Author Topic: Business "cargo" on bike?  (Read 4647 times)

ivyhedge

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 290
  • Location: United States of Farse
Business "cargo" on bike?
« on: June 19, 2014, 08:15:35 AM »
My wife and I commute by bike in Boston. She has a women's Diamondback bike from Costco.


She enjoys the ride, but we are looking for an alternative to slinging her attache case across the back (it impedes balance and is hot). She carries between 15-22lbs of materials each night (technology and close hold documents). For purposes of your recommendations, assume that the quantity of materials cannot be reduced.


What do avid riding commuters do with routinely heavy packs? Ideally the solution would switch from bike mounted to portable without adding much weight or make the bike harder to hang at work.


Thanks in advance for your suggestions.

frugaliknowit

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1662
Re: Business "cargo" on bike?
« Reply #1 on: June 19, 2014, 08:52:48 AM »
That sounds like a lot of weight indeed.  I don't know what you mean by technology, but if you mean a laptop, your wife might want to convert to a MS Surface or something like it to save space/weight.  Here's what I use and really like it (no good in rain as it's not waterproof, though you could certainly wrap electronics in ziplocks in case...):  http://www.rei.com/product/797998/topeak-rx-trunk-dxp-with-panniers-pair/?cm_mmc=cse_PLA-_-pla_multichannel-_-7979980013&mr:trackingCode=101F6721-A94C-DF11-BAA3-0019B9C043EB&mr:referralID=NA&mr:device=c&mr:adType=pla_multichannel&mr:ad=52673752960&mr:keyword=&mr:match=&mr:filter=61471048840&msid=UZhDv8b9_dc|pcrid|52673752960|

ivyhedge

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 290
  • Location: United States of Farse
Re: Business "cargo" on bike?
« Reply #2 on: June 19, 2014, 09:04:08 AM »
Interesting: thank you. So we'd install a rack on her bike and then that would couple to it and hang off one of the sides? Amazon has the model for $60.


She cannot change the array of tech that she uses/carries.



« Last Edit: June 19, 2014, 09:25:55 AM by ivyhedge »

jfer_rose

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 450
  • Age: 41
  • Location: Urban Dweller
Re: Business "cargo" on bike?
« Reply #3 on: June 19, 2014, 09:28:48 AM »
A rack and panniers would be ideal. Some bikes don't have bike rack mounts that make attaching a rack super easy but if that is the case a bike shop may be able to help you figure out how to install a rack anyway. Most basic racks will carry about 20-50 pounds-- look for one that will be adequate for your wife's load.

There are so, so many options for panniers. Some are even very stylish and some are designed for carrying laptops.

Sparafusile

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 333
  • Age: 37
  • Location: Indiana, USA
Re: Business "cargo" on bike?
« Reply #4 on: June 19, 2014, 09:34:43 AM »
I also commute with quite a bit of stuff. I have to carry a laptop, it's attachments, a breakfast and lunch, and anything else I might need throughout the day. I prefer to use a back pack to do this. The way I handle the cargo is to remove my seat and slide the pole through the top handle of my back pack. Once I lock the seat back in place this guarantees my bag wont fall off the bike. Then I strap it to my rear rack with bungy cords. Sometimes my food gets squished, but it's worked well otherwise.

frugaliknowit

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1662
Re: Business "cargo" on bike?
« Reply #5 on: June 19, 2014, 09:37:35 AM »
The Topeak trunk bag can hang both sides, one side or just the middle.  That is the topeak track system.  They have a variety of bags/panniers that fit in that rack.  I have 2 bikes, one rack on each.  Picked up a rack for $36 recently (google shopping...). 

I also have a grocery pannier, which holds quite a bit of weight (I use it for groceries, but can be used for anything): http://hyaliteequipment.com/bike-gear/view/coop-pannier-bike.  Bought it on ebay for about $50.  It fits on the topeak or most any rack.


marblejane

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 357
  • Location: SF Bay Area
Re: Business "cargo" on bike?
« Reply #6 on: June 19, 2014, 09:51:22 AM »
I would suggest you look into the Ortlieb Office bag. It is waterproof and designed to hold a laptop, with plenty of space for files.

Here's a bikeforums thread with a thorough review of the bag: http://www.bikeforums.net/commuting/778121-ortlieb-downtown-pannier-versus-ortlieb-office-bag-large.html

I recently received the Ortlieb Downtown pannier as a gift. It's very spacious, and very easy to attach and detach from the bike. I prefer the Downtown over the Office because I typically am carrying a change of clothes & lunch in my bag, but I would think that the Office is better for carrying files and a laptop (boxy, hardsided design, fully waterproof).

ivyhedge

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 290
  • Location: United States of Farse
Re: Business "cargo" on bike?
« Reply #7 on: June 19, 2014, 09:55:30 AM »
I really like these suggestions. Her bike is prepped for just about any addition, so I'll order a standard rack and then decide on a pannier system ... Thanks to all!

marblejane

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 357
  • Location: SF Bay Area
Re: Business "cargo" on bike?
« Reply #8 on: June 19, 2014, 09:59:28 AM »
Also- if you are looking for recommendations on a rear rack, I have found the Axiom journey to be outstanding.

Ashyukun

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 270
Re: Business "cargo" on bike?
« Reply #9 on: June 19, 2014, 01:26:49 PM »
I've got a set of Axiom waterproof panniers that I use while commuting- don't typically carry laptop, but have commuted a lot with carrying heavy books and such back and forth and they've been fantastic.

Upstart_Juggler

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 4
Re: Business "cargo" on bike?
« Reply #10 on: June 19, 2014, 02:48:31 PM »
I used to have one of these:

http://www.carradice.co.uk/index.php?page_id=product&product_id=64

It has hooks with a rotating section to secure it to the rack, just like any pannier. Those are attached to a sturdy metal bar on the back of the bag. All of that is covered by a flap which secures with velcro when you are using it as a briefcase, and then covers the top of the bag when its on the bike. Looks classier than the Ortlieb, in my opinion.

Alternatively, a pannier designed for A4 size (or US letter) folders and therefore laptops:

http://www.carradice.co.uk/index.php?page_id=product&under=type&product_id=29

lackofstache

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 313
Re: Business "cargo" on bike?
« Reply #11 on: June 19, 2014, 02:52:41 PM »
It's not mustachian, but if she's got a lot of bulky gear you can't get much classier than this http://www.rivbike.com/product-p/bassl-tan.htm I've had mine (got it used for just over $100) for 3 years & it still looks brand new.

ivyhedge

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 290
  • Location: United States of Farse
Re: Business "cargo" on bike?
« Reply #12 on: June 20, 2014, 08:12:42 AM »
It's not mustachian, but if she's got a lot of bulky gear you can't get much classier than this http://www.rivbike.com/product-p/bassl-tan.htm I've had mine (got it used for just over $100) for 3 years & it still looks brand new.


@lack: *very* nice ... Only issue is that she doesn't dig the straps. That would look pretty nice on my wheels, though! Thx!

Thegoblinchief

  • Guest
Re: Business "cargo" on bike?
« Reply #13 on: June 20, 2014, 08:28:34 AM »
I'd get double panniers. Not sure how I'd like biking with weight all hanging on one side of the frame.

Lots of ways you can go with bags. The main thing to watch out for is any strap of section of the pannier that can sag/fall into the spokes of the rear wheel. That is the single biggest complaint on panniers, usually the cheap ones.

I still am doing the backpack thing, but I've finally gotten enough saved to start looking at possible Buy it for Life candidates like the Ortlieb models.