Thursday, July 29, 2010


I personally don't like to carry a bag slung over a shoulder- it makes my back sweaty and I feel unbalanced.  But they can be a dramatic statement
Big graphic colorblocks with a star  (note if you can the streetsign- very MIT)

Skinny jeans,  enormous bag

The Scientist has been riding to work this week for fun, and he's been in a quandry about how to carry things, not having a rack on his road bike.  He's been borrowing my Freitag messenger bag,  but I don't think I could do that every day for very long.


  1. I borrowed my son's Chrome messenger bag to go to the market, and it was very comfy. I'm short with small shoulders but I found the wide strap surprisingly comfy! Will "borrow" again,haha. But I wouldn't use it to commute every day. I'd get too sweaty :) I DO like the look of messengers, tho. Freitags are nice bags!

  2. I have one of three cargo options on my commute. For general heavy use, I have a pair of panniers, which is useful when I am bringing my laptop, clothes, lunch and might need to stop at a grocery or store for shopping errands. For lightweight use, I have a Carradice Super C (with a Philippines patch and a couple of Canadian flag pins) that is fine for laptop and work clothes but won't have space for groceries. that'll work on a bike with no racks; though you might need something like a Bagman or a Rivendell Hupe (caution! will gnaw on your seat stays with heavy use). Both of the above are fine if you're just using the bike to go from point a to point b. If I expect to spend a lot of time walking and riding in a day (ie. home to work to bar to movie theatre to home) then I'll use a messenger bag (with various Britpop rock patches), which can hold everything that I need but does indeed make the back sweaty and makes the rider more tired, since your arms and torso are supporting the weight of the bag instead of just letting your bike carry it.

    When I commute on the fixed Centurion, I either go with the Carradice or the messenger bag. Since I don't have a Brooks with saddle loops on the Centurion, I use a pair of screw-on bag loops from Velo-Orange

  3. Oh, I should also say that if you don't feel like getting bag loops, then I've also found that a spare wheel skewer that hangs between your saddle rails can also be a frugal (if slightly ghetto) strapping support for your Carradice style saddlebag.

  4. I don't mind a messenger bag like that if it's small, but once you get a laptop in there and your lunch, etc. It gets heavy. If you're only riding a few miles it's not terrible, but for me, it got old really fast.

    I'm still looking for a perfect pannier bag, sadly. Most look too... something... for my tastes. :)

  5. Hmm, I don't think that the Scientist would appreciate my putting saddlebag loops on his road bike, but the idea of a ghetto way to hang your carradice bag makes me chuckle. He might let me install a rack on his mountain bike, and I might even still have an extra rack banging around.

    Anaphase- have you thought about turning a regular bag into a pannier? It's quite simple, and that way you can find a bag that works perfectly off the bike and adapt it to use on the bike, instead of settling for a less than perfect bag that fits on the bike.
    See my post on how I made my pannier: The only downside I have found is that it's not super duper waterproof. If I think I'm going to get wet (like today) I take my old Ortlieb.

  6. I hate cycling with a bag attached to my body and don't do it unless there is no other way. Otherwise - racks, baskets, and panniers for me please.

    Of all the bags I've tried, I have found Chrome the most comfortable, as it does not slip to the side. Other bags I have to constantly adjust with my left hand while cycling, which I do not enjoy.

  7. For my road bike, I use a "Cage Rocket Storage Pod" and a seat bag. Together, those'll carry spare tube, patch kit, two pumps, iPhone, wallet, keys, minitool, and a sandwich. If I need to carry more, I either take my commute bike or a handlebar bag. I HATE packs & shoulder bags when I'm riding, though some of those you took pictures of look cool on other people.

  8. Yes, it's interesting to see how much a bag displays the owner's personality. I'm like you, though - I can't stand to have anything on my back.

  9. My touring bike (Bike Friday Crusoe) has a Carradice SQL bag that hangs off the seatpost--that might work on your friend's racing bike. When commuting, my underseat tools/tube bag gets stashed in the Carradice with everything else.

    My town bike (Breezer Uptown 8) has Wald folding baskets. My small messenger bag sits in one of the baskets when I commute or stays on my back for short rides. Messenger bags are stylish--great to have with you if going out with friends after work.