Commuter bag when cycling - suggestions

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Gineta
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Joined: 5 Oct 2020, 3:36pm
Location: Santa Clara, California

Commuter bag when cycling - suggestions

Postby Gineta » 7 Oct 2020, 6:34pm

Hi all, new here. At the moment, I use as a "commuter bag" something that is surely classified as a "carry-on" by airliners, it's a wheely bag from IKEA called UPPTÄCKA.
It's bulky, slightly heavy and it fits in my bike rear basket, and it's kept in place by a cargo net.

Considering that I always need to carry everything with me (trousers, shirt, tie, shoes/boots, towel, shower gel, extra clothes for the return... Plus, laptop, charger, mouse, notepad, my lunch that usually requires 2 tupperware, extra bits and pieces. So yes, a lot of stuff, and I can't leave nothing behind.

Does any of you, more experienced commuters, are aware of a better solution for my conumdrum ?

One can argue, that "don't fix if ain't broken", since the current bag does indeed takes care of all my needs, but I would prefer something lighter and less bulky.
This bag is 40L, in the past I tried other (smaller) bags and 25/30-ish L, don't have enough space, so it seems 40L, is really the bare minimum :\

Any suggestions?

Again, I always need to carry everything, so leave items A,B,C in place Z doesn't work.

fredN4
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Joined: 14 Oct 2012, 8:21pm
Location: 30200 France

Re: Commuter bag when cycling - suggestions

Postby fredN4 » 8 Oct 2020, 7:27pm

why do you need to carry all that crap? I commuted by bicycle for many years. Left my suit, shoes etc and wash things at the office. Just carried a fresh shirt in a small nap sack. Could even pick up 2 bottles of wine on the return journey.

iandriver
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Joined: 10 Jun 2009, 2:09pm
Location: Cambridge.

Re: Commuter bag when cycling - suggestions

Postby iandriver » 8 Oct 2020, 7:57pm

Are you looking for something that will go in the basket, or are panniers for a rack an option?

I'm guessing waterproof is high up on your wish list.

For chucking in a basket, I'm quite a fan of dry bags. They tend to roll up small in case you work at multiple sites and have to hide it away.
Just one example
https://www.decathlon.co.uk/p/waterproo ... OHEALw_wcB
Supporter of the A10 corridor cycling campaign serving Royston to Cambridge http://a10corridorcycle.com. Never knew gardening secateurs were an essential part of the on bike tool kit until I took up campaigning.....

JakobW
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Joined: 9 Jun 2014, 1:26pm
Location: The glorious West Midlands

Re: Commuter bag when cycling - suggestions

Postby JakobW » 8 Oct 2020, 8:10pm

fredN4 wrote:why do you need to carry all that crap?

:roll:
Gineta wrote:Again, I always need to carry everything, so leave items A,B,C in place Z doesn't work.


Your alternative options are probably:
- use another, lighter, bag in the basket with the cargo net - maybe a holdall of some kind?
- use panniers - two 25l panniers will possibly be marginally lighter, and I'd expect handle better, as the weight will be lower down.

It all depends on your needs at the other end. If you have to carry stuff far, then a wheely suitcase is probably pretty well suited. How waterproof is the existing suitcase (and does it need to be)? The suit would be the biggest problem for me, as you ideally want to carry it without crumpling. There are suit bags designed for use on bike, but the ones I've seen - Henty Wingman or some such? - are all courier-bag style, which aren't IMO ideal for longer journeys. You can get more lightweight suitcases, which may be your best bet.

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gaz
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Location: Kent, lorry park of England

Re: Commuter bag when cycling - suggestions

Postby gaz » 8 Oct 2020, 9:57pm

Gineta wrote:Any suggestions?

Not tried this idea myself.
Missing, presumed fed.

fredN4
Posts: 60
Joined: 14 Oct 2012, 8:21pm
Location: 30200 France

Re: Commuter bag when cycling - suggestions

Postby fredN4 » 11 Oct 2020, 5:03pm

or change your mode of transport. a scooter perhaps?

philvantwo
Posts: 1120
Joined: 8 Dec 2012, 6:08pm

Re: Commuter bag when cycling - suggestions

Postby philvantwo » 11 Oct 2020, 6:51pm

Yeah get an electric scooter and whizz along on the footpaths!
:lol: :lol: :lol:

pwa
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Joined: 2 Oct 2011, 8:55pm

Re: Commuter bag when cycling - suggestions

Postby pwa » 11 Oct 2020, 8:32pm

A solid pannier rack and a pair of Ortlieb panniers. I'd go for the big ones. Or stick with what you have if it works and it stays safely on the bike.

esuhl
Posts: 129
Joined: 22 Mar 2017, 3:20am

Re: Commuter bag when cycling - suggestions

Postby esuhl » 12 Oct 2020, 1:42am

pwa wrote:A solid pannier rack and a pair of Ortlieb panniers. I'd go for the big ones.


I was going to say exactly the same.

Fitting a proper rack, and getting a pair of Ortlieb Rear Roller panniers was a revolution for me! I can load my bike with more weight that I could carry by hand. The panniers lock on tightly for cross-country cycling too.

They're really well-made, but they also sell replacement components. A screw/mount broke on my old Ortlieb panniers. I bought a pack of 5 Ortlieb-branded replacements for £10, and they're as good as new!

They're expensive initially, but should last a lifetime.

simonhill
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Joined: 13 Jan 2007, 11:28am
Location: Essex

Re: Commuter bag when cycling - suggestions

Postby simonhill » 12 Oct 2020, 8:12am

The problem with 2 panniers is that you have to carry 2 bags all the time. This isn't very convenient. Also I find that panniers aren't great for permanent carrying due to hooks and straps catching on things.

I think the best thing for the OP is to find a lighter single bag that meets his needs. Barrel bags are much lighter and can be carried on shoulder. Not sure about the suit though. Dry bags similar, but a bit heavier and waterproof. Slightly heavier, a multitude of holdalls.

esuhl
Posts: 129
Joined: 22 Mar 2017, 3:20am

Re: Commuter bag when cycling - suggestions

Postby esuhl » 27 Oct 2020, 6:46pm

simonhill wrote:The problem with 2 panniers is that you have to carry 2 bags all the time. This isn't very convenient. Also I find that panniers aren't great for permanent carrying due to hooks and straps catching on things.


You don't need to have two panniers if you can fit everything into one -- and they're far more spacious than a standard commuter-sized backpack.

Carrying a light load in the Ortlieb panniers (extra clothes, a bottle of water, etc.) is easy -- you can use the handle or shoulder strap.

But yes -- any moderately heavy load is difficult and uncomfortable to carry when the panniers aren't on the bike. :-/

Jdsk
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Joined: 5 Mar 2019, 5:42pm

Re: Commuter bag when cycling - suggestions

Postby Jdsk » 27 Oct 2020, 6:51pm

I have a large soft pad on the shoulder strap of the Ortlieb pannier that is the one when there's only one. Makes a surprising difference. And of course I wear it hook side out.

Jonathan

gregoryoftours
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Joined: 22 May 2011, 7:14pm

Re: Commuter bag when cycling - suggestions

Postby gregoryoftours » 27 Oct 2020, 7:00pm

Panniers would have a lower centre of gravity but are a bit awkward to carry off the bike, and if you're set on one big bag you could get a large Ortlieb rack pack (49l) or duffel bag (40l and heavier duty with a price tag to match. The rack pack is already heavy duty)

https://www.cyclestore.co.uk/ortlieb_ra ... e-ID_71867

Waterproof roll top closure (not end closure so it has easy access to contents). It will be considerably lighter than a hand luggage case, but the shape may or may not fit your basket. Many people including myself use them as a rack top bag for touring. I think mine's 30l

alexnharvey
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Joined: 10 Jan 2014, 8:39am

Re: Commuter bag when cycling - suggestions

Postby alexnharvey » 28 Oct 2020, 9:39am

I use a large ortlieb pannier but I am lucky enough to have a locker at work where I can keep shoes and trousers and a towel and I do not need to bring my laptop to and from work daily, so most of the time it is less than half full (lunch + shirt, socks and underwear). I think it would be tight to get all the items you are carrying into it.

Is your employer not able to make any provision for storage at work?

peterh11
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Joined: 20 Mar 2010, 10:25pm

Re: Commuter bag when cycling - suggestions

Postby peterh11 » 31 Oct 2020, 2:46pm

If most of your journey time the bags are on the bike, I recommend panniers and a rear rack. I have a pair of Ortlieb panniers (classic touring type) which I bought 20 years ago and they are still waterproof after being used daily for most of that time to commute and do errands. If the rack is reasonably sturdy then you can use one at a time no problem with a light load.

I also have a newer Ortlieb pannier which is one of their city/commute ones. I like this too - it mounts angled to clear your feet, looks like a briefcase, is waterproof and has a special pocket for the laptop. What’s more it has quite a nice shoulder strap and with a little care you can carry it so the hooks don’t dig into you. I was using that daily on my commute for my laptop and other stuff until lockdown, some of the time with one of the original panniers.

If you go this route, buy the rack and panniers together if possible and get advice to be sure that everything is compatible. Not all panniers fit nicely to all racks.

Peter H