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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Location
    Salt Lake City, UT
    Posts
    227

    Messanger Bag Questions

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    In a few months it will be time for me to start commuting to work again. Last year I used a sling back pack for my gear and it worked great. However, it was absued and won't survive another season. I have noticed Messanger Bags around and wanted to get opinions for any of you that may use them. Is the waist strap sufficient to keep the bag put while riding (its scary when the bag shifts )? Anyone have a Timbuk2? I have been looking at these but they are quite expensive. Love the colors, but is the quality and style worth the $$?

    Thanks everyone

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    Nebraska
    Posts
    146

    why not racks?

    I know folks go for those messenger bags, but coolness aside, I don't know what recommends them. I have to lug a laptop and clothes and it's just so much easier to hang 'em on the back rack. I also use my commute as my work-out, so often times take a long route home. Having a bag on my back, ew.

    /s

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Posts
    4,516

    Timbuk2

    I have 2 timbuk2 bags - the metro (I use as a purse) and the large size. I did use the large size for commuting to school for a while when I first purchased it. Quality wise, Timbuk2 really is nice. Their bags are well constructed and seem to hold up great (though they don't have as many options as they once did, which isn't so great)!

    HOWEVER, I have not found any messenger bag to be comfortable with any amount of weight in it. They don't have padded backs, so you have to make sure to put something flat against your back to stop things from poking you... And they're hot. And they can make my back/arms ache from the extra weight there. They do stay in place, though.

    Bottom line - if you don't mind carrying something on your back and aren't going to carry much weight, get a messenger bag. Otherwise, look seriously at racks and panniers. That's my *much* preferred option for personal comfort

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2003
    Location
    Bendemonium
    Posts
    9,673
    I use the midsize one for errands around town. I have found that it doesn't like to stay on my back but keeps swinging wildly off to the side while big ol' Bubba's bag stays firmly in place on his back. I'm guessing it is due to the difference in our size. I now use a BOB trailer for errands most of the time, but a trailer seems a little overkill for commuting not to mention storage. I would rather use racks and bags or a daypack.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Location
    North Central Florida
    Posts
    3,387
    I could _so_ get into going grocery shopping with a Bob. When I was doing trail construction, the guys would pull those on MTB's, over log jumps even! filled with chainsaws and other tools. They're cool.

    Nanci
    ***********
    "...I'm like the cycling version of the guy in Flowers for Algernon." Mike Magnuson

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jul 2003
    Location
    North Andover, Massachusetts USA
    Posts
    1,643
    When I commute to work, I use a single pannier on my rear rack. I'm not carrying that much weight, so a 1-sided load doesn't cause a problem. But even with just a little weight, I wouldn't be happy toting my stuff in a messenger bag.

    That said, I do have a Timbuk2 bag that I use when I drive to work and I have extra stuff to take in with me (like shoes on snowy days). The bag is very well made, and if you choose to build a custom bag, there are plenty of color (and feature) choices.

    --- Denise
    www.denisegoldberg.com

    • Click here for links to journals and photo galleries from my travels on two wheels and two feet.
    • Random thoughts and experiences in my blog at denisegoldberg.blogspot.com


    "To truly find yourself you should play hide and seek alone."
    (quote courtesy of an unknown fortune cookie writer)

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    Chicago, IL
    Posts
    156
    I use a small Timbuk2 bag for errands and such. What I really like about it is the "stabilization strap," which is a mini-strap that goes around the opposite side of the big strap. It really keeps the bag from sliding down in front of you and getting in your way. It makes it a little difficult to dig around for stuff in your bag, but you can unclip/clip it really fast. Other messenger bags that i've seen do not have this option, and always flop in front of you at the most inopportune times.

    But if you don't arrange your stuff really well, things tend to poke you in the back in a really uncomfortable way.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Location
    Christchurch, NZ
    Posts
    357
    I use a messenger style bag (a style by Ground Effects that they don't make anymore) for my commute. It also has a stabalisation style strap that goes in the other direction so there isn't a problem with it shifting around. part of the reason I got it was a thought it looked ever so slighlty more 'briefcasy' (ok I know there is no such word) than a backpack and so I use it as my main work bag for all but the most formal of meetings. I find it fine for the normal workaday load of a little bit of reading I had brought home and my lunch, and even gym gear at a pinch. However for heavy or awkward shaped loads (like stopping off for beer on the way home) it is less comfortable than a backback.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Aug 2003
    Location
    Bendemonium
    Posts
    9,673
    I can't get that stabilization strap to work right. Wonder if I'm just shaped wrong.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Aug 2003
    Location
    Massachusetts
    Posts
    587
    I do not use bags, I use panniers...

    but both my kids have TimbuKtu bags that I paid a fortune for and they are still in great shape three school years later. They are well worth the money
    in my humble opinion The kids went to the site and designed their own, If I remember right they have the large messenger bags...great product!! Would be great commuter bag!

    karen
    Quitting is NOT an option!
    Know the signs of stroke!! www.stroke.org

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Nov 2002
    Location
    Puget Sound area, Washington state
    Posts
    765

    re: Messenger Bags

    Like others who've already replied, I also have a Timbuktu (med) bag and love it; it's durable, handy and well-made. That being said, I rarely use it for commuting any longer as I quickly found that I don't like the (usually shifting) weight on my bike and prefer to use a rear rack instead. I am the same way on long rides - centuries or double centuries - and only use a small (70oz) camelback that barely reaches my mid-back and doesn't bother me as an unnecessary weight.
    It's all in what you prefer, but also, if you use the stabilizer strap on the Timbuktu, it takes any shifting out of the equation, so that was never an issue for me. Just found that I prefer to use a bigger bag on my rear rack when necessary.
    Mary

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Location
    North Central Florida
    Posts
    3,387

    Mary Mary/Sulis

    Does QFC stand for what I _think_ it stands for? My mom used to always say that rhyme to me when I was a kid, I can't imagine why ;-)

    Sulis,

    Topeak makes a seatpost-mounted quick release rack that can hold up to 20 pounds, and a wide variety of different-sized bags that slide into a groove on it and lock in with a click. I have a small one and a medium one with zip-up panniers so I can have them if I want, or not. There's a frame thing that slides into the rack to keep the panniers out of the wheel. Maybe a good solution if you don't want a permanent rack, though once I got used to that luxury, my geeky/gadgety/packrat instincts overtook my don't look like a dork instincts, so I have it on there all the time. Imagine, I can wear enough to be comfortable, and be able to stash it away when I get warm. I can carry a little box with any energy bar imagineable- a selection to choose from! And spare Gatorade, and choc milk.

    Not having a Camelbak, or a pack, it's like not having a monkey on my back! It's such a relief. And I used to be the total Camelback geek- I bet we have 10 or more at our house.

    Nanci
    ***********
    "...I'm like the cycling version of the guy in Flowers for Algernon." Mike Magnuson

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    Mountain View, CA
    Posts
    447
    I don't have a timbuktu but I have a Chrome Metropolis (http://www.chromebags.com/Messengerbags.html) which is their large messenger bag. I generally prefer the bag on the rack on my commuter but since that bag is smaller than the messenger bag when I have to carry quite a bit I use the messenger.

    What I really like about it is the latching mechanism on the Chrome. They use essentially a seat belt type of latch (all metal) and it's heavy duty. The stabilization belt can be used in two configurations as either a waist belt or a second shoulder stabilization strap depending on what works for you.

    The bag, is of course, water proof. They use truck bed liner material for the inside pouch and the outside is cordura. The inner pouch is essentially the same size as the outer shell but this two pouch approach keeps seems from being exposed which prevents water seeping into the bag at those points. I can attest to the waterproofness of this bag as I've had commutes of an hour through pouring rain and the contents of the bag were completely dry.

    Mel

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Posts
    4,516

    Hmmm....

    Quote Originally Posted by SadieKate
    I can't get that stabilization strap to work right. Wonder if I'm just shaped wrong.
    It would stabalize on me, but it really looked strange. These things were made for flat chested persons. If you are (as I am) slightly overweight and well endowed - let's just say the combination of the straps separates well. I've had a few comments made Not enough of a reason to stop using it, but something to be aware of.

    As an aside - are you sure you have the strap over the correct shoulder? I wore mine wrong for a while, and it didn't work so well in that configuration.

    Carrie Anne

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Location
    Albuquerque, NM
    Posts
    3,099
    I use a backpack for my commutes. I had to get a rack for the winter commute due to the extra clothes I had to pack back home but I wanted the weight evenly distributed on my back and was always afraid of having the messenger bag fall to one side while riding. I've been commuting for almost 2 yrs now with just a boring ol backpack and it's worked great.
    Life should NOT be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in an attractive and well preserved body, but rather to skid in sideways, champagne in one hand, strawberries in the other, body thoroughly used up, totally worn out and screaming: "Yeah Baby! What a Ride!"

 

 

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