Carrying a rucksack

Cycle-touring, Expeditions, Adventures, Major cycle routes NOT LeJoG (see other special board)
gloomyandy
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Carrying a rucksack

Postby gloomyandy » 15 Jul 2012, 4:42pm

Hi Folks,
Have just returned from a weeks holiday on the Isle of Harris (not touring this time, I was up there earlier this year doing that), had a great time just riding around on a not very loaded bike.

Anyway as you might expect there were a lot of people around on bikes touring. The thing that surprised me was how many had gone for just rear rack and panniers and how many of them carried a rucksack. I guess the two are connected! Thing is I've never liked carrying a rucksack on a bike, always find it uncomfortable so I was surprised to see so many people doing just that, especially on bikes that could have taken a front rack, or even carried more on the back.

So the question is = do you carry a sack? How do you find it? Are there advantages to doing this (easier to keep valuables with you I guess, anything else)?

Andy
PS weather was good up there, if a little windy. Was pretty busy though, the ferry over from Skye (and back) was very full...

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Re: Carrying a rucksack

Postby Vorpal » 15 Jul 2012, 4:49pm

I can't stand to carry a rucksack. I don't even like those camelback thingies. I was issued a rucksack for work not so long ago, and and had to carry it on my bike, so I did the simplest thing, and carried it on my back. Yeuch! I'm glad I only had to go 10 miles with it!
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― Nelson Mandela, Long Walk to Freedom

RobMac
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Re: Carrying a rucksack

Postby RobMac » 15 Jul 2012, 5:54pm

Makes your back sweaty.
Raises your centre of gravity if you put to much in.
Puts more weight on your contact point (saddle/bum) = soreness.

But I do on occasion use a Camelbak light and narrow.

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PaulCumbria
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Re: Carrying a rucksack

Postby PaulCumbria » 15 Jul 2012, 5:54pm

I think it just shows how we've collectively lost cycling expertise in the UK. I reckon it stems from the popularity of mountain bikes (without racks), coupled with a failure to grasp how uncomfortable and potentially hazardous the practice is. I often tour with a small rucksack - strapped to the rack! Very useful both on and off the bike, but I'd no sooner carry it on my back while cycling than I'd put my shopping in a supermarket trolley and then carry the trolley - it really does strike me as being as daft as that!

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Benethi
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Re: Carrying a rucksack

Postby Benethi » 15 Jul 2012, 7:04pm

I mostly use panniers, but sometimes use a rucksack if I'm going a short distance without much to carry and want it to be easy to carry off the bike (which panniers really aren't).

While I wouldn't want to go any distance wearing a rucksack, I do always love it for a bit, just for the free, unencumbered bike feel. I find even a small amount in a pannier affects the handling quite a bit and slows the bike down.
"Frankly, I’m suspicious of anyone who has a strong opinion on a complicated issue" - Scott Adams
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chrisc
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Re: Carrying a rucksack

Postby chrisc » 15 Jul 2012, 7:23pm

All luggage should be carried on the bike, never on the person for reasons already given .. plus, if you fall off, you could well break your spine.

I once saw a cyclist with a huge, full, framed back-pack plodding along in shorts and tee-shirt. I have sometimes wondered if he still cycles anywhere after that experience ... :shock: ?
Tourer : 2010 Giant CRS City 4.0
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gloomyandy
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Re: Carrying a rucksack

Postby gloomyandy » 15 Jul 2012, 8:36pm

Yes I was rather surprised at how many people had rucksacks as well as panniers. Perhaps they just need the extra space?

My one experience of this from many years ago was trying to cycle with one of those old external frame rucksacks. The frame hit my head and stopped me from being able to look up properly! Never again...

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Benethi
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Re: Carrying a rucksack

Postby Benethi » 15 Jul 2012, 10:24pm

chrisc wrote:All luggage should be carried on the bike, never on the person for reasons already given .. plus, if you fall off, you could well break your spine.

I'd disagree. You should cycle however is comfortable and convenient to yourself. My guess would be a rucksack would be more likely to break your fall than your spine anyway.

Me and a friend did some cycle touring in Norway last year, using hire bikes from a hostel. They didn't have racks so we had to carry everything in rucksacks. In my case this was my 65 litre bag. We only went for a couple of days, so it was only about half full and not hugely heavy.

We weren't going particularly fast or far (about 100 miles over the two days, though it was hilly, and on the way back in fading light we had to trudge through about a mile of snow several feet deep as it was the only road open to cyclists - great memories :D ).

You make do with what you have. Most people don't have racks on their bikes, and don't want to spend money on panniers. Should they not cycle because it's too dangerous?
"Frankly, I’m suspicious of anyone who has a strong opinion on a complicated issue" - Scott Adams
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shotaway
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Re: Carrying a rucksack

Postby shotaway » 16 Jul 2012, 1:02am

Definalty ruck sacks not camelbaks? hydration systems?

Mountain bikers on day rides normally use small pack for there small lite things(makeup i think).
but when you have to carry a bit more get it on the racks for sure..

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CREPELLO
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Re: Carrying a rucksack

Postby CREPELLO » 16 Jul 2012, 8:46am

I think having the use of a 20litre sized back pack definately has it's uses, if you are likely to explore away from the bike. Still, I would tie it down to the rear rack when on the bike.

mattsccm
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Re: Carrying a rucksack

Postby mattsccm » 16 Jul 2012, 7:49pm

On a mountain bike I would always carry a rucksack. 1 good reason is its a damn good back protector!.
Of course touring is a different thing altogether. No way then unless it was a very basic camel back type that had uses off the bike eg I was also spending time hill walking.

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horizon
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Re: Carrying a rucksack

Postby horizon » 16 Jul 2012, 8:08pm

Benethi wrote:
chrisc wrote: Most people don't have racks on their bikes, and don't want to spend money on panniers.


This is what makes other cyclists despair - it isn't money as the rucksack would cost the same and £20.00 for a rack. It's just a prejudice against what might appear sensible. Let them suffer I say, it's their choice.
The experience of travel is something that you have to pay for but can never buy. Ho Ri Zon Chinese philosopher

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Benethi
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Re: Carrying a rucksack

Postby Benethi » 16 Jul 2012, 8:56pm

horizon wrote:This is what makes other cyclists despair - it isn't money as the rucksack would cost the same and £20.00 for a rack. It's just a prejudice against what might appear sensible. Let them suffer I say, it's their choice.


£20+ for a rack which then has to be fitted (and fitting a rack can be rather fiddly...getting it fitted is going to cost another tenner - not to mention that not all bikes can take one). Panniers cost a lot more than a rucksack (about £50-£120 vs £10+ for a rucksack, which most people will have anyway). Rucksacks are far more versatile. For the average bod who doesn't cycle much, rucksacks are far more convenient, and much cheaper too.

People carry a rucksack when walking, though it's just as uncomfortable then, but of course unless they're going to take a trolley round they have no choice. When they start cycling, they're going see no reason not to continue.

The biggest problem with panniers of course is that they're horrible to carry around off the bike.

At the end of the day, most people aren't as passionate about cycling as those on this forum, but they have every right to give it a go and see if they like it with whatever equipment they've got. If I were to go on a walking holiday, I could either go and buy all the correct gear straight away, or I could just go with what I've got. Other walkers might see me and think it really sad and a sign of poor education that I'm not using walking poles which could lead to me injuring myself, and wearing a cotton T-shirt which will make me really sweaty and uncomfortable. Of course many people do go and buy all the expensive gear for whatever new activity or interest that they've just started - take a look on eBay! :D
"Frankly, I’m suspicious of anyone who has a strong opinion on a complicated issue" - Scott Adams
Photos:
Scott's Travels 2010
Sparky's Travels 2012
Sparky's Travels 2013
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Vorpal
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Re: Carrying a rucksack

Postby Vorpal » 16 Jul 2012, 9:42pm

I'd like a rucksack that converts...
unzip, pull out & clip the straps = rucksack
tuck the straps in, flip n'zip, hey presto, pannier clips...

8)
“In some ways, it is easier to be a dissident, for then one is without responsibility.”
― Nelson Mandela, Long Walk to Freedom

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meic
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Re: Carrying a rucksack

Postby meic » 16 Jul 2012, 9:50pm

I have one of those but after it has been on the bike it is too dirty to go on my back, so I am just carrying extra weight.

I am sure that on a few occasions I have struggled to carry my shopping etc in various bags or in a pannier forgetting that one of them was also a rucksack. :oops:

As an aside, I have done tens of thousands of miles with a full 60L Berghaus rucksack on my back on various motorcycles and I am sure with many crashes and never suffered from it.
Yma o Hyd