jh_on_the_cape said:
I was about to suggest leaving the shoes at work. Even better: if you dont bike everyday, the day you drive bring 3-4 days of clothes and swap for the dirties. alternatively, if there is a cleaners near your work, just pop out at lunch to drop off/pick up.

The extra clothes do cost $$, tho, depending on your style factor/job.

Personally, having tried a messenger bag I dont like it. I can see it's useful for actual messengers who need frequent access to packages - just swing it around and grab and go.

But for commuters who pack up the stuff at home then unpack it at work - panniers are a no-brainer for me. weight on the bike, not on my back. check out the ortliebs if you have money and live where it rains.

THe big difference is that panniers are dorky and mess. bags are ubercool. messenger bags, while high quality and durable, are very expensive. and did i mention they are accepted by the hipster in-crowd?

but what i really like is organizing myself so i dont have to carry anything! i actually use one of those trunk bags for little things like lunch, etc.
I started off with a rack and panniers, but they're too inconvenient for me. They ride well, but once I get to work it takes longer for me to take them off and then carry them into the building. With the messenger bag I just get off and go. Plus I sometimes run errands on the way home and that's where the messenger bag really earns its keep.

On really loaded down days though, it's a no brainer... the rack goes on the Cross Check.
 
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