I’ve been commuting by road bike for over 5 years. Until recently, I’ve always used a backpack. It’s 24km in each direction. I’ve never had too many issues with using a backpack but in my mind I always told myself I’d upgrade to a rack and panniers some day. The benefits were clear in my head. I sometimes got slight discomfort in my back which would disappear with panniers. No more sweaty back. All the weight on the bike not me (I often carry a laptop). A feeling of liberation. Able to carry bigger/heavier loads i.e. weekend camping trips etc. I finally took the plunge on a sleek road bike rack I liked the look of and some Ortlieb classic back rollers. Now don’t get me wrong, I do like them, and they will be hugely beneficial if I decide to head away for a weekend with quite a bit of kit. But I’m really not feeling them on the commute which is what I primarily bought them for. They just slow me down so much. My bike has gone from a joy to a ride to feeling sluggish and heavy. Just little things like lifting my bike into position after unlocking it are more of a chore as it’s so back heavy. It seems to have added at least 10% time to my commute and made it, in my mind, less enjoyable. The benefits of no sweaty back and the weight being on the bike rather than me are outweighed by the increased slog. Yesterday, circumstances dictated that I had to use a backpack for the first time in a while, and the feeling of liberation of having a bike that could move like before was amazing. I also did the journey in a time I know is virtually impossible with the panniers (about as quick as I can do the route having done it 100s of times). And that was still with the rack attached, just no panniers. Anyone else feel the same or have strong feelings the other way? I love how much stuff I can get in the Ortliebs and the waterproofing/sturdiness is second to none but I’m just not sure they are right for the average commute. Tempted to switch back to backpack and leave them for big load trips.