Results 1 to 29 of 29
  1. #1
    mtbr member
    Reputation: antonio's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Posts
    1,987

    Internal Frame Backpack for Commuting?

    On the way to work I often see this bike commuter zipping by on a road bike with an internal frame pack on his back. I've no experience with them, so I'm curious if anyone knows what advantages (if any) there are to using these types of packs for commuting.

    I'm a fair weather commuter, tried and disliked panniers, but don't find my messenger bag to be very stable on those rare occasions when it's full.

    Ant
    Attached Images Attached Images  

  2. #2
    namagomi
    Reputation: electrik's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Posts
    2,884
    Well a lot of weight up high, flopping around on you.. hiking with a heavy bag can be tricky to balance.. now you're going to ride a bicycle in traffic at the same time? *plays circus music*

    This bag Ergon makes is sort of interesting as the chest straps rotate on a universal joint so you can in theory look behind you without the bag dragging you over.

  3. #3
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Posts
    1,306
    Quote Originally Posted by electrik
    Well a lot of weight up high, flopping around on you.. hiking with a heavy bag can be tricky to balance.. now you're going to ride a bicycle in traffic at the same time? *plays circus music*

    This bag Ergon makes is sort of interesting as the chest straps rotate on a universal joint so you can in theory look behind you without the bag dragging you over.
    uhh have you ever hiked with a internal frame pack? what about a properly loaded pack? a hiking pack is a great choice. well ventilated back, strong materials and build. weight is put on the hips not the shoulders.

  4. #4
    namagomi
    Reputation: electrik's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Posts
    2,884
    Quote Originally Posted by reptilezs
    uhh have you ever hiked with a internal frame pack? what about a properly loaded pack? a hiking pack is a great choice. well ventilated back, strong materials and build. weight is put on the hips not the shoulders.
    Yes and yes. Did you comprehend what i wrote look at the bag i posted? Not wasting more time. Try looking before jumping allover me.
    Last edited by electrik; 02-27-2010 at 08:07 PM.

  5. #5
    mtbr member
    Reputation: backcountryeti's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2004
    Posts
    638
    I have tried it with my internal frame pack and did not enjoy it. The pack sat too high, rubbed my helmet the entire time. I had to loosen the straps enough so that the pack would sit farther back, thus making it not as stable. I was just experimenting, went back to my old trusty cheapo half ass messenger bag. Just my two cents

  6. #6
    weirdo
    Reputation: rodar y rodar's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Posts
    6,223
    I`ve never used an internal frame, riding or otherwise. It doesn`t look very comfortable to me, but if you already know you don`t like panniers or messenger bags you may as well see if that works better for you.
    Recalculating....

  7. #7
    Moderator Moderator
    Reputation: mtbxplorer's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Posts
    7,302
    I use a pack daily, but just a basic knapsack, no internal frame. I like it but I don't know as I'd want to ride with the one you posted, at least not fully loaded. Something on the smaller end of the daypack range would be good unless you have to carry lots. I know what you mean by the messenger bag - I used a sling pack I had 1 day (pack with 1 diagonal strap) & had to constantly adjust it as it shifted around. I have been wanting something like this Osprey Manta, with bike & hike features, includng helmet attachment, integrated rain cover, blinky attachment, water reservoir, etc:
    Attached Images Attached Images  

  8. #8
    Fat-tired Roadie
    Reputation: AndrwSwitch's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Posts
    18,453
    I wouldn't want to use an internal frame pack, since I let my back curve when I'm riding my bike. If I'm taking a bunch of stuff with me on my mountain bike, though, I've found my Da Kine Heli Pro to be pretty good. It's got a reinforced backsheet, but no frame stay, so it distributes weight a little better without being stiff.

    I prefer a messenger bag on my road bike, since I can get it to sit lower. Do you have a "real" messenger bag? I find being able to adjust the shoulder strap and chest strap and having compression straps helps to stabilize loads, especially small, dense ones likes binders and books.
    "Don't buy upgrades; ride up grades." -Eddy Merckx

  9. #9
    LCI #1853
    Reputation: PscyclePath's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Posts
    328
    Using a backpack like that first puts the weight on your body, making you work harder to propel the bike... secondly, it raises your center of gravity, making you less stable on the bike. Then we get into comfort issues, such as sweaty back, pack straps pulling on the shoulders, etc.

    Put the load on the bike, when possible. That lets you use the bike's mechanical advantage to help move the load along, and the lowered CG helps stabilize you.
    Ride a mountain bike... you will not regret it if you live.
    (with apologies to Mark Twain & The Taming of the Bicycle)

  10. #10
    Bedwards Of The West
    Reputation: CommuterBoy's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Posts
    5,451
    I've been commuting with a backpack for 5 years. I get what you're saying, PsyclePath, but I don't buy into your theory....

    For me, when I'm riding a bike it's all about the ability to manipulate/flick/maneuver the bike. I have a BMX and then a MTB background, so I'm all about bike control. I hate hanging stuff on my bike. I won't even put a little tool kit under the seat on my MTB, that stuff goes in my camelbak. Everything I add to the bike makes it harder to throw the bike around. I realize that I'm not going to have to flick the back wheel onto a different line when I'm commuting 99% of the time, but I certainly want the option. My commute involves some dirt road, which is horrible this time of year, and I spend the first mile bombing downhill, bunnyhopping potholes...not an option with panniers.

    I also don't get how the weight on my body makes it harder to propel the bike... the way I see it, more weight on the bike makes it harder to propel the bike...you're adding that weight either way...for me, I feel a distinct mechanical disadvantage when I add weight to the bike (panniers, rack). My legs now have to push a heavier thing up a hill. When the weight is on me, I'm not fighting it's desire to swing back and forth...it has no effect on the sway of the bike when I'm climbing a hill, for example.

    I have also never felt like the center of gravity thing was an issue. I've never felt like the backpack made me less stable. It makes me feel more in control because I'm riding a bike that doesn't have crap hanging all over it.

    As for backpack selection, some of the ones pictured above look pretty good... I think an internal frame pack is serious overkill. You don't need the frame on the bike, That's a lot of bulk and weight that you just don't need. However, they do offer nice waist straps. it's true that a backpack will sway and wobble around if it doesn't have a waist strap. But you don't want a true 'backpacking' waist strap on the bike, in my opinon...leaned over in riding position, all that padding turns into a big, hot, disadvantage. I'm currently using a North Face Slingshot pack, and I love it. Minimal waist strap, but it doesn't take much to keep it from moving. I vastly prefer this set up to a messenger bag, which I have also tried.

    My experience says that a backpack is the way to go. Your mileage may vary...
    You have no excuse for driving to work
    (unless you don't have studded tires)
    (no excuse for that either)

  11. #11
    jrm
    jrm is offline
    mtbr member
    Reputation: jrm's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Posts
    10,944

    Im using a Deuter Futura 32C

    i like it a lot because it hangs off the back of my shoulders and rests on mu hips. Otherwise its not in contact with my back. Although its kinda tall the shoulder straps can be adjusted so it hangs lower. It just takes some messing around with it. When packing it i try to load the heaviest stuff on the bottom with the lighter stuff on top and the remaining stuff in the internal and external pockets.

    Some thing i dont like about using a pack is that if its on the heavy side it begins to pulls away from my shoulders. When climbing the pack makes it harder for me to relax my upper body on extensive climbs. Other wise it works well.

    <img src=https://www.outbacktrading.co.uk/images/uploads/Futura32_cobalt_04.jpg>

  12. #12
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Posts
    2,088
    Some of the messenger bag companies now make backpacks. That seems like the obvious solution to your problem. I could never understand why people love messenger bags - the asymetrical loading is bound to create serious physical problems if you ride very much.

    Personally, I hate things on my back. I always carry stuff on the bike using panniers, rack trunks or just throwing stuff on the back of my Big Dummy. I can't relate to CommuterBoy at all - I have no problem maneuvering my bikes with the load on the bike and I even ride my mountain bike with water bottles and a seatbag instead of a Camelbak. Different strokes I guess.

  13. #13
    Bedwards Of The West
    Reputation: CommuterBoy's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Posts
    5,451
    Quote Originally Posted by Thor29
    I can't relate to CommuterBoy at all ...

    Well that's par for the course for most people Do whatever works for you... just don't expect me to hang crap on my bike. It doesn't even feel normal until I take the fenders off in the summer.
    I'm totally with you on messenger bags though.
    You have no excuse for driving to work
    (unless you don't have studded tires)
    (no excuse for that either)

  14. #14
    Fat-tired Roadie
    Reputation: AndrwSwitch's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Posts
    18,453
    Having tried backpacks, messenger bags and panniers...

    I found panniers to be most comfortable, but I definitely prefer the handling of a bike when I'm carrying the same load on my back. I also hated having to mess around with my panniers whenever I wanted to leave my bike locked outside somewhere, and didn't like having to carry them around. I did the single-pannier thing for a while and it's better, but still annoying.

    I have a pretty low riding position on my road bikes, and when I wear a backpack it feels either too high on my back or it moves around a lot. If I'm using the waist strap and I'm in a low position it rides up. If I'm in a higher position, I'm not on the part of the handlebar I prefer.

    I usually wear my messenger bag pretty low on my back. I don't feel a lot of tension on my shoulder strap most of the time. That's with loads up to twenty-five pounds, give or take.

    On the mountain bike, the situation reverses. I have a higher position on that bike, and I start feeling my messenger bag hanging from the shoulder strap rather than lying across my lower back. That feels lop-sided and I don't like it at all. A backpack, on the other hand, works fine.

    So I think that it really comes down to the individual rider's position on that particular bike, and how important handling is compared to comfort. I can't imagine touring in a backpack or messenger, for example.

    ant, what kind of messenger do you have? And what kind of bike are you commuting on?
    "Don't buy upgrades; ride up grades." -Eddy Merckx

  15. #15
    weirdo
    Reputation: rodar y rodar's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Posts
    6,223
    Backpacks don`t seem to affect my control, nor do panniers. I`ve spent my share of hours with little day packs on my back (sometimes when I`m riding, even) and the only genuine downfall is that they like to snag when it comes time to squeeze through brush or tight spots. Otherwise, it`s like Thor said- I just hate having it there. Must be what dogs think when you put tape on the pads of their feet. Most of my bikes now have some way to carry at least a lunch and/or extra layer of clothes, so I take the comfy way out and tie it to the bike.
    Recalculating....

  16. #16
    Bedwards Of The West
    Reputation: CommuterBoy's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Posts
    5,451
    For touring, I think I'd rather pull a Yak trailer than load up the bike with bags or carry anything on my body. I agree that a backpack or any kind of bag on your body would be miserable for long trips if there was any weight in it.

    But I have done centuries with a camelbak on a few different occasions, and I never had a problem with it. I keep it light, but I'm a mountain biker at heart and I'd rather have the water, spare tube, and the other necessities in a light pack than on the bike or in jersey pockets. The roadies can make fun of me all they want.
    You have no excuse for driving to work
    (unless you don't have studded tires)
    (no excuse for that either)

  17. #17
    Fat-tired Roadie
    Reputation: AndrwSwitch's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Posts
    18,453
    Quote Originally Posted by CommuterBoy
    But I have done centuries with a camelbak on a few different occasions, and I never had a problem with it. I keep it light, but I'm a mountain biker at heart and I'd rather have the water, spare tube, and the other necessities in a light pack than on the bike or in jersey pockets. The roadies can make fun of me all they want.
    LOL. I switched, last summer, from using a camelbak for that to putting everything in jersey pockets or on the bike frame, like on my road bikes. I love not getting swamp back anymore, or having a bunch of water flying around on my back. But then, I also spend a lot more ride time on pavement.
    "Don't buy upgrades; ride up grades." -Eddy Merckx

  18. #18
    mtbr member
    Reputation: s0ckeyeus's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Posts
    3,029
    I think frameless backpacks are better than framed for biking. I commute with a Camelback backpack without the hydration bladder. It has a slim profile and fits the contours of my body like a glove. Even fully loaded, I hardly know it's there (which is why I have had to ride back to get it a few times).

  19. #19
    mtbr member
    Reputation: BrianMc's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Posts
    4,271
    Don't you just love the consensus here? Feel the commaraderie? Same ol', same ol'.
    We are all different. Keeps all the different manufacturers in business.

    I hear where CommuterBoy is coming from and saw the pics of his home stretch. Whatever works. My bunny hopping days are gone. But I don't like any weight on the bike, but add to that, on me, either. Without the luxury of a full support vehicle or a butler pulling a Bob along for my convenience, the choices are: not so good, not much better, and 'hate it even if others like it a lot'. Weight messes up signals and adds inertia in weird places. In college, a book bag/backpack worked. Slower now. Back's not as forgiving. So I added the first carriers on the commuter/errand a bike I ride after 40 years without. Today's perfect answer may be tomorrow's pain in the...

  20. #20
    weirdo
    Reputation: rodar y rodar's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Posts
    6,223
    Quote Originally Posted by BrianMc
    Without the luxury of a full support vehicle or a butler pulling a Bob along for my convenience, the choices are: not so good, not much better, and 'hate it even if others like it a lot'.
    That`s a pretty good way to put it. How much do you think it would cost to pay that sherpa with a BOB?
    Recalculating....

  21. #21
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Posts
    1

    Pack

    I haven't been commuting for long. However, I just recently moved to Ft. Hood, TX and ride back and forth from the barracks. I ride with a pack that I got on post, however I'm sure you could find something similar. It has a good thick waist strap and removable aluminum bars in the back of the bag. Also it has straps for optional pockets. It is also waterproof, and fits more than I need to carry on a daily basis.

    Very similar to this.


  22. #22
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Posts
    83
    Since there is obviously no consensus here, I may as well way in with my $0.02. I understand that everyone's situation is different and I am not trying to change minds - just sharing what works for me and why.

    My preference would be to ride w/ nothing - no camel pack, no back pack, no panniers. Since that is not a realistic option, I have settled on an internal frame pack (Deuter something or another). It has webbing which keeps the load off of my back and when it is secured, I feel more comfortable when maneuvering in traffic, riding the few small sections of single track on my commute, and hopping curves and potholes. Fully loaded w/ tools, work clothes, and the other misc things that I drag to/from work it only weighs around 15 pounds - not much more than my fully loaded 100 oz camel pack w/ tools, tubes, and a couple of cliff bars - and given that I weigh in around 240 it really has only a minimal impact on my ability to maneuver. Also, after time you tend to adjust for the extra weigh without even thinking.

    I tried panniers and they made the bike feel clumsy and un-maneuverable and hopping curbs, potholes and other obstacles is much more difficult with the weight unsprung. I also tried a frameless backpack but it created a bad hot spot on my back which was very uncomfortable. I also didn't feel that the load was quite as secure (may have been the pack I was using) as it would bounce around a lot more on the single track.

  23. #23
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Posts
    85
    I used to use a full sized Dana designs internal framed pack to do laundry, it was only 1 mile a way and wasn't bad, but fully loaded a helmet was difficult to use.

    Now that I don't have to do laundry via bike, I use a chrome metropolis messenger bag, the chest strap really helps keeps loads where they belong and I hate having to remove a backpack to get into the bag. I have no issues riding with a fully loaded bag, lunch, clothes, towel, sundries, the occasional 12 pack.

  24. #24
    mtbr member
    Reputation: BrianMc's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Posts
    4,271
    I haven't checked to see if I won the lottery and can afford a Sherpa to pull a Bob for me.

    I thought about this more since reading here last. I went for flexibility. I still have the backpack. So I have a backpack, baskets, or bags, and a front Porteur-style rack and simple rear rack. Just no more 30 + pound loads in a shifting, sweat inducing backpack.

    The other bike is too dignified for more than an under saddle tool bag or a handlebar bag for Centuries to handle the clothes that come off or might go on.

  25. #25
    weirdo
    Reputation: rodar y rodar's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Posts
    6,223
    30 pound backpack on a bike!?! Makes my butt hurt just thinking about it! I used to carry one for cold weather mtb trips, but only with the weight of some clothes and a little food. Thirty pounds is well into the pannier or trailer range, IMO.
    Recalculating....

  26. #26
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Posts
    58
    I use a combination of a backpack and rack trunk. I also have the option of adding panniers if I have to move something big. I try to avoid doing that at all costs, though. Panniers make my bike feel so slow. I usually commute by bus at least once a week, so I try to transport all of my bike items then.

  27. #27
    Bedwards Of The West
    Reputation: CommuterBoy's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Posts
    5,451
    I agree with Rodar, 30lbs is pretty huge. Not sure what mine weighs on a normal day, but it's basically a mini tool, pump, spare tube, patch kit, underwear, undershirt, and lunch. A few other minimal odds and ends, sometimes a shirt or a pair of pants (I stash work clothes at work) but it can't be over 6 or 7 pounds on a heavy day. I stash an extra pair of socks in there for most of the winter, in case I get caught in a downpour...the only thing I wear on the bike that I also wear at work is socks. I have lugged a 3 pound can of coffee to work a few times. That makes it feel super bulky and heavy.
    You have no excuse for driving to work
    (unless you don't have studded tires)
    (no excuse for that either)

  28. #28
    Moderator Moderator
    Reputation: mtbxplorer's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Posts
    7,302
    I try to keep my pack light too - if I need milk at home I stop for a quart, not a half gallon, because I hate the extra weight. Usually the heaviest thing in my pack is the cateye battery, a pound maybe, or a coil lock if I need to leave the bike for more than a minute anywhere. I keep the tools/tube in a seatpack just because otherwise I'm apt to leave them behind if I take a ride without the daypack. I put the coffee thermos in the bottle cage to complete my commuter look.

  29. #29
    mtbr member
    Reputation: BrianMc's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Posts
    4,271
    I bought three pecks of apples and pears from an orchard I go by. All the pack would hold. It was straining. Not just heavy, but bulky. Didn't sound bad compared to hikers' packs. That 'larned me'. 'Interesting' ride home. Fortunately stuffed tight, the load didn't shift in the pack. I was below 200 pounds then having dropped 50 the previous summer, so it was 15% of my body weight. Yep, carrier and pannier time. And just when I'm equipped to haul home a case of beer, I find I'm gluten intolerant. Fortunately, wine, and distilled spirits aren't bulky.

Members who have read this thread: 1

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  

THE SITE

ABOUT MTBR

VISIT US AT

mtbr.com and the ConsumerReview Network are business units of Invenda Corporation

(C) Copyright 1996-2018. All Rights Reserved.