Commuting to school, what do I need?-
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  1. #1
    No longer a hardtailkid.
    Reputation: hardtailkid's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2010

    Commuting to school, what do I need?

    Howdy. I just picked up a 2012 Trek Triton through the shop I work at, and I really want to get into commuting to school. I currently ride to work 4-5 days per week, 21 miles round trip, and I just wear a little CamelBak with a change of clothes, cell phone, money, food, and sunglasses. School starts in a little under a month ( ), and, as I said, I really want to commute there.

    Now that you have a little background, I'll tell you what I want to do and what I need help with.

    1.) I do not want to be riding with my backpack on my back.

    2.) I want to get a rack with a pannier to stow a medium sized backpack in. (Not big like an Adidas backpack, but not small like a CamelBak.

    3.) I don't want something ugly or heavy.

    4.) I work at a shop that carries mostly Bontrager accessories, and we are having a crazy sale until the 24th, so there are plenty of deals to be had. Any suggestions on things from that brand?

    Thanks for your help, guys!
    Quote Originally Posted by anthonys
    Its still just the push of a button away...
    I am no longer a hardtailkid. 2012 Trek Remedy 9!

  2. #2
    Fat-tired Roadie
    Reputation: AndrwSwitch's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    IME, panniers and backpacks don't play that well together.

    I have a set of these I used to use.

    They're heavy, and messed up the way the bike handled some. It was meant to be sporty, and has shortish chain stays for a pannier setup. However, you can put a bag in them. Which is cool.

    They also have a big basket that goes on the rack, and a front basket. A lot of people I know say that front-loading is the way to go. I've never carried large loads that way. For biggish loads in front, you may want a fork that can support weight that way a little better.

    Something I considered when I was shopping for panniers several months ago was a backpack or messenger bag pannier. I found a good price on some pretty traditional panniers, and didn't find any backpack/messenger panniers that I liked, so that was that.
    "Don't buy upgrades; ride up grades." -Eddy Merckx

  3. #3
    Reputation: rodar y rodar's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    If you want to stuff a backpack into a panier, I guess you just look for super big panniers. Grocery type, maybe? There are also a few convertible backpack/panniers on the market, but I don`t know if Bontrager makes any. Even if you have to go to a brand you can`t get an employee price on, that might be your best bet.

    An alternative to your original plan might be to tie up the straps on your camelback and just tie it directly to the rack- higher CoG than leaving it low, but centered left to right, which I think if more important. Or a rack trunk, if you can get by with less volume. I bought a cheap one recently and it`s been getting lots of use.

  4. #4
    Reputation: TraumaARNP's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    You have a few options; may I suggest a Delta rack (best value for the money), Delta Cargo net to hold down your small back pack, and, if you must have panniers, the Banjo Brothers panniers can hold a small backpack as you have.

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  5. #5
    mtbr member
    Reputation: Dgtlbliss's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Consider the Knog Dry Dog, it's a convertible pannier and messenger bag that's waterproof. You can get that through QBP. Btw, I work at a Trek concept store too.

    I commute to school and work, and usually use a pannier on the hot days (it's 110 today), and a backpack otherwise. I just ordered a Chrome Pawn backpack that's pretty big and should be awesome for carrying everything I need.

  6. #6
    mtbr member
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    hardtailkid...hope your luck turns better after that spill you mentioned in the pic thread. is that bob's bicycles near cape canaveral? i stopped in there a couple years ago on my way back to fort lauderdale from bike week in daytona, nice place.
    fwiw i ride over drawbridges down here all the time. even after doing it for a couple years i still never feel comfortable on the metal grids, especially with 23c tires. you gotta stay relaxed while keeping alert & running wider tires does make it much less nerve-wracking. but there is just no way to place the blame for your fall on the gov.

    anyway, to the matter at hand...
    Quote Originally Posted by hardtailkid View Post
    3.) I don't want something ugly or heavy
    i ride to work quite a bit & purposely got a bike with tons of braze-ons & attachment points for racks & bags & fenders & all that kind of stuff so i could really pack it up. well, every bit of it now sits on a shelf in the garage except for when i take an.occasional epic bike tour.

    it turned out that i simply am unwilling to pay the weight penalty for that s**t on my commute & other daily riding & there is no way to deny that bolt-on racks do weigh a lot.

    i found that a small backpack & a quick-release seatpost rack (much like TraumaARNP's last pic) to bungee it to when i don't want to ride with the pack on my back, can carry everything i need at work & more. the rack goes on & comes off in 30 seconds so most of the time my "commuter bike" is a lean, mean, urban assault machine

    try to keep the rubber side down...

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