Author Topic: Need rec. for carrying lunch, etc to work on bike  (Read 8437 times)

dilinger

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Re: Need rec. for carrying lunch, etc to work on bike
« Reply #50 on: August 07, 2016, 12:04:59 AM »
Proud to report that after drooling over all these gadgets and baskets and panniers inspired by this thread, today I exercised some Mustachian muscle and strapped a milk crate on my bike to go grocery shopping. DH and I hit a farmer's market and a couple of local stores. Couple of surprises:

- groceries are heavy (especially since today was carrots, zukes, and honey). My bike felt so different with the extra weight. Almost dropped it once.


Congrats!  The milk crate (when loaded) will make your bike top-heavy and definitely affect how it rides.  The more weight, the worse it is.

If you get baskets or a pannier that hang off the side of your rack rather than sitting on top of it, the weight will be lower and your bike will be easier to ride.  You could probably even zip-tie that milk crate to the side rather than the top of the rack, though I've never tried that.  The lower, the better; but watch out for your heels hitting the crate/basket/panniers.

cacaoheart

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Re: Need rec. for carrying lunch, etc to work on bike
« Reply #51 on: August 07, 2016, 07:48:59 AM »
- the milk crate changed things up enough that I had a really hard time swinging my leg over my bike. I an very short so I guess that makes things worse. Had to lean the bike really low to awkwardly swing my leg over.

I am starting to think of panniers/folding baskets for the lower profile.

It may help to step over the bar in front of the seat rather than swinging your leg over the bike behind the seat, depending on which point is higher now .

Panniers are definitely nice in how they can keep weight centered lower on the bike, but you're doing well with what you have for little cost so far.

jacksonvasey

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Re: Need rec. for carrying lunch, etc to work on bike
« Reply #52 on: August 08, 2016, 07:18:23 AM »
I have a rear rack on which I put a big Bell brand (I think; it was like $10 on clearance at wal mart) basket and my backpack just fits in it.  I have panniers that fit on the sides of the basket.

TravelJunkyQC

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Re: Need rec. for carrying lunch, etc to work on bike
« Reply #53 on: August 08, 2016, 09:49:56 AM »
I have a backpack: http://www.deuter.com/CA/ce/bike/race-exp-air-32133-1794.html which is great for biking because the pack doesn't rest directly on my back (has mesh and a good inch of space that helps air pass through).

Tester

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Re: Need rec. for carrying lunch, etc to work on bike
« Reply #54 on: August 08, 2016, 02:00:36 PM »
Or you can go both ways:
I just got a pannier (use, because I don't know if I will use it enough to justify a new one).
Looking at it, I think I have a smaller backpack which will fit in.
So I hope I will be able to put the backpack in and get it out when I need to walk.
The pannier can stay attached to the bike as I leave it in the bike cage at work... :).
Will see how things work out after I get a rack installed and ride a few times.
I got n Ortlieb pannier at 30 USD - it is used but it is perfect for starting I think.

Tester

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Re: Need rec. for carrying lunch, etc to work on bike
« Reply #55 on: August 10, 2016, 05:41:41 PM »
And the result:
Riding with the backpack in the pannier is a success (for now, for me).
The only thing bothering me is that the pannier has a smell - it is an old pannier and it smells of static air inside a plastic bag.....
I used wet cleaning wipes to get the most out of it but it still smells.
So, in the long run the backpack will start smelling too - and potentially the clothes inside the backpack/the clothes I am dressed in from the contact with the backpack.
But I only carry a rain shell inside and I only carry the backpack 5 minutes while I am using the elevator.
Will see if the backpack will get so smelly that it will create discomfort for my colleagues I might have to double down on cleaning the pannier/buy a new(er) one.

GuitarStv

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Re: Need rec. for carrying lunch, etc to work on bike
« Reply #56 on: August 10, 2016, 07:42:28 PM »
If the pannier is waterproof, what probably happened is that it got wet inside and some mould/mildew took root.  (This is a problem with waterproof panniers - they're waterproof, so they will keep moisture inside them really well . . . and you get some wet, warm, dark areas with some of the random bits of fluff and crap that always find their way into panniers that's a mold paradise.)  I'd try turning the pannier inside out and leaving it out in hot sun for a while, if that doesn't work maybe try some bleach and water to kill the mildew.

Tester

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Re: Need rec. for carrying lunch, etc to work on bike
« Reply #57 on: August 10, 2016, 11:39:42 PM »
Yes, it is exactly that smell. And yes, the pannier is an Ortlieb waterproof model.
I am keeping it opened all the time when I am not using it and leaving it outside while I am home.
Will use some more disinfecting wipes and let it dry, then try to turn it inside out.
Another thing to sort out is to fix it further away from my heel. I think I can move it half a centimeter further back which will make it so I don't have to push it after I go over a bump.
When it is empty it is fine but when I put the backpack in it it gets very close/too close.
All in all, 30 USD for the pannier plus 28 for the rack is worth it:-).
« Last Edit: August 10, 2016, 11:42:35 PM by Tester »

FLBiker

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Re: Need rec. for carrying lunch, etc to work on bike
« Reply #58 on: August 11, 2016, 05:13:25 AM »
I use a milk crate strapped to my rear rack with a bungee cord. It can fit a surprising amount of stuff, I don't have to worry about anyone stealing it,  and I can remove it in a few seconds if I want to. I pack my lunch in a ball jar and put it in my purse, which goes in the milk crate. The whole system is very cheap and pretty efficient.

I love the milk crate on a rear rack.  I use a combo of zipties and bungee to hold the crate on, with another bungee over the top to hold my backpack in.  I just drop my backpack in (which has lunch, basic bike tools, etc.) and go.  Actually, I missing the over the top bungee right now and it doesn't matter.  In my backpack, I also have a kitchen garbage bag to put over the pack in the rain.  I've been doing this for over 10 years.

It's true that this is probably not the lightest set up, but part of the reason I'm biking to work is exercise.

JackieTreehorn

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Re: Need rec. for carrying lunch, etc to work on bike
« Reply #59 on: August 11, 2016, 08:05:59 AM »
I just got the Osprey Radial 26 for my birthday.  It's a backpack specifically designed for bike commuters and has a suspension system to keep the pack off your back so you get airflow back there and don't get (too) sweaty.  Plenty of room for a sack lunch and clothes.  Also has a "lid lock" so you can easily attach/detach your helmet to the outside of the pack.  They also make a 34 L size if you want a bigger one.

http://www.ospreypacks.com/us/en/product/radial-26-RADIAL26.html

Shop around...don't pay $170 obviously.

mskyle

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Re: Need rec. for carrying lunch, etc to work on bike
« Reply #60 on: August 11, 2016, 08:13:07 AM »
Protip:  Leave your lock attached to the rack at work.

I don't do that because then I'd just have to carry around a second lock anyway, to lock up the bike when I run errands on the way home.

I use a cheap, light weight lock for quick errands where I'm going to be in and out in a short period of time, and leave my heavy duty one at work where my bike is parked in the same spot for many hours a day.  YMMV.

This is me, too, sort of - I use a frame-mounted lock for quick errands. It just locks the back wheel to the frame so you can't ride away, and the lock is always attached the bike so I can't forget it. Obviously someone could pick the bike up and put it in a truck while I'm in the grocery store, but it hasn't happened yet.

For "no-name" panniers I have some REI store brand panniers that I've had for like seven years, using them most days. I love the quick-release system, which is similar to the Ortlieb version. They have <a href="https://www.rei.com/product/881250/novara-nucleus-deluxe-pannier-pair">a similar pair on sale for $59</a> right now - $59 for both is a pretty great deal IMO.

mountains_o_mustaches

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Re: Need rec. for carrying lunch, etc to work on bike
« Reply #61 on: August 11, 2016, 08:36:53 AM »

[/quote]
For "no-name" panniers I have some REI store brand panniers that I've had for like seven years, using them most days. I love the quick-release system, which is similar to the Ortlieb version. They have <a href="https://www.rei.com/product/881250/novara-nucleus-deluxe-pannier-pair">a similar pair on sale for $59</a> right now - $59 for both is a pretty great deal IMO.
[/quote]

These are the ones I bought a few years back at the REI garage sale - they've held up well and a good size for grocery shopping (it's just me and my SO).

elaine amj

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Re: Need rec. for carrying lunch, etc to work on bike
« Reply #62 on: August 11, 2016, 10:21:15 AM »
I just got the Osprey Radial 26 for my birthday.  It's a backpack specifically designed for bike commuters and has a suspension system to keep the pack off your back so you get airflow back there and don't get (too) sweaty.  Plenty of room for a sack lunch and clothes.  Also has a "lid lock" so you can easily attach/detach your helmet to the outside of the pack.  They also make a 34 L size if you want a bigger one.

http://www.ospreypacks.com/us/en/product/radial-26-RADIAL26.html

Shop around...don't pay $170 obviously.

I used my $30 hydration pack from Costco yesterday. It also has the suspension system to keep the pack off your back. I only had a bit of water in there - decided to keep most of the weight for my clothes/shoes/lunch. It was OK - I much prefer strapping stuff onto my rear rack because
- even with the suspension system, it is a little sweaty. I kinda like a bit more freedom when riding
- I'm stuck to wearing sporty clothes and I often wear my work clothes when biking to work.
- in continuation of above, I know I'm not being super practical - but from a fashion perspective I just don't care for biking to work in sporty clothes and a backpack. I kinda like the feel of biking in work clothes, especially when I wear a dress. I just change my shoes when I arrive and I'm set. Plus it means no one sees me until I'm work-ready (I change my shoes and add jewelry when I store my bike). If I need to change, I have to come into the office and while its fine, I prefer to avoid it.

In conclusion, strapping a small bag onto my rear rack with bungee cords has been cheap, practical, easy, and suits me. I still drool over pretty baskets and panniers (especially the $60 set from REI posted above!) but I think this will serve me just fine for now. I add a milk crate when I go grocery shopping. Not so crazy about the milk crate but I figure at least I am not going to work with it. (and yes, I'm finding I'm a little vain - I absolutely don't want to ride to work with the milk crate).
« Last Edit: August 11, 2016, 10:26:41 AM by elaine amj »

robartsd

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Re: Need rec. for carrying lunch, etc to work on bike
« Reply #63 on: August 11, 2016, 11:22:33 AM »

Quote
For "no-name" panniers I have some REI store brand panniers that I've had for like seven years, using them most days. I love the quick-release system, which is similar to the Ortlieb version. They have a similar pair on sale for $59 right now - $59 for both is a pretty great deal IMO.

These are the ones I bought a few years back at the REI garage sale - they've held up well and a good size for grocery shopping (it's just me and my SO).
Do these have attachment points for a shoulder strap?

Tester

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Re: Need rec. for carrying lunch, etc to work on bike
« Reply #64 on: August 11, 2016, 11:32:35 AM »
I still drool over pretty baskets and panniers (especially the $60 set from REI posted above!) but I think this will serve me just fine for now. I add a milk crate when I go grocery shopping. Not so crazy about the milk crate but I figure at least I am not going to work with it. (and yes, I'm finding I'm a little vain - I absolutely don't want to ride to work with the milk crate).

If I would have seen the above set I would not have my current pannier (30 USD used - and quite used, it has a smell as I said above) :). And I only have one, so the price is the same as for the new ones...
Now I am thinking if I should buy the new ones - and I realize on what forum I am :).
My idea is that if the new ones don't smell (and I hope they don't), my wife would not get nausea from the smell.
It is not that strong, but she has problems with bad smells.
I think I will stick it out with the current one for a while, I only used it twice.