CJ wrote:It never ceases to amaze me: the amount of trouble and pain that "serious" cyclists will put up with in order not to look like a tourist!
Backpacks have their place, for carrying a minimum of necessities when mountain-biking in difficult terrain. For everything else I'd rather let the bike take the strain: it has wheels on already!
I've heard of two people recently who've walked around the world or something like. In both cases they walked across two or three countries before it ocurred to them to buy a children's pushchair so as to get the load off their backs!
Says it all really.
it never ceases to amaze me what some serious cyclists will say when they cant (or wont) see the other side. Its got nothing to do with not wanting to look like like a tourist. Ive commuted and tried both. TB has it about right for me, the only downside being not the sweaty back (I wash me and my shirt after a ride), but the sweaty rucksack. and if its a sack that doesnt mix in social company, what the hell - wash it once a fortnight. I didnt want to put a rack and panniers onto a bike that I'm then going to have to regularly strip down for clubruns. Panniers create an awful lot of wind resistance which slows things down (and dont underestimate this). I wanted to cane it on the way home; racing other cyclists, even cars at junctions. I had to squeeze throught town centre traffic and didnt want anything sticking out. The fact that I carried a sack ensured I didnt carry loads of crap on a daily basis and kept it down to clothes and food. For a 15 mile ride, the sack never crippled my back and allowed for good weight distribution over uneven surfaces (ever tried riding over bumps and potholes with panniers? - what a din and that poor back wheel). theres no need to install and unhook the panniers twice a day and if you get off to pop into a shop everything is with you.
I'd say (tongue-in-cheekily) that the reason people resist sacks is cos they dont want to admit to craving some improved performance on their bikes and dont want to look anything other than a traditional british cyclo tourist of the 60's.
now, if youre talking proper touring with considerable luggage and mileages, then panniers is the way to go.