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  1. #1
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    Bags or backpacks

    I have been commuting to work on a 2007 Specialized Globe for about five years now. The Globe is fitted with a Blackburn rear rack with two-pannier bags and a top rack bag, which is worn-out. I load my panniers up with a pair of shoes, a pair of paints and a shirt and the top bag with lunch, inner tube, tools, cell phone, keys and wallet. In other words I utilize all of the volume that my three bags have to offer. This winter I have been riding my 2007 Specialized Sirrus hybrid road bike to work with a full loaded backpack. My backpack fits all of my stuff in it.
    Here’s my problem, I want to keep riding my Sirrus to work but my back gets way too hot with a backpack when the temperature climb above 80 degrees. I live in Chico, CA were the temperatures reach 100 degrees in the late spring and summertime. Unfortunately, I cannot you use panniers on my Sirrus because the back of my feet hit the bags on the up stroke.
    Does anybody have any ideas for bag system that will work with my Sirrus?

  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by bwalton View Post
    I have been commuting to work on a 2007 Specialized Globe for about five years now. The Globe is fitted with a Blackburn rear rack with two-pannier bags and a top rack bag, which is worn-out. I load my panniers up with a pair of shoes, a pair of paints and a shirt and the top bag with lunch, inner tube, tools, cell phone, keys and wallet. In other words I utilize all of the volume that my three bags have to offer. This winter I have been riding my 2007 Specialized Sirrus hybrid road bike to work with a full loaded backpack. My backpack fits all of my stuff in it.
    Here’s my problem, I want to keep riding my Sirrus to work but my back gets way too hot with a backpack when the temperature climb above 80 degrees. I live in Chico, CA were the temperatures reach 100 degrees in the late spring and summertime. Unfortunately, I cannot you use panniers on my Sirrus because the back of my feet hit the bags on the up stroke.
    Does anybody have any ideas for bag system that will work with my Sirrus?
    Yours is the generic problem with all backpacks on a bicycle: Too hot (but for some very expensive ones), and in exactly the wrong place for weight of any kind to be carried long.

    But after 120 years of evolving bicycle technology, you should expect to not be the only one with the heel-strike problems. Don't rule out rear rack/panniers as a solution yet -- there are designs out there specifically for you.

    Having said that, I don't have brand name or URL for you; I just know I've seen the same problem discussed may times before. Personally, with the volume you describe I would go with distributing across a combination of front wheel-centered rack/pannier, handlebar bag and maybe a moderate-sized fanny-pack, seat-pack or rear rack-top bag.

  3. #3
    weirdo
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    Do your feet come close to fitting? You might be able to just tilt the rack a little bit further back to squeeze out a little bit more clearence.

  4. #4
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    I second the recommendation to keep looking at different panniers. some will accommodate your heels better than others.

  5. #5
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    I also don't like riding with a pack on my back. I have ridden with my back pack strapped to the top of my rack many times. I store a tube and tools in another bag even though they would fit in the back pack. I now use diy panniers with a large converted double bowling ball bag on the top of the rack. Looks just like a large trunk bag. You might try moving the bags back farther if you haven't tried that.




    Just to ad: I can get away with just the trunk bag for commuting and use all the bags for groceries if need be. I'm one that don't mind riding with the full load. The panniers I like because of the lower center of weight. One thing about the diy bags, I don't feel like I need to take them off the bike
    Last edited by Whatbrakes; 05-06-2012 at 08:59 AM.
    It's the stopping and starting part that will get ya!

  6. #6
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    I've commuted quite a while now with the topeak rack and mtx trunk bag with panniers. They weigh the bike down a lot in the back. I even got the handlebar bag for more room. This is on a specialized stump jumper hard tail. The space is nice but I really didn't need all of it, it was there so I used it.

    More recently I bought a specialized Tarmac carbon road bike. Not wanting to use the rack on the carbon I shopped around a bit and bought a deuter backpack. The cycling backpacks are amazing and some even have the water reservoir. I have found that the less room you have the more stuff you find that you really don't need.

    Since I got the backpack the panniers and handlebar bag are off the mountain bike and it's so much nicer riding without all the weight behind me. I leave a pair of shoes and belt at work so I'm just carrying a change of clothes. Make a freshen up kit for work too, baby wipes, hand soap, deodorant, tooth brush and you're good to go.

  7. #7
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    I used to use Bontrager rack, panniers and trunk to haul my food and clothing to work. But when I had enough of that heavy rack stuff, I bought a backpack and sweated through 1 So Cal summer.

    I only commute 3 days a week, I use the other two to take a week's worth of food at once and carry home stuff that is too big for the bike. I got some SPD compatible shoes that look like regular shoes as I dress casual professional so I don't have to drag shoes to work. The job is a sit-down IT job so that works just fine for me. If I had to take food and shoes I would use a bag/basket up front on the handlebar if possible.

    Now all I deal with is clothing and bike repair stuff. I just got a Revelate Pika seat bag that can hold my pants, shirt, computer glasses, ID, first-aid kit and a shell jacket with room to spare. Heck I could probably get a lunch in there too. But no shoes. A small Electra handlebar bag handles two tubes, patch kit, multitool and work ID.
    Tzvia.

  8. #8
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    south florida here...
    high heat & humidity are constant companions on my 3-4x per week, 35 mi roundtrip commute.

    i had always used a backpack until the beginning of this year when i got a bug up my ass to get the pack off my back. after xmas clearance rack & trunkbag with panniers were my choice & before i knew it i was carrying more & more junk with me to & from work & my bike was handling like s**t. so i said to myself - self, you worked hard putting together a light, quick handling, fun bike, & now you stuck all this heavy extra crap onto it...for what?

    so off came the rack & bags which are presently stuck in a corner of the garage & my bike is back to being a lean machine. the small backpack i use has plenty of room for a shirt & pants along with some flat fixing stuff & lunch.

    my commuter & i are both much happier now

  9. #9
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    When I biked to college in hot whether, I mounted a wire basket on my Schwinn Sierra’s rear rack with U-bolts and tied down my backpack (stuffed with books) in the basket with bungee cords. Talk about a heavy load?

    My Jandd rear rack bag and panniers are approximately 25 years old and are at the end of the life. I will check out some new bags at my LBS today and see if my heals clear the panniers when mounted to my Sirrus. On the other hand, I really enjoy how nibble and fast my Sirrus is compared to my heavy Globe, so keeping a pair of shoes and a change of clothes at work is a really good idea. With a little planning, all I really need is a new rear rack bag that will accommodate my small lunch and snacks.

  10. #10
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    Another option I didn't see mentioned is a "low-rider" style front rack for the fork, that will take two small-to-mid sized panniers. It's amazing that this can actually be a pretty easy way to ride and the handling is affected a lot less than you might think. Only real down side is having to loft the front end if you are on sh!tty roads.

    Having a backpack on makes the bike feel light and fast, but you are still carrying the same basic total rider/bike/gear weight (unless having the extra space makes you use it...) I have a couple of small panniers that I use on an old 29'er MTB with smoother tires (Nano) and really do prefer my pack off my back - when it's warm especially. If I need to load up, I have the room. My biggest issue is carrying my laptop - makes my backpack a bit too heavy (cheap laptop!) If you're just carrying clothes, the Revelate Design Viscacha uber-seat pack is an awesome piece of kit. The whole "rackless touring" thing has made some cool new bags and gear evolve.
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  11. #11
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    Give the attachment hardware on your panniers a close look. I've been able to tune the position on all I've owned.

    All racks are not created equal, you might be able to go a bit longer there too.

    There are some racks that are designed to give extra heel and/or disc brake clearance too, if it comes to that. I think Bontrager and Tubus have options.
    "Don't buy upgrades; ride up grades." -Eddy Merckx

  12. #12
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    has a lockable pannier been produced? i've made a frame and seatpost one (not the prettiest though). i know its just a deterrent, but my tools and spare are still there when i get back<a href="https://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/7547827098/" title="IMG_3041 by inoy_africa, on Flickr"><img src="https://farm8.staticflickr.com/7261/7547827098_4d3528f59e.jpg" width="500" height="375" alt="IMG_3041"></a><a href="https://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/7547826134/" title="IMG_3043 by inoy_africa, on Flickr"><img src="https://farm9.staticflickr.com/8428/7547826134_52e630361c.jpg" width="375" height="500" alt="IMG_3043"></a>

  13. #13
    weirdo
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    Quote Originally Posted by inoy View Post
    has a lockable pannier been produced?
    Lockable trunks, I dunno about panniers. Yours look pretty neat- what material did you use? Looks like Bondo over paper machet?
    And even more curiouser, what`s that you propped the frame up on in the top pic? I see a big round basket with flatbars and thumb shifters growing out of it, which sets my imagination running wild!

  14. #14
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    rodar,

    its actually hand laid fiberglass, then bondo. the yellow platform is a cargo bike i built http://forums.mtbr.com/cargo-bikes/p...580747-15.html

  15. #15
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    Here's another one built from 1/4 inch plywood then covered in fiberglass.
    done and painted | Flickr - Photo Sharing!
    Last edited by inoy; 03-02-2013 at 08:27 PM. Reason: pic won't show

  16. #16
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    Used to commute on a mtb with slicks, had the rack and trunk pack. Like the OP said, it fills with stuff. When I moved to a road bike I got a bit more wt conscious. First and foremost,

    I looked at what I really needed. I now have two pairs of shoes in my office at all time, no more carrying shoes. I use a local downtown laundry/dry cleaner for my shirts. I have 7 shirts I rotate through and keep in my office. This leaves me with just needing pants, underwear and socks. I usually get two days out of a pair of pants. Now I am down to many days when all I need to carry is underwear, socks. Add to that phone, wallet, badge. I keep the tools and spare tube in a an under seat pack. I use a small, narrow camelback. I have not had issues with overheating in the summer, though it gets a lot hotter in Chico. Keeping it light on the back is a real plus.

    Think through what you really need to bring, and some other options- and then you may open up some other alternatives.

  17. #17
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    Two words solve your problem:

    Longer Rack.

    They make racks that are several inches longer than "normal." They are long enough that it should make finding panniers that work relatively easy.

    Once I went with an Arkel commuter pannier, I never wore a messenger bag or backpack again. And I have showers and scrubs at my work.

    Tubus Logo Evo Rear Rack | | Bike Bag Shop

    Expedition Rack

  18. #18
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    Try Osprey's Manta series, if you can swing it. As far as ventilation on a backpack, nothing I've used comes close.

  19. #19
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    Look up Axiom racks they have some that will move the rack back closed to 2inches. They are design for road bikes that have short chain stays. I have been using my rack for 3 years now with know heel clearances issue.

  20. #20
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    Shimano

    Quote Originally Posted by bwalton View Post
    Does anybody have any ideas for bag system that will work with my Sirrus?
    I have the same problem. Shimano makes a commuter backpack that looks promising. Here is a picture:

    Name:  Shimano_Backack.jpg
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    Here is the description for the backpack.

    In Japan, a new breed of urban commuter is saying goodbye to the hassle of cars and trains and embracing the freedom of two-wheeled travel. They're called tsukinists- a blend of tsukin (commuting) and cyclists. To meet their specific needs, Shimano designed the TSUKINIST collection of commuter bags. Spacious bags packed with smart features, such as a rain cover and a separate padded laptop section. A breathable back and padded straps provide comfort and stability, so you can forget about the bag and stay focused on the road. With a TSUKINIST commuter bag, you get to start and finish the working day with a burst of freedom.

  21. #21
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    I wear a Boblebee. its a spinal protecting backpack. So I get to have a helmet for my back AND my laptop does not get smashed if I wreck.

    Panniers couldn't do that for me.

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