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backpacks or luggage racks?

anghyanghy Posts: 2
edited May 2008 in Commuting chat
hey fellow commuters, just wondering what is the general consensus, backpacks or luggage racks? and why?

I've tried adding a poll to this so hope it works!

backpacks or luggage racks? 0 votes

backpack
0% 0 votes
luggage rack
0% 0 votes
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Posts

  • JameyJamey Posts: 2,152
    I've been using a backpack on my hybrid for ages and was getting annoyed at how sweaty it makes me so I told myself that when I bought a nicer bike (likely to be the Specialized Tricross) I would fit a rack and panniers but after testing one the other day I think the bike's too beautiful to go whacking a rack onto the back so will probably stick with rucksack.
  • BelvBelv Posts: 866
    I agree that luggage spoils the lines, i also don't like extra weight on the rear wheel (which get whacked around enough when i'm riding) and finally i find it more convenient to keep one bag on me than clipping/strapping things on and off when i stop.

    For serious loads (35lbs+) then a rack is a much better answer.
  • delcoldelcol Posts: 2,848
    i use a backpack yeah you do arrive at work sweaty but i just change into my uniform at work.

    i never used a rack and panniers but from what i gather speaking to ppl who do have them is they can unballence the bike pluss it put more weight on the bike i would rather have that weight on me not the bike.....
  • atticaattica Posts: 2,362
    I think you missed a couple of options in your poll.
    Personally I prefer a bumbag
    Some prefer Courier bags too.
    "Impressive break"

    "Thanks...

    ...I can taste blood"
  • jeffereejefferee Posts: 80
    I would much rather have the weight on the bike than on my back. I can definitely ride faster with heavy stuff in panniers than I can with the equivalent weight on my back.

    My nice new Brodie Ronin even has long enough chainstays that heel strike on the panniers won't be a problem... sweet! And since it's a commuter, the full fenders look Fred enough that there aren't too many style points left to deduct for the rack.
  • UnderscoreUnderscore Posts: 730
    I use a backpack when commuting off-road on my MTB and panniers when commuting on-road. Since I use Vaude World Tramp panniers, there's no straps - they've got quick release fixings - so it's quicker to take my pannier off than to take off a backpack! Panniers much more pleasant for commuting.

    _
  • BentMikeyBentMikey Posts: 4,895
    You also left off saddlebags - click my bikes to see my Carradice longflap Camper. I'm amazed at how many people use backpacks, they are nowhere near as comfortable or as good as having the weight on the bike.
  • atticaattica Posts: 2,362
    I have to disagree with you there Mikey
    I much prefer having the weight attached to my body, I like moving around on the bike when I'm out of the saddle. I hate the sweaty back that goes with a Rucksack, so find my bumbag (which puts the weight in almost the same position as your saddlebag) to be a good compromise.
    "Impressive break"

    "Thanks...

    ...I can taste blood"
  • JameyJamey Posts: 2,152
    BentMikey wrote:
    You also left off saddlebags - click my bikes to see my Carradice longflap Camper. I'm amazed at how many people use backpacks, they are nowhere near as comfortable or as good as having the weight on the bike.

    Speaking for myself, I don't dispute what you're saying at all. My decision is purely aesthetic (admittedly more so once I've got the new bike) and as shallow as that is, it's still my reason.
  • BUICKBUICK Posts: 362
    Edinburgh cycles do a really good backpack with a mesh section that holds the bag away from your back and lets air pass through - as well as a stack of other good features. Well worth a look
    '07 Langster (dropped one tooth from standard gearing)
    '07 Tricross Sport with rack and guards
    STUNNING custom 953 Bob Jackson *sigh*
  • andrewc3142andrewc3142 Posts: 906
    Second Mikey's post re Carradice bags. Practical when on the bike. with enough capacity for commuting, lightweight clip when off, which takes about 2 seconds. Plus absolutely bomb-proof build quality.

    Utterly unconvinced that rucksacks or backpacks have a style advantage, but beauty is in the eye of the beholder and I suppose for some a hump does have a certain sartorial je ne sais pas.
  • clantonclanton Posts: 1,287
    These saddlebags - do they not hit the back of your thighs whilst riding?
    I'm looking for a non-backpack way of carrying more stuff on my carbon road bike during longer (poss even audax) rides and these may fit the bill.
  • RoastieRoastie Posts: 1,968
    I'm a backpack devotee - I tried a rack, but don't like what it does to the handling of the bike. I also don't like the way a rack + luggage adds to the unsprung mass - with the pack on the body, and hence sprung by the suspension of arms (and legs when neccesary), the bike is so much more pleasant to ride.

    Plus bunny hopping with a loaded rack would be, I assume, a bit tricky! :o
  • andrewc3142andrewc3142 Posts: 906
    clanton: No, the clip puts them further back.
  • John BJohn B Posts: 139
    I seem to change every six months or so. I have been using panniers through the winter but they end up full of censored so it's back to a small seatpost bag for spare tubes etc and a Deuter Race backpack for the other stuff. I can't get on with detachable pannier bags as they get filthy after a while.
  • Clever PunClever Pun Posts: 6,778
    I use a courier bag as it's snug against my back and keeps my balance

    panniers if you're just one then you can be lopsided and that's pretty annoying
    Purveyor of sonic doom

    Very Hairy Roadie - FCN 4
    Fixed Pista- FCN 5
    Beared Bromptonite - FCN 14
  • GambatteGambatte Posts: 1,453
    MTB - backpack with hydration.

    Commutings nots a 'pose' thing for me so I'm not too bothered what the bike looks like. might be a bit more individual and unnattractive to thieves with a rack?

    I swap about, the rack stays on, but I've got a Carradice Barley saddlebag and some panniers. Majority of the time tho I've just got the emergency tool kit and the days snap, so I'll strap a large Umbro shoe bag to the top of the rack.
  • ceecee Posts: 4,553
    attica wrote:
    I have to disagree with you there Mikey
    I much prefer having the weight attached to my body, I like moving around on the bike when I'm out of the saddle. I hate the sweaty back that goes with a Rucksack, so find my bumbag (which puts the weight in almost the same position as your saddlebag) to be a good compromise.

    Of the bumbags (or fannysack, whichever you prefer!) I have seen, none have been big enough for a laptop, or in fact anything substantial enough to think about the weight of the contents.

    Is yours different to the kind I am thinking about?(First bumbag in google)
    Whenever I see an adult on a bicycle, I believe in the future of the human race.

    H.G. Wells.
  • roger_merrimanroger_merriman Posts: 6,155
    paniers if i'm taking a fair amount of stuff, ie will not fit into a saddle bag. and to be honest will be the big heavy hybrid, far from heavy but a handy way to get around.

    for a sunday ride nice bike and just the get me home stuff.

    i have used backpacks and hate them
  • marcbamarcba Posts: 84
    I prefer not carrying a bag (sweaty back; sometimes heavy on my shoulders; not confortable when standing on pedals...).

    When riding by Brompton, I use a specific front bag.
    When riding my commuter tranformed mtb, I carry either a courrier bag (Crumpler) or a backpack (Deuter) since it is not fitted with a correct rack. My new commuter bike due in June will be equiped with a real rack and I look forward no more carrying bag on my back.
  • Eat My DustEat My Dust Posts: 3,965
    I use a courier bag at the moment but I'm thinking of getting some sort of carradice saddle bag. I don't think BM's Langster looks all that bad.
  • A - WA - W Posts: 253
    I pick my panniers and rack up on Saturday. I've used a back pack for the last eighteen months and fed up of the sweaty back.

    So I'll let you know. 8)
    FCN 10
  • DavidTQDavidTQ Posts: 943
    A - W wrote:
    I pick my panniers and rack up on Saturday. I've used a back pack for the last eighteen months and fed up of the sweaty back.

    So I'll let you know. 8)

    See if your panniers have the magic car repellers fitted that some of us find :D I get a good two foot more space when Ive got panniers on the bike than when I dont... Its got to the point where I now always have panniers on even if theyve just got a jacket or something in just for the extra comfort of more road space.
  • GambatteGambatte Posts: 1,453
    However I did have my closest overtake ever, the 2nd time I went out with panniers! :(
  • A - WA - W Posts: 253
    DavidTQ wrote:
    A - W wrote:
    I pick my panniers and rack up on Saturday. I've used a back pack for the last eighteen months and fed up of the sweaty back.

    So I'll let you know. 8)

    See if your panniers have the magic car repellers fitted that some of us find :D I get a good two foot more space when Ive got panniers on the bike than when I dont... Its got to the point where I now always have panniers on even if theyve just got a jacket or something in just for the extra comfort of more road space.

    Will do.

    I have started riding a little further out from the norm and cars seem to be giving me more room. Maybe a good half a metre, not enough to be a pain in the lane but enough that people have to alter their direction to overtake me. The results are staggering.
    FCN 10
  • lost_in_thoughtlost_in_thought Posts: 10,563
    Do you find that the pannier racks are really heavy? I've recently gone from a big old steel beast of a beach cruiser to a lightweight fixed gear bike, and am loath to move the pannier rack over as it's so darn heavy!

    It is possible, however, that I have a very heavy rack and there are lighter models out there. Thoughts?
  • sem69sem69 Posts: 106
    I use a courier bag which I find much more comfortable than a backpack.
    Only trouble is it swings round to the front when I'm out the saddle.
    Thinking of getting a carradice saddlebag, although they're not cheap and the buckles are bit old school.
    Also seen this seat post bag which looks pretty good...
    http://actionoutdoors.co.uk/shop/vaude- ... anguage=en
  • atticaattica Posts: 2,362
    cee wrote:
    Of the bumbags (or fannysack, whichever you prefer!) I have seen, none have been big enough for a laptop, or in fact anything substantial enough to think about the weight of the contents.

    Is yours different to the kind I am thinking about?(First bumbag in google)

    Mine is about 8 Litres, can't find a like for like replacement at the moment, but this is about as close as I can find (BTW the URL made me chuckle)
    "Impressive break"

    "Thanks...

    ...I can taste blood"
  • GambatteGambatte Posts: 1,453
    attica wrote:
    Mine is about 8 Litres, can't find a like for like replacement at the moment, but this is about as close as I can find (BTW the URL made me chuckle)

    Wouldn't buy from Aktive8 again. My last purchase was incorrectly described. They didn't pick up the phone and didn't respond to emails - even the one quoting the trading standards response to my enquiry. Months later the online description was still incorrect.
  • CrapaudCrapaud Posts: 2,666
    clanton wrote:
    These saddlebags - do they not hit the back of your thighs whilst riding?I'm looking for a non-backpack way of carrying more stuff on my carbon road bike during longer (poss even audax) rides and these may fit the bill.
    I doubt it. Saddlebags are beloved by audaxers and continually hitting one with your thighs would be a complete pain over the distances that they do.

    I use a rack pack, bar bag or panniers as the situation demands. I've used a backpack, but the sweaty back and constant rubbing are annoying and it's ruined 2 tops.

    I also found that a backpack, depending on the weight, raises the centre of gravity making the bike / cyclist combo more unstable. Panniers lower the centre of gravity making it more stable.
    A fanatic is one who can’t change his mind and won’t change the subject - Churchill
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