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  1. #1
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    commuting with laptop

    Greetings happy commuters! Ive been very lucky (thus far) in that my commute to work is short (4miles) and pretty much all downhill As such, Ive never really needed to worry about changing/showering at the office (although I do change shirts) or carrying a computer, lunch, and misc. assundries in a backpack.

    My situation will soon change, as I am being relocated to another office. My new commute distance will be 16 miles and take me roughly an hour each way. There is a half mile section of 4-lane road w/o a shoulder that will need to "book it" over, other than that - the route is safe enough. The new office does have a shower available, which is good, but that also means I will need to carry a change of clothes, plus my lunch & computer... I'm thinking I don't want to carry this in a backpack anymore, and move to panniers.

    For those of you commuting with a laptop to an office environment, what do you recommend for panniers? Should I get front or rear? The computer has a solid state drive, so I'm not overly concerned about it shaking, but security and waterproof are required.

    For what its worth, I have my eye on these...
    Tempest Hydracore P36+ - Tempest Panniers - Bags/Panniers - Products - Axiom Cycling Gear

    I'd be interested to hear comments from anyone out there using them!
    Grit, spit, and a whole lot of duct tape!

  2. #2
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    I use this rack

    With these panniers

    Rack choice will depend on wheel size and brake type. I only need the capacity of one pannier on my commute so I alternate each week. The Ortliebs are rock solid and completely waterproof.

  3. #3
    I'd rather be on my bike
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    16 mile commute would require you to average 16 miles an hour to make it in one hour. You are going to need to be hustling to get that done in an hour. This includes lights, traffic, etc. My commute is just under 8 miles and it takes me about half an hour. That is me riding in the 20mph range for most of the ride. Have you given this a test run yet? Depending on your location, this could mean getting sweaty so take into consideration your post ride clean up if needed.

    As for panniers, no recommendations here. Never used them. Good luck with your commute.
    The pedals turn, not just the left one, but the right one too.

  4. #4
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    Thanks! Ive ridden it many times, and 1 hour is just a rough average. A third of the route is on a paved rail-to-trail which goes fast. Then there is a busy section I have to pass through that may slow me down depending on traffic. The last bit is mostly side-roads with light traffic, and getting into downtown there are marked bike lanes leading to a riverfront path that gets me pretty close to the office. I've not actually practiced this exact commute but I figure I will be within +20 minutes of an hour. Yes, I will sweat on hot days, but they have a shower there. My work times are somewhat flexible, and I have the option to telecommute. I likely wont be commuting every day either.
    Grit, spit, and a whole lot of duct tape!

  5. #5
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    I should add that the commute home will take longer. There is a significant climb going that direction, and many bars and brewery stops along the way
    Grit, spit, and a whole lot of duct tape!

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by jsprag View Post
    I use this rack

    With these panniers

    Rack choice will depend on wheel size and brake type. I only need the capacity of one pannier on my commute so I alternate each week. The Ortliebs are rock solid and completely waterproof.
    I also use those panniers and see a lot of them on the bike path here in the DC metro area. The pannier has a nice big pocket that fits my laptop perfectly. I put my clothes in that bag too for a little padding. And I put my thermos, tools, food and other shonky in the opposite pannier. I'm only 10-12 miles one way.

    If I were going 16 miles one way I would try hard to slim everything down to the bare minimum and ride a faster bike. If your frame size is big enough to accommodate a frame bag that would fit your laptop that would be ideal and use one of those oversized tail bags under the saddle for clothing. If I did that I would need a way to prepare food and coffee at work. I would go bankrupt if I had to buy all that daily!

  7. #7
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    I decided that panniers are the way to go, and Im fitting 2 bikes with pannier racks. My Surly stragger will have a front mounted rack, and my specialized Fat boy will have a rear mounted rack. Both will be capable of carrying panniers. Im in the process of outfitting the fat bike with custom fenders. It will be a fun bike for winter commuting!
    Grit, spit, and a whole lot of duct tape!

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