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Thread: New commuter

  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2014

    New commuter

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    I have a cheap used road bike I want to use to ride part way to work. The ride will be on fairly nice road in central Texas. So it will also be very hot. What type of packs would be best considering I will not be using pannier bags? I will be bringing a change of clothes and probably lunch. Is there any other commuter gear that would be helpful in this situation? I'm thinking *** savers as well

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2013
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    I commute daily and this is perfect for my change of clothes and lunch and some other small items. It has a weight limit of 11 pounds. Arkel rack and tailrider. best investment ever!

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2010
    South Central Indiana
    I have a rack, a basket, and a waterproof pannier and this proves most versatile on my cross bike. I have a bunch of braze-ons but even when I had another style rode bike, I used c-clamps to attach the rack to the frame for light loads. Right now, I can carry a ton of weight on my bike no problem. I have the Wald basket seen above and it works great for little loads. I also carry a bungie to use the top of the rack if necessary when grocery shopping.

    I know lots of people use backpacks or messenger bags and I have tried that but it never worked. In Missouri, for most of the months you can commute, it is too hot to have a black pack on your back. It also makes it hard for short people like me to see over my shoulder or to use a glasses mirror. Having a rack is awesome because I can attach basically anything to it and can easily bring my computer into work.
    ***proud Hoosier, statistics nerd, and mom to a headstrong toddler***
    ****one car family and loving it!****

    Owned by:
    Le Monstre Vert - 2013 Surly Cross-check
    Chessie, Scottish Terrier
    Bonzai, Catahoula Leopard Dog

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    If I have to, I go with a pack over a messenger bag - just feels more secure to me. But as others have mentioned, it can affect your posture and cause back pain. I can also make you sweat like a pig. I commute into Boston, MA (5 miles each way), and even in cooler weather my day hike pack, which has ventilation channels built into the back panel, can soak my back.

    You can find some pretty inexpensive bike panniers on ebay. Add them to a cheaper rack or other support, and it may just run you less than a decent commuter bag or backpack.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2013
    For just a change of clothes, a ziplock bag of items to clean up with and a lunch a handlebar bag with a shoulder strap might work well.
    ‘The negative feelings we all have can be addictive…just as the positive…it’s up to
    us to decide which ones we want to choose and feed”… Pema Chodron

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Oslo, Norway
    I commute with a backpack every day, but it's very small and most important, it's very narrow, so it sits nicely between my shoulders. It will not take a full change of clothes, but maybe it would take summer clothing minus shoes. (Maybe you can keep shoes at work?) I usually just carry lunch, keys and wallet, but I end up doing some grocery shopping on the way home and having a bulging pack for the final half mile :-) And yes, it gets hot.

    Conversely I hate carrying anything but a very light load on my back, but I'm not too happy about panniers either. I'm fussy about bike handling :-) Panniers are probably great if you need the space, but you could try to get away with a small pack and judicious packing first. I will typically keep several changes of clothes at work and bring home one garment at a time to wash. They need washing very seldom since I shower as soon as I get there, and have a quiet office job.
    Winter riding is much less about badassery and much more about bundle-uppery. - malkin

    1995 Kona Cinder Cone commuterFrankenbike/Selle Italia SLR Lady Gel Flow
    2008 white Nakamura Summit Custom mtb/Terry Falcon X
    2000 Schwinn Fastback Comp road bike/Specialized Jett

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jun 2013
    Madison, WI
    I commute (33 mile round trip) with a backpack. Since I am changing clothes when I arrive at work anyway, I don't mind if my back gets a little sweaty. I have an Osprey Talon 22 and it's the prefect commuting backpack! It will fit everything I need (and then some!) I don't like riding with racks and stuff hanging off my bike, but lots of people prefer that.



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