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  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Location
    Central Missouri
    Posts
    626

    Commuting Panniers

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    Okay, so I am about to move house to a place that backs up to the Katy Trail in MO. It's going to be great for commuting. I used to commute to and from work occassionally. I started off as a big commuter, but I gave up on it after I had to do hill climbing on a road with no shoulder and was almost hit. This time, I'm able to get to/from work really easily on FLAT land.

    I need some panniers, though, so you are going to have to help me shop! I figured you ladies would have a good idea what would work for me because I am clueless.

    I need something that works as a briefcase or could carry my workbag with a laptop in it. It's be great if it was waterproof so I could do some rain commuting. Even a rain cover would be fine. I have a homemade pannier for the other side of my bike and a nice trunk bag already.

    Any help would be greatly appreciated!
    Last edited by colorisnt; 07-23-2012 at 05:51 PM.
    ***graduate student and avid cyclist***

    Owned by:
    Le Monstre Vert - 2013 Surly Cross-check
    Willis, my chiX

    "Carl" - 2010 Kia Soul (when necessary!)

    Elle on Wheels - my cycling blog!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    Indianapolis, IN
    Posts
    1,039
    Hey Color I just thought I'd let you know that since I bought my Burley I was thinking about selling my Arkel panniers. I have a green grocery Arkel and the 'Metro' bag they sell. Check out their website and see if it's anything you might be interested in.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Location
    Central Missouri
    Posts
    626
    Winding,

    Thanks. Those are nice panniers Unfortunately, I wouldn't be able to fit my laptop in the Metro. That's kinda what I'm after, but I need to be able to fit my 15'' PC in it.
    ***graduate student and avid cyclist***

    Owned by:
    Le Monstre Vert - 2013 Surly Cross-check
    Willis, my chiX

    "Carl" - 2010 Kia Soul (when necessary!)

    Elle on Wheels - my cycling blog!

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Columbia, MO
    Posts
    2,051
    Haven't heard from you lately, glad to hear you'll be commuting. I still miss the Katy Trail. Do you know about the Sept 8 ride with the vets? It's the Long Road Home Project to raise awareness about the difficulties vets have returning home after being deployed, especially mental issues like PTSD and such. I'm planning on driving up to Columbia, bike out to Rocheport and meet up with them at noon, bike back to Columbia with them.

    Hope you find some good panniers that work for your laptop. I don't have experience with that but I know that a lot of people do commute with laptops. Ask at Walt's?
    2009 Trek 7.2FX WSD, brooks Champion Flyer S, commuter bike

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Location
    Central Missouri
    Posts
    626
    Yeah, when I get back to CoMo, I'll ask at Walt's for sure. I am still in Chicagoland, though. I don't move house until the start of the month. I was in Rwanda and the UK this summer, so I've been all over. Haven't been on the bike in ages and just got back to the US. Been dealing with a nut allergy attack and am just about to get back on, I guess!

    I looked last time I was there for maintenance, but I didn't see anything waterproof that would do the job. I bet they could recommend/order something.

    I hadn't heard about the ride with the vets, but I would be interested. I am hoping to train my butt off when I get back, but since I am not used to the heat of summer, it's going to be interesting. Is there any info? Feel free to PM me!
    ***graduate student and avid cyclist***

    Owned by:
    Le Monstre Vert - 2013 Surly Cross-check
    Willis, my chiX

    "Carl" - 2010 Kia Soul (when necessary!)

    Elle on Wheels - my cycling blog!

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    Indianapolis, IN
    Posts
    1,039
    My MacBook fits in it? What are the dimensions on your laptop?

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    Indianapolis, IN
    Posts
    1,039
    Here's a pic of the grocery pannier
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Click image for larger version. 

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  8. #8
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Location
    Central Missouri
    Posts
    626
    Winding,

    The dimensions say it only goes 14'' by 14''. My computer is 14.5'' wide, so it wouldn't fit. The grocery pannier looks really nice. I might look to upgrade to something like that in the future for the other side of my bike, but I am a grad student with limited funds, so I am concentrating on the computer-friendly bag first.

    Thanks, though!
    ***graduate student and avid cyclist***

    Owned by:
    Le Monstre Vert - 2013 Surly Cross-check
    Willis, my chiX

    "Carl" - 2010 Kia Soul (when necessary!)

    Elle on Wheels - my cycling blog!

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    Massachusetts
    Posts
    2,559
    If you can afford it, look at the Ortlieb front roller panniers. My 15" laptop fits perfectly in one, and it's waterproof. You can find them on sale pretty often at REI.
    Oil is good, grease is better.

    2007 Peter Mooney w/S&S couplers/Terry Butterfly
    1993 Bridgestone MB-3/Avocet O2 Air 40W
    1980 Columbus Frame with 1970 Campy parts
    1954 Raleigh 3-speed/Brooks B72

  10. #10
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Location
    Central Missouri
    Posts
    626
    Thanks for the rec, Deb! Will look into those!
    ***graduate student and avid cyclist***

    Owned by:
    Le Monstre Vert - 2013 Surly Cross-check
    Willis, my chiX

    "Carl" - 2010 Kia Soul (when necessary!)

    Elle on Wheels - my cycling blog!

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Posts
    860
    i actually have two bags i use. both use the rixen & kaul klick fix attachments which i love. so easy to use and adjust.

    waterproof, winter commute, i use my knog dog dry dog bag. i've got the 17in and it's HUGE. i like it cuz it's waterproof and it has a dedicated laptop padded compartment. uh.. i can say i can fit 2-3 6 packs in the main compartment. had to go pick up some for dept celebration.. . it's also avail in 15 and 13 i think. since knog dog is from oz though not sure how easily attainable it is.

    for nice weather commuting i use the rixen & kaul cargo grocery pannier. i like it cuz it's just a rectangle that i can easily see what's in there and i can just throw whatever in it. i don't have be to be quite as organized as with the dry dog. it doesn't have a laptop compartment but i jsut put my 15" laptop in "naked." however, my commute was along a paved trail and was only 2 miles or 6 miles each way before the office moved closer. i did have a laptop sleeve if i wanted to use it but i never did. found it here: http://www.velofred.com/product_info...roducts_id=284 yes, it's pricey but i scored mine off the bay.. of course.

    i got larger sized commuting panniers because i wasn't sure if i'd actually need a lunch, change of clothes, laptop, the occasional files or whatnot so i opted on the larger size. since you've commuted before you prob have a better idea of what your daily cargo will be like.
    Push the pedal down watch the world around fly by us

  12. #12
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Location
    Central Missouri
    Posts
    626
    Rogue,

    I like those bags a lot and they ship to the U.S. The only problem is they only seem to be messenger bags? I'm still not sure how I feel about commuting with messengers. I like panniers because they aren't on my person. I commute by road bike and messengers/backpacks have never really worked for me. I don't like things on my back. Is there a way they convert to a pannier?
    ***graduate student and avid cyclist***

    Owned by:
    Le Monstre Vert - 2013 Surly Cross-check
    Willis, my chiX

    "Carl" - 2010 Kia Soul (when necessary!)

    Elle on Wheels - my cycling blog!

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Location
    California
    Posts
    215
    There's a person on ebay who makes panniers out of Swiss Army Ammo bags. And from the pictures they are beautiful and seem reasonably priced for panniers

    He sells them as singles and doubles. You can see them here.
    http://www.ebay.com/sch/shmattson/m....&_trksid=p3686

    That said, you could also just search for "swiss ammo bag" on ebay and do the conversion yourself for cheaper. Although I'm not sure how difficult it would be to get a "matched" set if you purchase them and do it yourself.
    http://www.ebay.com/sch/i.html?_from...Swiss+ammo+bag

    Oops, I just read about the 14.5" laptop. This might not work.
    Last edited by Sylvia; 07-25-2012 at 08:18 PM. Reason: just saw laptop requirement.
    Bike Friday Petite Crusoe
    Terry Trixie
    Gary Fisher beater bike

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Western Canada-prairies, mountain & ocean
    Posts
    6,981
    Ortilieb and Arkel are really your high end, nice commuter bike bags.

    Just make sure you buy a pannier set that offers either an inner or outer small zipper pocket to put in your wallet, cellphone, etc. so that things don't get lost in the depths of your pannier bag.

    I have only 1 set of rear pannier bags which I use for every purpose --commuting, touring, etc. It's a mid sized.I use plastic bags to protect my gear...it has some water repellancy without those plastic bags. I use Axiom bags.

    For computer you will want to protect it with at least another thin padded sleeve/bag.
    My Personal blog on cycling & other favourite passions.
    遙知馬力日久見人心 Over a long distance, you learn about the strength of your horse; over a long period of time, you get to know whatís in a personís heart.

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Posts
    3,213
    +1 for little pockets.

    My panniers don't have them, but I use a trunk bag too so all the little stuff goes in there.
    Each day is a gift, that's why it is called the present.

 

 

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