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Thread: Advice needed!

  1. #1
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    Aug 2014
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    Advice needed!

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    Hello!
    I'm new here and have enjoyed reading about others commute tips, they have been really helpful. I just started commuting this month and plan on continuing when school starts. My problem is that the campus where my course is located does not have any lockers or any sort of space I can safely store things. The program director said the best she could do would be allowing me to put my stuff at the back of the classroom.

    I live in a rainy climate and winter is going to bring continuous rain! My husband has the car Monday to Friday because he commutes much farther than I do. There is a bathroom where I can change and freshen up. I was hoping to leave a freshening kit in a locker and a couple days worth of clothes, and being able to hang wet clothes.

    Any ideas how I can make the best of this situation?

    I just found out today that the course was at this campus instead of the main one!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
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    6,478
    Arkel makes bags that can attach to your bike like a pannier, but removed and used as a backpack. May be worth checking into. (There is a big thread about someone doing this for school on here somewhere. Probably best to search on TE under 'Arkel.' I'll see if can't find it, though.

    Edit: Found it!

    A nice discussion on school commuting.
    Last edited by Muirenn; 08-13-2014 at 04:08 AM.
    So long as the wheels are still turning, life is good.

    Battswebb

    Pinarello Quattro~CAADX~ Zurich Lemond
    Specialized Romin Saddles

    Surly Krampus!

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
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    4,556
    Yup - I was just getting ready to post it. FWIW I carried the Bug for a year. It had a warranty issue, and Arkel (being the awesome company that they are) sent me a new one (which I haven't used). Last year, I drove (the bus service between the two campuses is unreliable and my schedule was a b!tch).

    I am currently trying to decide what I'm doing this year - will post more later - have to take DH's car for service. I DID finally find lockers - they (and the treadmill desks) are in the basement of the student union.
    Most days in life don't stand out, But life's about those days that will...

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    Indianapolis, Indiana
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    Arkel bags are expensive, but well worth it!

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Blueberry View Post
    Yup - I was just getting ready to post it. FWIW I carried the Bug for a year. It had a warranty issue, and Arkel (being the awesome company that they are) sent me a new one (which I haven't used). Last year, I drove (the bus service between the two campuses is unreliable and my schedule was a b!tch).

    I am currently trying to decide what I'm doing this year - will post more later - have to take DH's car for service. I DID finally find lockers - they (and the treadmill desks) are in the basement of the student union.
    You know you spend too much time on TE when your remember, search for, and link to a thread from 2 years ago that you didn't even post a comment in, and don't even own the product that you refer to.

    Blueberry, I have a very sturdy seatpost rack, not by Arkel, that I'm considering using with a bag like the Bug or the Switchback for commuting. I'll post a picture of it later. Perhaps you could give me an opinion as to whether it would work with an Arkel bag. It holds up to 40 lbs. Got it from a LBS when I bought my CAADX, but have never used it.
    Last edited by Muirenn; 08-13-2014 at 06:19 AM.
    So long as the wheels are still turning, life is good.

    Battswebb

    Pinarello Quattro~CAADX~ Zurich Lemond
    Specialized Romin Saddles

    Surly Krampus!

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
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    4,556
    Quote Originally Posted by Muirenn View Post
    You know you spend too much time on TE when your remember, search for, and link to a thread from 2 years ago that you didn't even post a comment in, and don't even own the product that you refer to.

    Blueberry, I have a very sturdy seatpost rack, not by Arkel, that I'm considering using with a bag like the Bug or the Switchback for commuting. I'll post a picture of it later. Perhaps you could give me an opinion as to whether it would work with an Arkel bag. It holds up to 40 lbs. Got it from a LBS when I bought my CAADX, but have never used it.
    Lol - so true! I'd be happy to see what I think. The only thing that gets really odd for the Arkel panniers are the cam locks. They can require more space than some racks have.

    Back to the original question - to be most helpful, I think we really need more info. How long do you need to be there? Are you teaching or a student (i.e., do you have to look nice or not)? How much do you have to carry? How far is your commute? Is there somewhere close by that might have lockers?

    I'm currently considering a poncho (I know, the horror) as a rain option. The bike part of my commute isn't too far on either end, so hopefully the sail effect won't be too pronounced. On days where it isn't raining sideways, I'm hoping that, a helmet cover, and waterproof shoes are the only rain gear I'll need. I can live with being damp in the winter - the buildings are overly heated anyway. The "stuff" does become an issue when you have to lug it from building to building all day - and college classroom seats are tiny (no foot space for a backpack and a pannier)! I don't think I'll be able to use the handy lockers I found because my breaks this year are only 15 minutes (for getting from one class to another and lunch). I have a parking pass again - I was trying to decide whether to give it back. I might keep it.
    Most days in life don't stand out, But life's about those days that will...

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
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    6,478
    Attachment 17324
    Attachment 17325

    You think these would work?
    So long as the wheels are still turning, life is good.

    Battswebb

    Pinarello Quattro~CAADX~ Zurich Lemond
    Specialized Romin Saddles

    Surly Krampus!

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Posts
    4,556
    I think so - not 100% sure though. I ran into trouble where the rack had supports and then little tabs that stuck off the bottom - there was no where for the cams to swing around (it was a stock Trek 520 rack). I don't think that rack is on this list - but that might give you an idea. You might have to put both hooks inside the vertical supports - the front section might be too tight. I wonder if Arkel could tell you for sure?
    Most days in life don't stand out, But life's about those days that will...

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
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    Thanks, Blueberry. It's not on the list. The rack is by Delta. Good suggestion about calling them.

    The bike shop told me the weight capacity was 40 pounds. The Delta website says 20-25, which seems more normal. Very sturdy, and apparently good quality, though. Haven't heard anyone mention Delta racks on TE.
    So long as the wheels are still turning, life is good.

    Battswebb

    Pinarello Quattro~CAADX~ Zurich Lemond
    Specialized Romin Saddles

    Surly Krampus!

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
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    Quote Originally Posted by Muirenn View Post
    The bike shop told me the weight capacity was 40 pounds. The Delta website says 20-25, which seems more normal. Very sturdy, and apparently good quality, though. Haven't heard anyone mention Delta racks on TE.
    It looks a lot like a rack I used to have - which I think was branded performance (though probably manufactured by someone else). I don't remember what the load limit on it was - but I would bet it was in that range. The only thing I had to watch with it was a tendency to rotate around the seat post. I got a bike with eyelets not long after that, and so I never really tried to solve the problem - but I expect the rubber stuff they include with light mounts, etc. would go a long way (just in case you run into that issue).
    Most days in life don't stand out, But life's about those days that will...

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
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    6,478
    Quote Originally Posted by Blueberry View Post
    It looks a lot like a rack I used to have - which I think was branded performance (though probably manufactured by someone else). I don't remember what the load limit on it was - but I would bet it was in that range. The only thing I had to watch with it was a tendency to rotate around the seat post. I got a bike with eyelets not long after that, and so I never really tried to solve the problem - but I expect the rubber stuff they include with light mounts, etc. would go a long way (just in case you run into that issue).
    I was going to use a cut piece from an old tube to keep it from sliding. The CAADX I'm using it with does have rack mounts, but I want to be able to remove it quickly so I can use the bike for performance, too. I made sure to have an aluminum seatpost on that bike just so I could attach a rack.
    So long as the wheels are still turning, life is good.

    Battswebb

    Pinarello Quattro~CAADX~ Zurich Lemond
    Specialized Romin Saddles

    Surly Krampus!

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
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    4,556
    That makes sense. I got a second bike - that was heavy anyway - so no biggie to leave the rack on.
    Most days in life don't stand out, But life's about those days that will...

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
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    6,478
    Do you (or anyone else) have an opinion on the Sherpack backpack by Arkel?. The straps appear curved and more comfortable, I like the overall look, and it sits on the rack like a trunk rather than a pannier. Plus, it's $129.00. Much cheaper than the Bug. Is there any reason I'd want to stay away from that set-up and go for a drop-pannier setup?

    Thanks
    So long as the wheels are still turning, life is good.

    Battswebb

    Pinarello Quattro~CAADX~ Zurich Lemond
    Specialized Romin Saddles

    Surly Krampus!

  14. #14
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    Aug 2005
    Posts
    4,556
    No direct experience - but a few random thoughts. I needed the extra capacity, so I didn't consider it. But - I'm not sure it will work with your rack. They say in the description there is a slip in sleeve for their rack - and I'm not sure it would work with others for that reason. I suppose the other consideration is center of gravity - with lower being more stable. If you are planning on carrying much, that might be a consideration. The bug straps are more curved than the photos show - but perhaps not quite that curved. On the other hand, a centered weight might make the side-to-side movement less.
    Most days in life don't stand out, But life's about those days that will...

  15. #15
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    Jun 2010
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    I wondered. The Switchback specifically mentions that is works on the Randonneer and 'other' racks. But I think it's also a pannier. I suppose a pannier would be okay; especially since my rack has those drop sides (don't know what those are called). Next step is to call Arkel. Really like the Sherpack, though. Looks nice to carry on my back, good size. Etc.
    So long as the wheels are still turning, life is good.

    Battswebb

    Pinarello Quattro~CAADX~ Zurich Lemond
    Specialized Romin Saddles

    Surly Krampus!

 

 

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